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windstruck

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windstruck last won the day on January 15

windstruck had the most liked content!

About windstruck

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    high Octane poster
  • Birthday 05/28/1961

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    swesting@gmail.com

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    Male
  • Location
    Park City, UT, USA
  • Interests
    Kiting of course! Skiing too and of course my wonderful family.

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  1. windstruck

    Born-Kite Racestar 5.0M

    Re-read this review this morning and continue to agree with Tony's and (indirectly) Plummet's comments. I've recently had a week of buggying on the hard inland Ivanpah playa near Las Vegas, NV, USA at IBX 2019. Had the opportunity to log many, many miles on an array of RaceStars and the new 3.0m RaceStar+, all set up with their own Born-Kite Universal control bars that are adjustable in terms of width between the brake lines, going from 45cm - 60cm by 5cm increments. I like to use the most narrow 45mm setting for the 3.0m RS+ and 5.0m RS, 55cm for the 7.0m RS, and the widest 60cm for the 9.0 and 11.0m RSs. If I could have an even more narrow setting for the 3.0m RS+ (maybe 40 or even 35cm) that would calm it down a bit. Tony described the 5.0m RS as being a little "twitchy". It's a calm grampa in a recliner compared to the 3.0m in high winds. Once you learn to seriously calm down your movements when flying the 3.0m RS+ it is a veritable blast. Likewise, if there could be a wider bar for the 11.0m it would turn more quickly in the ultra-low winds when it is suitable on a low friction surface like a playa. Such a wide bar would be impractical for use in a buggy so I at times reached up and manually pulled on a brake line to bring the kite around more quickly. I do want to point out that the 11.0m RS turns MUCH faster and plenty fast enough in almost all settings, especially when compared to the 12.5m LongStar-2 (which incidentally was not offered in the LS3 line just coming online). A note about RaceStar vs RaceStar+ kites. The "+" are some flexible stiffeners introduced vertically along the lower half of the kite. This adds a fair amount of cost, some weight penalty, and I suppose some size penalty when rolled up and put away. Note that these kites are still vastly lighter and smaller packed than comparable meter sized double skinned kites that they could reasonably compared to (Chronos, etc.). The thing is, the RS+ rocks! If I had it to do over again I'd get all RS+ kites, versus only a single 3.0m RS+ and the rest RSs. In air behavior is improved, and flapping is almost eliminated, and the kite will keep its shape even when barely powered up. I don't want to say that these are weaknesses for the RS line, but things just get A LOT better with the RS+ at the price of costing a fair amount more.
  2. windstruck

    Sand in Your Undies at Kingston SE 2019

    Thanks! There is an immense playa in central Oregon called Lake Alvord that especially hardy adventurers camp out at and ride forever. It is said to make Ivanpah seem like a postage stamp. The nearest services are miles away and approach to this playa is a long ways on crude dirt roads. You need to pack in everything, water and all. The surface of Alvord is described in exactly the same way so they must be quite similar. Folks that have ridden it say you can slide your turns and scrub speed like you can on a beach. You can do this on Ivanpah but bring some extra tires.
  3. windstruck

    Sand in Your Undies at Kingston SE 2019

    Taking a look at that video and your clay pan looks very much like our Ivanpah playa where we hold IBX each year just outside of Las Vegas at the NV/CA state line. Is this surface really abrasive? Ivanpah could be likened to flat, rock hard, endlessly cracked 40# sandpaper. Plays hell on your kites if you drag them at high speeds under line tension. There's nothing like the swell feeling of riding at 40-50 mph, loose focus and dip your wingtip down until it touches. Like dropping your kite on a belt sander. I swear I saw a poof of red dust when I touched down a 4.0m Peak2 one year. Now it's a 3.9m.
  4. windstruck

    Chain lube for kite lines

    This is interesting. I look forward to learning your impressions once you have some time with a full line set coated this way. Is there a bad odor? Does the stuff come off on your hands or stain some material the lineset comes in contact with, line snappage, etc. This could be a great discovery.
  5. windstruck

    Nasa Star 4

    So that is a cool setup! With a big kite out at the end of those 40m lines how much pull is needed on the handles to turn the barge? I see that the static load is taken up by your seat harness.
  6. windstruck

    Blowback in time.... Spartan Kite Skating!

    You are correct. A few years ago I had what I refer to as my "freak gasoline fight accident" (Zoolander) while riding on a grass field with wheels of doom and a 9m Ozone Frenzy. A dirt devil snuck up on me and I am said to have been 30-40 feet in the air. I have no memory of the flight or subsequent crash but I do have a broken helmet and a recovered subdural hematoma to show for it so I guess it happened. To stay married to a woman I love I agreed to stop kite skating and snow kiting and stick to buggy riding with an AQR. Easy decision. I'm a proficient ice skater and skier so I picked up kite skating easily having already been buggying for a while. I owned both wheels of doom and 3-under off-road skate setups. IMO, pluses and minuses for both. Wheels of doom are great for tracking long powerful tac lines but a little more clumsy in the turn as you need to step turn. I had some nice aluminum frames out of Germany with pneumatic knobby 150x50mm tires that were sweet, sweet, sweet. Even worked in plush grass and worked really well on hard lakebed surfaces (and I'd think hard beach sand but not tested by me). I would be spooked to do a lot of (purposeful) jumping and landing under kite power with wheels of doom setups because of the risk of wrenching your knees if you don't land in good alignment. Clearly people do this but I'd be cautious to start on wheels of doom without first going 3-under for the knee wrench reason alone. My other off-road skate frames were by Powerslide and had three 125x25 mm pneumatic tires that had a tread pattern similar to a road bike. These skated like big clunky hockey skates and with a little effort could be made to do anything you can do on ice skates. By that I mean skate up to speed, turn by carving, skate backwards, etc. I never did try to "hockey stop" but I've seen it done on video. For kite skating these sorts of skates don't offer quite the ability to tac against the force of the kite because you are poised above the skate wheels and not down between them, but it is certainly possible to work them this way and of course many people do. For jumping I'd certainly think these are a better option at first since you could land any which way and probably skate it out, something that might not work out so well with wheels of doom. Downside was these smaller narrower wheels had more resistance in plush grass and I suspect would dig into beach sand more if it wasn't really hard. My two cents. Both are great setups with different feels, different benefits and different shortcomings. Good luck!
  7. windstruck

    Making Food Look Delicious!

    Yummy yummy in my tummy!
  8. windstruck

    Nasa Star 4

    Steffen just let me know via email that his team is currently beta testing NS4s in the 8.5 and 10m sizes. Perhaps not surprisingly, air flow dynamics are such that it was not possible to simply "scale" the smaller kites. I suspect that means they'll be offered commercially later in 2019.
  9. windstruck

    Lightweight Buggy rims

    The alloy rims just seem more high end to me and in my experience roll better than OEM PL plastic rims. I've got two sets of Sysmic 8x2.5" rims (standard spokes, not the light weight ones Joel showed). One set has BF tires that I use on the beach and the other set has six-ply trailer tires that I use on the Ivanpah playa. Both setups are somewhat heavy, but they roll sweet! This is particularly comforting when I'm screaming (like a little girl) on the playa at or near my PB speed. I'm with you, I've never considered the option of wanting to trim weight and in fact sort of welcome the weight thinking it helps somehow with buggy stability. Maybe Joel is looking to set up a light weight buggy for ultra light wind days or for a buggy that is being purposely kept light weight for whatever reason.
  10. windstruck

    Lightweight Buggy rims

    Those look pretty minimal and I suspect get pretty much to the floor in terms of trimming grams while still remaining strong. Not trying to be snarky, but aren't the standard plastic rims lighter than any metal rims?
  11. windstruck

    Nasa Star 4

    I too was pleased with the prices. I suspect costs ended up being somewhat comparable on a size to size basis NS4 vs NS3. The new bridle line is more expensive per meter but he groups four attachment points per long bridle line in the "belly" of the kite in the NS4s vs two attachment points grouped per long bridle line for the NS3s. I'm not in the market personally for larger FB kites but I can certainly ask him. I currently own custom 1.5 and 3.2m NS3s (the latter having been won here on XK!) and depending on how much more I like the 2.5m NS4 than its V3 predecessor I may want V4 models made of those small ones too. In the past Steffen would accept custom orders for those smaller ones so who knows, maybe he still will for larger ones too. I do know that it isn't as straightforward as proportional scaling in his CAD program. I'll shot him an email and see. Will report back.
  12. windstruck

    Nasa Star 4

    I'm just going to leave this here.... http://www.venturi-power.de/index.php?cat=c23_Nasa-Star--4--Nasa-Star--4--Basic.html
  13. windstruck

    What's everyone's go to kite in patchy light wind.

    The two posts so far seem to directly reflect my experience as well. My original low wind "Session Saver" was also the 12m FS P2. Later I had successful low wind sessions in the buggy with the 12.5m Born-Kite LS2. I found that kite to be a bit of a slow turner and a bit too barge like for my optimal preference. I recently acquired a Born-Kite RaceStar quiver which includes an 11m size. It proved to be a faster and more responsive kite in super low winds than the 12.5m LS2. In head to head long beach runs I could almost, but not quite, keep up with two other riders both flying 12m P2s when using my 11m RS. I've watched friends have great sessions in ultra low wind with various Chrono sizes. That seems to be an amazing low wind engine in the larger sizes!
  14. windstruck

    Nasa Star 4

    Good point! Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery after all. Maybe something along the lines of the Shaman with it's wingtip closed cells: https://www.ginkites.com/product/shaman-2/
  15. windstruck

    Nasa Star 4

    Steffen just let me know that Born-Kite is soon coming out with V-4 of his venerable Nasa kites, the NS4. The NS4s will feature better BODAPRE bridle lines, and as you can see below, a new color design. These bridle lines are the same material he introduced with the RaceStars. I own a complete quiver of RaceStars and really like this new bridle material and find it a vast improvement over his legacy bridle line material. More expensive per meter, and worth every Euro IMHO. According to Steffen, the NS4s will have a new profile, less bridling, new bridle material as mentioned above, and a new color scheme as seen below. I haven't seen it, but he told me that the new NS4 bar will have a "depower bungee" allowing the NS4s to be flown with a harness or by hand. I suspect he is working in some design features as a type of crossover from his StreetStars. The NS4s are said to work on 20m lines (standard configuration), on shorter lines, or directly from the bar, so they should work well for all of our various styles of kiting. The NS3s were my original SSs and sort of a "first love" for me. Nowadays I mostly use DP SS in the buggy and reserve my NS3 flying for nice static sessions when my family takes beach vacations. My plan out of the gate is to get hold of a 2.5m NS4 when available but hold onto my custom 1.5m NS3 and my custom 3.2m NS3 that I won in the lottery here on XK (doh!). I know I gush on and on about Born-Kites and likely seem like some sort of pimp for them. In fact, I have honestly greatly enjoyed getting to know Steffen over recent years via email and greatly admire his spirit of innovation and willingness to forge a place in the market with so many "big boys" taking most of the spotlight. I root for the underdog consistently in sports too. The world has too few Steffens IMO, and I appreciate his spirit and support it. The fact that he makes darn good products that fit my needs makes it all come together. Nuff said.
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