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philm63

Need Help Choosing Third Kite

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First one is an ITW Spider (2017), small, twitchy; you know the one. We'll call it the gateway kite as it got me hooked immediately. Second is a Quantum which I picked up last year while on vacation in OBX - flew it a few times there - thought it was just fine (I'm a beginner so if it stays in the air for more than a minute, it's a good session). Put it away after I got home and hadn't touched it until this year's vacation (same place) - flew some more and decided to try some stalls, edge of the window stuff - just hold it in place for as long as I could, lower it slowly to the ground and touch a wing tip in the sand and head back up, etc. Simple "get to know the kite" things. That's all fine and dandy for the beach where there's usually a decent wind, but where I live (central Ohio - Columbus area) I have to hunt down a football or soccer field and hope there's some wind.

Not having the best luck lately even finding the time let alone the wind, so I was thinking of adding another kite for lighter conditions and making more time to fly some local fields and maybe, just maybe trying to learn some tricks. I have (or at least I think I have; more later) a Widow NG on order at AWOC - third attempt at procuring one of these kites, seems they are harder to find now - and I'm wondering about something here; a lot of the "next" kites I started looking at a year or so ago are either gone or are very hard to find, and I'm not sure about their replacements. I did a fair bit of research over a year ago and had narrowed it down to a few "next" kites, and the Widow NG won out on price and specs so I decided on that one, but it took until just last week to pull the trigger and now I am having a heck of a time finding one. 

I tried a couple of kite companies - the first one told me the red/black/white one was no longer available (at least to them), and the second said they could not get the red/black/white one I wanted but had an "NG Special" in stock (didn't want that one) and could get a pink/purple NG in 4 to 5 days, Cripes!

Found a yellow/black/grey Widow NG at AWOC so ordered it Tuesday night, but have not heard back from them since. Can't seem to get a hold of anyone there - tried phone, left messages, emailed also - nothin'. So I'm holding my breath that they can even get one to send to me.

Barring being able to get the Widow NG, what other comparable kite is there these days in the $200-ish range that I could fly in "lighter" winds? (remember, I'm a beginner, but an ambitious one!) I like the idea of a full size kite, and would like to move from beginner to intermediate. I'm sure I could learn to do things on the Quantum but I'd like that "lighter wind" option in my bag as well.

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Please bear in mind that this is my opinion only!

Not sure that the Widow NG qualifies as a "light" wind kite. Are you going off the stated "wind range" given in the description? Sorry - don't believe in them. Why? Who wrote or established those? Think some common person did? No, it was probably a very experienced flier that could wring the most out of the kite. High range too. You, by your own admission are still learning. Depending on skill level, I usually knock 2-3 mph off of both ends of any stated wind range.

Good light wind kites are spendy for a reason - they use very light materials. Rods, cloth, design, all are chosen to get performance at a low range.

If there is any chance to hook up with other fliers - do it. Go to a festival. Meet some fliers. Get some advice. Learn some of the secrets others have spent years to get. Or, if possible, go to your local brick and mortar store. Ask questions. Online, have you tried either The Kite Shoppe or Ocean Shores Kites? Both are well qualified to answer any and all questions about your needs. I have dealt with both (and AWOC) and have had great success! Any of them should be able to help.

And you will make friends as a result!

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ProDancer SUL by Skyburner Kites will fly in a fart and is quite trickable. It still won't do anything about the Midwest's winds and will not help with gusts and direction changes, but when it's only a breeze this puppy will fly. It's not as robust or durable as the Quantum but that's what you must compromise to fly in light wind. It can't get off the ground if it's armored.

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Good to know, Wayne; knocking a few mph of each end of a stated range for lesser experienced fliers - I had not thought of that aspect. So that pretty much puts the ranges of my current Quantum and my soon-to-be Widow NG in the same ball park but the Widow will have a bit more sail area for right around the same weight so it would stand to figure it should be able to get off the ground a little easier than the Quantum, correct?

Thanks for the suggestions, Mark - it looks like perhaps I should learn to fly the more robust designs first before moving to UL or SUL. I do like the idea of being able to fly in a fart (good stuff)!

Unfortunately there's really nobody near me in terms of kite clubs - one in southern Ohio, I think, so I'll need to just be talking to someone on the phone or via chat/email, etc. to get tips and such, and watching the tons of videos available on line. 

Assuming the Widow does show up on my doorstep, what can I expect in terms of build quality, adjustability, and flight characteristics between it and the Quantum? Which might be better suited for learning tricks?

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there's a fest every year at Edgewater Park in Cleveland, maybe you get to that some time?  I've flown there but not during their fest.

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Nice - I'll have to head up there next year for sure. 

 

EDIT - Just found a cool website for O.S.E.K in Cleveland (kiteinfo@osekcleveland.org) - had no idea! There's a club, that festival in August, cool stuff. Ok, so it looks like I may have found some fairly local folks to fly with and learn from after all. 

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Everything I've heard about the NG is good. Don't know much about flight characteristics, but maybe others will chime in. Just felt when you posted that you were getting a kite that was too much the same as you already had.

I personally, ( when I flew exclusively dualies) believe in having a variety, capable of handling many wind ranges. i settled on 3 - a light wind kite (the Prism Ozone), a midrange  (the Stranger), and a midhigh (the Prism Alien). Sadly none are in production anymore. I recently decided to upgrade my Stranger to a Hydra. Felt it was more in line with the modern tricks, but we will see.

But I still believe in covering the wind ranges first, before duplicating what I already have.

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The Level One Reloaded UL is in your price range and Level One USA is offering free shipping at the moment. It is a smaller kite (77 inches). Their full size Bad Ass UL is currently out of stock and a bit more pricey.
@l_000_2894reloadedulcvs_20180529212331.jpg

Living the Dream; One Nightmare at a Time.

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Another option would be Silver Fox 2.2 UL it’s not as easy to keep up in 3mph wind as other more expensive UL’s but is a great flyer and very durable. Another very similar kite would be the ATM UL.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using KiteLife mobile app

 

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What is the relevant wind range speed for you?

 

To my view you should be looking for an SUL or UL.

Some good open source or boutique options are out there. The price for a new kite (you can choose the color layout) will be around 220-240 euros. You can look for used ones here and on the fractured axel or on facebook (kites for sale group).

A Benson DeepSpace UL can be ideal for you. Easy to fly, very forgiving and has a cool wind range.

You can PM for more specific info.

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Widow NG was my first kite and how I developed from there makes me kinda partial to Jon T/ Wayne B designs. Liked the NG so much I got a Widow Maker Pro. Had a Pro Dancer but apparently some here eat more beans and broccoli than I do. Shortly after getting the NG I got a Premier Addiction. That is the kite that allowed me to really take off trying things that were way over my head. Most of my groundwork and low flying basics come from it. It's fast, tough, tricky and does things that make ya wonder what just happened. Sold my 1st one to get the Widow Maker but had to get another. I've broken a standoff and the upper spreader didn't go thru but put a very small tear in the sail. Not bad considering the kite is for flogging around. It's a hoot and holler kinda thing.  Got to where I could put up the NG in 3 or 4 mph but tricking wasn't solid until 5. Better flyer now but probably couldn't do any better. The 3/4 sized standard kites  I have are light and robust enough to pop up and down in 2 or 3 mph. Good for practicing different launches and starting turtle/fade based work. Can get frustrating but those low wind workouts made me more confident as winds increase.Since you've been flying the Spider adjusting to the smaller inputs needed on a kite like the Addiction should be pretty easy. Got 5 high end duals but I still fly my Premier Nighthawk A LOT. It evolved into the Wolf NG. Get a Wolf and have a howling good time 🐺.If the winds howling back well we'll have to discuss vents and speed kites. Icky TV has a wide variety of kites on display. Excellent place to get ideas on how kites differ.

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On 9/27/2019 at 12:47 PM, philm63 said:

Assuming the Widow does show up on my doorstep, what can I expect in terms of build quality, adjustability, and flight characteristics between it and the Quantum? Which might be better suited for learning tricks?

I would say the Widow is more trickable, but you are duplicating a large portion of the wind range in which you can already fly. I would go for expanding my wind range with a UL or SUL so I don't end up sitting around wondering about it instead of flying. The wind in your area should be fairly similar to the typical "Midwest" winds we have where I live, and expanding your wind range will give you at least 10 additional days you can fly each year. Unless you want to limit your time flying so you don't piss off a significant other I would opt for expansion. Increasing the upper range is pointless as most of the time you will simply be trying desperately not to crash when the kite is dragging you around.

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hi philm63

i agree with what has already been said. as a newbie myself i had  7 kites in my first 2 or 3 months of flying  before i realized i needed something for the 0  to light wind range. i chose an Into The Wind Echo - both an indoor as well as outdoor (up to 7mph) kite for $139. the jury is still out but so far i really like it. at 4 oz (including the removable keel weight-6g) it performs like the other suls but also does  the tricks. its the first kite flown on many days where i would normally be sitting waiting for "just a little more wind". be prepared if you go down there for the kites to be fragile...i havent broken anything yet but my wife has...she crashes a bit more than me and still freezes up and augers in...result: broken T. good thing she was flying Her Echo lol  anyway Ocean Shores Kites fixed her up for a few bucks and she went right back to flying - 5mph winds at the beach that day

well thats my 2 cents  good luck on whatever you get

Bob

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http://www.fwkites.com/web/stunts/silverfox23pro.html

I flew one of these at a festival that I was at recently, and was very impressed. The Lam ATM that was mentioned above would also be a good choice. I am going to disagree with the ProDancer nomination above, it is fragile and not very trickable. I have one, it's a great kite, but only for the lightest of winds (<3mph). It's more a kite to get when you all ready have at least 10 others...

 

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