Sport, Trick and Freestyle Kite Flying Forum

Moderators: Craig, Andy S, Jason

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damp_weather
Posts: 184
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Location: Near Gatwick, UK

Thu Feb 12, 2009 12:53 pm

Thanks Craig,

As a first purchase, I probably go for the assortment pack of Heat Shrink as it costs roughly the same as at most two different metres of bulk heat shrink, and add a little glue inside it. (It does not come up under a Maplin search for "heat-shrink" as the metre lengths do.) But that is a detail.
We'll see if there is any business that I can send your way rather than the long wait for post from Seattle. If needed I can send you the dimensions for most current Prism kite spars and the location of their fittings.
For the DIY challenged kite enthusiast, the cost of buying a dremel drill and cutting wheel for cutting the spars, perhaps some glue, some heat shrink, and a heat shrink gun, and then learning a succession of new skills, is quite an outlay for a "simple" repair.
Its good to know that we have a commercial supplier in the UK who will do the hard work.

- For myself, I used to use heat shrink at work, but still don't know where I would get an economical heat gun that runs between 70 and 120 C from. (Looking around the home: the hair dryer is hopefully too cool, and the paint stripping gun is too hot.)

Thanks for your support anOldMan. No, I never expect to win an argument with Craig. ;) :cool:

But it is strange/curious that we have a hobby, where not only do people learn how to trick kites, but also have quite extensive skills on how to maintain them. (Not just fit a new spar, make up a new spar from a rod, parts and materials.) Perhaps it is a hangover from a past where almost everyone made their own kites. - It would be quite something if every one who drove a car could do their own servicing, or if most tailors could dismantle and service their sewing machines. etc....


Zippy8 wrote:
damp_weather wrote:
Returning to Prism - What could they do to ensure a better quality product?

As far as I'm concerned they could make the world's finest entry- and mid-level kites, built to impeccable standards with a faultless backup system for when things go wrong, and I still wouldn't be interested. Those aren't my kind of kites. Prism have all but abandoned the upper end market niche, in which they were once pacesetters, and settled for more mass market fare. I didn't. I'm sure we'll hear soon enough just how super-ginchy the E3 is but.... meh =;

I wonder if a good approach might be buying in a contemporary high-end design, Prismifying it and actually using that as a halo product in a way they so obviously didn't with the QPro.

Prism were once genuinely the benchmark for build quality and service. Other people had to respond to their lead or look bad. Do they want that position back or are they happy with their new clientèle's more... restricted... expectations ?

Mike.

I think that Mark Reed is accepting of their present position.

For myself, I am still learning, and puzzled by what the flying differences may be between a mid-level and high-end design. Some months ago you did a survey on opinions about the manufactured quality of various kite makers' work. The results looked about right. But regarding why forum members like to fly particular kites, that is still a mystery. The E2 was the main featured kite in Prism's "Freestyle Pilot" DVD, and it looked pretty impressive there. It is likely that the E3 will have a similar feel to the frame, (perhaps a subtle bit less rigid as the leading edges won't be pre-stressed into curves). But essentially it is likely it will be able to do all the tricks that the E2 can do, and because of its high aspect ratio and weight, be a bit more pitchy and so better for wrapped up moves.
So, besides cost, what is the real difference between that and a high-end kite? - The high end kite may better made, it may have a more rigid frame - and so be easier to throw around the sky....???? At what point in the progression of learning every more difficult tricks do they become easier to learn on a high end kite??
 
Andy S
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Thu Feb 12, 2009 1:06 pm

A junior hacksaw and electrical tape is a perfectly functional way of cutting carbon spars. Same electrical tape also serves to stop fittings sliding around.
 
damp_weather
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Thu Feb 12, 2009 1:13 pm

Andy S wrote:
A junior hacksaw and electrical tape is a perfectly functional way of cutting carbon spars.

When I first had to cut a spar, this was the first thing I tried (fortunately on the piece being scrapped). - The result was messy. :( Switched to a hobbyist drill and cutting wheel. (When I was too lazy to the get the drill out, have used a triangular cross section file as the cutter, but it took ages.)

It must be possible to do it with a junior hacksaw, as I have seen from afar it being done in the field during running repairs at kite festivals, but someone would have to show me how to do it neatly.
 
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Zippy8
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Thu Feb 12, 2009 1:28 pm

damp_weather wrote:
The high end kite may better made, it may have a more rigid frame - and so be easier to throw around the sky....???? At what point in the progression of learning every more difficult tricks do they become easier to learn on a high end kite??

It's really not like that. :-D

A Swatch and a Breitling both tell the time sufficiently accurately for most people's use. A watch enthusiast isn't going to be interested in a Swatch.

You can get a very capable kite with pretty much the same components as the boutique makers from Prism, New Tech, whoever. But if this is what you spend your time doing, why not get something better ? And you can do better.

If, on the other hand, you just dabble in kites then Prism, etc. probably give you everything you'll ever need and make a perfectly acceptable choice.

Mike.
 
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misterbleepy
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Thu Feb 12, 2009 1:31 pm

I use a razor saw, with very fine teeth, and a wrap of sellotape to make starting the cut easier.

Razor saws are quite cheap:

https://airbrushes.com/product_info.php ... ts_id=3092

For shrinking heatshrink, a Bic lighter does the job very well (as long as you're careful).
Keith B
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Kite Tricks mind map

bleep bleep bleep
 
Keithgrif
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Thu Feb 12, 2009 1:48 pm

damp_weather wrote:
It must be possible to do it with a junior hacksaw, as I have seen from afar it being done in the field during running repairs at kite festivals, but someone would have to show me how to do it neatly.


0) Measure twice - cut once.
1) good blade - they dull quickly so don't use then too often
2) tape over the area to cut - I generally use insulting tape as it's part of every fliers kit (or should be)
3) Use the blade to cut all the way around evenly, this leaves any rough edge on the inside diameter and doesn't splinter the spar. Take your time, when you hit the ID of the tube the teeth can catch and start to splinter the inside. Definately do not just cut through from one side.
4) Ideally, sand off the end BEFORE removing the tape.

This will give you a good result every time.

Looks like I need to improve the Bootcamp training :-)
Keith
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ExGrads pairs, fourth in Europe 2011!!!
Airheads team, 10th in the world 2012
 
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benjai
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Thu Feb 12, 2009 2:38 pm

Keithgrif wrote:
2) tape over the area to cut - I generally use insulting tape as it's part of every fliers kit (or should be)


Where can I get some insulting tape? I need some for my other half... :) (sorry 'bout that - couldn't resist)

Good advice though Keith - to avoid splintering the spar the general rule is cut it with the least agressive (for which read slowest) method you can bear. Don't forget that hacksaws cut on the upstroke, and try not to cut towards the surfaces as this will drag fibres out (splinter). Hacksaws are quite agressive though, razor saws are better, and abrasives are even better (beacuse they are finer)...
 
Keithgrif
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Thu Feb 12, 2009 6:51 pm

Freudian slip, we always call it insulting tape anyway, rather than insulating - but the problem is probably with a dodgy 'a' key on my keyboard.
Keith
STACK UK
National Director 2006-2012

ExGrads pairs, fourth in Europe 2011!!!
Airheads team, 10th in the world 2012
 
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kevspilly
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Thu Feb 12, 2009 8:46 pm

For shrinking heatshrink, a Bic lighter does the job very well (as long as you're careful).

Hot water from the kettle is also good for those more sensitive regions!
All that matters in life is kite flying, love and work ….preferably in that order.

In the bag; Shhhhh... far too many to mention, don't tell the Missus!
 
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Zippy8
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Mon Mar 09, 2009 3:33 pm

Some rebooting Yankee forum says:-

Prism is now saying May before we see the kite. That can and probably will change.

Anyone actively wanting this kite BTW ?

Mike.
 
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kevspilly
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Mon Mar 09, 2009 8:09 pm

Anyone actively wanting this kite BTW ?

Nope, got enough kites thanks, not unless you are paying though :P
All that matters in life is kite flying, love and work ….preferably in that order.

In the bag; Shhhhh... far too many to mention, don't tell the Missus!
 
Stan Doff
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Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:18 pm

Zippy8 wrote:
Anyone actively wanting this kite BTW ?
Mike.


If you mean as opposed to passively wanting it then
Kiteworld certainly hopes so as they are taking pre-orders for £140
 
anOldMan
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Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:40 pm

[quote="Zippy8]

Prism were once genuinely the benchmark for build quality and service. Other people had to respond to their lead or look bad. Do they want that position back or are they happy with their new clientèle's more... restricted... expectations ?

Mike.[/quote]

IMO Yes! :( :(
anOldMan
 
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Zippy8
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Tue Mar 10, 2009 2:24 pm

Zippy8 wrote:
Do they want that position back or are they happy with their new clientèle's more... restricted... expectations ?


anOldMan wrote:
IMO Yes! :( :(

So your answer to an either:or question is.... yes. :-k Yes to the first, or yes to the second ? :-)

Mike.
 
anOldMan
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Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:07 am

Zippy8 wrote:
So your answer to an either:or question is.... yes. :-k Yes to the first, or yes to the second ? :-)

Mike.


A qualified Yes to both.
1. They want to be known as the best and hold the top position (for most of the people).
2. They have a large and dedicated group of kiters who Prism caters to. As long as this group is satisfied, Prism will be happy.

Consider this, how much true advertising have you seen for the E3? This kite is just a face lift with small changes to the compromises that are made in designing a sports kite. But the amount of activity on the forms about this kite is immense. This is a very good business model for Prism. Lots and lots of “word of mouth” advertising for very little cost to the company.

Lets stop the build-up and wait for the E3 to be available and then make a decision.

But back to your original question, YES – Prism wants to be number one and keep selling kites to more people. And they seem to be doing just that.
anOldMan
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