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Trainer kite - bar or handles?

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robertc
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Trainer kite - bar or handles?

Postby robertc » Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:09 pm

Hey, I'm looking for a trainer kite to learn kite control before I start a kitesurfing course. I'd like to keep flying it for fun as well, of course :)

I'm not sure whether a 3/4 line hybrid with bar control like HQ Scout II would be good or is something with 4 lines and handles closer to real kite's control?

I'd like to avoid buying a harness yet and would like to keep using the kite for low key fun, so I suppose that excludes all depower trainer kites like the Viron, am I right? Also I'd like to keep it in the scout's price range - the Viron is twice as expensive, excluding the harness.

I have many years of sailing experience and a little bit of windsurfing practice, but I'm a total kitesurfing noob and I'm not even sure I correctly understand the kite control concepts I mentioned above, so I would really appreciate your advice. :)

If the same kite could pull me on a snowboard, that'd be interesting to try out, but if it's conflicting with the other requirements, then nevermind.

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Re: Trainer kite - bar or handles?

Postby Slappysan » Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:50 pm

PKD Buster Soulfly is the most recommended kite for the buggy crowd and it would be a good trainer which you could use for static flying too. If you want to use it for static flying get the 1.5m or 2.2m.

http://www.pkdkitesusa.com/products/Buster-Soulfly.html

Keep in mind that a handle kite is still a fixed bridal and doesn't have depower but instead has brakes.

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Re: Trainer kite - bar or handles?

Postby robertc » Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:21 pm

Thanks for the reply :)

So what makes the Soulfly a good trainer?

If a fixed bridal 4 line setup with handles is nothing like controlling a kite with depower anyway, shouldn't I just go for the Scout?

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Re: Trainer kite - bar or handles?

Postby rtz » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:36 pm

It just depends on what you want. How much you feel like spending, what you plan on doing with the kite, how much you plan on using the kite.

Find some people local to you. We all have ~20+ kites. Once you "learn to fly"; you'll be set.

Some kite choices or call this guy:

http://www.bigmikeskites.com/ByDiscipli ... Kites.html

Find some local people:

http://www.powerkiteforum.com/

Really though; $35; free shipping:

http://ozonekitesusa.com/proddetail.asp ... _dp_squirt

If you can get to where you can fly that little kite all day; no crashes; can loop it, fly it anywhere, land it, relaunch it; that's the place to be.

But it doesn't relaunch easy for what it is. The key is not to get some big kite that gets you hurt.

Those Cross kites are another option.

Do you just want something cheap to learn to fly before you move on? I'd get a cheap, cheap kite regardless because you don't really want to be nose diving a better kite into the ground repeatedly while you are learning.

A 2 line kite on a bar is easier to learn. In my opinion; the Scout is a bit much to learn on.

This is typically what happens to someone new flying too much kite for the first time(seen it more then once):


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Re: Trainer kite - bar or handles?

Postby Slappysan » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:53 pm

robertc wrote:So what makes the Soulfly a good trainer?

If a fixed bridal 4 line setup with handles is nothing like controlling a kite with depower anyway, shouldn't I just go for the Scout?


The Soulfly is like $155 and a good beginner kite.

The handles don't really come in to play until you are more experienced (vs. what you get from a 3rd line) but having them allows the kite to grow with your skills at flying it.

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Re: Trainer kite - bar or handles?

Postby robertc » Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:58 pm

I suppose I could also get Ozone Octane 3m2 with a bar and switch to handles after a while, no? Looks like a solid kite. Wouldn't it be a good trainer in lighter winds, while also being interesting to fly later on, as I progress?

@rtz: Those odd couple of times I've flown other people's 3 line 3m2 trainer kites, I managed to not crash them into the ground ;) I would like to get something I would keep on using for fun, something that would keep on being interesting to fly for a long time. Tiny 2 line kites seem a little bit to simple, don't they?

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Re: Trainer kite - bar or handles?

Postby Slappysan » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:51 pm

You wont be able to use a 3m kite for static flying very easily. Once you are an experienced kite flyer scudding around the beach/park isn't much fun so if you want to use it for static flying later get a 2m.

The Octane would work great and it's probably the better kite but it'll cost you double what the Soulfly will and more like tripple if you get both handles and the bar. Looks like PKD is adding a bar option in the near future too so you could convert it if you wanted.

Also you should note that the Ocean Rodeo 2m comes with a "harness" included, it's just a strap with a kite leash quick release though.

I'm not sure if the Epic Tudor comes with any form of harness, doesn't look like it.

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Re: Trainer kite - bar or handles?

Postby rtz » Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:17 am

The Octane is a fine kite.

How much you weigh, the winds you plan on flying in, and also; how much of a workout you want when flying all come into play when static flying. If I'm static flying; I personally don't like getting yanked around all over the place and being lifted into the air.

Just as an example: If the wind is blowing in the 20mph range; I kite buggy with a 2m Flow(previous version of Octane). Sub 20 conditions; I use everything from 3m and up depending on conditions.

A Beamer is also a great kite for static use:

http://www.bigmikeskites.com/HQ/Beamer/V/Beamer.html

Or if you can already fly; use your kite money on a proper kiteboarding lesson. Because those huge inflated kites fly completely different than a fixed bridle.

A one hour lesson is going to be less money than a trainer kite.

If you want to practice flying in the water; look into the Ozone UNO.

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Re: Trainer kite - bar or handles?

Postby robertc » Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:42 am

I weigh 78kg and live in Copenhagen, so I should probably expect 4-5 Bft most of the time. Seems like 2m2 would indeed be a smarter choice.

And don't worry, I will take proper lessons as well :)

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Re: Trainer kite - bar or handles?

Postby jbdc » Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:16 pm

I'm of the firm belief that 4-lines on handles is the best and cheapest way to introduce someone to power kites. They don't need a harness at the outset, but it can be introduced later on by putting a strop line between the front lines.

2-3 line trainers don't offer any control beyond 'left' and 'right'. It's only with 4 lines that you get some sense as to how a depower kite might fly. And while a 4-line fixed-bridle foil might not fly exactly like a depower kite, you get a 'good enough' simulation of all the characteristics; most especially stalling and recovery. As a nice bonus, you can reverse the kite for an easy relaunch.

Don't get anything too fancy. The entire point of this kite is for it to be flown hard and mistakes to be made with it. If you're overly concerned about damaging the kite, you might not be as aggressive with it as you might be otherwise.

I've used a 4-line 3m foil on handles (which was already a rag when I got it) to introduce almost a dozen people to kiting. They all picked it up right away without more than a couple crashes. Handles provide a lot of direct feedback which makes it easy to tell exactly that's going on with the kite.

Whatever you decide to get, keep it a lower aspect (short and fat--unlike the high aspect Bullet in that video) which will be better for static flying and generally have more docile handling characteristics. I'm considering getting a Pansh Legend to replace the 3m rag.

I weigh a little less than you, and I've found 3m to be a good size both for myself and for teaching others. It's large enough to fly in 3 Bft. and give you a healthy respect for the power of the kite. It only becomes too much to handle beyond 5 Bft. by which point I've long since hit the water anyway.

Hope that helps!

EDIT: rtz messaged me to let me know that he finds the Pansh Flux is a better kite than the Legend. Not having flown either, I'm not qualified to comment; but I'm seriously considering getting a pair of Fluxes to replace the rag instead. They have a nice RTF kit available, and Pansh is doing the 2 for 1 thing right now, so it might be too hard to pass-up.


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