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Everything posted by jhn.holgate

  1. jhn.holgate

    Ozone Riot 9m

    Ozone Riot 9m- Kite only, no lines. $250 plus postage. Also in excellent condition. It's been replaced as my light wind kite by the 10m Nasa wing. Never really had the 9m out and powered up.
  2. jhn.holgate

    Kite Aerial Photography

    Anyone doing this? I've made up a picavet mount for the GoPro which will take photos every 2,5,10,30 seconds but haven't managed to use it yet. I have had the gopro under the wing of a motor glider with some success, but of course every time I bank/turn it, I get shots of the neighbors paddock. Of which I have A LOT. But it seems a bit hit and miss. I like the idea of putting a kite up, attaching camera and then letting out the line to position the camera in the right spot. Found a good vid:
  3. Something about the Cody box kites that has always intrigued me. I think they look awesome. Named after Samuel Cody, who is famous for his work with large kites, some used by the British military in world war one for artillery observation. He may have also been one of the very first 'kite boaters' as he successfully used one of his kites to cross the English channel pulling a boat. I have a smallish 'Spirit of Air' cody that was relatively cheap at around $80AU, but you get what you pay for and I wouldn't really recommend it. It's not the most stable flyer and I had to unpick and re-sew one of the seams that overran into another panel - not great QC. HQ make a bigger, much more complex version. If you don't mind messing around with quite a few spars, it would probably make a good lifter or kap platform. Certainly a stunning looking kite. Reviews n.a. Cody This cody, made according to the standards of Lutz Treczoks, is a friend for life. Superior workmanship and made of the finest materials, this Cody rocks. This classic kite performs best in medium to higher winds. Our 35er Cody with top-sail is especially suitable to hauling up all kinds of line laundry as a result of the strong lift it develops. rec. accessories: groundstake, windturbines. Width 260 cm / 102" Height 120 cm / 120" Sail Nylon Frame Carbon 3 + 6 + 8 mm Line rec., 90-145 kp / 200-320 lb. Wind 2-6 Bft. (6-49 km/h, 4-31 mph) Age + 14 There's also some nice video of it flying too - looks like it flys at a nice high angle and pretty stable too. Skip through the German intro/review to the last bit of assembly and flying at 3:30ish Found a bit of a review on it from issue 104 of The Kiteflyer: Priced at US $298.95.
  4. jhn.holgate

    Born-Kite LongStar 2

    Version 2 of the Born-Kite LongStar has just been released... Judging by the pictures - which is always a dangerous thing to do - it looks very promising. Starting at 289 Euro for the 3.5m it's also available in a 5.5m and 7.5m. The original Long Stars had enormous low end power and a really eye catching design - I'll be really interested to see how these go. More info here: http://www.venturi-power.de/index.php?cat=c24_Long-Star--2--LongStar.html Also, it looks like the Born Kite site has had a bit of a makeover. Stay tuned for more info
  5. jhn.holgate

    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.
  6. jhn.holgate

    Ozone Method 6.5M

    The Method is a really well mannered, stable and likable mid aspect foil from Ozone. It has it's good points and it has it's bad points. It is not the wonder kite that Ozone marketing made it out to be....what a surprise! (said with heavy sarcasm). The first thing you'll notice after pulling the Method out of it's over-the-shoulder bag is it's lack of bridles. With only two sparse rows of bridles and a row on the trailing edge, this has to be the least bridled foil I've ever seen. The bridles are very thin too. Ozone claim this reduces drag and increases speed. Probably makes it much cheaper to produce too, but they don't mention that bit. There is also some internal re-reinforcing to compensate for the fewer bridles. I never found any drawback to this - the kite holds it shape quite well when you get it wrong and after flying a few different Methods for many hundreds of km's, nothing broke or stood out as being not up to snuff. The other thing you'll immediately notice is that not all the cells are open and those that are, are mesh covered to prevent debris from entering the kite. Despite it being a pretty light weight kite, it seems extremely well made and high quality. Next to something like a PKD Century, it looks a bit under done in the building dept, but like I said, I have never had a problem with any of the Methods. One advantage of not having all the cells open is it takes a little while longer to completely inflate the kite - which makes for a slightly gentler first launch - it doesn't have the tendency to race off the ground and want to rip your arms off in the process. This kite also sits on it's brakes better than any other kite I've had. It's very well mannered both launching and landing. It's quite well mannered in flight too, it has a nice, wide window and only overflies occasionally - easily controlled with a little brake. It is very stable in flight and doesn't require constant attention and has no bad habits that I can think of - don't think I've ever accidentally bow tied one. It's also pretty quick to turn. Ozone say that it 'handles like a sports car'. Um....maybe. It does fly and handle very nice. Power delivery is a bit of a different story though. Supposedly, this is said to be almost as fast as a Yakuza. So one of my first flies of this kite was at Kingston, side by side (sometimes!) with Dukey on his 6.8m Yak GT. On paper, the lower aspect of the Method in the lighter wind should have had it matching the Yak. Nope. Forget it. In 7 knots, the Yak generated wonderful power and was gone. Meanwhile, I'm sining the 6.5 Method up and down watching Dukey disappear into the distance thinking...but, but...... It did fly ok in 7 knots but not with any commanding authority. However, the Method was soon to have it's revenge. As the wind picked up to 8 - 9 knots, the Method did park 'n ride with some speed and authority. As the wind started to get to 10 - 11 knots it was coming into it's own and the Yak GT was now making way too much power to hold a straight line and the Method handily pulled away. I've repeated this same scenario with several different sized Methods against several other kites. In every instance, the Method needs a few more knots to level the score. The top end on these kites is really nice, even for a hack like me. They sit well forward in the window and generate good speed. They are not as fast as a race kite, but they are much better behaved and easier to fly. For me, the 6.5m can pull me along in 7 knots. 9 - 10 is right in the sweet spot. 14 knots and I'm starting to lose traction. Their upwind ability is quite good. I've managed to hold a line heading into a 45 degree cross-on headwind without too much problem. Although I did need to pick up a bit of speed by tacking up the beach before the kite really got going. Downwind, you will need a few more knots again. You really need to get these moving fast before they'll go downwind with any power - probably their least favorite direction. I don't think the Methods are any harder to fly than a low aspect foil like the Flows/Octanes etc, you just have watch you don't occasionally let them overfly if they're sitting above your head and you will need a few more knots for them to perform at their best. They do have enough lift to pull you out of the buggy, so don't go throwing it over your head to slow down - do it slowly! Neither are they overly lifty. A well behaved, easy to fly, quality kite. Add a few extra knots of wind speed for them to perform at their best. They fly well on the Ozone Turbo bar too.
  7. jhn.holgate

    Addicted to the Lights

    Hello. My name is John and I have a problem. Well addiction really. Sort of. When I was a young boy, I loved torches. They were shiny, they conquered the dark and kept the evil ones at bay. You could shine the torch up to the sky and scale the beam of light. Ooops, no, that was from a poem I wrote called Alberto the Dinosaur, but I won't go into that just now. I've seen other children - usually boys - fascinated by torches in the supermarket. 'Daaad, PLEASE!!! I WANIT!!!' I was like that. I wanted just about every torch (flashlights in the US?) I ever saw. Problem is, I still do. I submit for your attention exhibit A: My staple camping lights for many years were the Petzl Zoom and the mini mag light. Dependable and well loved torches. There were a bunch of TeknaLights too, a few Pelicans all now gone to that great big light in the sky. And let's not forget the quest to own the most powerful torch I could. The 6D Maglight is still there on the right (although that tiny little thing next to it is actually a brighter and more versatile light - I kid you not). I had the 8D cell King Pelican lantern too that chewed through sets of batteries and bulbs. All made to look like pathetic candle power next to the average LED torch these days. The advancement in LED technology is truly staggering. Several years ago I bought a rechargeable light from the local electronic place - 150 Lumens and 3 brightness levels. WOW!! What the heck is a Lumen? I hear you ask. 1 candle power is equivalent to 12.57 Lumens. You should learn that off by heart should you ever be on a quiz show. And while we're talking of questions you may get asked on quiz shows, 'Suicide is Painless' is the actual title of the theme tune to M.A.S.H. - Don't say I never tell ya anything. Were was I? Oh, yeah - advancement. The 6D Maglight only has something like 30 to 50 Lumens and dims rapidly. Most LED lights usually have a circuit built in so you get the full, mind shredding 150 Lumens till the end. Then they suddenly shut off. Or did. Manufacturers quickly realized that this was perhaps not the brightest idea they had and started adding things like flashing switches or pulsating light or switch into lower mode when the batteries start to fade. Seriously, that tiny, weeny thing next to the big Maglight on the right puts out over 200 Lumens and laughs at the Maglight's dead corpse. (figure of speech, the Maglight does still work). The one with the red band around the lens puts out about 1000 Lumens and does spotlight duty for me most nights checking the lambs and looking out for foxes. Easily bright enough to spotlight with. The one with 2 red switches has about 5 different lighting levels, 3 flashing modes and runs off normal AA batteries. A quick check online will show that a lot of companys now have torches with 3000 - 5000 lumen outputs. That's a huge leap in a few short years. It's not all about Lumens though - how big is the reflector, how far will it throw, is it a floody light or a thrower? By now you're thinking, yep, he's addicted alright. A truly lost cause. I thought that too, but then I found the Candlepower forum and realized that my perceived addiction was in fact a grain of sand on a huge beach. A lot of guys on the candlepower forum can tell you every specification of the light/output/color temperature etc etc that you could possibly imagine. And yet, I still want more!! I want a 3000 lumen torch. Oh the POWER!!!! And I don't have a decent UV torch. And I need some red filters for my astronomy stuff. (A few of those homemade looking things are, in fact, cobbled together with red led's and various resistors - the sum total of my electronics knowledge. So there it is. Addicted to lights. And Kites. I suppose there's a lot worse things I could be addicted to. Must order that UV torch this week - it has 5 white brightness levels (400 Lumens white), a 3000mW UV led plus a set of tricolor Red/Blue/Green Leds. How could you possibly say no to that?
  8. jhn.holgate

    Vimeo vids not embedding

    I'm sure this used to work....copy the url and paste into the box like so.... https://vimeo.com/130835622 and voila,..........nada
  9. jhn.holgate

    Another Jean Baptiste PG gem!

    From the master of insane paragliding comes another video gem.....
  10. jhn.holgate

    Mad Way Mongolia

    Looks like Craig Hansen and Gavin Mulvay are just starting a Mad Way Mongolia trip which should be a distance record if they achieve it. A 3000km unsupported kite buggy trip through Mongolia armed with the 'latest generation single skin traction kites' designed by Michel Dekker. Some appear based on the usual NPW style format and another photo I saw seemed to be similar to the Peak. Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/madwaymongolia - the photos are well worth a look through. Here's a sample: (some of these photos are of the training in NZ pre trip....)
  11. jhn.holgate

    Flysurfer Peak 3

    Interesting...saw this on a Russian Flysurfer site but not on the US site yet... And the info.... PEAK 3 Встречайте новый PEAK3! Отличия от PEAK2: - еще более легкая и прочная конструкция - улучшены скорость и радиус поворота - новая линия безопасности Reef - доставка только кайта Что осталось прежним? - разные цвета для разных моделей - бесплатный гарантийный ремонт hmmm....let's see if I can google translate that....... PEAK 3 Meet new PEAK3! Differences from PEAK2: - Even more lightweight and durable construction - Improved speed and turning radius - A new line of security Reef - Delivery only kite What remains the same? - Different colors for different models - Free warranty repairs The 'security Reef' has got me interested.... I can't say that I'm convinced about the way the fifth line splices into a front line on the P2. And Chris Krug posted this pic on PKF....
  12. jhn.holgate

    Cabrinha Bar systems

    Not to be outdone by the others, Cabrinha's vid explaining their new bars/control systems. Some interesting innovative bits apart from the new Fireball connect system....
  13. jhn.holgate

    Born-Kite Longstar 2

    If you lay the longstar 2 next to the longstar 1, the first thing you will notice is that they're two very different kites. Aside from both being single skin and having lots of bridles, version 2 is a completely separate design. Flies quite differently too. The V1 longstar took me a few hours to come to grips with. If you've flown depower kites then V2 will be immediately familiar as soon as it's in the air. Longstar v2 uses a series of ribs and stiff nylon lines to hold a round nose profile and the rest of the kite is held in place by lots of bridling. A look through some of the photos will show how accurate the bridles are, resulting in a uniform and smooth profile. You can buy the longstar. V2 with a bar or as a kite only. I was supplied with kite and bar for the purpose of the review and it came in a compact nylon bag. Being a single skin kite, it folds up very compact and you could easily fit several kites and a bar in a std kite bag. The material feels quite light but of excellent quality and all stitching and seams are straight and accurate as have been all the kites from Born-kite that I've flown. There's no denying that there's a lot of bridles on the longstar2 so it always pays to check for any hang ups and give them a good shake when laying out the kite. The kite launches easily whether straight downwind or side launch. It makes power pretty quick too and builds quickly with apparent wind. This is a grunty kite. I was able to buggy in 5 knots up and down the beach - admittedly, I had to work the kite so I think 6-7 knots would be your minimum park and ride wind speed for the 5.5m. Letting the bar out to depower the kite results in a change in the AOA as well as a flattening of the nose-to-trailing-edge profile. You can see the belly of the kite losing tension and becoming slack. It doesn't actually get to the point of being 'flappy' unless you have the bar out and the cam cleat fully sheeted in - something I only did once just to see if I could get the kite to make some noise! Depower range seemed perfectly adequate - whenever I was overpowered, a quick sheet out of the bar and the drama was over. Here you can see what the kite looks like when depowered... Turn speed was a good compromise - not too quick or nervous and neither was it sluggish. The kite is very stable even in gusty conditions. In the air it feels quite 'sporty' and almost aggressive. It wants to be actively flown unlike, say, the NASA star 3 which is happy for you to sit back and cruise whilst almost ignoring the kite. It also feels relatively 'high aspect' in the air - coming out of a turn for instance, you need to let the bar out a little to get the kite up to speed in the new direction. Hold the bar in too much and the kite can 'choke' and begin to stall. It is a very well behaved kite - over five or six hours of flying both static and bugging, only once did the kite end up on the ground unintended - and that was a complete lull in the wind. The nose folded over a couple times in light and gusty conditions but recovery was immediate with a tug on the bar. Same if I wasn't paying attention and choked the kite - let the bar out and business immediately resumed as normal. Upwind performance was good for this type of kite, you won't be catching a vapor but you'll get there. Downwind performance is very good as was top speed. While flying in a cross onshore wind of around 14 knots, Trevor managed a 62kph on a downwind run with the Longstar2. Bar pressure was light to moderate proving to be no dramas keeping the bar held in for long periods. This is not a lifty kite which is good news for buggy pilots not wanting to get unintentionally lofted but perhaps bad news for land boarders wanting some freestyle. Pull the brakes and the longstar 2 reverses out of the sky without fuss. Similarly reverse launch is fuss free. But what I really like is the ability of the longstar2 to sit on its side at the edge of the window with the bar out and hands off. It just slowly bobs up and down while you stretch your legs, eat, adjust harness, talk, take photos etc. I also used this method to hand the kite over to Trevor and to land on a couple of occasions- I just dropped the chicken loop over a foot peg and walked over to the kite. I know this is not unique to the longstar2 but it is extremely handy. The kite has a front line safety - a simple push of the chicken loop sends the bar and lines up the line to the splice flagging out the kite on a single front line. This brought the kite down without dramas and was easy enough to reset. There is also now an option to get the kite with an FAS (front area safety) that causes the leading edge of the kite to 'scrunch' up when activated Overall the kite impressed me greatly and was a pleasure to buggy with. It was a well behaved, stable and versatile kite with excellent all round performance and I will certainly be saving my pennies to add a few to my quiver. I can't see any reason it wouldn't also make a great first depower as an alternative to the usual suspects. The bar supplied with the longstar2 had a comfy grip, a large opening for the power lines which did not bind when turning, a push away chicken loop, cam cleat adjuster on the power lines and the fifth line terminated next to the chicken loop in a ring which you attach your leash to. It also has a double ball and ring setup for limiting bar travel or using to hold the bar in place. Both Trevor and myself found this just a little too stiff and complicated to use easily. It is something I would try to improve or tweak if it was my bar but also not something I would lose sleep over or blow an extra hundred bucks on for a better bar. Bar pressure is not such that it's a big issue, but it would be nice to have a simpler, easier to use system. Each of the brake leaders joined the main lines via a stainless steel ring which provided a handy place to insert a kite stake when landing. Rings at end of brake leaders - a handy spot to drop the kite stake. Now I would much rather judge a kite on its own merits rather than compare it to another manufacturers product......having said that, the most asked question I've heard about the longstar2 is 'how does it compare to a Peak2'? So, for a couple of hours, both Trevor and myself flew the 5.5m longstar2 and the 6m Peak2 swapping kites on a number of occasions. Here's what we found. The longstar2 was better downwind- faster and holding its shape better. The Peak 2 went upwind a little easier with the longstar2 requiring more work and being a couple kph slower. The longstar2 feels more aggressive and sporty to fly, I also think it's a bit faster as I've flown the P2 a lot but never matched Trevor's 62kph that he did with the LS2. Perhaps the P2 has a little more depower but this is at the expense of a fair bit of flapping and noise. The LS2's depower range never left us feeling like we wanted more. The LS2 seemed a bit more stable and easier to handle on the ground. Turn speed was much the same. I think the P2 may have an extra knot of grunt in the bottom end with the LS2 having a bit more 'go' and power in the top end. The P2 clearly has a much better (and more expensive) bar and more bar pressure at speed. Shape-wise the LS2 holds a much more uniform profile. Is one kite 'better' than the other? No, I honestly couldn't say that. For me, they are both excellent buggy engines. They feel different to fly but both kites achieve the desired goal - aoxomoxoa!! The LS2 represents excellent value for money (at least in Australian retail pricing) and as such certainly deserves your consideration. Born-kite has produced a well rounded, versatile depower kite that should give the competition a run for the money. A big thanks to Trevor who helped me out over many hours on several occasions while we tested, posed and photographed the kites.
  14. Win a Born-Kite 5.5m LongStar 2!! Competition & Entry Details: http://www.extremekites.com.au/blogs/entry/265-competition-time/ The latest single skin depowerable from Born-Kite.de Competition & Entry Details: http://www.extremekites.com.au/blogs/entry/265-competition-time/ A huge thanks to Born-Kite.de for supplying us with the LongStar 2.
  15. jhn.holgate

    Competition Time!!

    In the run up to Xmas and the peak kiting season for us, We thought it was about time for another competition. Steffen Born from Born-Kites is sending us a 5.5m LongStar 2 hot off of the presses for review. We are going to review the kite during our Blow @ Kingston 2017 Meet in January and after that some lucky member will be announced the winner of the kite! Yep, nearly $1000 of Born-Kite goodness can be all yours! A big THANK YOU to Born-Kite for supplying us with the LongStar 2. Entry Details To enter, simply start any of the following: Discussion Topic Blog Post Gallery Upload Kite Review The winner will be judged by the most total replies across all entries. Example: You create four Discussion Topics and each one receives five replies, your total score is 20. Note: Replies to your own topics are not counted towards your total score. Competition Information Competition runs from Monday 12th December until Tuesday January 31st 2017. Replies are only counted from new Discussion Topics, Blog Posts, Gallery Uploads and Reviews created during this time. Discussion Topics in The Lounge, Buy & Sell, Meets & Events are not counted towards your score total.
  16. jhn.holgate

    Competition Time!!

    Big congratulations to Darren 'twas a pleasure to meet you and it was excellent that we at least had enough wind to give both the LS2 and NS3 some air time. The LongStar 2 really proved to have some legs....
  17. jhn.holgate

    Born-Kite Longstar 2

    Thanks guys! Some video to go with it. I won't be on the forum for a while but am happy to chat or answer questions via my email. Cheers, John.
  18. jhn.holgate

    Born-Kite LongStar 2

    Review is up: Video to come.
  19. jhn.holgate

    Born-Kite LongStar 2

    I mis read your post and edited my comments. i have worked really hard to get a comprehensive review up and running and I am incredibly frustrated at the semantics and Bullshit going on in this thread. You caught me this morning after reading your above post and I was incredibly upset and I sincerely apologise for my outburst - you and Mel did not deserve that. I am no longer in a fit state to carry on as administrator and I will step down immediately. once again, my sincere apologies John.
  20. jhn.holgate

    Blow @ Kingston SE 2017

    45 degrees on atm at 14 knots. Needs to swing a little more. Maybe meet at the robe bakery 11.30?
  21. jhn.holgate

    Born-Kite LongStar 2

    No, I have fully tested and reviewed the longstar2 and bar and will publish a full and fair review as soon as I get back from Kingston. It will be up with pictures and videos by the weekend. The bar is most certainly not as bad as made out - I have actually used the bar for several hours and can tell you that it is light and comfy to use. The chicken loop is easy to release and reset and the cam cleat adjuster is likewise easy to use. Yes, the twin stopper ball is a little too stiff and awkward to use in my opinion but this is hardly a deal breaker on a reasonably priced bar. the kite itself is excellent and Trevor and myself have done a full side by side test with a Peak2 as well. All shall be revealed shortly. Guys, can we keep the discussion relevant to the Longstar 2 and not other bar setups please.
  22. jhn.holgate

    Blow @ Kingston SE 2017

    Fishing comp should be clear of beach by mid morning so we're hoping for onshore winds and some long runs to the granites. Most likely spot will be a km or so nth of Blackford drain. If it's cross on from the south then we'll try up at the granites.
  23. jhn.holgate

    Born-Kite LongStar 2

    First day on the beach with the Longstar2 was pretty successful. Left both myself and Tiger37 with a smile on our face and a speed of 62kph for Trev. This is an excellent kite and is performing really well. Have some good pics and videos and hope to get a lot more. Trev and myself will put our heads together and get a thorough write up done when we're back.