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 Post subject: Need suggestions for first kite/quiver
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 5:08 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2013 4:37 am
Posts: 35
Hi guys,

I need help buying my first kite. After spending several weeks with my trainer kite and getting some lessons, I am getting close to being able to go out independently. With the BF specials showing up, I am eager to take advantage.

Average Conditions:
10-25mph winds, seems to be either 10-20 or 20-25 days when we get a front.
mostly flat water
75 degree air temps, 70 degree water
I like twin tip boards
I weigh 245 lbs without gear w/a heavily athletic build
winds tend to be side shore or side - onshore
Trainee experience although I handle the kiting aspect really well (spent 6 weeks with a 4.2m Hydra2 before lessons, has made lessons go very easily)

Biggest issue I have found is kites not generating enough pull (Grunt if you will) to keep me moving.

I will prob buy a 146 TT board, perhaps something larger altho 155 is about the max size I think I need (smaller is better but harder and I am new).


I am considering a deal on a new 2013 LF NRG 16m or 2013 LF Envy 15m. Relatively large kites for someone new but they are supposed to be steady in the sky, tough, and offer enough grunt to keep me moving. My local kiteschool loves Cabrinha but I cannot find anything anywhere near the price on the LFs, locally or online (what they ask locally is a joke price wise - build a quiver online for that price).

Big kites for a big guy although I was aiming for a sweet spot that could handle the average winds here (most days are 10-20 mph, good days are 15-25 mph, a few 25+ days but I only went out once on such a day.)

I hate the rule of thumb sizes most sites publish as they are always based on a 175-180 lb rider without consideration for what an extra 65 lbs of weight does. A spreadsheet I found online indicates 15-16 is about what I should look for in terms of ideal kite size.

One note: the 2013 NRG 16m is actually a light wind kite, not necessarily just a bigger version of the NRG. Not sure if that still helps a big guy as a result.

I was also thinking a 16/12m quiver might work since the deals are aggressive, not sure if you can mix and match the LF CPR control bar/system though (eg, different kite for each size).

Thoughts and opinions welcome, if you know of an aggressive deal on a different brand I would consider it. I can get the 2013 Envy 15m or 2013 NRG 16m for about $1k complete with bar so the price is right but is the product?


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 Post subject: Re: Need suggestions for first kite/quiver
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 6:46 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:49 am
Posts: 3432
Location: Japan
Welcome!

Make your first board choice now so it can become your light wind board in the future.
I LOVE my Ocean Rodeo Origin (142x47) as an all-rounder, but wouldn't want to be without my Flydoor XL when the wind is light...

Keeping with Ocean Rodeo, the old Flite 17.5 is going cheap and it's a quick handling, grunty kite with lots of range. The new ones aren't overly expensive either, but are 3 strut and IMO us Clydesdales need 4 or more...

You may actually have more joy with a 14m kite, like a Switch Nitro2, with a reputation for lots of grunt. 16m kite will park'n'ride a little sooner but isn't a lot of fun to throw around and you may need to change it near 20 knots... I actually get pretty good low end out of my 13m Crossbow too.

... no chance to demo gear?


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 Post subject: Re: Need suggestions for first kite/quiver
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:04 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:42 am
Posts: 4
Location: Alaska
Hi dracop ,
in 10-25mph wind with gust no more than 25mph @250 lb. you can use one kite -17 m and two boards, one for light winds ( look at Airush sector, Cabrinha Alias, North Nugget, Slingshot Space Pickle, Firewire baked potato) and another board for med. to high winds something in 145cm range.

Try that NRG 16m before you buy it, I heard it is slow turning kite compare to other 17m kites.

Where I live, average size kite we fly is 8m.

I flew a few light wind kites: Ocean Rodeo Flight 17.5m, I liked it, good kite, turns fast, good low end , good upwind. 17m Ozone Zephyr, I didn't like it, poor low end, turns very slow, good upwind. Every kite is different...

I fly Cabrinha kites, I agree they are the most expensive kites on the market. I buy them, because I like their quality, performance, and support.


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 Post subject: Re: Need suggestions for first kite/quiver
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:44 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 5:21 pm
Posts: 229
Location: Saltspring Island, BC Canada & Mui Ne, Vietnam
Kamikuza wrote:
Welcome!

Make your first board choice now so it can become your light wind board in the future.
I LOVE my Ocean Rodeo Origin (142x47) as an all-rounder, but wouldn't want to be without my Flydoor XL when the wind is light...

Keeping with Ocean Rodeo, the old Flite 17.5 is going cheap and it's a quick handling, grunty kite with lots of range. The new ones aren't overly expensive either, but are 3 strut and IMO us Clydesdales need 4 or more...

You may actually have more joy with a 14m kite, like a Switch Nitro2, with a reputation for lots of grunt. 16m kite will park'n'ride a little sooner but isn't a lot of fun to throw around and you may need to change it near 20 knots... I actually get pretty good low end out of my 13m Crossbow too.

... no chance to demo gear?

I also thought about suggesting the Nitro 2 however I found it is almost too powerful of a kite and it has a very limited wind range at least in the 12m size. I'm super light weight at 150 lbs and I could not hold the Nitro 2 down after a simple jump in any condition except for under powered.
I would suggest getting something with lots of depower in the bar throw like the North Rebel, Ozone Catalyst, or any other all rounder from whomever. This is really important when learning to use the kite and board in combination. In flat water you have lots more options and it really wont matter which company you go with but more the design/style of the kite. Sorry, I've never been on a LF kite but lots of folks ride them here in Vietnam and they seem to like them. I'd get the 16m and a 12m to start with. Ride them till you know them inside out and you will have a base to compare other kites to.


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 Post subject: Re: Need suggestions for first kite/quiver
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:32 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:49 am
Posts: 3432
Location: Japan
flybykite wrote:
I also thought about suggesting the Nitro 2 however I found it is almost too powerful of a kite and it has a very limited wind range at least in the 12m size. I'm super light weight at 150 lbs and I could not hold the Nitro 2 down after a simple jump in any condition except for under powered.

Sounds like my kind of kite...


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 Post subject: Re: Need suggestions for first kite/quiver
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 5:17 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2013 4:37 am
Posts: 35
I can demo kites but not these specifically as no one around here seems to have them. I still have to check a few more stores though and I may be able to find them by driving up north abit.

Interesting, on here everyone seems to push for a really large kite (17m+), I was concerned I was over compensating for the weight with too large of a kite. Looks like I am targeting the right range, although you guys think I should be comparing 16 vs 17 instead of 15 vs 16. You guys like the NRG over the Envy for that extra meter? Hmm, I have to hunt down someone with the 2013 NRG 16m and ask them how it turns. The NRG is supposed to be strong on grunt power relative to other kites in same size but that is simply what I have read online.

The Cabrinhas are simply too expensive for someone starting out, realize once I am solid on the water doing tricks I will likely upgrade my entire quiver. I would also rather wreck a $1k kite than a $2.5k kite, more damage potential at earlier levels.

I am not familiar with OceanRodeo, will have to research it, thank you for bringing it to my attention.

I do not have a good idea of what board I want yet, was focused more on size then was going to narrow it down. I was thinking start with a cheap (on super closeout sale) large board then get something nicer once I am able to enjoy the smaller boards and know what I want. I like the idea of having a nice light wind board so it still has value in the future but not sure what would fit the bill. So far I had considered the LF Edge 146 but I am not sold on it, thats simply what was available. Boards look like they would be easy to upgrade/swap down the road.

Thanks for the ideas all, greatly appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: Need suggestions for first kite/quiver
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 5:31 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 3:20 am
Posts: 205
I would tend to agree with going for a bigger kite 16-17 range. I know a guy who is about your weight and flys his screamer 14 in about 20 knots regularly so you might need a bit more pull. Im a 145 lbs and have held down the or flite 17.5 in 17-18mph so i do t think it would be too much kite for you in the low 20s. A pretty well known visitor to hatteras has a quiver of NRGs includig the 16 meter. I would say he is about 215 lbs and he was killing it with airstyle tricks. He used to be a cab crossbow guy but loves the characteristics of he NRG. Definitely get out and try some other kites if you can. Dont settle for what your shop has if you are hesitant


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 Post subject: Re: Need suggestions for first kite/quiver
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 5:52 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2006 7:04 pm
Posts: 139
Location: Slave Lake, AB Canada
If your looking at the LF envy, take a look at the Switch Element v2 as well.
Similar kites and Switch is price great as well.

Regarding boards...
I'm a strong believer in buying top of the line boards that you won't outgrow. Boards don't date themselves as fast as kites.

Something like a spleene door will be great to learn on and something you won't ever outgrow.


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 Post subject: Re: Need suggestions for first kite/quiver
PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 4:27 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2013 4:37 am
Posts: 35
Wow, you guys have given me great recommendations.

The OR Flite 17.5 looks good but might be too much at my level tbh. Seems alot of people like it though.

The Switch Element v2 looks like a good competitor to the LF Envy, especially if I go the quiver route. Price competes head on even with the deal I working on. Switch in general seems worth researching,

So right now I am considering a quiver of two:

- 2013 NRG 16m

Either:
- 2013 Envy 12m
- 2014? Switch Element v2 13m

I have found reviews from big riders who claim to be beginners who really like the lightwind NRGs (14m and 16m). Since beginners are not trying to do as many tricks and whatnot, the steadiness seems to work well based on forum discussions/replies. I am using the larger kite in mediocre to decent wind conditions, not true low wind conditions. Alot of the complaint son relaunch appear to be when wind is low (fair game given its a low wind kite, but thats not exactly why I am picking it - using the extra grunt to compensate for weight). Where I am, if we do not get 25 mph+ winds, there are no waves worth mentioning, so the quick turns are not as critical. The other day I was out body dragging with my trainer kite in 30-35 mph winds and the waves were about 1-2ft high - Miami simply does not get waves ala the West Coast. So I think that part of it is good.

Switch looks interesting and I like the idea of a 13m instead of a 12m for my higher wind kite, opens up the usable range. On the other hand, staying with one line may be easier. LF is far more well known than Switch. Oddly enough though, I can demo the Switch kites, there is a place nearby apparently. Cannot seem to find the LF anywhere nearby for demo. My deal is better on the NRG than the Envy so I am somewhat agnostic about the Envy vs the Switch Element v2 so long as I can use the same CPR control system with the other kite.

Would be two very different kites, one to park and ride and the other to play with.

Decisions, decisions!


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 Post subject: Re: Need suggestions for first kite/quiver
PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 6:09 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:49 am
Posts: 3432
Location: Japan
Flite is easy handling. There's a 15m version too... or 14.5 if you go for 2014 gear.

Personally, I'd stick with one brand so you can use the same bar. I made do with 2 kites and one bar for a year. At $500 for a bar... well, that's nearly a board :)

Kites that you can park'n'ride soon and aren't twitchy will suit well. The more weight you have, you more kite power your need but you need a good solid kite too - I've found that 3-strut kites need to be pumped up rock hard or they buckle when you load them :(

Demo the Switch stuff if you can... they're coming out with a new bar soon too, probably before the end of December, so don't jump in just yet ;)


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