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First- time Rev buyer


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#1 Cougar

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 05:04 AM

Hi all,

So, I'm looking at buying our first Rev as a Chrimble present for my girlfriend. I've read through a lot of the posts on here and it's been really helpful, but I've just got a couple of questions before I buy, if that's ok?

I guess I should start with a bit of background, by way of a forum introduction and hopefully it'll help you understand where I'm coming from and what we're looking for.

My girlfriend and I are coming from the world of Power Kiting. I got hooked a few years ago through a friend and ended up buying a 3.5m Ozone Samurai which despite numerous attempts on my life has served me well. Coincidentally, my gf has also been into Power Kites for a few years now, and has a more extensive collection; a 2.5m Bullet, a 5m (I think) Beamer, a Pro 10 or something similar, and some generic 2-line delta stunt kite. Oh, and a Flexifoil buggy, which has spent most of its life taking up too much space in my spare room. The kites that get used the most are probably the Bullet (cos it's just ace) and the Samurai (cos it's mine). I can't remember the last time we cracked out the Beamer as it's just too big and clunky to be any fun; it'll be great if we ever put the buggy back together I guess, but a lot less use at taking the heels out of my trainers scudding across a damp beach in the north-west of England. We're not out every weekend, I guess we'd fall into the 'occasional sunday afternoon' category.

I'm looking for a stunt kite that's a bit of a change of pace, something that's a bit more technical and has a bit of finesse, and after trawling t'interwebs it seems that the Rev is, well, about the only sane choice. I was initially confused with the myriad of different options, but thanks to the forum I'm pretty much decided that what I want to get is a Rev 1.5 of some flavour.

First question is which model. I've pretty much ruled out the B series due to budgetry concerns. By the time you've factored in lines it's over 200 quid, which is a bit much for a present that I'm not sure that she'll actually take to. I'm thinking that if we really love it then the B can be a future purchase perhaps. That leaves us with the EXP and the SLE (well, and SLE vented I guess). I don't mind paying a bit extra for a better product, and I do have concerns that with the EXP we might outgrow it (though there's always eBay). However, I'm suppose I'm looking for something that's going to stand up to a kicking whilst we're learning, and something that's as versatile as possible given that the weather here can be ... unpredictable sometimes. The EXP seems to tick both these boxes better than the SLE as far as I can tell, and I've read a few negative comments on here regarding the SLE spars which make me think that perhaps the EXP is in balance a better purchase.

I spotted on a retailer website that you can buy replacement spars, so I could presumably add a bit of versatility to it at a later date. Would I be right in thinking that all the 1.5 parts are interchangeable, including on the EXP? If so, they sell them all as separate bits, what would I need to get? Am I right that you'd just replace the leading edge for different weather conditions, or do you swap out the entire thing? (The website llists end pieces, centre pieces, verticals, and a kit which seems to be a lot more expensive than two ends and a centre). Sorry if I'm being a nub but coming from foils this whole 'frame' thing confuses the proverbial out of me.

Next question is kind of a combination of where to buy, and which lines. I've spotted a couple of retailers, the first is the ubiquitous kiteworld.co.uk which seems to be everyone's favourite here, however I've also found thehighwaymen.co.uk who are cheaper (though their name doesn't instill me with confidence!) Price aside (I know kiteworld will price-match), the two retailers seem to be bundling different line sets. Kiteworld list them as including "Laser Pro Gold 90lb/80' lines worth 35" and The Highwaymen show "90lb/75' competition grade Spectra flying lines". Is there going to be much practical difference between the two line sets? I've only ever flown on stock lines and know next to nothing about them.

The other thing I wanted to ask is, do they come with any sort of kit bag? I know there's an official Rev bag you can get but it's a bit overkill when I've only got one Rev to put in it. Is it worth snagging a stuff sack at the same time / anyone have any better suggestions?

Anyway, oops, sorry, I appear to have gone on a bit. Thanks in anticipation of your replies anyway, hope you can help.

Cheers,

Alan.

#2 Sailor99

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 06:13 AM

OK Lots of questions there! But keep them coming.

All the spars of the 1.5s are interchangeable. You are also right that the majority of people here are not very keen on the SLE spar (but the kite is just fine), although some (me included) have said that is is a good spar to learn with as it is so robust. I would say that you would very quickly grow out of it through, at which point you will need to replace the 3 spars that make up the leading edge with, probably, 3 wrap spars. The EXP is certainly a budget sail, which is of course fine so long as you are aware it would probably have a shorter life and not quite such a good fly as one of the more expensive sails. Having said that there are EXPs that do turn up second hand with many years on the clock, so life may not be too bad.

All the kites come with a bag which will also hold a set of handles and a line set or two.

Now here's the rub. You are not going to want to hear this I suspect. My totally honest opinion, and certainly the experience of a few people I know who bought an SLE or and EXP, is that with the benefit of hindsight you will wish you hadn't. Those that get addicted to revs, which seems to be anyone that buys one (yes I know I am biased, but then again you already know you like kiting, have done the research and have joined a forum - so lets face it the odds of it getting under your skin are pretty high too), seems to pretty rapidly want to start adding to the package. First they want a vented as well as a standard sail. Then they want 120' lines, and most importantly they want a range of frames for different conditions. And so it goes on. So my very strong advice is to give very serious consideration to a B series, probably a vented. Yes you are right in that you are going to have to add a line set which will put the price on the wrong side of 200. But you get two frame sets with it, and that makes it an excellent package. Using kite worlds prices, if you went for the SLE you are going to end up wanting to buy two more frame sets for your kite pretty quickly. So the real price of the SLE would be about 153 + 2 x 43 = 239, and you will still end up with a lesser kite for more money. For the EXP you are probably looking at an all up cost of say 165 with one extra frame set to the one it comes with. This is a clear saving, but you get a lot less kite for the savingSure we are all slaves to budgetary constraints, but it you can solve your constraints I have a very strong feeling you will be better off with the B. And if you really are tied down by the money, then in your shoes I would not waste money with the SLE, but go for the real saving of the EXP.

Not sure what the lines are that highwaymen do, but they are a pretty reputable company so I am sure they are acceptable. Suggest you ask them how their lines stack up against Laserpro gold, which most people seem to think are pretty near the top of the pile.
Over - Jeremy

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#3 Cougar

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 06:48 AM

Thanks for the reply, that's really helpful.

I take your point regarding the B series, but bearing in mind that a) it's a random present, B) there's two of us and therefore more of a justification for buying two kites at some point so that we can fly together, and c) we have ham-fisted "ooh, can I have a go?" friends, there's probably a reasonably good case for getting the EXP anyway and adding the B to it at a later date. I think. (-:

Lines - I assumed that Spectra was a manufacturer but a quick Google would suggest that it's a type, as in, they're Spectra rather than (say) Kevlar. In which case it's entirely possible that they're Laser Pro Gold anyway but just advertised differently, and also entirely possible that it's some generic brand. Is that right, or have I spectactularly misunderstood?

Alan.

#4 Sailor99

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 07:09 AM

Lines - I assumed that Spectra was a manufacturer but a quick Google would suggest that it's a type, as in, they're Spectra rather than (say) Kevlar. In which case it's entirely possible that they're Laser Pro Gold anyway but just advertised differently, and also entirely possible that it's some generic brand. Is that right, or have I spectactularly misunderstood?

Yes, its a material not a make.

Suggest if you have time you see what other's views are - they may well offer a different perspective
Over - Jeremy

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#5 david ellison

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 07:19 AM

This echoes various recent conversations with new Rev fliers. Those who bought Exp's either on spec or because they'd had a go with someone's rev and fancied one of their own, all subsequently decided they "needed" a B.

But either way is just fine - it will be the first of many Rev's B)

#6 bobw

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 07:20 AM

All lines stretch, but w.o. a brand name, how do you know what you are getting?

That being said, I love my EXP. Don't regret it, but now want more. As for the length of the line sets, shorter is better in light wind, longer in higher wind, and 120 seems to be the length (at least around here) when folks are doing group flies. The only thing I'm regretting about the EXP is the length of the lines. I wish I had longer (about the standard 85), as well as a shorter (around 35-50 from what I've been reading) to better learn light wind flying. I've already gotten hooked on a set of 120's from my local buds.

Sooo, I don't think the EXP is a "throwaway", but I think the lines are somewhat a throwaway. On the otherhand, I got my EXP w handles and lines for what a 1.5 SLE costs...

Bob

#7 Martyjuggles

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 07:27 AM

My first Rev was an EXP and it did me several years of good service. You can do all the Rev moves with it but just as other have said, it's probably not as precise as the B or SLE.

It will be the first of many Rev's i'm sure, but at least you're not breaking the bank to begin with and you'll always have a cheaper Rev for your 'ham fisted' friends to play with once you've got your SLE, B-Series std and vented, indoor rev, supersonic, masterpieces etc etc that inevitable seem to follow sonner or later! . . . .

Marty :P
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#8 Stone in Shoe Bob

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 08:33 AM

Sailor is right when he says all I.5 parts are interchangeable and that is a big thing for any serious Rev flier because, unlike a duel-line kite you can change a Rev frame in the field in minutes and end up with a totally different kite. It is very much a case of mix and match. I don’t expect you to get your head around it now, but a very popular configuration is a vented sail (high wind) with low wind spars. But that’s a way down the line right now you are looking to buy a first Rev. He also says that if you buy her an exp, she will soon out grow it, right again but then to be honest if she is serious about this whatever Rev you buy her will need to be added to sooner or later.

Look at it this way, if she had expressed an interest in golf you might buy her a putter and one of those battery operated gizmos that pings the ball back or you might buy her a driver so she could visit the driving range, but either way the time would come when she will want more clubs. You should look on building a good Rev bag in the same way as a golfer builds a golf bag. Just as a golfer looks to have the most suitable club for every shot so a serious Rev flyer will want to collect a selection of sails frames for different conditions,

But don’t panic you don’t have to go out and buy the whole lot in one hit, half the fun is in building the collection.

With regard to lines, you don’t say where home is but I get the feeling from the way you write you are a Brit (I may be way wide of the mark here), most UK retailers sell EXPs and the SLE range ready to fly (i.e. with lines) the B series, being initially aimed at the experienced flyer tends to be sold without lines. If you go for a RTF package they usually come with 85ft x 90lb lines they are excellent quality and an ideal length for a beginner. It’s true many of us prefer 120ft lines but that is because they are a better length for team flying, but as with a lot of things it is a compromise and the down side is
a.) the kite is a little less responsive on longer lines
and
b.) the walk of shame is a that much longer. :wacko:
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#9 MrDenny

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 08:39 AM

You sound like a very experienced power kiter. I have found that folks like you have a VERY fast learning curve. For this reason only you may want to skip the EXP. Some of the better on line kite shops will even swap out the SLE for a leading edge of your choice at no charge.
For flying alone the 85s will be a good line set. If you have other Rev nuts to play with 120s. Your going to get several line sets as time goes on anyway so neither will be a waste.

Denny #12

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#10 Baloo

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 09:03 AM

Alll the above is good advice.

If I was starting off with what I know now I would go for B's. One of each preferably. And some race rods.

You need to decide which will suit your wind best. Full, Mid of Vent.

Another thing I might suggest, get in touch with Ben, see if he has any of the kite "packages" left. I think it was a SLE, EXP, bag and a couple of line sets. Not sure what the price, think it was $400, not quite so good now due to the exchange rate though, but if you are both interested in Rev then that would be a great way to be able to fly together.

#11 jimfielder

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 09:59 AM

A member here is selling two Rev 1.5's at this thread at GWTW.
http://www.gwtw-kite...?TOPIC_ID=39325
Great price.

#12 Cougar

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 10:45 AM

Ben?

If he's in the US, I'm guessing that shipping / logistics might be a problem?

The link above, I can't view without signing up to their forum. Are they second-hand? Normally I wouldn't care, but because it's a present I'd prefer a brand new one.

#13 Baloo

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 10:47 AM

Yep, Ben works for Rev in the US.

You would have to pay shipping and probably Duty too.

#14 Cougar

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 10:47 AM

I get the feeling from the way you write you are a Brit


Not sure if that's a compliment or an insult (-: But yeah, I mentioned it in my original post I think, I'm in rainy Lancashire.

#15 Cougar

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 10:57 AM

My first Rev was an EXP and it did me several years of good service.


That's what I wanted to hear, really. I've less of an issue with retiring / demoting a kite after a few years than I have with spending 150 quid on something only to find that it's pants.

I'm pretty sold on the now EXP I think, and I reckon I'm going to go with Kiteworld on the grounds that they specify a known good line brand. Though I might chance my arm and see if I can get them to price-match with Highwayman, or throw in some freebies / bargains perhaps.

To whoever said we were "very experienced" - I wouldn't go that far necessarily; we're both used to four-line kites, but we're mostly self-taught with a bit of coaching from friends. I'm well aware that flying a nippy Rev is a whole different ballgame to wrestling with a Blade, but we've probably got a head start at least in that we're both familiar with how to control a four-liner. I'm assuming that the principles of rigging and tuning are as close as makes no odds too?

Thanks for all this incidentally folks, I really appreciate the feedback.

#16 Martyjuggles

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 11:11 AM

That's what I wanted to hear, really. I've less of an issue with retiring / demoting a kite after a few years than I have with spending 150 quid on something only to find that it's pants.

I'm pretty sold on the now EXP I think, and I reckon I'm going to go with Kiteworld on the grounds that they specify a known good line brand. Though I might chance my arm and see if I can get them to price-match with Highwayman, or throw in some freebies / bargains perhaps.

To whoever said we were "very experienced" - I wouldn't go that far necessarily; we're both used to four-line kites, but we're mostly self-taught with a bit of coaching from friends. I'm well aware that flying a nippy Rev is a whole different ballgame to wrestling with a Blade, but we've probably got a head start at least in that we're both familiar with how to control a four-liner. I'm assuming that the principles of rigging and tuning are as close as makes no odds too?

Thanks for all this incidentally folks, I really appreciate the feedback.



just a thought, have you chatted to highwaymen - 'cos a few weeks back they had two B-Series Rev's in there sale for about 30 below the usual price. . . just to complicate matters again ;)

The biggest difference for power kiters (i speak with experience 'cos i'd flown flexifoil stackers and blades prior to owning a rev) is flying the kite on the brakes. . . 'most' power kiters tend to forget the brakes once they've launched the kite and only use them again to land it . . .

Once you get the feel for flying a rev using the brakes for control you'll probably find you have better control of your power kite - at least that's what me and my brother have found.

welcome to the club . . .

marty :)
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#17 big bri

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 11:26 AM

That's what I wanted to hear, really. I've less of an issue with retiring / demoting a kite after a few years than I have with spending 150 quid on something only to find that it's pants.

I'm pretty sold on the now EXP I think, and I reckon I'm going to go with Kiteworld on the grounds that they specify a known good line brand. Though I might chance my arm and see if I can get them to price-match with Highwayman, or throw in some freebies / bargains perhaps.

To whoever said we were "very experienced" - I wouldn't go that far necessarily; we're both used to four-line kites, but we're mostly self-taught with a bit of coaching from friends. I'm well aware that flying a nippy Rev is a whole different ballgame to wrestling with a Blade, but we've probably got a head start at least in that we're both familiar with how to control a four-liner. I'm assuming that the principles of rigging and tuning are as close as makes no odds too?

Thanks for all this incidentally folks, I really appreciate the feedback.

Hi ther,and welcome to the Darkside mate.
I am from Sunny Lancashire.Where do you fly or use the Blade you mentioned.

BRIAN...

#18 quaa714

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 11:35 AM

Ben?

If he's in the US, I'm guessing that shipping / logistics might be a problem?

The link above, I can't view without signing up to their forum. Are they second-hand? Normally I wouldn't care, but because it's a present I'd prefer a brand new one.


The person selling them is a friend of mine. I've flown both of them.
They are 2nd hand but have been lovingly owned and maintained.
She reads here often and will likely reply to you personally.

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#19 Stone in Shoe Bob

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 11:45 AM

A member here is selling two Rev 1.5's at this thread at GWTW.
http://www.gwtw-kite...?TOPIC_ID=39325
Great price.

One word of caution, check, a, that they come, with handles and b, they are the 13" ones as until recently a shorter handle was supplied as std wit 1.5s., its not a big problem if they don't but new handles would be an extra cost.
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#20 Love2fly

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 12:13 PM

Hi Couger....
Welcome to the Darkside.
The kites have very low hours on them and are in great shape; almost like new. I do understand the gift thing... If you're interested, whatever the shipping (additional to the basic here) I'd let you know.

I can guarantee one thing. Once you start, you will never have ENOUGH. ENOUGH time to fly, ENOUGH flying in that session, ENOUGH lines or ENOUGH sails.

Good luck

Thanks Rich for the kind words...
Laura
 
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