What is it about Dan Leigh Deltas?

edited September 2011 in Kites
I've spend a LOT of time with my levitation delta, which has in general been a joy to use for kap. My rig is pretty light (a ricoh gx100 and a brooxes ho beak).

As most of us do, I'm always on the lookout for the next kite, reading any kind of review or youtube/vimeo video I can find on the web. Dan Leigh deltas always receive fantastic feedback, being claimed as peoples favorites all the time, but my question is... why?

Are they more stable than a delta like the levitation or other?
Do they produce more lift than one would expect from a delta their size?
I don't think they're particularly great when it comes to portability since they sides have pretty long spars.

In particular I have my eye on the Whirlwind Delta

But before I pick it over the Fled, I'd like to see just why people have fallen in love with their Dan Leigh's.

Sorry if this post is a little repetitive with other older/similar conversations,



  • Hi Brad!
    I have only 3 of the delta, and very like them. That which you present it looks brilliant. With a weight of your kit is the perfect choice. How to somewhere I had plans, I'll sew something similar. Recently I added to all deltas, tails 7m/4cm ripstop 32g/1qm.
    Aloha Blue.
  • I'm not sure about the Whirlwind, but I really like my D.L.Trooper.

    It flies in winds too strong for the Levitation Light.

    It lifts without pulling, if you can imagine that. Bringing it in, no matter how stiff the winds, is always a breeze.

    Close to the ground, it's nowhere near as stable as the Levitation Delta. Launching and recovery can be a bit challenging sometimes. But once at altitude, it does it's job very well.

    I always use a 15' fuzzy tail on the D.LTrooper.

    Mine is one of the made-in-China models from Into The Wind.
  • I have a DL whirlwind, for my style of KAP (lightweight rigs, autokap) it is an ideal kite. With a light rig it can do slack-line KAP pretty effortlessly. In light to medium winds it is a very dependable kite. If the wind rises, it will overpower and fly off the wind in a very predictable fashion. This feature can be exploited to get the camera into different locations.

    Deltas like this have very different characteristics to doperos and rokkakus. If the only KAP you do is with heavier rigs and expect tight lines and kites pinned to one point in the sky you might find the kite unnerving as it can climb up in the breeze and fall back, if you don't use a tail. Again a characteristic that can be exploited to give variation in height for your shots.

    I wouldn't fly much more than 12 ounces under a Whirlwind, at this weight you can exploit it's light wind characteristics. With a heavier rig you will want to always be flying in slightly stronger winds.

    The XFS is a great kite too, the Trooper is just amazing, the little bear is a fine KAP kite.

    As for what is special about Dan's kites.... You have to own one to understand. Perhaps I can explain with a small ritual. I only allow my Dan Leigh kites to touch the ground when they are furled and folded up. I always fly them down to my hand when bringing them down.
  • edited September 2011
    Wow! Really helpful posts guys.

    @ bkt
    I've never actually used a tail with my lev delta, but I made it back home from Korea last night and plan to triple my KAP equipment in the next few days. I hope your tails give you the results you wanted.

    @ chaz
    I'm glad your trooper from the China factory is working out. IntoTheWind.com also sells an "elevation" box kite I was considering for high winds, an alternative to the trooper or the ff16, BUT, I really want to have a Dan leigh of my own. The instability of the trooper at low elevations was also new information, thanks!

    @ Simon
    I was hoping someone with the whirlwind would reply, and you hit the nail on the head with flight characteristics. I flew a rokkaku for the first time this morning and it blew my mind how different the experience was compared to the delta/flowform I've been using for the last few months.

    It is also great to hear how much you care for your dl deltas, if the levitation delta came with the balloon keel I think I'd love it even more. Fitting one of these deltas into my kite quiver won't expand my flyable wind ranges very much but it seems like I need to give one a try anyways.

    For anyone else considering the whirlwind from intothewind, it won't be stocked until October, I got an email from them this afternoon.

    Once again, thanks for the great posts!
  • If you don't mind waiting, that is, and at current exchange rates, you can have your Whirl Wind custom made by Dan Leigh himself for about the same price. The Carbon Whirlwind will be slightly more expensive.
  • A few KAPers in this forum are fans of Deltas and real aficionados of Dan Leigh Delta. There are many reasons for this popularity, yes they fly well, yes they are great for slack line KAP, yes they are forgiving, yes they are easy to set up but above all, I would say Dan Leigh is an artist who loves his art and a job well done : A few months ago I sent to Dan my Delta R8 skin for a complete much needed tune up ( 4 years of intensive KAP around the world, sometimes in rough conditions and unlike Simon H, but I try, I don
  • With such quality, they are among the kites RR. Unavailable levels of performance, I bow before DL.
  • Which DL Delta would be best for light-to-moderate erratic wind?
  • Looking at the Dan Leigh web site, I don't see a link for email to get more information or a link to place an order.
  • Without a rig weight, an impossible question to answer. Likewise your flying style, tight line/excess lift or low tension, minimal lift.
  • Re wind : I fully agree with Simon, re Contact check above you should find what you are looking for, but keep in mind these kites are not "out of the shelf"...
  • Oops! sorry for the lack of information.
    My camera weighs approximately 8.5 ounces. I use it with a Brooxes Simplex Kit and Electric AutoKap Kit (BEAK). I prefer to fly in light to medium winds. Some of the issues I would like to minimize are the yoyo affect of the Kite going up and down and the kite darting around in erratic winds. The ideal kite for me would be one that is extremely stable in light to medium winds and maintains a constant altitude with a compact rig.
  • Thanks Pierre, found it.
    Searching on the web I ran across pictures of the travel version R8 Dan built for you. Pretty cool!
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