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Palmahnic
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Advice needed on my 1st ultralight kite

Sun Apr 12, 2015 5:30 pm

Hi all,
Brief introduction, as this is my first topic, and responded just a couple of times before. My name's Iftah, 37, been flying a Prism Quantum, and for the last five months a Premier Widow NG. I'm an advanced beginner, I guess, just about a year and a half in, performing nice clean half-axles, flic-flacs, lazy susans, working on backspins and such. I'm learning my tricks mostly from videos, seeing as I'm possibly the only trick kite flyer in my country, as far a I know at least. I'm into tricks, not precision. Got a few decent flying fields here, but it's mostly the beach or this big agricultural field further inland.

Seeing as summer will bring mostly low winds to my area, I'm looking to invest in a hand-made ultralight kite, for winds of 3kmh and up. I've read loads of reviews, and wanted your opinion on what I should get. I would like your opinions for the European kite builder, and I will post a similar message on the forum across the pond, for their builders.

I have a few limitations though, first being money, which unfortunately takes Lepidoptera's Bill off the list. Very unfortunately, as I really like everything about it. Also, I need something that folds its LE, due to travel needs. I'm not fond of curved LE either. I would like a full-length sail, or as close to it as possible. Something not too fast, on the forgiving side as far as inputs go. I do not need an SUL. This would probably be my only ultralight for a while, as it's pretty hard to get these kites over here, so it needs to be long term, something that I can enjoy also when my skills are more developed.

My list is not too long, please add if you feel I've missed something good, and I do appreciate your remarks on the ones listed.

1. R-Sky Nirvana LW (1st, SE, 3E) (Is it too unforgiving and fast?)
2. SKD Seven UL (really like the design)
3. Lumokites SkyKiller UL
4. Benson Superfly UL (too ambitious for a beginner?)
5. Benson DeepSpace UL
6. Alphkites TNT UL (Great design, but is it forgiving enough?)
7. LevenOne Black Pearl UL (affordable plus I really like the colors)

I've been reading your chats for a while, and have come to appreciate your inputs. There are a lot of skilled experienced flyers and builders here and I'm hoping you would lend your experience for my benefit.

Thank you kindly for your time and attention. Sorry if this message was was a bit on the long side.
Iftah.
Thank you kindly,
Iftah.
 
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fworley
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Re: Advice needed on my 1st ultralight kite

Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:48 pm

Palmahnic wrote:
1. R-Sky Nirvana LW (1st, SE, 3E) (Is it too unforgiving and fast?)
2. SKD Seven UL (really like the design)
3. Lumokites SkyKiller UL
4. Benson Superfly UL (too ambitious for a beginner?)
5. Benson DeepSpace UL
6. Alphkites TNT UL (Great design, but is it forgiving enough?)
7. LevenOne Black Pearl UL (affordable plus I really like the colors)

All very capable kites and you're not going to have buyers remorse with any of 'em.

If you want something full size that rules out the Benson's.

So I'd recommended the Nirvana, Seven or the Black Pearl.

The Black Pearl is cheapest, review here:

http://v2.2.kiteclique.com/level-one-ki ... ul-review/

The Seven unquestionably the best build quality:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/frazer_wo ... 585679585/

The Nirvana the most iconic.

-Frazer (I'd buy the Seven)
 
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Re: Advice needed on my 1st ultralight kite

Sun Apr 12, 2015 11:54 pm

Not flown any of then other than the Superfly Ul, which I rate.

If you are after something akin to full size then your choice is limited to the Black Pearl, Seven, TNT and Nirvana.

Out of these four the TNT and Seven win easily on build quality. (Wouldn't go for the Black Pearl UL simply because Level One have build to a price and some things like the leach line reinforcement have been compromised and I wouldn't go for the Nirvana, simply because there are better built kites at the price.)

Out of these two the Seven wins on looks, at least to my eye.

Don't think you will be disappointed by either the Seven UL or the TNT UL.
 
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Re: Advice needed on my 1st ultralight kite

Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:26 am

Out of the kites listed I've owned 4 of them and the only one I still have in my bag is the Superfly UL, one I regret losing is the Nirvana, a classic kite for sure.

I'd take a serious look at the Duende 2.4 UL, I've never flown one and not seen one in the flesh, but Bell designs good kites and Flying Wings make a good kite for the money.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEqIOKptVUw

And what about an UL Widow Maker?
 
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Palmahnic
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Re: Advice needed on my 1st ultralight kite

Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:07 pm

Thanks Frazer,
I'm fully prepared to consider the Bensons even though they're not a full size. I meant that I'd prefer more or less full size, the DSUL being the lower end of the size scale. Reading your review of the Black Pearl was what got me considering it in the first place. Thanks for sharing, it's a nice looking Seven std you have there.

Thanks Jaydub, I get what you're saying about the Black Pearl. I do need it to last. I gather you're not recommending the SF then. I guess the issue with the TNT is that it takes a long while to build.

Craig wrote:
Out of the kites listed I've owned 4 of them and the only one I still have in my bag is the Superfly UL, one I regret losing is the Nirvana, a classic kite for sure.


Thanks Craig. Would you consider the SF and Nirvana as kites you can learn tricks on, not just relearn the ones you know? I've read too often that the SF is too fast and the Nirvana needing precise inputs.

Craig wrote:
I'd take a serious look at the Duende 2.4 UL, I've never flown one and not seen one in the flesh, but Bell designs good kites and Flying Wings make a good kite for the money.
And what about an UL Widow Maker?


I am considering American builders too, also Mamba UL. I figured I'd asked about those over at the other place.
Thank you kindly,
Iftah.
 
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Re: Advice needed on my 1st ultralight kite

Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:39 pm

Palmahnic wrote:
I am considering American builders too, also Mamba UL. I figured I'd asked about those over at the other place.

You won't get a Mamba. Ken McNiel (Blue Moon) stopped making two line kites a couple of years ago [:(] otherwise I'd would have suggested an Exile UL. They hardly ever come up second hand.
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Re: Advice needed on my 1st ultralight kite

Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:55 pm

RoyReed wrote:
Palmahnic wrote:
I am considering American builders too, also Mamba UL. I figured I'd asked about those over at the other place.

You won't get a Mamba. Ken McNiel (Blue Moon) stopped making two line kites a couple of years ago [:(] otherwise I'd would have suggested an Exile UL. They hardly ever come up second hand.

He did quit ... but then he changed his mind

http://kmacfab.com/kites/mamba/

Only Mamba's tho (for now anyways)

-Frazer
 
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Craig
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Re: Advice needed on my 1st ultralight kite

Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:58 pm

Palmahnic wrote:

Thanks Craig. Would you consider the SF and Nirvana as kites you can learn tricks on, not just relearn the ones you know? I've read too often that the SF is too fast and the Nirvana needing precise inputs.


Absolutely you can, the SF can be fast when the wind picks up, but an UL in UL winds would be fine, the Nirvana does indeed need more precise inputs, is that a bad thing? Tbh. i'd probably look at the NSE rather than the classic Nirvana as it's a touch more tricky.
 
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Re: Advice needed on my 1st ultralight kite

Tue Apr 14, 2015 9:51 am

fworley wrote:
He did quit ... but then he changed his mind

http://kmacfab.com/kites/mamba/

Only Mamba's tho (for now anyways)

-Frazer

So much for the RSS feed from his website!
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bryan beasley
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Re: Advice needed on my 1st ultralight kite

Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:39 pm

Just out of interest, what is it you want to be able to do with your kite?

Bryan.
 
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Palmahnic
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Re: Advice needed on my 1st ultralight kite

Tue Apr 14, 2015 6:37 pm

Well as I mentioned I'm mostly into tricks and not precision. I would like to be able to trick in low winds, with a not so fast kite, that give a nice big sail feeling. I'd like to learn more tricks with this kite, and because I'm still on a learning curve, I would the kite to forgiving of my flying. Sturdy and not too fragile, that could take beginners' inputs, and I could grow with and not have to buy a better one in a year.

KMac just started back on building the Mamba, along with single line, and gives an UL option. Along with Jon Trennepohl's WM UL and Aura, Bell Chiu's Duende 2.4 UL, and Lam Hoac's UL kites (GPS, transformer TL, etc.), I think those are the only boutique UL kites they have in the US. Am I correct?

I think for the most part I'm going to postpone a Nirvana or SF buy until at least the next std kite, when I have enough flying hours, or maybe a second hand of those. I'm leaning towards the Seven, as I really like the design, and I'm not too sure about the TNT. I'm also thinking it will last me longer the the Black Pearl.

Does anyone have extended flying hours on the Seven UL that can provide more input?

Am I missing something better here?
Thank you kindly,
Iftah.
 
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Re: Advice needed on my 1st ultralight kite

Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:07 am

I'll throw another one into the mix - Cosmic TC UL

I've never owned one, but I've flown several and really enjoyed it - not as much as my BM Exile UL, but close. The easiest kite for Tazs I've ever flown.
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Re: Advice needed on my 1st ultralight kite

Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:59 am

Palmahnic wrote:
Does anyone have extended flying hours on the Seven UL that can provide more input?


Disclaimer: I am affiliated with Sportkitedesign.

I've got the whole lineup of SKD kites and have spent a good amount of time on them all. My gut feeling is that a Seven SUL might suit you more. The Seven UL is f'sure very nice, but the SUL will keep you flying in lower winds whilst still remaining tricky. It has P90 leading edges and 3PT spreaders which are both fairly durable, certainly more so than 2PT.

My other motivation for suggesting the SUL is that if you really like it, you might start thinking of a matching standard Seven. There's a nice degree of wind range separation between the SUL and standard, whereas the gap between the UL and standard is more narrow.

All SKD have stunning aesthetics and build quality, so you can't go wrong there.

The other kites mentioned earlier in this thread are very nice too.
 
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Re: Advice needed on my 1st ultralight kite

Wed Apr 15, 2015 11:34 am

Wow, I owned or own all kites in the list... Although not all of them as an UL.

I think the SkyKiller and Bensons are too tricky (not very easy to learn on).

The Nirvana is very forgiving. Good kite, not best buildquality.
Seven is very nice. I liked my STD a lot. Tazmachines? Difficult.
The Black Pearl is very tricky. But the Black Pearl has got long tips = linecatchers.
The TNT is not very forgiving, especially the UL Competition. But very all-round. Design is matter of taste (I did not like it, but because the kite is so good, I had 6 TNT's...). Windrange of the UL Competition is enormous (both low and high).

My favorite (S)UL is Bill. Brilliant kite (it is the UL-version of Hugo - another brilliant kite).


Good luck, but you cannot pick wrong (all good kites). :)

Krijn
 
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Palmahnic
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Re: Advice needed on my 1st ultralight kite

Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:02 pm

krijn wrote:
Wow, I owned or own all kites in the list... Although not all of them as an UL.

My favorite (S)UL is Bill. Brilliant kite (it is the UL-version of Hugo - another brilliant kite).

I've also come to appreciate it, from all the videos I've watched and forum posts I read about it.
I don't suppose you, or anyone else for that matter, would be willing to part with your Bill and sell it to a struggling new flyer
Thank you kindly,
Iftah.