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6 weeks ago I started this new obsession not having a clue to the depth and scope of kiting. Got a Widow ng  to start. Flew it a few times and started to believe I needed something more durable due to constant contact with mother earth. Went stupid and got a Black Dog [ neat kite] Premiers Vision , Jewel , 2 Addictions , Nighthawk and a 1.4 foil [good decision] Moved the Dog ,Vision and 1 Addiction on. Got lucky and got my money back. Broke my Widows lower spreader last Sunday. I understand breaking and repairing is part of this sport but that just sucked. Not the kites fault at all. Between then and now no winds to fly in except foil until yesterday afternoon. Took my snapshot 1.4, micron and nighthawk out for their 1st flights. The nighthawk is the warm color. Not expecting it to be so pretty in flight. Here is  my thoughts on the widow and the nighthawk. This is not a review due to knowledge deficiency. Putting the widow up for the 1st time was just awesome. Graceful and deliberate . Didn't realize how intimidated I was by it until I flew the Nighthawk. After flying both I have really gained insight to input control.Widow deliberate and calculating not much forgiveness in a panic. When remembering to breath that will happen less . The nighthawk seems more reactionary. With developing skills that too shall pass. The widow does everything I tell it to do even when I don't know what I'm saying. Hence broken sigh. The nighthawk is faster to respond and I seem to correct my mistakes without knowing how I did it. Really had a blast with this kite. On inputs the widow is like okay next ,next,  crash. Really dude there is so much more to do and this is just wasting time. Yes it can talk I'm just not fluent in it's language yet. For the nighthawk it's input, whee ,input ,whee crash whee. I was expecting them to be very similar. Not so much. If I had to choose I'd take the widow over the nighthawk but I don't and that is excellent. Most valuable lesson so far slack those lines when crashing!! I had so much fun forgot to fly the other 2 kites. Nighthawk came with really good lines. After comparing the 2 the widow needs a better set. One of the new found joys of this kiting thing, learning to make my own sets. Jewel and addiction will be moving on. Want to keep them but no need. Tried to justify that they're for the wife but that's stupid cause the widow and nighthawk are hers too. Just ask her lol. Jumping from kite to kite I think will hinder progress anyways. After flying the nighthawk I don't believe I need a ul. I see why people love them. Think it's going to take a trip to Plymouth to meet daddy :).Now I can truly say in the quiver prism snapshot 1.4 ,prism micron,Premier nighthawk and widow ng. Want more but I do need a sul. Just about bought a 4d cause of the price. Although the price was good I'm going to follow the advice that got me the widow. Got a piggy bank that has Jon, Lam ,Tim , Krijn with ? Oh my the anticipation and agonizing to come !! So glad I took the advice of so many to start with a great kite. Don't know if I would be as enthused otherwise. Each to their own but I WANT TO FLY LIKE THOSE GUYS !!! In the words of the beloved Captain Piccard MAKE IT SO.

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Really good to here about your journey. Breaking stuff is one of those things, nature of the beast. Good that you can grab another bird and have some time with it. Yes, changing kites will delay things BUT what you learn from one will help on the other.

Other posts taken care of.

In between Heaven and Earth, there are kites.

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being a beginner with multiple kites too i can see what you mean by hinder progress,  but in the same time it allows my to adjust to multiple flying styles. + i fly with less fear of breaking because i know i will have a backup kite to keep me up if i ever i break something and need to order stuff.

 

 

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Agree I was a lot more relaxed first time on nighthawk than on widow. Widow should be back up Tuesday and It's going to be more fun having my 1st repair done. Sure are a lot of I wants out there though.  If I didn't  have another kite I would have spent 4 hours 52 minutes and $24.36 in gas going to Boulder Co. for a $10.00 part. Yes I do have the mileage figured just in case :ninja:!! 

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Sticker shock can stop you from trying things. Kind of like being really careful with a car until you get the first ding.... Being relaxed is a big thing and can help with the unlocks.

Don't forget, holes can be patched.

In between Heaven and Earth, there are kites.

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Yup would have never believed that kites could be worth so much till now. Having to explain cost of repairs on my barely flown new toy kinda broke the ice. Lot cheaper than fixing that motorcycle racing transmission I once needed err wanted so badly. I have patching material coming soon. Hoping I never have to use it but waiting a week for a simple repair sucks.

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And once you gain enough experience, your initial opinion of each kite will change. Once you can appreciate what each was intended to do, everything you thought you knew is out the window. That's what makes it fun and a lifetime of learning.

Don't forget to breathe.

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Yesterday I started out the day reading kite builders post. Got engrossed  for a bit In 1 of sail maker Krijins projects. Like Michio Kaku he can explain the complex very well. Thinking along those lines called Kites and Fun Things for mods on my Nighthawk. Much to my chagrin there are none. Didn't even have enough knowledge to ask a proper question :blushing: nor enough sense to get help in putting a repair kit together. Who better to ask I say then the designer himself. As conversation turned to the addiction it took all of 2 seconds to know it would be added to my quiver. Telling me the difference between the Addiction and the Addiction Pro was worth the call. I realized later those post were not mods so much as helping someone solve a problem and get back to flying. At times we all see what we want to see I suppose. Our short conversation turned to the light/zero wind flyers. With profound sadness for all stunt flyers the future of the Aura is in flux. As with most passing's the ripple affect starts with family. Those folks are family!! I went out yesterday right after my last post to maiden fly my new Addiction. The left lower spreader connection took close to 5 minutes of gently rotating and coaxing to finally seat. Thanks for the tutorial. My left thumb with a little neosporin and a band aid is healing nicely thanks for asking.No damage done. I've been advised by the best J.B, Jim P.,Jon T and many others to be patient go slow and get the basics down. 5 minutes into my 1st flight ever that all went out the window. The Widow was just begging to do things I had no idea how to do. So I just went for it and have done so ever since. Result broken kite but fun fun fun. As time goes by I know and will realize more and more how awesome the Widow ng design is. Yesterday I went to the top center of window with the Addiction caught an axle and into a fade. Know enough now that the line was was wrapped around the right wing tip and don't know enough yet to pull it out. The kite stayed in the fade and settled gently to the ground .1st time ever wow that's neat to do (still working on the repeat). The awe with a little understanding that I  was feeling for the design turned into pure joy. No wow look what I did just joy. It's like the kite came alive. I can't explain it but you experienced flyers know what I mean and probably can't either. It's not unique to kiting but nonetheless. Kiting will always be rehab for me. 5 years ago I looked into the grill of a 18 wheeler coming at me 60 mph. Just enough time to think this is it. Much to my delight I regained conscience and wow I made it. I v'e always played guitar. Started so young I don't remember not doing so. Iv'e approached this sport like I approach a new piece of music. Iv'e ticked off every music teacher I've ever had because I do theory best in the middle. Music has always taken care of my head. Kiting will take care of my head and body. As I was walking to the kite I got to thinking how many times while working out a new riff or cadence somebody would interject do this or that. When I was young it came to blows more than once. I have spent hours studying Handle, Bach, Fernando Sor ,Wes Montgomery,  Muddy Waters and many more trying to get this 2,5,1 right you who are without theory!!  Unless we're collaborating shut up until you see what I'm trying to do. Result I'm a very poor band mate. But hey I live with parrots and they are the most self centered creatures Iv'e ever met.Wanting my Nighthawk modded like a ul was me acting in much the same way. Albeit naively,  no respect for the creative process that led to the end result and not even having the skills to understand what the intended result is.If you don't know how do you know what you need to know what you don't know  to know. Errr something like that. Many of you have had the patience to repeat over and over again to newbies like myself there is no 1 do it all kite that's why we get to have so many:).On my walk of reflection I thought of the posts I'd read about Steve's passing. As I was just entering into this wonderful world of kiting one that was much loved and respected was leaving.He was not  defeated just lost the fight that one day I too will lose. Reading those post  I knew I'd found what I had been looking for, for many years . I can no longer ski ,surf or ride motorcycles but I can kite . I am no scientist nor artist but I recognize them when I see their work. In the Yin and Yang of our species I believe those people are our polar opposites and we the masses live somewhere in the middle and  because of them  most of us in comfort. When the scientist leaves they leave behind a trail for others to follow and their work continues. It's math. What the artist/craftsman leave no amount of left behind instruction will recreate what they created.Whether it be music or pottery their inspiration goes with them and it will change. We still look at the scientist from the past in wonder and awe from Madam Curie to Steve jobs and many many more. With the artist/craftsman we all somehow know this will never happen again. They're creations while still instilling wonder and awe become cherished.In my mind that's one of the most  beautifully poignant things about being human These kites like many simple seeming things are a complex blending of science and art/craft. I think there have been many Einsteins and Picassos in our history. I can only recall 2 that blended art and science  really well , Da Vinci and Pathogorus. The rest of us all need a little help. Getting close to the kite I started giggling a bit thinking a what if scenario depending on how our history goes. Some future scientist is rooting around and finds a pristine kite from our era. Others gather around, It's pretty must be for decoration, no it's shape says it's for worship, no no the graphics were for communicating. From up on high a group of sail makers pause in their labor look down laughing to themselves at the absurdity of it all. One turns to the other and with slight disgust, says well if they quit fussing maybe they'll find the joy in it just being there cause  they'll never figure out it flies. I got my 1st sail material yesterday. The design I'm going to recreate is called the Faux C authored by Jean Herve'  on kite plans. So now the other part of my Kite Life begins :sq-yingyang:. As I get out and about I am  looking forward to seeing Steve's and others cherished sails. Hopefully I'll learn something.This OPK thing is foreign to  me. No you can't use my skis',no you can't use my board , no you can't ride my motorcycle. Play my guitars ,are you nuts or something . You people like to share!! As of yesterday I think I get it. It's trying to share an avenue to pure joy. As I knelt to adjust for launch I paused . In those few moments from the top of the window to the landing of the kite and during the walk of reflection I had become a flyer. Much, much earlier than anticipated. Without my 6 year old grand son begging me to help him fix his broken kite because his desire to fly again was so strong and these forums I would have never known. I base my time here on 4 days of the year. The solstice will be upon us in the coming days and the renewal will start again. The swallows will be back in May. I've been here long enough that most of them will have been born here but they always bring a friend or two. I will be looking at  their flight patterns a lot different now. I look back over the thousands of years that sail makers have learned to harness what cannot be tamed and I am in awe. But hey that's just my perception. Like Sparkie likes to always kindly remind. Between heaven and earth that's where kites fly. Peace and fair winds all.

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Lying on my back watching a hawk soar -- for hours -- same, same. I know the feeling and so do others who fly. It starts out as pure innocence and joy. The innocence may disappear, but the joy lasts forever!

A suggestion for seating spars that don't want to be stuck into the fitting. A bit of saliva on the spar and it will slide right in. Lick and stick.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 12/17/2017 at 12:59 AM, Breezin said:

because I do theory best in the middle

With music, once you know the rules, you can break them with impunity.- My guitar teacher, a long, long time ago.

On 12/17/2017 at 12:59 AM, Breezin said:

Unless we're collaborating shut up until you see what I'm trying to do.

"You can't do that!"

"What do you mean? I just did it... ...There, I did it again."

 

Multi-line kiting, like guitars, relies on muscle memory built up by repetition.  I've said that learning to fly with a cheap* kite is like learning to play on a cheap* guitar. (*cheap- poorly made, not necessarily inexpensive) Sure, you can do it, but progress will be painful.

It sounds like you have chosen some good kites to start. I would suggest only buying "up" from the Widow NG. That said, some kites are better at some tricks than others, so I would discount all mass produced kites. For example, you were going to practice doing fades close to the ground. I might grab a less expensive kite, like my Swift, before I would grab a more expensive light wind kite. Let the Swift take all the inevitable lawn darts while I work on control. Learning the Fade on the Swift definitely helped me do Fades on my Widow NG and other kites.  There are also kites that don't like to do certain tricks, like a back flip. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sitting here thinking about the last couple weeks progress. From getting the Jet that's going to take several hours of 20 + winds to get the hang of.To getting a sewing machine that's going to take a couple hundred hours to get good at. To getting the PDSUL which is one of the coolest kites ever.Progress should be better but coming along . Spent 3 hours yesterday with PD on 90' x 80 # line set . Went back to the 100' x 90# set today and much happier. I don't think I could tell a difference on the other kites but on the PD you really can. Going to get 50# x 120' for it too . Tried the Zephyr on 50' x 50# and didn't like it and don't think with my current skills I want that small of window on the PD. Flew a few hours today on the PD with the 100'x 90# and everything felt more firm. Wind came up a bit so switched to the Zephyr on same set and was happy there too. Wind got a little higher and switched to the Widow ng. Been bouncing between 80' x 150# and 100' x 150#. Tried the kite on the other 2 line sets and have settled on these 2 with the 100'  having a slight edge.Going to get a 120. x 150# for it and to use on Jet also. ITW  site says Jet comes with 110' x 140# set. Kite came with 25 meter lines and that's what the instructions say so no complaints.After flying the other 2 getting the Widow up was like playing with a kitten to playing with a ferret.It was great after finessing those 2 kites and trying to not break the PD to just start hammering on the Widow.  Fun factor 11. Had about 30 to 45 minutes left to fly and 2nd nose dive of the day loosened the tee's top c clip. So ended the day but nothing broke or punctured. There's a lot of good reads and vids on the PD . People have varying opinions on line sets and trick ability but most say put the kite away at 5 mph. As I get better think I'll be pushing closer to the 10 mph. For me the kite has 2 distinct feels between 0 and 5. Unlike the Zephyr the transition is seamless. I can work the Zephyr between 0 and 3. At 3 plus it's like a switch is turned on and it stays pretty much the same until 10 to 12. Above 5 the PD starts changing again. Don't really know what it is but I can feel it and it feels good. Wind ranges are suspect from the manufactures but I think Jon T meant up to 10. No more. Iv'e learned more in 3 hours about the chain of events after inputs than all the others combined. Everything on the PD is graceful. It demands it. I'm thinking it won't last as long as it should because of what I'll be putting it thru but will replace it when the time comes without a doubt. For now every trick I learn I will try on the PD also whether the kite can do it or not. The slowness and responsiveness of the PD has helped my timing on the other kites whether I succeed on it or not. The Night hawk, Addiction and Jewel are just a blast to fly around and do whatever.They're durable and tricks happen without even knowing how. The other 3 demand some more deliberate skills which is even more rewarding. I've had the most laughs on the Addiction. Been most rewarded on the Widow. Learned the most on the Zephyr. Been the most content with many warm fuzzy feelings already on the Pro Dancer. Damn thing makes me giggle.Been the most frustrated on the Jet. Glad we can have more than one. If I could only have 4 it would be Jet, Widow, Zephyr, Pro Dancer. 3 there goes the jet. 2 there goes the Zephyr. If with much wailing and gnashing of teeth I could only have 1 it would be the Zephyr without any hesitation. Until I actually got a Zephyr would have never thought that. If I had to replace my kites tomorrow the only 1 that would be the same is the PDSUL. Widow would change to Widow Maker Pro [  using that colorizer a lot] . Jewel to Acrobatix. Addiction to Addiction Pro. Zephyr to Fearless light vented. Jet to HQ Ninja or Cruiser.I reserve the right to change my mind though. Night hawk dunno cause I got to have an excuse to shop around. Got 8 framed dual line kites now and love them all. I am 99.99% convinced though that I need another kite  :big_beer:. Perception is everything. To the individual :ani_smoke:.

 

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I too have a great affection for the Zephyr.  Obviously you are clicking with it.  The Pro Dancer, my beloved, is in a class of it's own.  I will say that there are many other great kites out there in the wild.  As you progress your taste in kites may change a bit.  Wait until you try a classic standard Widow Maker.  (Thank you RobB.)  I believe it would be my "on a desert island with only one kite" choice.  You are really progressing rapidly & it is good to hear about your adventures with repairs, line sets & having multiple kites. 

Best wishes from back here in the sticks, SHBKF

now you NEED a glider...

DSC07651.JPG

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Sitting here thinking about the last couple weeks progress. From getting the Jet that's going to take several hours of 20 + winds to get the hang of.To getting a sewing machine that's going to take a couple hundred hours to get good at. To getting the PDSUL which is one of the coolest kites ever.Progress should be better but coming along . Spent 3 hours yesterday with PD on 90' x 80 # line set . Went back to the 100' x 90# set today and much happier. I don't think I could tell a difference on the other kites but on the PD you really can. Going to get 50# x 120' for it too . Tried the Zephyr on 50' x 50# and didn't like it and don't think with my current skills I want that small of window on the PD. Flew a few hours today on the PD with the 100'x 90# and everything felt more firm. Wind came up a bit so switched to the Zephyr on same set and was happy there too. Wind got a little higher and switched to the Widow ng. Been bouncing between 80' x 150# and 100' x 150#. Tried the kite on the other 2 line sets and have settled on these 2 with the 100'  having a slight edge.Going to get a 120. x 150# for it and to use on Jet also. ITW  site says Jet comes with 110' x 140# set. Kite came with 25 meter lines and that's what the instructions say so no complaints.After flying the other 2 getting the Widow up was like playing with a kitten to playing with a ferret.It was great after finessing those 2 kites and trying to not break the PD to just start hammering on the Widow.  Fun factor 11. Had about 30 to 45 minutes left to fly and 2nd nose dive of the day loosened the tee's top c clip. So ended the day but nothing broke or punctured. There's a lot of good reads and vids on the PD . People have varying opinions on line sets and trick ability but most say put the kite away at 5 mph. As I get better think I'll be pushing closer to the 10 mph. For me the kite has 2 distinct feels between 0 and 5. Unlike the Zephyr the transition is seamless. I can work the Zephyr between 0 and 3. At 3 plus it's like a switch is turned on and it stays pretty much the same until 10 to 12. Above 5 the PD starts changing again. Don't really know what it is but I can feel it and it feels good. Wind ranges are suspect from the manufactures but I think Jon T meant up to 10. No more. Iv'e learned more in 3 hours about the chain of events after inputs than all the others combined. Everything on the PD is graceful. It demands it. I'm thinking it won't last as long as it should because of what I'll be putting it thru but will replace it when the time comes without a doubt. For now every trick I learn I will try on the PD also whether the kite can do it or not. The slowness and responsiveness of the PD has helped my timing on the other kites whether I succeed on it or not. The Night hawk, Addiction and Jewel are just a blast to fly around and do whatever.They're durable and tricks happen without even knowing how. The other 3 demand some more deliberate skills which is even more rewarding. I've had the most laughs on the Addiction. Been most rewarded on the Widow. Learned the most on the Zephyr. Been the most content with many warm fuzzy feelings already on the Pro Dancer. Damn thing makes me giggle.Been the most frustrated on the Jet. Glad we can have more than one. If I could only have 4 it would be Jet, Widow, Zephyr, Pro Dancer. 3 there goes the jet. 2 there goes the Zephyr. If with much wailing and gnashing of teeth I could only have 1 it would be the Zephyr without any hesitation. Until I actually got a Zephyr would have never thought that. If I had to replace my kites tomorrow the only 1 that would be the same is the PDSUL. Widow would change to Widow Maker Pro [  using that colorizer a lot] . Jewel to Acrobatix. Addiction to Addiction Pro. Zephyr to Fearless light vented. Jet to HQ Ninja or Cruiser.I reserve the right to change my mind though. Night hawk dunno cause I got to have an excuse to shop around. Got 8 framed dual line kites now and love them all. I am 99.99% convinced though that I need another kite  :big_beer:. Perception is everything. To the individual :ani_smoke:.
 

I’m glad you have been able to fly a lot, not much wind at all so far this year in Western Colorado. I ho back to working days next week so life will be getting back to “normal “ lol. For lines I but 1000 ft spoils of 50lb and 90lb and make them myself. I have saved a lot of money and if I want a 27 foot set I just make it.
I need to come to the front range and get you hooked on quad line Kites too. It’s only money and we can’t take it with us when we pass on.


Sent from my IPhone
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I've watched RobBs vid with a PD a lot .Today winds 0 to 3 for about an hour on the Zephyr  and started to get it.For the most part on the PD and Zephyr I've had to guess and keep pulling the wind out of the sail. Today I finally started feeling a lot more. Takes a lot of calm concentration.Learning to wait and react instead of guess and move wrong isn't that easy to do. It's easier to correct on the PD . Get it wrong below 3 and the Zephyr makes you prey:huh: for a controlled crash I mean landing. A few days ago the winds kept shifting directions and I walked in circles most of the time.I'd get the PD up and sometimes the wind would shift and it would sail right over my head.Kept yanking and spanking and moving all around with little success. Very frustrating.Went in and watched Robs vid about 10 more times in a row. Ya got to stand still ,feel the air and start dancing before you ever launch the kite even though ya look a little goofy LOL. Smooth, smooth, smooth. I've looked but can't find I But Lines in any length let alone a 1000'. Spoils of 50# and 90# I assume are potatoes for homemade Vodka? That's a lot of work man. I just go to the store.  I've lived here over 20 years and this is the mildest winter yet. Not complaining. Blizzards suck and it's not uncommon to wait 2 or 3 days after one has passed for the plows to come. Maybe with some high winds and a foot of snow I can learn to fly the Jet Speed w/o breaking it.Doubt it but I know where to get parts. I do have an advantage in low winds. 6200  elevation and very little humidity. I'm digging these low to no winds more than I Imagined. Would be cool to try a quad I guess. I mean beings how my arms getting all twisted and stuff. Okay alright I'll try. 

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For all the kites: it is all about what you "feel". Long ago I started disregarding the stated wind ranges given by the maker/producer. The question needs to be " Should I fly this in these conditions", not "What does the box say?". It's all a matter of learning your stuff, watching, feeling, knowing. The question I ask is - What is best in these current conditions? I'm not "trapped" by the numbers any longer, but use my best judgement on what is "right". I set up what I think will work, but will change if I guess wrong. That's why  most of us carry multiple sails. 

When I flew Revs exclusively, I would be one of the first to go to a more vented sail among  my team. Now that I fly Phoenixes, I find myself caught in the middle. The Phoenix has a little more venting from std to f/v, it means I can still be on a std when others might go mid. But again - it's all a "feel" thing.

My question would be - OK, the box says X mph. Just because it says I can - Should I?

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OK - that is 2 different numbers so far, anyone else??

My point is most dual line kites are not much fun to fly over 20-25 mph. Need to be vented to survive. But that venting may make them feel sorta "mushy", and harder to trick. When I flew a lot of dualies, wanted good, but not overpowering winds. Now that I fly the Phoenix quad, my upper range has expanded. With an X/V, 25 mph is no problem, with gusts - easy 35 mph. Hoping on some Mega vents for the team this year, like to see what they will take!

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34 minutes ago, Wayne Dowler said:

OK - that is 2 different numbers so far, anyone else??

My point is most dual line kites are not much fun to fly over 20-25 mph. Need to be vented to survive. But that venting may make them feel sorta "mushy", and harder to trick. When I flew a lot of dualies, wanted good, but not overpowering winds. Now that I fly the Phoenix quad, my upper range has expanded. With an X/V, 25 mph is no problem, with gusts - easy 35 mph. Hoping on some Mega vents for the team this year, like to see what they will take!

I think Breezin meant his top end achieved with the kite.

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      I think I can squeeze some more experience out of this kite (I can get it on its back so maybe a lazy Susan or something). However, if anyone has a step up for (ideally) less than $100 CAD (I am in Victoria , BC) I'd love the chance to try a previously loved kite
      I've don't tonnes of research on kites but haven't flown any OPKs so it is hard to compare proper stunt kites to this little one. As long as the kite isn't too huge I'm sure I'll love it to death!
      Thanks for reading!
      Chris
    • By Marks1
      My son wanted a new kite becuase our old one broke. I have always bought cheap ones from a department stone and then just throw them away after a couple of uses. Our neighbor was having a yard sell and we stopped there on our way to walley world. The neigbor was selling what looked like a really nice kite so I bought it. It was handmade by someone named Ansel Toney that lived close to his parents. The flew it a couple of times and he got it after they died but never flew it. The kite is 30 years old but looks almost new. It is box delta that is 11 feet across. it was missing the back cross rod. It does not have a pocket for the rod just a couple of metal rings. The distance between the metal rings in 62 inches.
      Any help with what I need to buy and where I should by it would be appreciated. I live in central KY and we do not have any kite stores in our area. Here are some pictures that I hope will help.
      Thanks.


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