jamesy

help buying first kite for me and my son

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Hello,

I just want some suggestions and comments on a few kites. One that im looking at I cant find a lot of people talking about so it sorta concerns me. I am looking for a dual line frameLESS kite to fly with me and my 9yr old son. We have never flew anything other than el cheapo walmart kites. This is what im looking at buying

flexifoil  big buzz  - not a lot of comments on this kite but it has great reviews on amazon.
Prism synapse 200
HQ symponthy pro

I intend to get something around the 180-200 range so that it will be slightly slower but with a little more pull. I dont want something so fast as im assuming it will be more difficult for my son to fly. I plan to attach a tail if I can find one cheaply. Any suggestions on places to get a tail is appreciated.  Right now, the flexifoil is in my amazon shopping cart.

another question I have is - i hear some people say tied lines is better than sewn in lines because they are easier to replace/work on ... yet some say sewn in lines are better. Whats the consensus here?

The lines on these kites seem to be rated between like 150 and 200 lbs of force - is there a large risk of getting a digit caught in the line and having it hurt?
 

Does anyone know if its possible to attach TWO sets of strap handles to a single kite, one longer than the other so that it can act as a trainer driver so that my son can drive it and if i need to I can help him without having to try and swap the straps ?  Also, if a large gust comes i can help hold the kite to the ground.


Thanks for your help.

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First,  @jamesy Welcome to KiteLife. You come to the friendliest kite forum on the Internet.

I highly recommend the HQ Symphony Pro.

Attaching a second set of lines at the kite end quickly gets convoluted and confusing. Now you CAN attach a second set of straps on 3ft pigtails to the first.. that way your son can just let go and you still have the kite. Have him practice just letting go when he gets in trouble.. You then go retrieve the kite and try again..

ONE huge key to the foils if it's flying straight down, DON'T pull back on both straps or you'll accelerate the kite into the crash and possibly POP the baffles inside.. Train yourself to yank on one strap only. The kite will turn every time. Again worst case scenario, let go of both handles and just go retrieve the kite.

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for a 9 year i will start with a small 1.5 and double straps on the lines to give him the liberty to control the kite but the adult from the second set to anchor the kite in case the wind become to powerful. foils are fun but they have a lot of power even at small wingspan .

second set of straps may be attached with a 2-3 fits of lines from the first set. how long the connection is made from the towing points of the first one and are equals you are good.

tied lines give you the liberty to change the length and strength of the lines at your desire depending of the space you fly and wind speed.

is not a good idea to grab the lines and try to control the kite directly from them how long the kite is unpacked and in wind pressure. nasty burns are expected and in some rare cases cuts on the flesh. if a finger is caught in and that line is slack a sudden wind gust may do a real damage 

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13 minutes ago, Edmond Dragut said:

for a 9 year i will start with a small 1.5 and double straps on the lines to give him the liberty to control the kite but the adult from the second set to anchor the kite in case the wind become to powerful. foils are fun but they have a lot of power even at small wingspan  

by anchor, you mean just me holding it with some slack on a second pair of straps in case it gets too powerfull and I can take over ... or do you mean some type of setup where the kite is literally anchored to the ground ?

I keep reading to bring a kite down you just drop the lines, or run toward/forward to the kite to give it slack. Is it as easy as they are making it out to be? Droping the lines seems like a good way to watch $100 float away into the sky.

I considered going smaller like a 1.5 because its supposed to be less pull, but at the expense (and maybe im wrong here) of 'slowness'. IE smaller wingspan = less pull but will be "faster" and im assuming more difficult to fly for a 9 year old. The 2.0/2.2 would be more pull but at least theoretically a slower flying kite and maybe easier to manage in the air. Am I wrong here?

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yes you will be the anchor on second set.

best to drop a kite is to release a line but if you fly in tandem with your son be sure he is out from the first set of straps. best way to drop a foil is to go at the edge of wind window on left or right and the kite will drop himself 

the speed difference is not essential on most of foils and your son will learn to adjust to that extra speed. 

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53 minutes ago, riffclown said:

First,  @jamesy Welcome to KiteLife. You come to the friendliest kite forum on the Internet.

I highly recommend the HQ Symphony Pro.

Attaching a second set of lines at the kite end quickly gets convoluted and confusing. Now you CAN attach a second set of straps on 3ft pigtails to the first.. that way your son can just let go and you still have the kite. Have him practice just letting go when he gets in trouble.. You then go retrieve the kite and try again..

ONE huge key to the foils if it's flying straight down, DON'T pull back on both straps or you'll accelerate the kite into the crash and possibly POP the baffles inside.. Train yourself to yank on one strap only. The kite will turn every time. Again worst case scenario, let go of both handles and just go retrieve the kite.

any idea if the symphony pro's lines are tied or sewn to the kite? I assume tied is preferred as its easier to replace lines?

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27 minutes ago, jamesy said:

any idea if the symphony pro's lines are tied or sewn to the kite? I assume tied is preferred as its easier to replace lines?

The Symphony Pro lines and straps are on a separate included winder.. The card that comes with the kite explains the larks head knot pretty well. I've attached a scan of the card for illustrative purposes. Card and image property of HQ Invento.
 

CCI01218.jpg

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25 minutes ago, Edmond Dragut said:

i am sure are attached and YES is convenient 

maybe what im asking wasn't asked well. I think what im trying to say is how the lines attach to the kite itself. Some are sew directly into the fabric and others are tied (maybe). The lines that you hold tie into the bridle, but the lines that attach to the kite and the bridle point ... it seems some are directly sewn into the fabric while others have tie points.

Is there any reason as to why the preference for the HQ symphony over something like the flexifoil or prism ?

Can anyone suggest where to purchase a decent set of second strap handles and possibly a tail?

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1 hour ago, Edmond Dragut said:

for a 9 year i will start with a small 1.5 and double straps on the lines to give him the liberty to control the kite but the adult from the second set to anchor the kite in case the wind become to powerful. foils are fun but they have a lot of power even at small wingspan .

second set of straps may be attached with a 2-3 fits of lines from the first set. how long the connection is made from the towing points of the first one and are equals you are good.

tied lines give you the liberty to change the length and strength of the lines at your desire depending of the space you fly and wind speed.

is not a good idea to grab the lines and try to control the kite directly from them how long the kite is unpacked and in wind pressure. nasty burns are expected and in some rare cases cuts on the flesh. if a finger is caught in and that line is slack a sudden wind gust may do a real damage 

I also didnt think about how the smaller wing span will require higher wind speeds for flying. Is this important and something I should take into consideration?

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Bottom line is the  Symphony 1.8 is a good all around kite and comes with everything you need to fly except a stake. It's a great beginner foil for reasonable wind ranges. You will outgrow it fairly quickly and will want a larger one. I keep a Symphony Pro 1.8 in my bag to share with the public. Going smaller than the 1.8 is only my recommendation for children 8 and under.  My Favorite foil sport kite on the planet is the Symphony Pro 2.2 but that a much longer story.

Just so you don't get confused by Sport Sizes and Power Kite sizes I highly recommend you read this thread. Pay especially close attention to the Sport size vs. Power kite size. Ignoring that is a quick way to get in over your head with Power kites.

The Symphony 2.2 a sport size roughly equivalent to a 1.5 M Power kite. Lots of fun and greater for lighter breezes. but still enough kite to pull you around in the right wind.

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smaller foil require more wind to launch but on the same time less pull on higher winds. take the buying decision depending of the winds on your area. if you have the low in  0-3 mph buy 2.0-2.2 if is 4+ mph 1.5 is good.

Where are you located?

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16 minutes ago, jamesy said:

maybe what im asking wasn't asked well. I think what im trying to say is how the lines attach to the kite itself. Some are sew directly into the fabric and others are tied (maybe). The lines that you hold tie into the bridle, but the lines that attach to the kite and the bridle point ... it seems some are directly sewn into the fabric while others have tie points.

Is there any reason as to why the preference for the HQ symphony over something like the flexifoil or prism ?

Can anyone suggest where to purchase a decent set of second strap handles and possibly a tail?

I like the Symphony Pro because the bridles are sewn instead of just tied. it makes the kite less prone to tangles in packing and unpacking.. The card I pictured above shows how everything is attached.. I like the Symphony Pro 2.2 so much because it can be easily retrofitted to be a quad line which bumps up the fun factor exponentially.

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18 minutes ago, Edmond Dragut said:

smaller foil require more wind to launch but on the same time less pull on higher winds. take the buying decision depending of the winds on your area. if you have the low in  0-3 mph buy 2.0-2.2 if is 4+ mph 1.5 is good.

Where are you located?

what is the best site to check my historical wind speeds ?

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5 minutes ago, jamesy said:

near charlotte NC, what is the best site to check my historical wind speeds ?

Take a few minutes to really understand Sport and Power kite sizes.. I think as a beginner, the 1.8 Sport Size (Symphony 1.8, Synapse 180, etc.) fits the sweet spot for you. I'd personally lean towards a bit larger 2.2 but will admit my strong personal bias towards that size.  If you buy the 1.8 you'll buy a larger one eventually. It's almost a guarantee.

 

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Just now, riffclown said:

Take a few minutes to really understand Sport and Power kite sizes.. I think as a beginner, the 1.8 Sport Size (Symphony 1.8, Synapse 180, etc.) fits the sweet spot for you. I'd personally lean towards a bit larger 2.2 but will admit my strong personal bias towards that size.  If you buy the 1.8 you'll buy a larger one eventually. It's almost a guarantee.

 

i didnt catch what that prior linked article was trying to convey regarding the difference between a sport and power kite - my assumption is the difference between say the wing span vs the height of the kite. Is that right?

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Wings Span and Square meters..

A 2.2. Symphony (Sport Size) is roughly equivalent to a 1.5 or 1.6 Power size.

Symphony is abut 2.2 meters wide.. but only has about 1.57ish Square Meters of area.

A 2M Power kite is MUCH larger than a 2.2 Sport size.

 

Image2-2.2.jpg

I know I'm going much deeper than you probably envisioned but it's a very common mistake to make when starting out and it can be a dangerous mistake if you aren't careful. Power kites are a real joy to fly but you need experience to fly them safely.. Sport size is the right place to get that experience.  10 minutes of reading will save you a ton of grief in the long run..  Again I think the 1.8 would be a good start for you.. You'll want a larger one for yourself soon enough..

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4 minutes ago, riffclown said:

Wings Span and Square meters..

A 2.2. Symphony (Sport Size) is roughly equivalent to a 1.5 or 1.6 Power size.

Symphony is abut 2.2 meters wide.. but only has about 1.57ish Square Meters of area.

A 2M Power kite is MUGH larger than a 2.2 Sport size.

 

Image2-2.2.jpg

I guess that leaves me asking - which is a power vs sport?

the symphony 180 beach version and the pro version are listed as the same measurements 180 long and 60 tall

The big buzz flexifoil is listed as a power kite so i assume its larger in size naturally though the demontions are not listed on their site

The prism synapse is just correlated with its model, 170 = ~170cm long. Height isn't listed.

Power im assuming is larger and has more lift/pull. Sport being less lift/pull and is faster flowing in the air.

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Symphony Beach and Symphony Pro are both Sport size.  The Symphony Beach has tied Bridles versus the Sewn Bridles of the Pro.. Synapse is a Sport size as well.  The Prism Snapshots are also Sport Size.I honestly do not know about the Big Buzz.

Your are on point for the most part with the power portion of your analysis but there are notable Power kites that also havea lot more speed through the air.. The Flexifoil Bullet and Blurr come to mind as definite power kites but really quick through the air..

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2 minutes ago, riffclown said:

Symphony Beach and Symphony Pro are both Sport size.  The Symphony Beach has tied Bridles versus the Sewn Bridles of the Pro.. Synapse is a Sport size as well.  The Prism Snapshots are also Sport Size.I honestly do not know about the Big Buzz.

Your are on point for the most part with the power portion of your analysis but there are notable Power kites that also havea lot more speed through the air.. The Flexifoil Bullet and Blurr come to mind as definite power kites but really quick through the air..

biggest question i think is what size. All three makers are reputable and I probably cant go wrong - the question is do i go larger with more pull for a slower speed at the risk of it being to 'pully' for my son to fly or do i go smaller with a faster fly so that it will have less pull. Thats a difficult choice. I could go the middle road, 1.7/1.8  170 180 ... Im not sure really

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That's the entirely personal choice you must make.. I will say you will want a larger one like the 2.2 eventually.

FWIW, I wouldn't go smaller than the 1.8

.

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In my opinion, the cost difference between the Beach and Pro is worth the difference. But that is 100% my opinion.

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Everybody -- back up!!! Jamesy, you're overthinking this. Way over. 

First of all, welcome to the forum. You're in good hands here.

Any kite, including the cheap Walmart kind can cut and slice a hand or finger. Just don't wrap the line around anything and don't grab it with your hand and you'll be fine. As far as the bridle being sewn or tied -- again, massive overthink. You really don't need to worry about that until you get into really, really expensive kites. Talking $600 and more. Sizewise the 1.8 will give you decent pull and manageable speed, and as long as you don't fly in extreme wind conditions, either high or low, will give you manageable performance. You don't need to set up a training setup for your son, even if he has any physical limitations. If you're both starting out at square one, you are the one who will need the safety setup. Kids learn fast and your son will outpace your efforts with ease. You can increase or reduce the speed of the kite by using shorter or longer lines.

Bottom line is get whatever rings your chimes and get out there and fly it. You will have some challenges, frustrating at times, as you learn to control the kite, but that's the same thing you experience with all things that life presents.

Just smile, have fun and don't forget to breathe.

P.S. -- Contrary to popular belief, a kite doesn't always need a tail, especially kites with multiple control lines (anything more than one). The stability necessary comes from the pilot's input. Tails are nice visual effects and the only effect they have on performance is to reduce speed. To someone just starting out on sport kites they can be a hindrance.

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I have to agree. You're overthinking. My first foul was a Symphony 1.8. I don't care for a lot of pull (some is fun) and the 1.8 was the ideal for me. I flew mine with a streamer tail for looks. I have now attached an Eel banner instead and it looks like the eel is chasing the kite across the sky. I also have the 1.4 which is smaller and quicker. My husband has the 2.2 for the greater pull (which our son-in-law loves). Kites Unlimited in Atlantic Beach carries a variety of tails and kites. They also have a foil by Skydog Kites that is very similar to the Symphony line.


Sent from my iPhone using KiteLife mobile app

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1 hour ago, photomom said:

I have to agree. You're overthinking. My first foul was a Symphony 1.8. I don't care for a lot of pull (some is fun) and the 1.8 was the ideal for me. I flew mine with a streamer tail for looks. I have now attached an Eel banner instead and it looks like the eel is chasing the kite across the sky. I also have the 1.4 which is smaller and quicker. My husband has the 2.2 for the greater pull (which our son-in-law loves). Kites Unlimited in Atlantic Beach carries a variety of tails and kites. They also have a foil by Skydog Kites that is very similar to the Symphony line.


Sent from my iPhone using KiteLife mobile app

while the price point on the big buzz flexifoil is tempting, especially with 30bucks off (60 bucks total) ... it appears the lines provided are not dyneema and may stretch. So im looking at the prism or hq. Still not sure about size. I want it to be fun for my son.

Not sure if i should go smaller, 1.3 maybe.

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