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Which kite to get for a beginner?


Best Answer REVflyer, 31 July 2014 - 03:49 AM

B-Pros are excellent choices  It will be many hours before you can do everything that kite is capable of,... it may be worn-out before you have mastered it's capabilities fully!

 

If you lived on the coast or flew there regularly anyway, the mid-vent Pro or B2 full sail would be powered up and fun, probably on 12 or 13 inch no-snag handles, 100 feet on the Pro and 85' on the B2, good lengths to start.  There will be days when these kites are NOT right for the conditions.  Too windy or simply not enough,.. .that's life, but most of the time they should work either one.

 

I'd like to see you join a local club & NOT buy a kite until you've spent some quality time learning, testing and comparing on OPKs.  The difference in price between a Beetle and Bentley isn't that big when it comes to sport kites!  You can afford the luxury model, you just don't know what that is yet and no amount of advice we provide equals how it feels on the ends of the line to you personally.

 

You can watch instructional video too, (it wasn't available always, like it is now!) but what will cut years off the learning curve instead is for you to go meet up with some other pilots.  Invest in gasoline, weekend excursions  and some quality lunches, go meet the locals and save yourself a boat-load of wasted cash + making some new friends besides.

 

Locally, you'd fly for a couple of years before you bought a kite if you followed our advise.  Instead of a used, beginner or intermediate kite, we'd recommend you acquire a prefectly fitting Gortex rain-suit, pit-zips, ankles, etc and proper footwear first thing.  When you look out the window and wonder if those idiots are out flying kites in tough weather, of course we are!  There are no unacceptable conditions or bad flying spots, that is only a poorly equipped kiter complaining.  

We have lots of kites (50+ Revs personally) and a group of us fly together at least monthly.  Many members have a bag stuffed full of Revs.  Each of them is outfitted or customized as that pilot prefers.  Newbies are invited to fly each kite lined-up, until they "connect" with one of them.  That owner has to go get themselves onto a different kite.  Do this enough times and you'll find what suits you.  Some folks are off practicing by themselves, working on the basics of hover and inverted flight.  Some folks are throwing it all around like it was on fire.  Others are flying team or two revs at one time.

 

The B2 can be learned on as a first kite, but that would not be my recommendation.  It's too fast and wiggly to get a "feel" of in it's proper wind.  Bigger, slower and more predictable in the beginning.  

 

The wind ranges sort of overlap between the various models and switching frames around expands this capability further.  Some of us like it all slow, smooth and graceful, others prefer snappy instant response and almost overpowered flight.  For example you could use a Diamond Frame in a full vent Pro and fly down around 10-12 mph comfortably, or you could use a green race frame in mid-vent pro and be just as happy.  You might even choose to use a full sail B2, if you were 3-D flying around aggressively in turbulent swirling conditions.  Each kite is still set-up for that low double digit wind at ground level.  Experience and your wallet will dictate how deep you get into the hobby.  I've been on these darn things for a couple decades, so 50 or 60 kites is just a couple acquired each year.  My wife runs that household money and she's okay with that! 

 

Enjoy the journey

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#1 vinzbee

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 09:36 PM

Hello everyone! Last weekend, I attended the Berkeley Kite Festival, and after watching different teams perform choreographed tricks I got inspired to start flying, especially after seeing how awesome the Revolution kites are. Anyway, I don't have any experience flying kites except for those regular, toy kites that I used to play when I was still a kid. I've done some research and realized how confusing and difficult it is to choose the right kite so I'm here to ask you, the experts, for some advice, suggestions, and recommendations. Basically, I want to get a kite to learn on and at the same time be good enough for when I'm already a decent pilot (is that what you call someone who flies a kite?), if and when that ever happens. Since the kites don't come cheap, I don't want to get something that's considered as a beginner kite and then eventually upgrade to a better, more advanced kite and get stuck with a basic kite that I may not fly again, and since I'm not sure if I'll lose interest or get discouraged in the near future if I'm having a hard time learning to fly, I also don't want to invest in getting multiple (standard, vented) advanced kites right away just so I have the right kites for different wind conditions. So I guess I'm looking to get just one kite for now that's versatile enough to fly in different wind conditions here in the SF Bay Area. Since I normally don't check the wind speed around here since there's usually no need to, I'm not familiar with the averages at the different spots where you can fly here, so I'm not sure if I should get a standard, mid-vent, or vented. I'm also not sure how each type would handle in different wind conditions, like if the vented would be harder to learn on or control when the wind is about 12mph vs a standard or a mid-vent. Also, I sort of narrowed down my choices between the B-Series (maybe even the B-Series Pro perhaps?) and the B2, again, I'm not sure which one to pick, maybe it's one of those apples and oranges comparisons, but I have no idea really. Then I guess once I figure out which model and type of venting to get, I'll probably just stick with the default frames that come with it. Lastly, since these kites don't come with lines, I'm wondering which ones I should get since different lengths are available. I'm really excited to get my kite so hopefully with your help I'm able to order the perfect one for me, then I can start learning from the DVD that's included and then head outside and practice on my own and hopefully meet other people to fly with and to learn from. Thanks! :)

#2 REVflyer

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 03:49 AM   Best Answer

B-Pros are excellent choices  It will be many hours before you can do everything that kite is capable of,... it may be worn-out before you have mastered it's capabilities fully!

 

If you lived on the coast or flew there regularly anyway, the mid-vent Pro or B2 full sail would be powered up and fun, probably on 12 or 13 inch no-snag handles, 100 feet on the Pro and 85' on the B2, good lengths to start.  There will be days when these kites are NOT right for the conditions.  Too windy or simply not enough,.. .that's life, but most of the time they should work either one.

 

I'd like to see you join a local club & NOT buy a kite until you've spent some quality time learning, testing and comparing on OPKs.  The difference in price between a Beetle and Bentley isn't that big when it comes to sport kites!  You can afford the luxury model, you just don't know what that is yet and no amount of advice we provide equals how it feels on the ends of the line to you personally.

 

You can watch instructional video too, (it wasn't available always, like it is now!) but what will cut years off the learning curve instead is for you to go meet up with some other pilots.  Invest in gasoline, weekend excursions  and some quality lunches, go meet the locals and save yourself a boat-load of wasted cash + making some new friends besides.

 

Locally, you'd fly for a couple of years before you bought a kite if you followed our advise.  Instead of a used, beginner or intermediate kite, we'd recommend you acquire a prefectly fitting Gortex rain-suit, pit-zips, ankles, etc and proper footwear first thing.  When you look out the window and wonder if those idiots are out flying kites in tough weather, of course we are!  There are no unacceptable conditions or bad flying spots, that is only a poorly equipped kiter complaining.  

We have lots of kites (50+ Revs personally) and a group of us fly together at least monthly.  Many members have a bag stuffed full of Revs.  Each of them is outfitted or customized as that pilot prefers.  Newbies are invited to fly each kite lined-up, until they "connect" with one of them.  That owner has to go get themselves onto a different kite.  Do this enough times and you'll find what suits you.  Some folks are off practicing by themselves, working on the basics of hover and inverted flight.  Some folks are throwing it all around like it was on fire.  Others are flying team or two revs at one time.

 

The B2 can be learned on as a first kite, but that would not be my recommendation.  It's too fast and wiggly to get a "feel" of in it's proper wind.  Bigger, slower and more predictable in the beginning.  

 

The wind ranges sort of overlap between the various models and switching frames around expands this capability further.  Some of us like it all slow, smooth and graceful, others prefer snappy instant response and almost overpowered flight.  For example you could use a Diamond Frame in a full vent Pro and fly down around 10-12 mph comfortably, or you could use a green race frame in mid-vent pro and be just as happy.  You might even choose to use a full sail B2, if you were 3-D flying around aggressively in turbulent swirling conditions.  Each kite is still set-up for that low double digit wind at ground level.  Experience and your wallet will dictate how deep you get into the hobby.  I've been on these darn things for a couple decades, so 50 or 60 kites is just a couple acquired each year.  My wife runs that household money and she's okay with that! 

 

Enjoy the journey



#3 stroke survivor

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 08:41 AM

Just be aware that there is no one perfect kite for all conditions! Get a midvent and either the wind blows too weak or too strong! Get a std and suddenly the winds are way too much! Get a full vent and no winds!! It's all in the trade offs! You'll see people recommend getting 2 - a std and a full vent, most times! That's because it covers almost all conditions and you can get the 2nd kite as a "kite only" deal and not get another set of handles and similar lines! 

 

PS: I agree with REVflyer  in theory about using other's kites, but that depends on how close others are to you and their willingness to share! I see that you are in the San Fran area, there are flyers in that area! See if you can join them! Just meeting up and talking about things can take years off your learning curve!!


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!

7346824786_f12fcda7bd_s.jpg7770032034_ebc85fc33e_s.jpg7776002900_89d33b664b_s.jpgLogoupdate.png

 

 

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#4 vinzbee

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 11:57 AM

Thanks REVflyer and stroke survivor for the advice!  I also posted on the AKA forums and someone (Joanna) from the Bay Area Sport Kite League responded and said that they're having a free workshop on 08/09, and she also suggested holding off buying for now since I may be able to borrow OPKs at the workshop, and she even offered to lend me one of her kites during the workshop, so I think that would be the best opportunity for me to learn, ask questions, and to try out the different kites.



#5 makatakam

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 05:29 PM

Joanna knows her stuff, listen closely.


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 stroke survivor

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 09:37 PM

Joanna's screen name is dragonfish on Kitelife, talk to her often!! She'll be good help!!


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!

7346824786_f12fcda7bd_s.jpg7770032034_ebc85fc33e_s.jpg7776002900_89d33b664b_s.jpgLogoupdate.png

 

 

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#7 dragonfish

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 11:31 PM

Joanna knows her stuff, listen closely.

Thanks Mark.  

 

Joanna's screen name is dragonfish on Kitelife, talk to her often!! She'll be good help!!

Yup, I go by dragonfish on all the kite forums that I'm on, as you may have already noticed.  



#8 REVflyer

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 07:41 AM

Thank you very much for steppin' up to help a new pilot Joanna!



#9 Jim Foster

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 06:45 PM

You have received loads of good advice here. The best is the invitation to go learn to fly on August 9th. The Bay Area fliers are a great group. Attending such an event will save you more time and frustration than you could ever imagine.
It's nice that you were so motivated by the team flying at Berkeley. My wife Lynn and I (Kite Kids) were fortunate to be able to make Berkeley this year and fly several demos, as well as fly with our friends Carol and Cass Pittman as Kids at Heart and then the four of us teamed up with Jeannette and Mark Lummas, and Ron Despojado (Too Much Fun) flying as "The Magnificent Seven". What fun we had, and, giving someone else the inspiration to take up this fun hobby makes it all worth while. Enjoy!
Cheers, Jim and Lynn Foster
Fly together! Share the joy, Share the fun

#10 Thunderstick

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 08:51 PM

My son moved to San Francisco a week ago.   I'm looking forward to visiting him in the new future and drop down to the beach for some kite flying!



#11 vinzbee

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 01:49 PM

You have received loads of good advice here. The best is the invitation to go learn to fly on August 9th. The Bay Area fliers are a great group. Attending such an event will save you more time and frustration than you could ever imagine.
It's nice that you were so motivated by the team flying at Berkeley. My wife Lynn and I (Kite Kids) were fortunate to be able to make Berkeley this year and fly several demos, as well as fly with our friends Carol and Cass Pittman as Kids at Heart and then the four of us teamed up with Jeannette and Mark Lummas, and Ron Despojado (Too Much Fun) flying as "The Magnificent Seven". What fun we had, and, giving someone else the inspiration to take up this fun hobby makes it all worth while. Enjoy!
Cheers, Jim and Lynn Foster

 

Thanks Jim!  I'm hoping to pay it forward in the future by inspiring others as well.



#12 vinzbee

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Posted 03 October 2014 - 12:29 PM

I finally bought my first kite! Thanks for the help everyone!

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#13 makatakam

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Posted 03 October 2014 - 04:57 PM

Looks great! Enjoy, and don't forget to breathe.


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




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