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Showing content with the highest reputation on 04/18/2018 in all areas

  1. 1 point
    If you got 10 land kiters together and asked them 'what kite should I buy first' something like 7 out of 10 would usually say 'a 3m 4 line low aspect power kite on handles'. Why 3m? Power kites are generally made in sizes from 1.5m to 21m. You want something that will be easy to learn on, still provide some decent pull but won't completely wear you out. Something around the 3m mark is usually ideal for the average weight person. For a start, you don't want to be fighting a kite while you're learning to fly it. You want to be concentrating on flying it and having fun, not survival. For most of us in the 65 - 85kg range, the 3m size is ideal. Big enough to provide a fair bit of pull in 10 - 15 knots and powerful enough to buggy with should you go that way. Plus, smaller kites in the 2m - 3m range are fairly quick through the sky and a little more exciting imho than the bigger kites. 4m - 5m kites start getting noticeably slower and it's a bit like hanging on to a truck - a lot of effort and you'd soon wear yourself out - depending on the wind strength. Bigger sizes can produce more power in lighter winds, but if there's not enough wind for the 3m to fly then it's more than likely you'd struggle to fly a 4m or 5m. Even though a 2 - 3m power kite is relatively small, don't underestimate the power that they can generate if flown in winds beyond what you can handle - they can hurt so stick to lightish winds while you're learning. Why 4 line handles? 4 line handles (a pair of power lines each side of the kite and a pair of brake lines) give you the most versatility. You can easily reverse launch the kite should you land upside down. You can also bring the kite to a complete stop by pulling the brakes and when you are learning, you'll quite likely have some velcro bands around your wrist with a line attached to the brake lines of the kite. These are called 'kite killers'. You just let the handles GO and the brake lines will be pulled killing all the power in the kite. See pic from Peter Lynn below... 4 line handles are also compact, easy to store, provide the most control for your kite and are relatively inexpensive. 2 line kites tend to be a bit difficult to relaunch from an inverted position and harder to land. 4 line kites may take an hour or so extra to initially get the hang of than a 2 line kite, but the extra hour will pay big dividends. Low aspect? Beginner kites are normally 'short and fat'. These are low aspect kites. High aspect kites are long and thin - lots of extra performance and speed/power but demand much more skill to fly. They are usually designed as high performance 'engines' for buggies. Leave them for later. While low aspect kites are often labelled as 'beginner' kites, they are not something that you will necessarily outgrow - they are often characterized by having excellent stability - particularly in gusty wind - and having very good manners. They are excellent kites for days when the wind is less than ideal. If you're not chasing that extra speed in the buggy or trying to go that extra 15% upwind then there's no particular reason you need to upgrade. Ok then, which kite? Stick with a known and respected brand like Peter Lynn, Ozone, PKD, Zebra, HQ, Born Kite, Flexifoil. All these manufacturers make excellent quality kites that should last for years if not crashed too much. Good kites to buy first up are the HQ Beamer, the Peter Lynn Hornet, Flexifoil Rage, Flexifoil Sting, PKD Buster, Zebra Checka, Zebra Z1 and Ozone Quattro. There is also the single skin Nasa Star 3 from Born Kite that is an excellent kite to learn on. The best thing you can do is ask lots of questions on a forum such as this. Better still, get together with some local flyers - you can learn far more in an afternoon flying with other people than any other way. In the meantime, there's always youtube videos... Once you've got the reflexes working and you can fly your kite without needing to look at it, then you might like to get into some 'traction' kiting - ie: snow kiting, skates, landboard, or my favorite mode of transport, the buggy...
  2. 1 point

    Libre Vmax

    I've had my Vmax since 2009 and have currently done just over 8000km in it. The only thing that has broken in all that time, are the two plastic tri-glide buckles that hold the excess seat straps in place. This thing was just built right from the word go. It's very stable, it's very comfy. You can modify it with all sorts of extras if you want. I've added a bigfoot fork, alloy wheels, made a back rest for it (possibly the only thing missing from stock), a swan neck downtube and some axle extenders. Center of pull was pretty good from stock for my size with the buggy just breaking out at the back end first. I've added 4" extensions so all three wheels will basically slide together with midi's on and flying the Nasa Stars. The picture below has the Libre 8" extensions on the back end of the side rails but this makes it want to break traction on the front end first so they're a bit too long for me - I swapped to some home made 4" extensions and it's just about perfect now. All bolts are SS and none have seized on me. The downtube/swan neck can be easily adjusted by loosening the four bolts attached to the side rails and sliding the downtube fore/aft. The seat is very generous - it doesn't 'hug' you quite the way some other buggys do. You couldn't jump this without being strapped in. It's also a little heavy for that being around 25kg in stock form. Mine is quite a bit heavier now with alloy rims and midi tyres. Speaking of stock... note the excellent foot pegs with the padding up the side. The webbing heel strap is my addition. I was all set to buy a Peter Lynn as my first buggy....but made the mistake of having a ride in one of these. It was so much more comfy and sure footed that there was no way I could go for the smaller PL bug. Obviously, if you need a buggy that's quick to take apart and put in the back of a small car, then the Vmax will be at a disadvantage then. But if cruising or speed is your thing, then this deserves your consideration. I have had so many great trips with this buggy that I really regard it as THE best thing I have ever bought. You can see that with the stock straight downtube and bigfoot tyres, there is plenty of ground clearance. It's a bit lower with the swan neck downtube.... The only thing I would change is make the seat three inches narrower to really fit me. Although with a hotwire system, that sort of becomes irrelevant. Oh, and despite being super comfy, I think it's better with a back rest, something you'll have to knock up yourself as I don't think Libre make one for it. Highly recommended.
  3. 1 point

    Ozone Access 6m for sale. $250 ono

    Sold. I bought this kite a few years ago to go snow kiting, but have only used it once at a local oval. there is one small repair from the previous owner, but otherwise it’s in great condition. It still has that crinkly feel. includes bar, lines and bag and it’s in the ACT. good winds, Nathan
  4. 1 point

    Ozone Access 6m for sale. $250 ono

    G'day Ben, I'm happy to post it. Dimensions are 70x15x18 2.5kg, so postage would probably be $20 - $25 depending on your post code. Cheers, Nathan
  5. 1 point

    IBX 2018 Born-Kite Style!

    @Tiger37 Thank you kindly sir! IBX is truly a fun event. My rookie video hardly does it justice. The whole LS2 versus RS thing is certainly a matter of personal preference. The newer RS kites have some nice new bridling using a line material exclusive to Born-Kites. It is a little bit stiffer and somewhat less prone to tangling. In some back and forth with Steffen he mentioned that this bridle line material would likely make its way into his entire line of DP kites eventually. Hard to know when that might be (if ever) as that would likely mean advancing the line numbers (LS2 to LS3, etc.). There is a cost factor in play here which can affect things. You'll see of course that the RSs are size for size more expensive than the LS2s which may certainly factor in. One thing to think about is that in light wind conditions the 9.5m and especially the 12.5m LS2s are quite slow turners. Tons of grunt but sort of like turning barges. The 9.0m RS turns on a dime. It pulls hard in light wind and could well be a contender in your book. Rolling surface makes a big difference here. The Ivanpah playa has extremely low rolling resistance and it is possible to get going pretty fast quickly with the big kites. If the wind picks up with one of the big ladies in the air that is a whole lot to contend with. A higher rolling resistance surface like sand or grass would allow you to run the larger kites in more wind and get more response out of them. It is sort of tricky on Ivanpah with these big kites. Most of the times I've been there for multiple days the wind has either been blowing far too hard to even dream of putting up my big ladies or it is light and variable. Not seen in the video I showed was huge amounts of time with these big girls sitting on the ground in complete lulls. You'll notice during the big kite shots how few people are out; they were smarter than me! I'd give the 9.0m RS a good look if you truly need to replace your 9.0m P1. Vroom!
  6. 1 point

    IBX 2018 Born-Kite Style!

    Thank you for an entertaining and instructive video of what looks like a great meet. I'm quite jealous and would like to attend one day if at all possible. As another BornKite fan, I was particularly interested to note the obvious difference in aspect ratio of LongStar2 and RaceStar. Coupled with your previous comments on your first impression of RaceStar this was very informative. Thank you. I now have to make a decision as to which one I purchase to replacing my 9m Peak 1! And I agree - great sunset at the end. Thanks @windstruck
  7. 1 point

    IBX 2018 Born-Kite Style!

    Great video. Its good to see some people's footage of IBX this year. I wish I had made the time... It's amazing the long reaches that you can do on a dry lake bed vs a beach with less than optimal wind directions. I'm hoping to make it to Oregon's dry lake bed (Alvord) sometime this summer to try out some playa.
  8. 1 point

    IBX 2018 Born-Kite Style!

    That's cool. I've never had time on a Born-kite only flown with John and Trevor who own them. Fantastic sunset too.
  9. 1 point

    London to Perth ** Non Stop! **

    Yep, look into hiring a van and travel with the buggy. Let us know when you head over as we have riders from WA, along the south coast to Victoria, then up the east coast, so plenty of guys who will show you the best spots and will become life long friends.
  10. 1 point

    Yeppoon 2018

    Yep and it's the first time ever that I have had to do continual kite loops directly downwind for 4 kms when the wind changed. Certainly challenged my rusty skills with the kite laying on the beach a couple of times. Pete and Theresa on the kite bike and Pete having a go on my 18m2 Elf Joker 7. Wind 1 gusting 3 knots.
  11. 1 point

    London to Perth ** Non Stop! **

    That's messed up. Maybe they use smaller planes for internal flights and thus space comes at a premium. The idea that I can fly direct to Perth from London is a game changer. I've always wanted to take the buggy down under without all the hassle, and risk losing my stuff along the way.
  12. 1 point
  13. 1 point
    With all the talk of buggys, landboards and kites, it's probably fair to say that without wind, you won't be going very far at all. Wind can be fickle, hot dry and gusty and pretty much un-fly-able. Wind can be cold, dense, smooth and beautifully predictable. And anywhere in between. If you've never thought about how the wind interacts with the land, picture this: You're standing on the bank of a fast moving stream. In the center the stream is fast and smooth. It slows down as it nears the bank due to friction with the land. Any obstacles, rocks, trees etc disturb the flow of the water and the water will often be flowing in the reverse direction as it goes around and eddies back in behind the obstacle... If there's a lot of obstacles, it can be a quite a chaotic mess. Now, pick the whole stream up and stand it on it's edge and you have a pretty fair picture of how the wind interacts with the land. Buildings, trees, hills etc will all affect the flow of the wind the same as the water in the stream. You need to get up and away from them to find the smoother air higher up. But with power kites, we don't have the luxury of letting out 150 meters of line to get the kite above the disturbances so we have to examine our surroundings. Buildings, trees and undulations will affect the wind a lot further than you think - you need to be as far downwind away from them as you can. When I was in my early 20's I used to build and fly stunt kites but I didn't know much about how the wind was affected by it's surroundings. If there was wind, great, I could fly in the local park....so I thought. It cost me a few smashed stunt kites to slowly work out it was all the trees and buildings that were the problem. But it's not just getting away from obstacles that we need to think about as inland kiters - thermals can make a bit of a mess out of the wind too. A thermal happens when the sun heats up a particular section of land - maybe it's on the side of a hill facing the sun, maybe it's a plowed paddock that's a little darker...or a car park, road, building etc. As the land/carpark/building warms up, it, in turn heats the air above it. At some point a warm 'bubble' of air gets heated enough to rise up from the ground - becoming a thermal. Ever watched a lava lamp? Thermals in action! And when that bubble of warm air breaks free of the ground and rises - cooler surrounding air has to rush in and fill the void. Thermals are great for glider pilots (or birds!) as you can gain height for free by flying round and round in them - some are large and some are narrow and some can be a bit violent. For a land kiter, it all adds more variability into the wind. You might think you're in a clear location and the wind is relatively smooth, but if there's thermals going off around you, you may suddenly find serious shifts in both wind speed and direction. Sometimes your best chance of smooth wind is an overcast day where the sun is not creating yet more havoc. Sometimes thermal activity may be obvious by all the cumulus clouds building around you, but rising air doesn't always result in a cloud being formed... So, don't choose a spot surrounded by trees to fly. Or buildings. Get into a clear an area as possible. If it's a little elevated, better still. Truganina is a good spot in Melbourne - it's elevated and mostly clear of trees. While it still can be pretty turbulent and gusty, it's pretty good for an inland spot. If the wind is coming off the bay, better still. The best wind for kiters is the afternoon seabreeze. The sun heats the land and towards the end of the day, the air over the land begins to rise and the cooler air over the sea rushes in - it can be quite sudden. I've been at Kingston where I was barely flying in 6 knots and then within 5 minutes, the seabreeze of 20 knots came in. The seabreeze can be really smooth with very little variation and flying in it is an absolute joy. The kite stays nailed to the sky and you'll feel far more in control. That's why we will travel long distances to get, not only the smoother wind coming in from the ocean (or bay), but also the large expanse of hard sand the low tide exposes. Temperature of the air will affect your kiting too. I've had good sessions with a 6m Ozone Access in 12 - 13 knots - a wind speed that would normally be a bit low for that kite, but it was a cold dense wind. The same wind speed in Queensland (for example) would be a lot warmer and less dense and hence I'd probably need at least the next kite size up. If I'm contemplating a kiting session at home, I will give the trees a good look - if they're bent over in the wind, but otherwise not moving about much, that's great. It means a consistent wind. If they are waving wildly back an forth, not so good, that means lots of gusts and lulls. And I hate it when you're flying a foil in gusty wind and there's a big lull, the kite promptly folds up in a ball and begins to fall out of the sky and back in to the middle of the window only to be hit by the next gust, then unfurl in the middle of the window and go POW!! "I'm back now"! and tries it's best to rip me out of the buggy. Sometimes the wind is so gusty and messed up, that it's just not worth the risk in flying. And sometimes it's smooth and a joy. Learning to pick the right conditions takes a bit of time and observation but will repay with you safer and more enjoyable flying conditions
  14. 1 point
    2013 Ozone Access 6m... This is my second depower kite as I have also got a Ozone Manta 10m, flying the Manta is what convinced me to sell my trusty Ozone Method and Flow to fund a smaller depower.The thing I like about the depowers in the buggy is the huge wind range and the gust handling abilities - also how much cooler does it look flying one handed with a bar...?The Ozone Access is designed as a beginner/intermediate snow kite, with great performance, stability and safety and as a high wind/storm kite for the experienced rider - I bought it as my high wind kite, with a wind range from 15-25 knots it sits nicely below the 10m Manta. The build quality of Ozone kites is legendary and once again I was not disappointed. The sail is immaculate with neat seams and not a thread out of place. It has top quality Ronstan Orbit Block Series 20 pulleys, four unique blow-out-valves on the under surface, these seal as the kite inflates and velcro dirt-outs at the wing tips. The sail has the typical Ozone mesh covering the vents and diagonal internal cross bracing. The Access has a clam-cleat trimmer that sits above the bar so that you can further adjust the power even while flying and this is easy to operate one handed. This features a really nice bit of design; the clam-cleat and end of the line have magnets in them so even if you have it pulled in fully (complete depower) the length of cord attaches to the clam-cleat and doesn’t flap around (I found this out purely by accident on my third or fourth flight!).The 2013 6m Access comes with a 45cm Ozone Contact-Snow control bar and the 5th line safety system, Ozone Megatron chicken loop and 25m lines. It all fits into the usual high quality back-pack and comes with the instruction manual, key ring, stickers and repair tape. The set up of the Ozone Access is simple with the lines wrapped on the bar and all numbered, I set it up on the grass opposite the house and the only issue I found was when I came to my first flight I had the 5th line safety over the top of the front lines where it is supposed to sit under them (easily rectified), I should look at the manual rather than thinking I know what I am doing! Performance – first flight the wind was gusting 11-18 knots, once the kite was unpacked and the 5th line adjusted! I started attaching the safety leash to my harness and then to the loop on the 5th line that comes through the chicken loop then attached the chicken loop to the harness, release the handbrake, step back, the kite fully inflates and launches a few light touches on the bar and it sits nicely at the zenith.Usually I would have a go static flying just to see how the kite performs, get a feel for the power- zone and range of power and try out the safety – this time I just hopped straight into the buggy, dropped the kite into the power zone as I pulled on the bar and off I went…Like some of the other Ozone kites I have owned, if you work the kite at the lower end of the wind range you can start to get some decent pull as the kite develops some speed. And as the wind increases the kite comes into its own with some decent pull. In the buggy the Access performs well, some great pull, awesome stability and is developing some decent speeds (probably not as quick as my fixed bridals - yet), I have flown it in about 10-11 knots and it has got me moving and was in its element 18-20 knots and gusty. My problem is hitting that perfect line in which the kite really performs at it's best - but I am getting closer. I have been every which way with the kite, work it a bit to get some speed and it travels well up-wind. you can sit it off to one side and quite comfortably sit with one hand on the bar and let it cruise or cycle it through a sine-wave to increase the speed. track with SW winds The feel on the bar is great, nice and light pressure, but the feedback is really positive. Even with the shorter 45cm bar on the 6m the kite response is immediate and positive. Just the lightest touch to change the direction as good as if it were a fixed bridle on handles. I absolutely love flying on a bar, with the Access I am really letting it pull me through the down-wind power slides. Taking the kite to the top of the wind window, turning it through 180 and as it comes back down into the power zone, pulling on the bar as I turn the buggy through a 180 degree down-wind turn and let the kite pull me round through a huge, grin inducing, power-slide. The 5th line safety system gives a total flag out when you release the safety on the megatron chicken loop. I wasn't sure how I would go flying with the leash attached to the harness, in the buggy, but it hasn't been any sort of encumbrance. A part from having to hook the leash onto the flag out loop there is no difference than flying any-other kite. Let go of the bar and pull the release on the megatron chicken loop and the kite collapses and totally depowers -the bar shoots up towards a red ball on the front leader line and there is no pull at all. There was a little bit of untangling needed though - but it's reassuring to know how effective it is. There is also another quick release on the leash for those who like to get air and ride unhooked - not for me! Landing the kite in normal circumstances is straight forward and easy, just grab the hand-brake webbing with one hand and pull it towards your hip and the kite lands easily even in the power zone. Put it down at the edge of the power zone on those strong wind days. The hand-brake also works to reverse launch the kite when you stack-it, either keep hold and it will right itself and park on the ground or let it reverse launch and spin it and off you go... There is no way I have even come anywhere close to realizing the true potential of this kite, as my confidence and competence with the depower continues to increase my speed gradually edges up. It has already proven it's flexibility and stability in gusty conditions. I was always worried that I would regret selling my Ozone Method and Ozone Flow as they were my main work horses but I think the Access 6m is going to be a worthy replacement. the back pack close up on the bar

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