Jim’s Kites

Kite reviews


I will add kite reviews to these pages as and when I have time. They will all give my own opinion of the kites or accessories under review without influence from the maker or retailer of the product.


Where possible I shall say where I bought them, but in most cases they will also be available elsewhere.  If you are lucky enough to have a local dealer, you can save a lot on freight charges, which can almost double the price of a kite.


All prices quoted are in US dollars unless stated otherwise.   These prices may not be up to date.

  Shazam delta

An inexpensive 11ft delta that flies well.

Triangulation

 A very unusual and strong-pulling kite with three wings.

T-Delta

Basically this is a 10ft wingspan tunnel-keel delta with a permanently-attached tapering tail. It is an interesting idea which I have come to appreciate more each time I fly it.  The kite looks stunning in the air and flies well, the reduction in set-up time due to the attached tail is helpful, and altogether it’s an excellent kite.  Unfortunately, Premier have discontinued it in favour of several versions in cheaper printed fabric which I think looks quite nasty.  If you can still find one of the originals, it’s well worth having.  List price (2013)  $139.



Heart

For those who like novelty inflatable kites, the Heart  by New Tech Kites is a good one to have.  It’s just over 5ft across and nearly 14ft long, and flies very easily.  Like all inflatable or parafoil-type kites, it packs away very small and weighs very little, so you can take it anywhere.  Ideal for Valentine’s day or any romantic occasion! Available for $54 from Picture Pretty Kites and presumably from other New Tech stockists.


Triangulation

A very unusual design from Joel Scholz, this kite is made by HQ Kites.  It resembles an old-fashioned tri-plane aircraft in having three wings, but is very simple to assemble and fly.  It pulls quite hard, so is not suited to smaller children even though the kite is not large at 87” wingspan by 22”.  A good novelty kite, which flies reliably in winds from a quoted 8 to 31 mph.  I have not flown it at the upper end, but certainly up to 20-24 mph it goes well.  Recommended price seems to be $46.95 (2011), but I bought mine more cheaply at Picture Pretty Kites, who usually have it in stock.  


Gomberg Delta Conyne

The delta conyne kite is a combination of box and delta, and is a dependable kite in most conditions.  For some reason there are not a lot of them around, but Gomberg Kites, or G-Kites, make them in ripstop nylon with fibreglass spars in three colours at a very reasonable price.   These kites can easily be flown in a train, and I have three which I often fly on one line.  Some people fly six or more, and if you want an exciting spectacle with a lot of pull, you could go for even more.  These kites are 8ft across, so even one on its own is good.  The price (2012) is only $44, so it is great value for something that should last for years.


Premier Powersleds

These useful kites come in several sizes: 14ft, 24ft, 36ft and the enormous megasled at 81ft.   All measurements refer to the square area of the kite.  The Powersleds all have very flexible spars, which can be bent double, and the kites fold up into their own drogue tail, which makes a very good bag.  They can be unpacked and into the air in a very short time, and fly easily in average winds.  They have a lot of pull, so even the smallest is not suitable for a young child, and the largest needs an experienced pilot and a good anchor to tie it down to.  They will lift large amounts of line laundry and are fun kites to fly on their own.  I have a 24ft, and a Megasled in the special version designed by Barbara Meyer.  It is a flying work of art, but pulls like a locomotive in a strong wind.  All these kites are highly recommended.  Picture Pretty Kites have all sizes, and most Premier dealers carry some of them.  My Megasled came from Cobra Kites, a good place to deal with.



Premier 12ft Octopus

This soft kite is based on a design by Peter Lynn, who is the brains behind the biggest kites made. Unfortunately, this particular variant made by Premier Kites is NOT a great buy.  It is well made and flies quite nicely, but the drawback is the cost.  At a list price (2011) of $104.95 it is definitely not good value, and you could spend your money much better elsewhere.  This is really a very small (children’s size) kite, since the tentacles naturally make up most of its length, and it is one of the few kites I have bought that have disappointed me (my fault).  I use it as a piece of line laundry under another kite, where it does a reasonable job.  


The PL Octopus design is great, but go for a larger size, where it really comes into its own.  The smallest one available from the Peter Lynn factory, at 20ft, is NZ$540 (about $420) and, if you can afford it, is a nice kite. There are much bigger ones, too!  Or for a cheaper Chinese alternative, a 49ft Octopus in a different design and various colours can be had from EmmaKites for $78. I have one of these, which flies nicely and has stood up well to quite a bit of use, although the quality is obviously nowhere near the same level as that of the PL kites.



Rainbow Burst/Rainbow Arch giant flowtail

These huge kites, and a third design, come from Premier Kites.  They are 13ft (4m) across and nearly 45ft (14m) long.  They are, in consequence, quite heavy, so the freight on them is not cheap.  They fly easily in winds from about 7mph up to 20mph, and develop a strong pull in anything over 10mph.  They will lift plenty of line art/laundry, but make a spectacular display on their own.  Definitely not for children, although smaller versions of this “flowtail” style make ideal children’s kites.  Price (2011) is $179.95, and I bought mine from Helen at Picture Pretty Kites who usually has them in stock.


Shazam delta

This is the cheapest “big” delta I can recommend.  At 11ft wingspan, it makes a big impact in the sky, and has enough lift to hoist plenty of tails or line art.  The Shazam is made of ripstop nylon and fibreglass spars. Some other deltas this size have carbon spars for lightness, but the Shazam is capable of flying in winds as light as almost any rival can manage.  A very reliable kite and ideal for anyone who wants to get into bigger kites without spending a fortune.  Price (2012) is only $70, from Gomberg Kites or G-Kites.


Air Guitar

This stunning design from Martin Blaise is made very well by New Tech Kites.  It’s 4.5ft across and about 12ft long, and a great attention-grabber.  It’s no problem to fly, and copes well with winds from 5 to 20mph. Being a parafoil design, it has no spars and packs away into a very small space, so is easy to take anywhere. List price (2011) is $195, and I bought mine from Into the Wind.


Chang-e flies to the moon

An extremely eye-catching kite from China, based on a parafoil design, which attracts favourable comments wherever it flies.  It is big, at 7ft across and 26ft long, but not difficult to fly.   Just be sure you don’t get the bridle strings tangled and you’ll have no problems.  But beware, there are different versions of this kite available, and not all of them are as big, and some are of poor quality.  I bought mine from EmmaKites, where you can be sure to get the real thing.  The price is very reasonable at $79, but freight is fairly expensive.



Premier Giant Fish

You’ve been to the kite festivals, seen those giant Peter Lynn kites, and want something similar, if not quite so big and expensive.  You have two options: you can go to the Peter Lynn factory site and choose something wonderful from the huge range there (or from Gomberg Kites if you are in the USA); or you can make life easy for yourself by buying the Giant Fish, designed by Juergen Ebbinghaus and made to a high standard by Premier. It is undoubtedly the simplest “show” kite to fly, and even a beginner could handle it with very little instruction.  It is 22.5ft (7m) long, yet is extremely gentle and flies in a steady fashion without needing the “pilot” kite which most of the show kites require to help keep them aloft.  I usually put this up, anchor it, and leave it to fly unattended for hours.  At a list price (2011) of $699.95 it is not cheap, but good value.  Ask around and you may get it for less.  I bought mine from Helen at Picture Pretty Kites.

There is also a “mega” version which is twice as long (45ft), and if anyone wants to buy me one I’d be very happy!  If your horizons are set lower, the “large” version at 11ft (3.4m) might suit, and it’s a lot cheaper, too.



Elevation Box

If you want a traditional box kite, this is the one to go for.  From Into the Wind, it is colourful, well-made of ripstop nylon and fibreglass spars, and quite big at 4ft by 3ft by 3ft.  Like most box kites, it needs stronger breezes to fly, usually from about 8 to 10mph up to a quoted maximum of 30mph.  I haven’t flown mine in quite such high winds, but I can say that it pulls hard in anything over about 15mph, and will lift plenty of line art/laundry.  At $65 (2012 price) it is good value and should last a long time.


Levitation delta

The Levitation is a delta from Into the Wind, produced in two sizes, 7ft and 9ft.  I have the smaller one, which comes in a choice of two colour schemes, built of ripstop nylon with fibreglass spars.  The larger one has only one standard scheme, and is also produced as a “light” version with carbon spars, to fly in lighter winds.  The 7ft kite is great value at $49 (2012 price) and like all deltas is super-easy to set up and fly.  It is well constructed and comes, as do all ITW’s own kites, in a very tough bag which will last at least as long as the kite. It packs down to a length of only 27”, so can be taken anywhere. This is a good choice for the first-time buyer, or someone wanting a kite for an older child, as it doesn’t have too much pull. Although I have many larger kites, I still fly this one often.   Wind speed around 5 to 20mph, but happiest up to 15mph.



Sky Bird

This is probably my favourite kite.  It is a magnificent design by George Peters and made to a high quality by Into the Wind.  It comes in two designs, and I have both, although I prefer the simple black and white version. Built of ripstop nylon with carbon spars, this huge bird has a wingspan of almost 16ft and flies in such a stable fashion that you can tie it down and leave it to entertain spectators for hours.  I fly mine with matching 55ft fuzzy tails, and they really seem to fill the sky.  If the wind is too light, I remove the tails and the birds fly equally well without them. Not a cheap kite at $325 (2012 price), but worth the money. Recommended wind speed 5 to 20mph.  Easy to assemble and to fly.     

 


Ascension delta

I have three of these New Tech Kites deltas, one in each of the available colours, which I fly on one line. They are fairly small, at 64” wingspan, and of unusual design, with a tunnel keel which is said to improve stability. They are very well made, of ripstop nylon and carbon spars, and fly in winds from around 3 to 20mph.  I have found them to be very reliable fliers, and can certainly recommend them to anyone looking for a smaller delta that is going to last a long time and give a lot of satisfaction. Ideal as a first kite or for a child.  I bought mine from Windpower Sports at the reasonable price of $39 each.


Super Sled

This is a good-value 40sq ft sled from Gomberg kites, available in  three colours.  I have two, and they are among my most-used kites.  It takes only a minute to unpack them and have them flying, with no assembly required.  I fly mine with matching 25ft pennant tails from the same source, and they look great.  I have found these kites do not have quite the lifting power I expected for them, but for lighter items of line art they are fine. And on their own as easy to carry, assemble and fly general-purpose kites they are ideal.  Price (2012) is $84.


Triton

This beautiful kite from Into the Wind is a variation on the genki design, but made more stable by having keels. The cut-outs in the sail may also help, and they certainly make it look more interesting.  The kite is 8ft 6” across and quite easy to assemble.  It flies at a high angle in winds as light as 3mph, and has a lot of pull.  It was designed especially for use in KAP, although even if you have no interest in taking photos from the air it is a great kite to have.  I would not recommend it as a first kite, or for someone who wants only one all-purpose kite.  Its top wind-speed is quoted at 15mph, but I prefer not to fly it in anything higher than 12mph.  It is strongly-built of ripstop nylon with carbon spars.  Mine survived a crash into the sea when another kite cut its line, and despite getting knocked around by the waves for 20 minutes or more, still flies well.  At $129 (2012 price) it is good value and if you like the genki style of kite it is probably your best choice.


11ft Premier delta

This is a well-built kite of ripstop nylon with fibreglass and carbon spars. I have the Pop Art and Groovy Peace versions, which look stunning against a blue sky, but there are several other designs to choose from.  This is a kite with which you can’t go wrong.  It takes only seconds to assemble and get into the air, flies in breezes too light for most other kites, and will continue to fly in winds up to 20mph.  It will lift plenty of tails, and I often fly it with a 24ft tube tail in the centre and 24ft transition tails on the wing-tips.  In lighter winds I remove the tube tail.  Highly-recommended as an eye-catching and thoroughly reliable kite which should last for years. List price (2011) $114.95.  I bought mine from Picture Pretty Kites, who usually have several designs in stock and will order in anything they don’t have.


78” Rokkaku

This kite from Premier Kites comes in several designs, but not all are available all the time.  My favourite is the Flames design, but there is something to suit most tastes.  The construction is ripstop nylon with carbon spars, and mine has survived a hard life, including a dunking in the sea for 30 minutes, without complaint. Rokkaku are good light-wind kites with excellent lifting ability, and this is no exception.  Many people use these for KAP. Recommended wind speed is 4 to 18mph, and at the higher end you will have to hang on tightly!  Good value at a list price (2011) of $109.95.  I have bought from Into the Wind and Picture Pretty Kites whose prices are a little lower.


Morea

One of the first “real” kites I bought, the Morea, designed by Ron Gibian and made by Premier Kites, is a double-bowed kite like the rokkaku.  It is large, at 103” (2.62m) height, but is relatively easy to set up and to fly.  It is very well constructed, of ripstop nylon with carbon spars, and flies very steadily at a high angle when set up right.  The quoted wind range is 4 to 18mph, but it is not so happy at the upper limit, and I would restrict it to 15mph.  The appliqué design is stunning, and the cut-out shape adds to its appeal.  

At $129.95 (2011 price) it is wonderful value.  I bought mine from Kites and Fun Things, who ordered it in for me as it was not a stock item.  Hard to find elsewhere, for some reason, but enquire from your favourite dealer who may be able to get it from Premier.



Fish Pyro Delta

This is one of my favourites.  The term “pyro delta” came because these kites were originally flown as part of organised firework, or pyrotechnic, displays.  Deltas with attached tails are known elsewhere as “flowtails.”  This one was designed in Germany but comes from G-Kites, who have the manufacturing rights.  It is well made of ripstop nylon and fibreglass spars, with taffeta nylon tails.  It assembles easily and flies reliably in winds from around 5 to 20 mph, although the tails tend to twist in strong winds.  It really stands out in the sky, and gets a lot of attention.  Wingspan is 9ft, length 30ft. Highly recommended, especially if you want just one kite that is a reliable flier and very eye-catching.  Price (2012) is $120.     




Little Bear delta                (by guest reviewer, my friend Tony Travaglia from Oamaru. New Zealand)

As I wanted (needed) a light wind kite to fly in our fickle winds I chose the Little Bear as it will fly in winds of about 2mph up to about 10 mph. The Little Bear fitted the bill even though there are a couple on the market that fly in about the same wind range but the availability and speed of delivery made me choose this one.

I dutifully assembled it and took it outside to fly. The wind was too strong so I had to wait another 24 hours to try it. I was not disappointed as it climbed straight up to rise above me and float on the wind. I let it out to 300 feet and it stayed locked up there, almost at the zenith.

The next day I decided to go for the end of the line (500 feet). A flawless launch, pulling at the line, it rose to the end of the line with no qualms, directly above me. I let it stay up there for about 10 minutes before lowering it to the 400 foot mark. It was well behaved with no drama.

One thing to watch out for is that when the wind drops to almost zero it will float as it falls but the rate of fall is rapid and one has to be alert to be able to wind the line in quickly. The balloon keel helps it to behave, as sometimes when it passes the zenith (directly overhead) it will go into a loop but one can let a bit of line out to slacken it and then pull it back and the kite will recover its normal flying attitude.

This kite is a pleasure to fly. I recommend it highly and give it a 10/10.  From Into the Wind, $110 (2012 price.)

Pointer

This is a very interesting and unusual kite from Malaysian designer Ceewan, made by Premier Kites.  It is quite big, but the quoted height of 11 feet is misleading, since this includes the parts of the main spar which project at top and bottom.  The actual length of the sail is about 8.5 feet, which still fills a lot of sky.  The kite, made of ripstop nylon with carbon and fibreglass spars, rolls up very small, and is quick and easy to assemble or disassemble.  It has no bridle, and the line is tied directly to the top of the spar.  This makes it very simple to fly more than one on the same line.  There is amazingly little pull despite the size of the sail, so even with three kites on the line, a small child could hold them and only light line is needed - just the thing if your 5-year-old insists on having a big kite!  The Pointer has a wide wind range, but moves about a lot in higher winds.  It’s easy to fly, very eye-catching and reasonable value at $149.95 (2011.)  I bought mine from Kites and Fun Things, who have a close relationship with the designer.  I also have a larger one, which I think is not generally available but might be obtainable from the same source if you ask.  There is a giant one, too, listed on their web-site, but it’s fairly expensive - nice, though!

Rainbow Butterfly (by guest reviewer, my friend Tony Travaglia from Oamaru, New Zealand)

This large butterfly (82” x 43”) from New Tech Kites is a beautiful sight in the air. I have had many people comment  that “ It looks like a real butterfly.”  Once aloft it will float on the breeze, wings flapping gracefully if the wind speed rises, drifting on the breeze if it drops. No drama at all, just a stunning sight of this beautiful and graceful butterfly in the air. Even from a mile away (I fly at about 200 feet), it can be seen by folk who phone me to comment on that beautiful butterfly.  If the wind blows hard the kite makes quite a rustle and I prefer not to fly above 12 mph as it becomes unstable and it can plummet downwards at an alarming rate. One could adjust the bridle to cope with the higher wind-speed but as it looks so spectacular at lower wind speeds I will leave the bridle as it is now.  I would rate this an 8/10 and well worth the purchase price. An even larger one would be nice to have, say 12 foot would be ideal.  Recommended wind speed is 6 to 18 mph, price $40.90 from Picture Pretty Kites.


Luna Moth  (by guest reviewer, my friend Tony Travaglia from Oamaru, New Zealand)

Designed by Carsten Domann and made by Premier Kites, this is one big insect at 140” by 102”, flying in winds from 5 to 12 mph.  I bought mine from Picture Pretty Kites for $162.  A beautiful kite but unfortunately the first attempt at flying ended in disaster, the dihedral broke, the wings folded up. On inspection it obviously had a crack in it from the time it was manufactured. The wing spars also broke with the pressure. I emailed PPK and Helen sent me some new spars. I sourced a dihedral from a kite firm in Auckland NZ, the item was of far better quality than the original. All glued together and repaired, one had to wait for an opportune time to test fly it. Low wind and a wide open space was a prerequisite and today it flew. Beautifully. A stunning and magnificent sight in the sky as can be seen by the photograph.  Easy to fly and in a light wind, the only drawback in some cases would be the time spent fine tuning it to fly straight as a little too much tension on either wing will make it unstable and it will then fall to the ground because of the extra lift generated by the tighter wing. A length of ribbon from the two moth tails would look great and add to the stability of the Moth.     Rating 8/10. Excellent service from PPK too.  (Warning: I have now heard of other faulty examples of this kite.  I do not advise buying one unless Premier sort out the problems. - Jim)


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Skyform 60

This is a type of parafoil kite, similar in design to the well-known Sutton Flowform.  Gomberg Kites make these to order in the colours of your choice, with matching streamer tails as an extra.  The kite has 60 square feet of lifting area, so is quite powerful, and it does a good job of lifting plenty of line laundry although it flies at a fairly low angle, which is not ideal for a lifter.  It can be managed by one person, which is good as I usually fly alone, but it is helpful to have an assistant and in any case a good anchor to tie it down to.  The streamer is 5ft wide and 50ft long and costs $75, the kite costs $195.  The quality is good and I shall probably wear out before the kite does.

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Mayan Double Delta Conyne

There seems to have been a change of name with this kite.  I bought it under the above name, but it is now listed by Premier Kites as “Swept Wing Double Box Delta.”  Either way, it is a most attractive and intricate design by Barbara Meyer that flies very well and looks like a stained-glass window in the sky. I have had it for quite a long time, and it never lets me down, flying in any wind from about 7mph.  It is 12ft wide, and will carry a whole set of tails, or a huge one like the 30ft Bubble Tube tail (see video.)  But it also looks great on its own and is always fun to fly.  List price (2011) is $195, and it is available from Picture Pretty Kites and other Premier dealers.  I think it’s great value, and now have two of them!

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Diablo

This is a well-made and really fun soft kite from G-Kites which attracts a lot of interest and is very reasonably priced.  As there is nothing to assemble, you can have it out of the bag and into the air in no time at all, and it will fly on its own or under another kite.  I usually use it in the latter manner (see video) as I like to fly multiple kites and this way it needs no attention.  Available direct from G-Kites at $99.

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11ft Mesh Delta

Designed by Willie Koch and made by Premier Kites, this is an amazing construction of many pieces sewn together to give the impression of a woven mesh.  Compared to other deltas of similar wingspan, it has a little less pull, and also requires a little stronger wind, due to the many “holes” in the sail.  But it is a very able flier, and can carry sizeable tails when there is enough wind.  It also looks great on its own, and is a lovely kite to fly.  It is well-constructed and should last a long time.  I bought mine from Into the Wind, but it is stocked by other Premier dealers.  List price (2011) is $179.95.

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19ft Mesh Delta

The “big brother” of the previous kite and of similar construction, this is a monster.  However, it is not difficult to handle, although it has a considerable pull.  It dominates the sky and will carry the biggest tails I have, including the huge 30ft Bubble Tube tail, without any bother.  It will also lift plenty of “line laundry.”  It is a beautiful sight, and a good choice for anyone wanting just one big kite.  Premier Kites have done well to bring this into production, and although the price is a lot higher now than when I bought mine from Kites and Fun Things, the kite is probably well worth it.  Just think of all the sewing in putting those pieces together!  List price $499.95, but shop around if you want one.   

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Peacock Wrasse

This is not a kite, but an item of “line laundry,” or “line art,” terms referring to pieces hung on a kite line to add to the display.  They bring the display closer to the ground and thus to the spectator, and fill up more of the sky.  They come in many forms, from simple spinners to animal shapes and many other fantastic designs.  This fish is 8ft long, and needs a fairly big kite to provide lift, but is a magnificent spectacle in the air.  It is another Premier Kites product, and well-made to last a long time.  I forget where I bought mine, but it is available from Into the Wind and other Premier stockists.  List price (2011) is $159.95.  

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Friendly rokkaku

Rokkaku is Japanese for “six sides,” and this type of kite is very popular.

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11ft Flapping Bat

If you want something to scare the kids, this creation by Premier Kites might be a good choice.  It is a well-designed kite and the wings flap constantly.  You can increase the effect by jerking the line slightly, and the yellow eyes add to the spooky effect.  It’s not difficult to assemble, and looks strong enough to last a long time.  The kite flies well, and certainly gets a lot of attention. The sail is ripstop nylon and the spars are a mixture of carbon and fibreglass.  There is an 8ft version available if you prefer something a little smaller. List price for the big one (2011) $94.95.  I bought mine at Picture Pretty Kites, where it currently lists for $74.75, so get in quickly if you want a bargain bat!

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3-D Cellular Kite

A beautiful kite, this flies really well in very light winds when many other kites are earth-bound.  It takes a few minutes to assemble, and then takes off easily and flies very smoothly.  It is quite large, at 9ft by over 7ft, and made of ripstop nylon with resin spars which are light but strong.  It is available in this or another colour scheme direct from Emmakites, at the very low price of $57.  Postage on this is reasonable, too, as it is very light and packs away quite small.

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49ft Octopus

I haven’t measured this, but the seller says 49ft so I believe it.  I usually describe it as my “50ft Octopus” as that sounds better!  It is big, anyway, so definitely not one for the children.  It flies well in steady winds, with its tentacles gently undulating, and draws a lot of attention.  If you buy one, be aware that the gaps in the stitching of the tentacles are supposed to be there to assist airflow.  I didn’t realise this at first and almost had them sewn up.  There’s always something new to learn in kite-flying!  Available from Emmakites for $78 in several colours.

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Highlighter delta

The Highlighter is a very well-made kite from Into the Wind.  It has a 12ft wingspan, so has a lot of pull.  It can lift a lot of tails or line laundry.  The colours are beautiful, and the kite is easy to fly if you are used to big kites.  It’s made of ripstop nylon with fibreglass spars, and although not particularly light, will fly in about 5mph wind.  If the wind gets up to about 20mph, you will definitely need to bring it down.  List price (2012) is $149, direct from ITW.

Lucky Clover

Made by German company Colours in Motion, this kite is actually called Glucksbringer Kleebatt, which translates to lucky clover.  I was flying this on the beach one time when a big earthquake struck.  The whole beach undulated and I was thrown over but held onto the kite.  I’m not sure if that was luck or not!  It’s big, at 8ft across by 25ft long, and a good flier.  It also pulls quite hard, so you need strong line and, if you’re tying it down, a good anchor. It can pack away into the “bucket” at the end of its tail (there is a bag, too) so is very easy to carry around.  It’s also quick to go up, if you don’t get the bridle lines tangled. I tracked mine down from a dealer in England, and I haven’t seen it on any American website, but you could enquire at your Premier Kites dealer as Premier have a relationship with CIM.

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Bubble Mickey

Another Colours in Motion product, this large and attractive piece of line laundry is hard to find.  I don’t think it is available in America, and I got mine from England.  Bubble Mickey needs quite a big kite to lift it, and a reasonable breeze, but looks great when conditions are right.

Price (2012) is 29 pounds 50 pence from Kites4U.

Flying Cow

This udderly beautiful piece of line laundry is another from Colours in Motion, but available through Premier Kites dealers.  It is 6.5 feet long and obviously late for milking-time.  It flies in any reasonable breeze, and needs only a medium-size kite to lift it - a 9ft delta or a Powersled 24 would be sufficient.  Not at all cheap at $159, but a great attraction at any kite-fly.  I got mine from Into the Wind.

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Twin-tail dragon

At 41ft long, this kite fills a lot of sky.  It dances in lively fashion like all dragons, but is a reliable flier, and so quick and easy as there is nothing to assemble.  In flies in a wide wind range, and is a lot of fun.  Well-made, like all the kites from Into the Wind, it sells for $115 (2012 price), and is probably the best dragon kite you can buy.

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Premier 65” diamond

Most people think of diamonds when they hear the word kite, but associate them with children.  This big kite from Premier Kites is definitely adult-sized, and unlike most diamonds does not need a tail in order to fly well.  It is playful, but a reliable flier.  It is well made from ripstop nylon and carbon spars for lightness, so can fly in very light wind.  There are several designs (some with fibreglass spars), but this particular one is, I think, no longer available.  See video 2 for others.  The list price (2011) is $43.95, which is very reasonable for a kite of this size and quality.  Try Cobra Kites, who usually have several design choices.

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More kite reviews on next page and page 3 .  




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Please note that these reviews are merely my own opinion,or that of any guest reviewer, and I take no responsibility for any of the information given, although I have tried to be as accurate as possible.



“Beast” dragon kite

This style of kite is known as a “dragon” regardless of what the graphics depict.  The “Beast” is one of three designs from Into the Wind, the others being “Cobra” and “Beauty.”  The graphics are all done in different-coloured fabrics (known as applique work), whereas designs on cheaper dragons are often printed.  These kites fly well, and look great with their 30ft length fluttering in the breeze.  Good kites for children or adults, they require no assembly - just take them out of the bag and pop them into the air.  Made of nylon taffeta with fibreglass frame, they are priced (2012) at $59.

Starflake

This is a cellular kite, a variation on the familiar box kite.  With a diameter of 69”, it makes quite an impact in the sky, and flies in a lively but not very stable fashion.  It is well-made by New Tech Kites in ripstop nylon and fibreglass spars, from a design by Kathy Goodwind.  Assembly is fairly simple, but this is not an easy kite to fly.  Preferred wind range is quoted at 8 to 18 mph, and in anything higher than this it pulls quite hard.  I bought mine from WindPower Sports, who had it at the very reasonable price of $35.  I have seen it elsewhere for $65.99!  

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