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jhn.holgate

Born-Kite LongStar 2

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1 hour ago, jhn.holgate said:

First day on the beach with the Longstar2 was pretty successful. :D 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. 

Even if I don't ultimately buy any I'm super glad to hear that Steffen has "righted his ship" as it were with the LS2.  Really nice that the single skin evolution continues with several companies contributing new models.  Looking forward to seeing the pics and vids!  Man, 62 kph is fast.  :crazypilot:

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On 16/01/2017 at 9:47 AM, windstruck said:

Even if I don't ultimately buy any I'm super glad to hear that Steffen has "righted his ship" as it were with the LS2.  Really nice that the single skin evolution continues with several companies contributing new models.  Looking forward to seeing the pics and vids!  Man, 62 kph is fast.  :crazypilot:

For those doubters who only believe it if they see it, here is a photo of my GPS recording for the Sunday at Kingston beach. This records the whole day showing a complete distance of almost 50km and fastest recorded speed of 62kph. During initial low winds I was flying my 9m Peak 1 and for the majority of the time John and I swopped over the two kites under review.  It was at the end of the afternoon when John asked me to do some short runs for photos that the wind picked up so I'm certain that is when the 62kph was recorded.

I have owned my Peak 1 since early 2014 and wrote a review of it in March 2014. I have now flown the 6m Peak 2 and now the Long Star for a few hours. I will give my views to John for his report.

IMG_0511.JPG

 

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1 hour ago, Tiger37 said:

For those doubters who only believe it if they see it, here is a photo of my GPS recording for the Sunday at Kingston beach. This records the whole day showing a complete distance of almost 50km and fastest recorded speed of 62kph. During initial low winds I was flying my 9m Peak 1 and for the majority of the time John and I swopped over the two kites under review.  It was at the end of the afternoon when John asked me to do some short runs for photos that the wind picked up so I'm certain that is when the 62kph was recorded.

I have owned my Peak 1 since early 2014 and wrote a review of it in March 2014. I have now flown the 6m Peak 2 and now the Long Star for a few hours. I will give my views to John for his report.

IMG_0511.JPG

 

dude, spill the beans.  Inquiring minds want to know.  Had to be unique.  all born kite stuff is unique if nothing else.

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@ssayre, thanks for your comments. I will leave John to write a detailed report but from my point of view, the Long Star is a fine kite. It looks good in the air. I have not compared any details of the bridle design or number of lines etc. I just want to see how it performs! On initial appearance, the Long Star seems to be a lighter grade of ripstop and does not have as many inserted plastic ribs as the Peak. I do not see this as an issue. You can talk all you like about increased drag etc, but this is not a racing kite, so the difference in drag created by lines in the bridle is just not an issue for me.

The bar is of a similar quality to the Peak 1, i.e. Functional but not top grade. However, Flysurfer made great improvements to the Peak 2 bar on the 6m Peak 2, the kite we compared to the Long Star. Peak 2 has a much better bar. The bar locking system on Long Star uses two small red balls with a stainless steel ring between them. It is just too complicated to use. Peak 2 has a single black ball. Trimming system on both kites is similar, works well and is comparable. 

Laying out the kite and launching is quick and simple. Launch and control is positive. I would say there is no difference in these aspects from the Peak 2. It's got good grunt and builds with apparent wind. I stalled it a few times and caused it to spin as well. On both occasions, I adjusted the depower and quickly recovered control and power. It can stall if you apply too much pull on the bar when at the side of the wind window, but then again so does Peak 2. Upwind it was ok but you need to work the kite. The Peak 2 probably has the edge here and was better upwind.

So the million dollar question is would I buy one? I really like my Peak 1 and can see definite improvements in the Peak 2. I have not yet seen or read any reports on the newly released Peak 3. If there is a sufficient price differential between Long Star and Peak 3, I would definitely buy a Long Star. If there is not much in it, I will stick with Flysurfer. I will shortly be in the market for a new kite as my Peak 1 is showing signs of wear along the ribs from abrasion on the claypan here at Kingston!

Hope this helps. 

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Yes it does. Thanks!  I'm not in the market to buy a kite currently but but still enjoy hearing tales of first flights. Especially single skins. 

Maybe it was mentioned before but what size longstar were you comparing to the peak?  How did power compare between the sizes?  Also which one feels like has more depower?

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4 minutes ago, ssayre said:

Yes it does. Thanks!  I'm not in the market to buy a kite currently but but still enjoy hearing tales of first flights. Especially single skins. 

Maybe it was mentioned before but what size longstar were you comparing to the peak?  How did power compare between the sizes?  Also which one feels like has more depower?

The Long Star was 5.5m so the right size to compare with the 6m Peak 2. I think the power was pretty much the same but as the apparent wind builds, the Long Star probably had the edge with more power. I pulled slowly away from John when he had the Peak 2. John and I are of similar size and were using comparable buggies. As for depower, it really is difficult to tell. I would honestly say it was very similar. Nothing in it.

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Sounds very promising. I don't know what the peak 3 will cost but the difference in cost between the 2 referenced kites is only about $150 usd when you factor shipping. It would be very difficult to turn a blind eye to the more refined peak and flysurfer bar with that narrow of a margin.

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1 hour ago, ssayre said:

Sounds very promising. I don't know what the peak 3 will cost but the difference in cost between the 2 referenced kites is only about $150 usd when you factor shipping. It would be very difficult to turn a blind eye to the more refined peak and flysurfer bar with that narrow of a margin.

I have just compared prices from Born Kites and Flysurfer websites for 5.5 and 6m kites. Long Star 2 kite only is Eur 390 and Eur 280 for their bar. Total price Eur 670. Flysurfer Peak 3 kite only is Eur 560 and infinity 3 bar Eur 450. Total price Eur 1010. At today's exchange rate, that makes Long Star Aus$480 cheaper. Assuming price for shipping from Europe is the same, that makes Long Star good value for money. 

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3 hours ago, speed rider said:

BORN-KITE offers on Monday another bar for the Long Star 2, to seen on the facebook page.

 

Thanks for showing this. What a pity it still has that twin stopper ball with stainless steel ring between. It's too difficult to use.

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On 1/19/2017 at 2:06 PM, Tiger37 said:

Thanks for showing this. What a pity it still has that twin stopper ball with stainless steel ring between. It's too difficult to use.

Glad to see Steffens using this universal bar. I originally showed it to him about a year or so ago. I had bought one on eBay and used it with my (then) complete quiver of NS3s. It works great with various size kites by moving the bar-end pigtails wider for big kites and narrower for small ones. Bar itself is sturdy and of high quality. 

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17 minutes ago, windstruck said:

Glad to see Steffens using this universal bar. I originally showed it to him about a year or so ago. I had bought one on eBay and used it with my (then) complete quiver of NS3s. It works great with various size kites by moving the bar-end pigtails wider for big kites and narrower for small ones. Bar itself is sturdy and of high quality. 

The bar originally was from Eclipse Kitesurfing back in 2009 ;) 

 

The new Longstar2 has looked solid all weekend, however the bar needs to go back to the drawing board.
1) The bar is an old Eclipse Kitesurfing bar.
2) The chicken loop is an old HQ loop.
3) The stopper system is hideous,

There are much simpler, better developed, adjustable bar designs where you can go from a small bar to a larger bar.  
For example the Peter Lynn bar below, you can adjust the bar floats from outside to inside.

Peter_Lynn_kitebar.jpg

 

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20 hours ago, .Joel said:

The new Longstar2 has looked solid all weekend,

Is this your test result for the Longstar 2, something little. We expected more content!

 

 

20 hours ago, .Joel said:

The bar originally was from Eclipse Kitesurfing back in 2009

The bar system is also 2017 current. The colors may vary. KITEATTUTIDE has a patent for this bar. Read the test report in the German Kitemagazine "Kite & Friends", December 2016 (very positive).

https://www.kiteattitude.fr/en/15-totem-universal-bars

 

20 hours ago, .Joel said:

The chicken loop is an old HQ loop.

Wrong statement, the chickenloop is not old. It is still used for the APEX 5 (HQ) model 2016 / 2017.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvXkcZi-Ll0

 

 

20 hours ago, .Joel said:

The stopper system is hideous

I have asked BORN KITE for an opinion on the twin stopper ball.

As soon as I have a response from BORN KITE, I will publish it.

 

 

20 hours ago, .Joel said:

For example the Peter Lynn bar below

I have this bar, the Chickenloop only works with pulling force on the front lines.

Kite-frontstall is a catastrophe, the depower line is limp, you need two hands to trigger.

No good recommendation!

 

 

chickenloop peter lynn.jpg

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3 hours ago, speed rider said:

Is this your test result for the Longstar 2, something little. We expected more content!

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.

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4 hours ago, speed rider said:

Is this your test result for the Longstar 2, something little. We expected more content!

When I have my own I will post a review.
 

Quote

The bar system is also 2017 current. The colors may vary. KITEATTUTIDE has a patent for this bar. Read the test report in the German Kitemagazine "Kite & Friends", December 2016 (very positive).

https://www.kiteattitude.fr/en/15-totem-universal-bars

Ocean Rodeo, BEST, North and Spleene also all have bar patents ( http://www.extremekites.com.au/topic/16269-era-of-the-adjustable-kiteboarding-bar/#comment-150129 ).
Nearly everything anyone touched on their way to work this morning has a patent... including the keyboard you're replying on.
 

Quote

Wrong statement, the chickenloop is not old. It is still used for the APEX 5 (HQ) model 2016 / 2017.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvXkcZi-Ll0

Taking old technology and putting it on a new kite does not make it current or new technology.
The Chicken Loop was first used on the HQ Montana IV back in 2008, it's years overdue for an update and is a poor design by today's standards.
It's also poor for anyone that unhooks whilst flying, for example if they're street kiting as it does not hold its position and shape like other loops.
Don't feel alone or unique, it took some popular brands until 2012-2014 to finally update their loops.

The bar you linked to from kiteattitude, uses the same chicken loop release as BEST, Liquid Force and Peter Lynn for example.  It would of been a better choice than the loop from HQ.
chickenloop-whit-swivel.jpg

 

Quote

I have asked BORN KITE for an opinion on the twin stopper ball.

As soon as I have a response from BORN KITE, I will publish it.

I've asked McLaren for their opinion on the 675LT Spider, as soon as I have a response I'll publish it.

 

Quote

I have this bar, the Chickenloop only works with pulling force on the front lines.

Kite-frontstall is a catastrophe, the depower line is limp, you need two hands to trigger.

No good recommendation!

I suggested the Peter Lynn adjustable bar setup which is the same bar end technology on many other brands, nowhere did I say they should be using the pull towards chicken-loop.  By 2017 nobody should be using pull-towards releases, and those bringing bars to the market should be looking at the best options on the table.

As I stated, the kite all week looked impressive however the chickenloop and stopper system is not and if they're looking at changing the bar completely there are other bar options.  The Nasa Star3's for example are a really nice, simple and clean kite.  But that whole bar setup again could use someone with experience in the area to go over it and clean it up, because for a kite that doesn't actually depower conventionally there are a lot of individual parts on there that could be cleaned up or done away with altogether.

 

2 hours ago, jhn.holgate said:

The bar is most certainly Not 'hideous' as Joel described it.

Please show me where I said the bar was "hideous" ?

 

2 hours ago, jhn.holgate said:

Guys, can we keep the discussion relevant to the Longstar 2 and not other bar setups please.

Sure, right after it's improved due to feedback :good: 
 

 

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1 hour ago, .Joel said:

Please show me where I said the bar was "hideous" ?

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. 

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17 minutes ago, jhn.holgate said:

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. 

Dont do that John l love your reports and videos. I always go back to reports and are constantly showing people your youtube work.

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I'm looking forward to Johns review. At the end of the day its a Kite made by a very small company without a huge budget who make innovative kites, so is the bar going to be super slick like a top selling company's 34th revision.... probably not. Will it make a difference to me. Dont Know.  But I'll know when mine arrives and ive flown it.

Play nice. Its meant to be fun.

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9 hours ago, jhn.holgate said:

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. 

John - hoping, really hoping, that you are being a bit sarcastic here and that you are not sincere about stepping down.  While I'm a mere single kiter from North America I've really come to enjoy your input and insights on this forum.  I only wish I could meet you and others here some day.

I spend more time and contribute more completely on PKF and have the chance to meet at least some of the folks live at least once a year at Lake Ivanpah for IBX.  On PKF we often describe ourselves as members of the same tribe.  I do have to say, and regretfully this thread is sort of Exhibit A all of a sudden, that at times the general tone expressed here is harsher and some folks seem pretty quick to shut others down at times based on idle statements.  I know I've written some pretty uninformed things here that I'm sure folks have chuckled at, but seriously guys, this isn't my day job, rather just a side hobby.  I'm sure for 90% of us this is just a fun side diversion so we're going to get some things a bit wrong at times.  PKF just seems to have a more mutually respectful tone, like we always have each others back.  I've never been clear if this is a cultural thing (PKF being principally made up of North Americans while XK has many folks from Australia, etc.) and I certainly don't want to paint a broad brush stroke here.  Bottom line, as BigTone stated nicely, Play nice. Its meant to be fun. The internet is a funny thing.  We can say things here sitting at our computers that we wouldn't likely say face to face, and sometime maybe we can ask ourselves about whether we would say such things to people's faces before typing and posting.  OK, pious typing over.  Hope you hang John!

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12 hours ago, windstruck said:

John - hoping, really hoping, that you are being a bit sarcastic here and that you are not sincere about stepping down.  While I'm a mere single kiter from North America I've really come to enjoy your input and insights on this forum.  I only wish I could meet you and others here some day.

John had already told me earlier that he planned to step down in the next month or two as he was "not in the right headspace at the moment to admin and taking things too personally."  Translated I took that as actually genuinely feeling pissed off when reading peoples' replies, seems my post above hastened the exit from the next couple of months to yesterday.  You can continue to discuss John deciding to step down as Admin via his blog post here: http://www.extremekites.com.au/blogs/entry/268-a-day-i-would-really-rather-forget/ 

 

18 hours ago, ssayre said:

@.Joel what did you mean when you said " for a kite that doesn't actually depower conventionally"??

Does it change the angle of attack when moving the bar in and out?

Not the Longstar2, the Star3.

 

15 hours ago, BigTone said:

At the end of the day its a Kite made by a very small company without a huge budget who make innovative kites, so is the bar going to be super slick like a top selling company's 34th revision.... probably not.

Agreed, however here's something to note. The actual cost of a Longstar2 complete bar & line setup is within 5% to 7% of the cost of some of the leading bars from the larger brands in the market.  So if the product can be improved (chicken loop) at the same base price then it's a win/win.  It's also the reason  I've been sourcing options and communicating with Kerstin since I first spotted the safety setup.  

I fully understand some people love the brands they fly and are passionate, however constructive discussion around improvement should never be curtailed.  Public forums are not magazines, paid editorial is not going to push constructive feedback in a way that will encourage progressive change.  An  open platform like a forum should always welcome constructive discussion.

 

Quote

Play nice. Its meant to be fun.

If you ever need a happy place to go to....  just close your eyes and imagine you get to spend 24 hours in there all alone.
14939478_10207025199004551_5908456376323195507_o.jpg

 

 

 

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      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. 


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