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NickM
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Hello - and UL/SUL recommendations please!

Wed Jul 15, 2009 8:52 pm

Hello everyone. First post here!

I’m getting back into flying after dabbling a bit about 7-8 years ago when I used to fly a couple of Prism designs, a 1999 Illusion and an Ozone. Had great fun with them on the beaches near Aberystwyth in Wales, although I never got much beyond basic tricks like fades and axels. I gave up flying when I moved to Bath. I now have a bit more time free so I have just picked up a rather smart Nirvana SE and will have a go at flying it when the winds drop below this week’s constant value of 100 mph. I’ll let you know just how far my flying skills have degraded over the years.

Anyway, living inland and away from the beautiful gentle sea breezes of the Welsh coast, I suspect a more regular problem is going to be not enough wind rather than too much, particularly for flying on summer’s evenings. As a result I’m thinking about maybe getting a UL or SUL kite later this year to go with the NSE. There look to be some really nice ones around – the Talon UL and Cosmic Ghost seem to be very good kites. The Silver Fox UL/SUL sounds a bit dodgy on build quality. One kite that I haven’t been able to find much about is the Akuji UL (actually in stock at FA, if the site is up to date). The Akuji UL looks great in the pictures, but I don’t know if it has performance to match it’s looks and it seems to be a rather older design than the others.

What would people recommend as a good UL/SUL kite that I can actually get hold of in the UK? Something trick-capable, but preferably also capable of flying in straight lines occasionally would be good.

Cheers,

Nick
 
damp_weather
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Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:56 pm

Well,

Let's risk bringing down the wrath and sanction of many of the forum by suggesting that:
1) If you have to fly in very low winds, the Akuji is probably not the best kite for lightest winds.
2) I would vote for the Prism QPro SUL - Seriously good for straight lines, and can trick quite well for a SUL as well - and I'm keeping this view until someone lets me have a go with a Ghost, Fearless SUL etc.
The disadvantage of the QPro SUL is that you may have to order one from the USA.
3) Maybe this is too old school and for lighter winds than you were thinking of - but how about a Benson Inner Space? - yes I know it oversteers, but with patience can squeeze quite straight corners our of it. And it's British.
- Or in a similar oldish school vein, perhaps a Skyburner Prodancer? - probably again a transatlantic order.

Yan has a lovely German (as in posted from Germany) UL - which seems to fly down to within a mph of the QPro SUL, and is very pitchy. - Leave him to say more about it.

Talon UL is nice, but with all those weight refinements, don't think goes quite as low as some others. i.e. it was trying it that made us realise we needed SULs.

Suppose there are the Robertshaw Fury ULs and SULs - which definately trick and have straight tracking, and are relatively light for their size as well. But just not convinced about their performance in low winds. - We owned a 0.85 UL long before we bought our SULs, and watching a team struggle with full size Fury SULs in ~2mph at a festival demo convinced us that we had made the right decision in investing in QPro SULs for ballet work.

The Nirvana SE WW has the most amazing video set in Venice about it. - From the video it looks more floaty and tricky that a QPro SUL. It is on my wish list to try - but haven't seen it over here.

Do you still have the Ozone? - For comparison, we find the Ozone flies lower than the QPro SUL, but not quite as low as the Inner Space, and the Ozone's straight flying qualities fall between those two kites.
My gut feeling is that the WW may fly as low as the Ozone, and give you straight tracking.

Why don't you order a WW from France, and then let me try it? :-D :-D
Last edited by damp_weather on Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Mark E Mark
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Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:10 pm

Well Benson are (is) about to bring out the UL version of the Deep Space (and of course there is the JoE Talon UL).
 
damp_weather
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Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:16 pm

Mark E Mark wrote:
Well Benson are (is) about to bring out the UL version of the Deep Space

...And given how low the standard Deep Space goes already (~3mph, or less without weight and upper spreader(?)), it will be interesting to see how much more Tim can squeeze out of it.
- But I am wondering which Tuesday to prepare lunch for.
 
anOldMan
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Thu Jul 16, 2009 6:18 am

I am lucky enough to have purchased from Tim one of the last Prototype of the DS UL. It is a kite worth waiting for :!: [-o<
The reaction of everyone who has flown the kite was "You would not know it was a UL!"

The wait is of course the question. No one knows for sure which tuesday it is going to be. :-P :)
Last edited by anOldMan on Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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kareloh
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Thu Jul 16, 2009 8:09 am

I would recommend the Jumping Jack Flash SUL, that's IMHO one of the best production SUL's out there. You'll learn a lot from flying this kite.
 
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misterbleepy
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Thu Jul 16, 2009 10:09 am

damp_weather wrote:
1) If you have to fly in very low winds, the Akuji is probably not the best kite for lightest winds.


I'm guessing you're referring to the Akuji UL there - the Akuji SUL does go very low, and would be worth a try out (if it is still available), as would previously mentioned DS UL, Ghost, various R-Sky WW models etc etc.
Keith B
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Mark E Mark
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Thu Jul 16, 2009 10:38 am

Some numpty on the GWTW forum thinks the Akuji UL requires 5 to 8mph of wind to fly!

I've got an Akuji SUL - haven't flown it in ages (lacks inertia for my taste- but then it is a SUL).

Kamikaze Dave has an Akuji UL.
 
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misterbleepy
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Thu Jul 16, 2009 10:52 am

Mark E Mark wrote:
lacks inertia for my taste - but then it is a SUL


Yes, getting a full axel is beyond me with it (3/4 is fine), but I do like the way it flies and tricks reeeaaaalllllly slow.

One day I'll have to give a Ghost a try, but I imagine that would make me somewhat poorer ;-)
Keith B

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oldflyer
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Thu Jul 16, 2009 12:21 pm

The Akuji SUL is very nice. I'm not sure why I sold mine. It was sweet in the gentlest of breezes....

Image
 
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jaydub
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Thu Jul 16, 2009 4:37 pm

Mark E Mark wrote:
I've got an Akuji SUL - haven't flown it in ages (lacks inertia for my taste- but then it is a SUL).

I had a go on Keith's at Crantock and I'd describe it as an acquired taste. It's certainly completely different to any of the kites in my bag (all of which are standards) and would take some major readjustment of my flying style.

Keith loves it though.

Conclusion: Different kites suit different people. :?
 
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misterbleepy
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Thu Jul 16, 2009 5:32 pm

jaydub wrote:
Conclusion: Different kites suit different people. :?


yes - you really need to try out a potential purchase before putting down £££'s for one.

A lot of flyers would be happy to let you try out one of their kites if the conditions were right, so if you ever see me and my Akuji SUL, you'd be welcome to have a go.
Keith B

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Zippy8
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Thu Jul 16, 2009 5:33 pm

Mark E Mark wrote:
Some numpty on the GWTW forum thinks the Akuji UL requires 5 to 8mph of wind to fly!

I don't find mine a lot of chuckles much below the lower end of that.

In the sky - yes.
"Flying" - not as I would like the term to be understood.

'Snice kite, just not an especially good UL. First contact with the Cosmic TC Ghost was very positive though. :thumbsup:

Mike.
 
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Mark E Mark
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Thu Jul 16, 2009 6:41 pm

Is that right then Mike? I'm sure I can fly the standard (well the Comp to be exact) in as little wind as that - what's the point of an UL that needs as much wind as a Standard to fly?
 
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Thu Jul 16, 2009 7:56 pm

Mark E Mark wrote:
Is that right then Mike?

At 8mph it'll be well into it's stride, closer to topping out than getting going.
At 5mph I'd be happy.

Get below that and I'm reaching for something else. At the claimed "1mph" minimum wind speed.... no. This has been mentioned elsewhere. Curiously it's a bit like Prism's Zephyr in frame/wind range/type/feel terms.

Mike.