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Which Rev for a beginner? a little confused?


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#1 Danno83

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 06:21 AM

Hi All,

I'm new here but felt this may be the best place to get some advice on Revolution kites. I thought I would be into Powerkiting but then came across a website and a few you tube clips later and realised I think I could get into these rev kites and have a lot of fun. However some questions;

1. Which one for a beginner who has never flown a quad line kite?
2. Theres so many, exp, 1.5sle, B series and so on?
3. Vented and un vented? I am assuming this is about wind conditions, where I would fly would range from 3mph to 18mph?
4. What is 2 wrap, 3 wrap, 4 wrap?
5. probably have a budget of 250, but don't tell my friends I am spending that much on a kite, they will think I have good a little mad.

Anyway any help would be appreciated and some direction in what to buy etc?

thanks

Dan

#2 SparkieRob

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 07:09 AM

G'day Danno83,

Welcome to the darkside mate.

An SLE will fit right into that wind range but the JB Series comes with 2 frame sets that can maximize your winds.

If you have a poke around some of the threads there is a wealth of information. The is a whole section for new to revs. Check it out.

Vented let's the wind vent through the sail. They smooth out the gusts and can be flown in higher winds.

Wraps refer to the stiffness of the rods, more wraps of graphite equals more stiffness in the rod.

Welcome again.

Rob.


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#3 goestoeleven

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 08:16 AM

Dan -

First - Welcome to the dark side (quad line rev flying), and welcome to the forums!

I'm sure you'll get plenty of advice here . . . I'll give you my opinions on your questions, for what it's worth (which might be just what you paid for them Posted Image .

I'm sure I'll get some disagreement here about this answer . . . .
IMHO, there are no bad Revs currently available on the market (although I've heard there was at least one back in the late '90s). Some are significantly better than others, to be sure, but as a beginner you will probably do fine with any kite from an EXP all the way up to a B-Pro. I still fly my EXP a fairly significant amount of the time, depending on conditions and what I dig out of the kite bag on any given day.

When you are first learning to fly Revs, you are getting started on the basics of technique, and it will take a while to master the finer points. The analogy I'll make is a driving one - which car is more appropriate for a beginning driver - a used family sedan or a brand new 911? While it might be great to learn to drive in a 911, my take is that the new driver won't appreciate the nuances of performance available when they are first starting. In addition, there are plenty of tuning possibilities with all the kites that significantly affect the performance of the kite in different conditions - and you've hit on two with your questions about the spars and the venting. You can also tune the kite with how you set the handle leaders (more on that later) and length of your line set. These changes to your setup will have a much greater impact to your learning and performance when you are first learning than which kite you buy (i.e. EXP/1.5/B/B-Pro).

Now, some may argue that starting with a B-Pro is the right answer, since it's such a great kite. While the B-Pros are exponentially better than the EXPs in terms of construction and how the kite responds to your inputs, as a beginner I think it is unlikely that you will appreciate the differences unless you plan to work on your flying nonstop for weeks. I've been flying quite a bit for the last two years and I feel like I'm just getting to the point where I can really appreciate the differences (although the construction of a Pro is clear right away). That said, the construction of other kites (like the EXP or 1.5) is perfectly good for many years of flying. The strongest argument for starting with a B-Pro is the reason we call it the dark side . . . once you're hooked, it's an addiction, and you'll end up with multiple B-Pros sooner or later anyway.

While this may not help, I think you could go with anything from the EXP to the B-Series (or even a Pro), and you'll be fine. I'd stay away from the speed series (like the Shockwave or Supersonic) until you have learned some technique as they have a steeper learning curve for a new pilot. Keep in mind, you'll also need to buy handles and line sets, so your budget needs to plan for that cost as well. If you really want to stretch your budget, I will tell you that my first Rev was purchased used online . . . but the addiction has led to purchases of quite a few additional kites both new and used (some since sold off). Getting your first Rev tends to lead to the need for more . . . and that leads to your next topic(s).

Sails and venting: Most of the time, the first Rev is a full sail kite. The full sail covers the most common wind conditions, and so it's the natural first choice. There are also various levels of venting - from mid vent (one set of vents), full vent (two sets of vents) and extra vent (multiple panels replaced with vents). The other full sail kite is the SUL, where the sail is marginally lighter than a standard full sail kite, so it's better for low wind situations. My second rev was a full vent, which really smooths things out when the wind picks up. I don't have a mid-vent or a mesh yet, nor do I have an extra vent. I have a couple SULs (which are full sail kites with lighter sails), but IMHO as your technique improves, skill will have a bigger impact on your capability in low wind than the sail / spar combination.

Spars: 2/3/4 wrap (and SLE) spars refer to the number of layers of carbon fiber in the spar. More layers = more weight, stronger, and greater stiffness / less flex. Don't get the SLE leading edge, which is a big, heavy spar that's very stiff. I think it's useful for certain situations, but it's heavy and stiff, which can make it harder for a beginner to get the kite in the air. Several of my Rev friends suggest using the SLE leading edge as tomato stakes in the garden. I think the vast majority of Revs are flown with 3-wrap spars, and IMHO it's the best spar for a beginner. As you improve, you'll appreciate the differences with 2-wrap or 4-wrap spars. There are some other specialty spars like Race Rods, which weigh close to 2 wraps but behave like 3 wraps. Again, as a beginner, the subtle differences won't be appreciable. There is/was some confusion between the 1.5 SLE kite and the SLE leading edge. I think Rev recently dropped the SLE designation on the 1.5 kite, which by default came with the SLE leading edge in most kite shops, but you could get always get it with different spars (like the 3 wrap) by working with the shop.

The performance questions you haven't asked about are: line sets and handles.

For handles, as a beginner, it won't matter whether you choose the shorter or longer handles. Most experienced pilots go for the longer handles, but I won't get into why just now. For a beginner, what is important about the handles is that you set up the leaders on the handles to allow you to adjust the "brake" on the kite. You can do this yourself if you get handles without the adjustment leaders - there are several threads here about how to do that. The brake settings can have a very significant impact on the way the kite performs in different wind conditions (regardless of which kite you choose).

For line sets, the most common line length for group flying (which you are going to want to do eventually anyway) is 120 feet. More line length = more wind window, and while most "ready to fly" packages are sold with line lengths around 75-90 feet, you should upgrade to the 120 foot length, if possible. More wind window = more time to react and more time for you to fly in a direction. It's just easier overall when you are first learning. When you get more experienced, you can move to shorter lengths which I now find very enjoyable. You want to go with a good quality line (there are threads on that as well, I won't start a big discussion on brand names here).

As far as where to go to get your Revolution - I can't answer that for the UK. However, I will say that you should buy a real Revolution kite. They are by far the most popular quad line kite, and if you want to fly with others, you will find that most people at festivals and other events are flying Res. Don't buy a Chinese knockoff - the quality is not as good, and it's just plain wrong. Revolution has been successful for a reason - they have the best combination of performance and precision in this space, IMHO. It's why we're all flying them. Oh, and by the way, the Rev community is great, supportive, and very friendly as well!

Final thoughts: The most important thing you can do to learn to fly Revolutions is get together with someone who is already a skilled flyer. If I were you, I'd save on the kite if it meant I had extra money left over to travel to a festival or event and meet other pilots. The biggest improvement to my flying came from meeting and flying alongside other Revolution pilots. Don't be shy - get to a festival or even just make arrangements with your closest friendly pilot. An afternoon with others is better than days of flying by yourself.

Wow. I didn't realize I wrote that much . . . time for other forum members to take apart my answers . . . Posted Image

Welcome to Revolution!!!

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#4 stevepigeon

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 08:27 AM

all the revs are great it just depends what you want to do and wind the only one i dont have is a zen but i did convert rev 1 to ultra light lightest rods available 50lb bridle replaced screen with fabric and it will fly in 2-3 mph there are no bad revs the backtracker is the bad step child from another mother funny how its the only one not made in usa still fun to fly its alittle twitchy but i have 21 different quad line kites most are not as stable as revs but once again fun i have a spectrs sport quad and axels are a breeze very flexable kite if you need a really good used rev i have a couple i have a brand new exp i could let go
Steve & Sherri

#5 makatakam

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 09:53 AM

Welcome to the dark side, Dan.

Steve, we're trying to help Dan, not scare him away!

Dan, the simplest way to approach your first Rev purchase is to just jump in. The water's fine. Here's the short version:

My advice, and the way I started, is to get a 1.5 full sail package (kite, line and handles, RTF (ready to fly)) in whatever price level you are comfortable with. Assemble the kite and fly it. You'll figure out all that other stuff eventually just by using simple logic and flying with others.

Most importantly, get out there and have fun.
Mark

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"...it's a fair wind blowin' warm, out of the south over my shoulder, guess I'll set a course and go."
CSN&Y

#6 goestoeleven

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 11:08 AM

Welcome to the dark side, Dan.

Steve, we're trying to help Dan, not scare him away!

Dan, the simplest way to approach your first Rev purchase is to just jump in. The water's fine. Here's the short version:

My advice, and the way I started, is to get a 1.5 full sail package (kite, line and handles, RTF (ready to fly)) in whatever price level you are comfortable with. Assemble the kite and fly it. You'll figure out all that other stuff eventually just by using simple logic and flying with others.

Most importantly, get out there and have fun.


Hey, I was just trying to be thorough . . . . actually I just started writing and before I realized it I'd written (and edited) far more than I originally intended . . . . but any time I can help a beginner, I'm more than happy to help. Either that, or I'm procrastinating the real work I have to get done today.

Mark's right - just get a kite and get out there flying!

My last tip (today) for a beginner: vertical spars go on the back of the kite. The elastic has a tendency to pull the caps over to the front side when the kite is folded up, but you just flip the caps over to the back side of the leading edge, and you'll be fine. (Here I am giving more advice, and he doesn't even have a kite yet!).

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#7 stevepigeon

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 03:13 PM

i wasnt trying to scare him away just sayin that there is no bad rev all good with exception of backtracker and its still alot of fun to take that out sometimes...steve
Steve & Sherri

#8 Mike

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 03:25 PM

Steve Pigeon, just to clear the air, Goestoeleven is also named Steve and that's who Mark was referring to.
As far as my advice for Dan, you'll eventually want at least two kites: a full sail and a vented sail. If you can fit that in your budget you can easily fly in those winds.
One of many good possibilities is an Exp with 2 wraps and a vented SLE with 3 wraps. You can swap the spars between those 2 kites so you can also fly the EXP with the SLE's 3 wraps.
Mike Kory:
Posted Image and Posted Image

#9 SparkieRob

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 06:12 PM

My 2 cents,

If I was to start al over again, I'd start with a JB full sail with 2 wrap frame and upgrade to race frame, then get a full vent with 3 wrap frame and upgrade to race frame. With lines of course. This would allow for lots of wind combos!

But if I did that I wouldn't have an EXP and SLE 2 stack, a B2 STD and a Polo Vented on the way!

Don't worry about beating your first kite up. Nobody is as bad as they think they'll be.

Rob.


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#10 HedgeWarden

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 07:03 PM

My two cents:

Stick to the 1.5 size (EXPs, SLEs, B's, B Pros), as they have the best balance between speed and precision for a beginner (and actually for most experienced fliers most the time)

Rev 1s feel heavy and too slow (I have not tried a Zen, so do not apply that opinion to Zens.)

Rev 2s are fast and lighter feeling than 1s and 1.5s. The speed and the lesser precision makes them not the best choice for beginners. But once you have some experience - they are a hoot.

For flying in a group, the 1.5s are standard.

The "Bs" or Barresi design are more expensive than the SLEs, but a "B Package" comes with two frame sets, a set of handles, and a helpful DVD - which makes them very competitive.

I started with an EXP Ready-To-Fly (RTF) set that had handles and lines with the kite - and a start-up video. It's the most economical way to start.

However, if you are more interested in the power kiting experience (speed and pull), then one of the supersonics or similar Revs may be your choice for a second kite. I know them only from reputation, not experience.

As you compare kites, be sure you have factored in: Kite, Handles, and Lines. For lines, you want Laser Pro 90 lb, and to start around 80 ft is fine. For flying in groups, 120 ft lines are standard. Any of the shops that advertise here should make sure you have what you need.

Startup videos are very useful if you do not have a mentor. John has posted a number of great videos covering the basics on this forum.

Have fun, and fair winds..
-Howard
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#11 oapbillf

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 01:26 AM

Hi Dan

Before you put your hand in your pocket come and join us at Dunstable Downs on a Sunday where you can have a good discussion as to
which would be your first of several Revs!

I have only been flying Revs for about a year and still have a lot to learn but you would be welcome to fly any of my seven, ( yes I know, seven in one year! ) and you dont have to worry about making a fool of yourself, I can do that!

Next weekend, 25th, 26th,and 27th is the Portsmouth International kite festival and would be well worth a visit, the second day would be best for a visit, Google it!

I expect that I will be at Dunstable on the 27th (Bank Holiday Monday) from about 10.30 for a few hours and I would hope to see you there or on subsequent Sundays!

Bill

#12 Danno83

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 09:01 AM

Hi Guys

And thank you for welcoming me to this forum. So friendly and your advice is much appreciated. Theres alot of information to take in and I suspose I don't to get bogged down with all the techy stuff although I know that will come if I get into this. Within my budget it would seem that I have many options, but I do just want to purchase one and just get out there and have a go (can't believe I am going to spend 200+ on a kite) :)

So taking and reading everything you guys have written and I may be wrong, but these are the two options I could go with

cheapest option:
http://www.kiteworld...lution-EXP.html

Prefered option
http://www.kiteworld...si-Rev-1-5.html

Tell me if I am on the right lines :)

thanks again guys... dark side here we come

Dan

#13 SparkieRob

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 09:30 AM

I started on an EXP mainly to test the waters. It is a great kite and it feels like it sometimes flies better than my SLE! I also love the big bold stripes. It is definitely a great kite to start on.

There is a middle option of the SLE. As the blurb goes, "still theist dominant quadline in the world today".

Just set your budget and work to that. After you've flown a couple of times, and you are hooked, take it from there. Take up the offer to fly before you buy as this will give you some clarity.

Don't forget, there are 2nd hand kites out there as other pilots upgrade.

Rob.


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#14 TerryB

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 11:10 AM

Hi Guys

And thank you for welcoming me to this forum. So friendly and your advice is much appreciated. Theres alot of information to take in and I suspose I don't to get bogged down with all the techy stuff although I know that will come if I get into this. Within my budget it would seem that I have many options, but I do just want to purchase one and just get out there and have a go (can't believe I am going to spend 200+ on a kite) :)

So taking and reading everything you guys have written and I may be wrong, but these are the two options I could go with

cheapest option:
http://www.kiteworld...lution-EXP.html

Prefered option
http://www.kiteworld...si-Rev-1-5.html

Tell me if I am on the right lines :)

thanks again guys... dark side here we come

Dan

Hi Dan,
Welcome to the dark side :kid_devlish:
My interpretation of a rev is A space in the sky you pour money into!
I would rather go hungry than do without my kites now.
Your preferred option was similar to where I started four kites ago :blue_wink:
I go back to the SLE sail with a race frame now and agin with the right conditions.
The best thing about where you are is the offer of the one to one that is priceless :kid_content:
I am struggling along self taught with only meeting revaholics at Berck each year.
Get all the help you can,It's a great journey to take and help makes it a faster one.
Take care
Terry

#15 kitefantex

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 03:14 PM

The best kite would come out of someone elses bag with their permission of course. That way you get lessons alnog with it. Try all you can then decide. I'm sure that if you could get with some of the local fliers you would be more that happy.

Kitefantex aka Gumby


#16 makatakam

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 06:04 PM

Check e-bay, I saw some used revs there today.
Mark

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"...it's a fair wind blowin' warm, out of the south over my shoulder, guess I'll set a course and go."
CSN&Y

#17 lamrith

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 10:42 AM

I would recommend a B series full sail. You get multiple frames and just a great sail all the way around. Just need to add a lineset, which I think is better than a RTF package.

A R2F package will come with a 80-85ft line which works fine for learning, but I recommend going for 120ft set. It not only gives you a larger window to learn with, it is the standard group flying length, you WILL get asked and pulled into group flying.

While you learn you will not notice the better sail, you will after a few hours on the handles. I flew my B series and my son's SLE side by wide and while I cannot verbalize the difference, I can tell/feel a difference in the way they fly. I want to say the B is just sharper and cleaner flying.
Rev B full sail, Mid & Full Vent
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