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Zen v.s. 1.5sul


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#1 badinfluence

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 12:15 PM

can anyone comment if they have ever compared the 1.5 super ultra light with a Zen? I have a Zen and the two things i notice while flying are its size and weight. When trying to do 360's in 0-3mph winds it is real easy to keep hitting the ground with the tip unless you get the zen up higher due to its size and when weighing the zen it almost weighs in at 9 ounces with frame which is much heavier than b series with race at 7 ounces or indoor rev at 6 ounces which sounds a bit weird given this being the ultimate light wind kite. One thing that i am learning is when flying the zen in 0-3 mph winds and wind is constantly changing directions, it seems that the added weight could be to an advantage over somehing so lightweight as the indoor in helping hold momentum until the wind direction shifts again. Please correct me if i am wrong. Can anyone comment on the 1.5 super ultra light possibly being a better choice over the Zen or what anyone thinks about the 1.5 super ultra light comparing to a 1.5 B series with race rods? I know the bridle weight is diffrent, but what else would give the super ultra light the advantage over these two other kites. In anyones other opinion, has the Zen become the newer and better choice for 0-3 mph flying or is there still a place to have a super ultra light in your bag? Dealers are welcome. Thanks!

#2 ahofer

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 05:34 PM

Ultimately I prefer my Polo (which is an SUL) in light wind. The Zen is easiest to drive in light wind( greater sail:weight) but I find it a lot of work to steer precisely. Also harder to maneuver in slack lines.

The leading edge fabric and mesh is lighter and less sturdy on an SUL.
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#3 stroke survivor

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 10:19 PM

I've got the SUL, if you like the flying style of the 1.5, it is a very nice choice to fill that light wind hole in a kite bag!! Posted Image The Zen reminds me of my older Rev 1, slower, more graceful, just different!! Nothing wrong, just different!!Posted Image

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#4 fungus

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 11:07 PM

i had my last kite a REV B PRO built as an SUL and i've got a ZEN
2/3 weeks ago in really light winds i flew both, not a lot of difference, they were both hard work as i was limping due to a dodgy knee, i would not like to choose they both have a place on my bag.



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#5 badinfluence

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 06:09 AM

Ultimately I prefer my Polo (which is an SUL) in light wind. The Zen is easiest to drive in light wind( greater sail:weight) but I find it a lot of work to steer precisely. Also harder to maneuver in slack lines.

The leading edge fabric and mesh is lighter and less sturdy on an SUL.


I have also noticed that on my Zen the leading edge material is very thick and cant be lighweight compared to my other revs.

#6 badinfluence

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 06:13 AM

i had my last kite a REV B PRO built as an SUL and i've got a ZEN
2/3 weeks ago in really light winds i flew both, not a lot of difference, they were both hard work as i was limping due to a dodgy knee, i would not like to choose they both have a place on my bag.



fungus:)


what did they do diffrently to make it into a sul and having said that, is there a big diffrence between a B series and the sul forgetting about the rods and the bridle weight diffrences?

#7 badinfluence

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 08:07 AM

i found this interesting post from 2 years ago ....... http://www.revkites....topic/3065-zen/

#8 ahofer

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 08:58 AM

Recently, someone told me Bazzer won't make a kite with the SUL leading edge material. Suspect that mindset ports to the Zen.
When I was young, my bologna had a first name. Now my bodywash has an "Objective".

#9 stroke survivor

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 09:03 AM

As far as I know, the Zen uses the same LE material all the "regular" Revs use! The material on the SUL LE is quite a bit lighter, along with the light weight bridle, and I believe a slightly lighter sail material! The extra weight of the Zen is more than made up for in the increased size of the wing!! Flown in a head to head comparison, there wasn't much difference, IMHO, except in flying styles!! All comes down to what you like!!

PS: Technique will overcome a lot of weight difference!! If you know how..............!

PS: ahofer - thought revflyer had one made up that way??

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#10 RevWizard

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 09:54 AM

Recently, someone told me Bazzer won't make a kite with the SUL leading edge material. Suspect that mindset ports to the Zen.

He would surely make you one, however you will probably have to pay extra for it.

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#11 katrina

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 09:06 AM

Can anyone comment on the 1.5 super ultra light possibly being a better choice over the Zen or what anyone thinks about the 1.5 super ultra light comparing to a 1.5 B series with race rods?

I got to fly all of these back to back on a very low/no wind day at the Lincoln City festival. The 1.5 with race rods did not compare to the other two, it was WORK to fly it in those winds. And it's a pro, so it's as good as can be.

I should say that the SUL and zen were other people's kites, so I don't have tons of time on them. But I did get to try them back to back in the same conditions. I preferred the SUL over the zen. If I were buying one or the other, that would be my choice, no question. Now, both of them stayed up there just fine, so it really just comes down to flying style. The SUL flies like a B, so if you like that, you'll like the SUL. The zen is neat, but it's different. It's not quick. It's called a zen for a reason, you're supposed to chill out and enjoy the smooth flying style. But it is larger, and you will notice that fact. It's not a speedboat.


I know OP already has a zen, but a precaution to those of you considering a zen: It does fly a bit differently! I got to fly one for the first time a year ago, and I was surprised that I couldn't just pick it up and fly it the same as my B. That was in 0-.5, though, not the easiest. Just saying, it will not magically enable you to fly in 0-2, you'll have to learn it first. Now a year later, I found the SUL and Zen equally flyable, I just preferred the SUL. But they're both good flying machines.


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#12 badinfluence

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 11:04 AM

is there a big difference between a B series and the sul forgetting about the rods and the bridle weight differences? (i really need spelling checker....)

#13 REVflyer

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 05:08 AM

No big different in weight but the panel layouts are different, so flight dynamics are changed as well.

In an ideal world you could order any Rev (for example the B-series or a B-Pro) built as an SUL and then fly an all spectra bridle on Rev's indoor tubes cut to fit your sail. You may find it's too light in weight with these parameters and you’ll miss some mass to throw around (you get FREE glide with mass, gravity and kite positioning carefully blended). It will certainly be too delicate for all but the most extreme of no-wind conditions. You can design or modify for any specific set of conditions but you'll sacrifice everything else heading down that road.

You can adopt different methods towards your goal too. Bazzer makes the ultra-vent and Shook offers the Weave/mesh. They both go to extreme wind speeds while allowing total control. Which solution suits your purposes better? Bazzer's is certainly more durable, Shook's is probably HALF of the overall weight comparing the two sails though. Do you give up some durability to widen the wind range? (I have always followed this path, it costs extra in the long haul but is certainly more beneficial during the trip).

So with this objective in the back of my mind, how could you make a kite that will reliably fly in zero-wind and still take a double digit sudden gust? Would you go to a 100# high-test bridle instead of all spectra? Gamble on a different manufacturer's tapered tubes for down-spars? The SUL rev has a straighter leading edge (old school), that is great for javelin-like 3-D throws. The B-series "feels" more neutral overall and grabs air when powered-up better with a significant leading edge curve that's built-in by design. Which place to start? I'm very happy with the performance I obtain from the 1.5 platform size, but have the most hours of experience here as well. My original R/W/B Revolution SUL is so ragged you could see thru it to drive across the continent, worn thru two B-series full sails too, frayed a couple of knock-off 1point6s home-builts I’d made in between to Kleenex tissue strength. My B-pro full sail is looking like it lost a couple of gangland battles but at least it's still opaque to the wind.

My latest challenge is the ZEN. The zen is all crispy and shiny still, so I figured I'd give it the modification treatment too. I have the stock frame tubes all around and SUL leading edge sleeve instead of the Dacron. I slapped on some sissy sticks to increase the structural support and recently began testing a french bridle option as well. This combination provides a kite that has a sense of being out on the ends of the line. There's a literal feedback from each command. The commands have to be significant too (okay I like to flail so that's no handicap!) Using 15 or 17 inch no-snag handles because they are heavier than my titanium long throws tubes. Again, more mass, slammed backwards = sharper commands. Lines?: Floating around is a set of 120s (50#), hard tricking and 3-D stuff is about 65-70 feet (90#) either used interchangeably in a dead calm flying location. I'm comfortable flying this rig up to double digits on the wind meter now, no twitchy stuff or over-control issues. It's pretty rigid with a inverted killer glide. It doesn't turn like a porcshe but it's fast enough for most musical accompaniments. I've flown this rig in team settings when everyone else was on full sailed 1.5s, neither hampering myself nor interfering with my mates.

If you have got to fly in a specific set of conditions regularly, your kites can be targeted towards this single objective. I've got at least 1/2 dozen kites for no-wind (with an unlimited ceiling, wink, wink!) and only one kite for brutally howling conditions (Shook mesh, 4-wraps, sticks, french). Those are my local conditions, vented is only needed a couple of times a year, only when I travel away from home too!. SUL kites are the norm in the mid-atlantic states.

If you want a light touch go small (rev2) and/or delicate(SUL). If you after more durability and a heavier hand try the Zen. If you have a specific challenge call your retailer or the factory. Challenge ‘em, . . . but I’m bettin’ they’ve heard it all before and will have a solid recommendation! The Visa card can’t be buy practice hours, but it can certainly show you the path of proper techniques or potentially better equipment options to be considered.

#14 stroke survivor

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 08:10 AM

I got to fly all of these back to back on a very low/no wind day at the Lincoln City festival. The 1.5 with race rods did not compare to the other two, it was WORK to fly it in those winds. And it's a pro, so it's as good as can be.

I should say that the SUL and zen were other people's kites, so I don't have tons of time on them. But I did get to try them back to back in the same conditions. I preferred the SUL over the zen. If I were buying one or the other, that would be my choice, no question. Now, both of them stayed up there just fine, so it really just comes down to flying style. The SUL flies like a B, so if you like that, you'll like the SUL. The zen is neat, but it's different. It's not quick. It's called a zen for a reason, you're supposed to chill out and enjoy the smooth flying style. But it is larger, and you will notice that fact. It's not a speedboat.


I know OP already has a zen, but a precaution to those of you considering a zen: It does fly a bit differently! I got to fly one for the first time a year ago, and I was surprised that I couldn't just pick it up and fly it the same as my B. That was in 0-.5, though, not the easiest. Just saying, it will not magically enable you to fly in 0-2, you'll have to learn it first. Now a year later, I found the SUL and Zen equally flyable, I just preferred the SUL. But they're both good flying machines.


The combo you tried was an SUL with 2 wraps and 120' x 50# lines!! I wished I had switched the Zen to my lines to see if that changed anything!! Maybe some other time??!! Posted Image

wayne from portland
You have 2 choices - live on or die!! I ain't the dying type!!!  Also known as "portland flyer" on some forums!

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#15 randude

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 08:45 AM

No big different in weight but the panel layouts are different, so flight dynamics are changed as well.

In an ideal world you could order any Rev (for example the B-series or a B-Pro) built as an SUL and then fly an all spectra bridle on Rev's indoor tubes cut to fit your sail. You may find it's too light in weight with these parameters and you'll miss some mass to throw around (you get FREE glide with mass, gravity and kite positioning carefully blended). It will certainly be too delicate for all but the most extreme of no-wind conditions. You can design or modify for any specific set of conditions but you'll sacrifice everything else heading down that road.

You can adopt different methods towards your goal too. Bazzer makes the ultra-vent and Shook offers the Weave/mesh. They both go to extreme wind speeds while allowing total control. Which solution suits your purposes better? Bazzer's is certainly more durable, Shook's is probably HALF of the overall weight comparing the two sails though. Do you give up some durability to widen the wind range? (I have always followed this path, it costs extra in the long haul but is certainly more beneficial during the trip).

So with this objective in the back of my mind, how could you make a kite that will reliably fly in zero-wind and still take a double digit sudden gust? Would you go to a 100# high-test bridle instead of all spectra? Gamble on a different manufacturer's tapered tubes for down-spars? The SUL rev has a straighter leading edge (old school), that is great for javelin-like 3-D throws. The B-series "feels" more neutral overall and grabs air when powered-up better with a significant leading edge curve that's built-in by design. Which place to start? I'm very happy with the performance I obtain from the 1.5 platform size, but have the most hours of experience here as well. My original R/W/B Revolution SUL is so ragged you could see thru it to drive across the continent, worn thru two B-series full sails too, frayed a couple of knock-off 1point6s home-builts I'd made in between to Kleenex tissue strength. My B-pro full sail is looking like it lost a couple of gangland battles but at least it's still opaque to the wind.

My latest challenge is the ZEN. The zen is all crispy and shiny still, so I figured I'd give it the modification treatment too. I have the stock frame tubes all around and SUL leading edge sleeve instead of the Dacron. I slapped on some sissy sticks to increase the structural support and recently began testing a french bridle option as well. This combination provides a kite that has a sense of being out on the ends of the line. There's a literal feedback from each command. The commands have to be significant too (okay I like to flail so that's no handicap!) Using 15 or 17 inch no-snag handles because they are heavier than my titanium long throws tubes. Again, more mass, slammed backwards = sharper commands. Lines?: Floating around is a set of 120s (50#), hard tricking and 3-D stuff is about 65-70 feet (90#) either used interchangeably in a dead calm flying location. I'm comfortable flying this rig up to double digits on the wind meter now, no twitchy stuff or over-control issues. It's pretty rigid with a inverted killer glide. It doesn't turn like a porcshe but it's fast enough for most musical accompaniments. I've flown this rig in team settings when everyone else was on full sailed 1.5s, neither hampering myself nor interfering with my mates.

If you have got to fly in a specific set of conditions regularly, your kites can be targeted towards this single objective. I've got at least 1/2 dozen kites for no-wind (with an unlimited ceiling, wink, wink!) and only one kite for brutally howling conditions (Shook mesh, 4-wraps, sticks, french). Those are my local conditions, vented is only needed a couple of times a year, only when I travel away from home too!. SUL kites are the norm in the mid-atlantic states.

If you want a light touch go small (rev2) and/or delicate(SUL). If you after more durability and a heavier hand try the Zen. If you have a specific challenge call your retailer or the factory. Challenge 'em, . . . but I'm bettin' they've heard it all before and will have a solid recommendation! The Visa card can't be buy practice hours, but it can certainly show you the path of proper techniques or potentially better equipment options to be considered.




Please excuse my ignorance. What are sissy sticks, how are they helpful and how did they get their name? Also, how does a french bridle change flight characteristics and, in this case, what does it do for the zen? Thanks, Randy

#16 katrina

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 07:56 AM

Here's the thread on sissy sticks, and look here for french bridles. (I have used neither, just pointing you to the right threads :blue_wink:)

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#17 randude

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 10:23 PM

Here's the thread on sissy sticks, and look here for french bridles. (I have used neither, just pointing you to the right threads :blue_wink:)



Thanks Katrina, that is extremely helpful. Looks like a lot of dickering around, so I probably won't be trying any of those modifications any time soon, but it is good to know what folks are talking about.






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