Next New Kite

edited February 2011 in General
Hey everyone,
I currently own a 6.5' Rok, but am looking for a new kite to diversify the wind conditions I can fly in. I am also headed up to Montreal for spring break, and would really rather not have to drag a 4+ foot mailing tube with me everywhere. Because of that, I am looking at the flowforms. So far I have only been flying with small P&S on a super light rubber band autokap rig, so I don't need to lift much.

What size kite would you recommend I buy next, the FF8/16/30?
I'm leaning towards the 16, because I'd rather have to fight the kite a bit than have it struggle to lift off the ground.

And as an extension of that, is there any better deals out there than from brooks? His site is nice and reliable, and in addition, he sells it with tail, line and hoop, which I may go for to have a slightly smaller travel hoop.


  • I like the FF16 a lot. It makes a nice travel kite, and does good double-duty as a pillow when you're on the plane. I got mine from Brooks, along with the tail, line, and hoop winder. I fly it on #200 dacron. I got it with 1000' of line, which won't fit on the hoop winder (Brooks warned me of this). These days I've got the #200 on my big winder and some #150 on that hoop winder. 500' of #200 would fit on it quite well, and would make a great travel winder.

    Another reason I favor the 16 over the 8 is the 8 tends to move around more in the sky. The FF8 also typically flies at a lower line angle. I've flown a FF30 a total of one time. It's a heavy lifter, and is a blast to fly. But if the wind picks up it goes from friendly to ferocious in a hurry. This isn't a strike against the kite, mind you. It's just a lot of sail area, and the kiter flying it needs to keep that in mind at all times.

    For higher winds than what the FF16 can handle, I've really fallen in love with the PFK Nighthawk. When the day comes that you're looking to expand beyond what your 6.5' Rok and FF16 can handle, it's a good direction to look.

    Have fun in Montreal! Looking forward to the pictures.

  • It all depends on the wind speed you expect to see in Montreal. My gut tells me that winds are likely to be medium to light and that you'll have best success with the 30.
    On the down side the 30 is bulkier than the 16 and will take more space in your luggage. From what I've heard the FF8 rarely works for KAP.
  • +1 for the FF 16.
  • No expert by any means. But I like my FF16. Sits well with my Rok and PFK.

    Can't offer comparison with FF30/8 though.

    I'm currently making a Fled to help low down. And if that goes well and I feel brave was thinking about making a FF30 to add to the portfolio.

  • I use:

    FF16: 45%
    FF30: 40%
    FF8: 10%
    Fled: 5%

    FF30 can be a beast, but is awesome in lighter wind, and I tend to go big if the wind range is right on the edge. My FF16 is my workhorse kite and would highly recommend it. All the FF's are packable for travel. I agree with Benedict that the FF8 moved around a lot and I've had mine do loops from time to time, as you tend to use that in heavier wind, so you'll want multiple tails. Good Luck.
  • edited February 2011
    I think I'll go ahead and get the 16 and tail/reel/line package.

    ...As well as invest in a pair of super warm work gloves. I went out today to attempt my first KAP since the real snow hit, wearing leather gloves over those $2 little stretchy gloves in 20deg weather. Within minutes of getting the kite up my fingertips were so cold I could hardly hold the reel. By the time I wrestled it all down my fingers were getting rather frost bitten, and though I ran inside to take everything apart, I couldn't feel the line between my fingers, only the sting. Ouch.

    I learned my lesson. KAP in 20deg is not a one man sport. You need someone to take turns with, sticking your hands in you pockets.
  • You could have tied your kite line off so you could have warmed up your hands... Just a thought.
  • As I have told you before, you can warm your hands with wind power. Let the line slip and friction will generate heat.
  • Definitely the FF16. You can get a slightly better deal from Air Affairs directly. However, if you need a tail, 200-lb Dacron, and a hoop winder to go with that, the FF16 Bundle form Brooxes is the way to go. I like to travel light, myself.
  • edited February 2011
    I prefer the 16 with an 8" hoop with 500 ft of 200# line for most purposes, but for travel, the Phantom Star Bobbin is more compact, and offers the ability to belay the line when you've got it out where you want it. I don't offer a bundle that includes it though.

    Which is more important, Jamie, a couple bucks or superior service? :-)
  • Brooks, rest assured, I just placed an order with you. I'd love it if at all possible, if you can get it here before March 4th, because my dorm closes down that day and I'd love to bring it with me on spring break. Looking forward to flying!
  • No problem -- thanks, Jamie.
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