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What About A Blast?

Posted: Wed, Jul 29 2009, 01:41 AM
by Nomad
Okay guys, I've been through the other quad kite purchase threads. I've assimilated the wisdom contained therein. I'm not actually certain I'm ready to make a purchase yet, the idea of spending potentially over $300 on a kite still bothers me. But.. I have enjoyed the loaners I've been able to fly so far and would like to have one of my own so I can stop mooching off of the rest of you. Not to mention so I could fly on my own at local fields.

The basic picture I have is that I could get a cheaper 1.5, maybe with a race rod upgrade. A b-series sounds pretty good too, what with the two rod sets and all. I'd probably go non vented. I don't care if it's a little more twitchy in heavy wind, I like the idea of optimizing my capability on the low wind side of the spectrum. I admit I haven't put much thought into the typical local wind I get, but while I do live near the "windy city", I don't think of my area as being prone to 20+mph days very often. I got to fly a non vented at the peak of the winds we had at Glenview, which according to local records may have been around 10mph. I enjoyed that a lot, I was finally starting to feel a little pull and was getting really clean responses to my control inputs.

But last weekend I got to fly a few other options. What I flew, besides the vented 1.5 versions, was a Rev 2 and some sort of speed series rev, either a shockwave or supersonic, I don't remember which. And it was great fun. I loved having that thing shoot across the sky, making that great whirring sound (as opposed to the flapping sound the deltas make). However it clearly was harder to fly it with precision, as I was warned it was a bit unstable in roll and didn't always want to hold a constant attitude.

The Rev 2 was fun too, but I find myself taking a "bigger is better" outlook. Plus I kind of like the different look of the other varieties, with the flattened instead of pointed bottoms.

So this brings me to the point. What about a Blast? According to the description from Rev Kites, it's supposed to be a best of both worlds of speed and precision with power thrown in as a bonus. Should I be suspicious about that, maybe it isn't quite as precise as they'd have me believe?

I'm kind of looking for an all in one here. I know there are always compromises, you can't just get one thing to do all things and do them well. But I'd like to know just where the Blast fits in to the big picture. The basic description certainly appeals to me. Speed, power, and precision. Hey, what's not to like? I'm no longer scared of going straight to such a kite, I know I can handle a speed series kite now, and after handling a few power parafoils I wouldn't mind some power from time to time either.

But at the same time I do want to work on precision flying, I like the challenge of it. So I don't want to make too significant a compromise in that.

Re: What About A Blast?

Posted: Wed, Jul 29 2009, 03:40 AM
by Sailor99
Although I really like the Blast, I am not sure I would say it is the 'best of both worlds'. It is great fun, pulls like a train and fabulous at light wind 'floats'. But precision is not really its forte. Your suspicion is well founded I would say.

IMO your thinking on IIs is spot on. I have tried them and find them pretty boring to be honest - not much of a challenge because of their lack of precision. But they are fast.

At the end of the day, just as you say, it is all a compromise, a choice based on what you want to achieve. For me the 1.5 is a really great compromise having a bit more speed that a Rev I but without loosing much of the precision. If you want a good bit of pull a blast is not a bad compromise either, but you do loose quite a bit of the precision. The Rev II (and for that matter the sonic) just get rid of pretty much all the precision and go for all out speed - no compromise there!

If you do decide on a 1.5 until last summer I would have said go for a B, because the extra frame set made it a great package. My thinking is now shifting somewhat - the Race Rod covers the range of both the 2 and 3 wrap pretty well, so if you are going for a standard sail (ie not vented) I have to say I do not perceive much difference between a B with 2 frames or a race frame and a 'SLE' sail with a race frame (DON'T GO FOR THE SLE FRAME!!!!!). The SLE options is of course much cheaper..........

The one thing I am totally sure of is that if you asked x different rev fliers, you would end up with y=x+3 subtly differing opinions about all of this!

Re: What About A Blast?

Posted: Wed, Jul 29 2009, 03:42 AM
by Sailor99
Oh and my grammar seems to be shot through today!

Re: What About A Blast?

Posted: Wed, Jul 29 2009, 07:32 AM
by Mike
Here's my opinion:
For just one kite, I would lean towards an SLE sail with a 3 wrap frame. That will fly quite well in low winds and will handle the upper range better than the Race rod.

The Blast is pretty uneven. You'll be flying along feeling pretty precise, then the wind will gust a bit, and the kite will pull you off your feet.

Re: What About A Blast?

Posted: Wed, Jul 29 2009, 11:24 AM
by Babbman
I have at least one of everything Rev. Here's my thoughts.

1.5's - Best all around kite. Best precision. As for vented vs non-vented.... if I had it to do all over again, I would buy a SUL 1.5 and a vented 1.5. And I wouldn't need anything else in order to fly in the crappy winds we have in the Midwest. Both with Race Rods. This thought comes from 4 years of flying in the Midwest and in ALL types of winds and in flying ALL the different Revs with all the different rods... SLE, 2-3-4 wraps and Race Rods.

The Race Rod, while a bit more expensive, is like having 2 sets of rods in one and covers the span from 2-3 wrap rods.

All the other Rev kites?

On the B-Series 1.5's... I like them... But I'd still take a SUL + Vented over a B-Series non-vented + vented.

The Rev II is my favorite of all of them for sheer fun and speed.

The Shockwave and supersonic are also incredible fun. It's amazing how much pull they generate and the speed is great.

The Blast is a strange beast, to say the least. Incredible pull, speed and just plain fun in winds from nothing to about 15mph (which is as much as I'm willing to risk my body for). I've also flown the Blast with 'skinny rods' rather than the standard SLE and I'm not sure how much I like them. They allow the kite to bow in towards you when the winds pick up which is a strange feeling. But I'd have to say that this is a kite worth owning and if I was only allowed 3 Rev kites, It would be the 1.5 SUL, 1.5 Vented and Blast.

There of course, is the 2-4 and the 4-8 left out there. I have a 2-4 and I like it but given the choice, I'll pull out the 1.5 almost every time.

On the point of precision.... Every one of these kites can be flown with incredible precision. It just all completely depends on how much you want to practice. As I've said in other threads, it almost doesn't matter what kite or rod you have, it's all about experience, control and practice...practice...practice.

Or in other words... it's not the arrow, it's the Indian... nothing is precise until you can fly it without any thought what-so-ever. Just like playing music....

On spending.... um, well, just do it and get over it...lol... I agonized over pricing until I realized that I only agonized until I had the kite in my hand.... then I didn't ever think about it again... They are worth every single penny you spend..

Re: What About A Blast?

Posted: Wed, Jul 29 2009, 04:12 PM
by BillLamm
does the SUL come with 2 wrap and SLE with 3 wrap spars?? is their any other difference??
I like the idea of a B series because I can get a matching vented sail down the road and the extra spars...

sounds like the SLE with race rods is the all in one but the race rods are $$$

these kites are so modular, it is sad that revolution and the vendors don't give you more upfront choices...

(day dreaming in the NE corner) :SLKani:

Re: What About A Blast?

Posted: Wed, Jul 29 2009, 04:19 PM
by Nomad
Okay, looks like things are looking more or less like I figured they'd be.

The thing about 1.5s is that they can sometimes feel a little boring to me. The one thing that I've been struck by as I watch other people fly them is that they tend to look a little slow and stodgy. I saw the 2 and the speed version fly and my immediate reaction was "aha! there's that element that's been missing".

I just wish I could add a bit more speed to a 1.5. I guess I can't really complain about the pull, at the Glenview meet I got a pleasing amount of pull from the standard 1.5 I was flying at peak wind. Oh it was never going to pull me off my feet, but I at least like to be able to feel the wind, to feel the connection to it. Even the speed series kite that I flew offered a little more pull when it was up to speed. And I admit I can see that I may not want too much all the time, after flying those parafoils for a while I was looking to go back to a kite that wasn't going to fight me that hard.

This is kind of my pattern. I never want to start out with the basic option. In this case it's the 1.5. The fact that EVERYONE has one suggests it's a good kite, of course, but my response is to start thinking of it as common and looking at other alternatives.


I'm interested to see responses leaning towards a non B series now. I thought B series was the trend in the previous posts I'd looked at. Especially the bit about using both the 2 and 3 wrap spars for extra strength for high winds. Now I've got a votes for a race rod and 3 wrap setup. Interesting.

No SLE spar, yes, I'm hip to that. I had been leaning towards a B because of the oft mentioned ability to use both spars together for higher wind levels since I was thinking of trying to avoid getting a vented. I'll certainly consider the lower price option too.

Especially since now I'm starting to think I might at least get two Revs.. a Blast and some 1.5 variant. In which case I know the 1.5 should be the first.

I know myself. I never want to start on the fundamentals. If I go that route I should definitely start with the 1.5 and work on some discipline and control first.

Re: What About A Blast?

Posted: Wed, Jul 29 2009, 06:13 PM
by BillLamm
This thread has spurred me on a research binge.... :book: ( I am dangerously close to spending money I should save :thx:

the 1.5 SLE (red, white and blue or red black with black center??) RTF with 3 wrap frame can be had from winds of change for a price comparable to Chicago Kite and then later the vented with 4 wrap frame at a price again comparable to Chicago Kite (but their web site doesn't show 1.5 vented as an option)

Dave @ Chicago Kite is out of town so I don't know how willing he is to swap out parts... (but I would love my money to stimulate the economy closer to home

maybe a b-series vented is the best second kite but for the money, is the sail material and panel layout really that much of an advantage???

are the SLE rods that bad?? if they are good for training then maybe their should be an IKE SLE rod library so people can buy a good package and still learn to fly on the indestructible SLEs..

Re: What About A Blast?

Posted: Wed, Jul 29 2009, 08:27 PM
by Babbman
good lord, you guys give me bunches to talk about with this..

Let's start with this. Boring?...lol... I wish... Flying team has given me an awful lot to practice so I haven't been bored at all. I've been flying for 4 years now and I still have an awful lot to learn. You'll find that out depending on how deep you get into it. Even the act of flying straight and level across the window is something that has to be practiced. Turns and spins, Inverted flight... not just turning it upside down, but flying inverted the same way you fly normally.... Never a boring minute.

As for speed, this can be changed by flying with an SLE. It's stiffer and adds more mass and speed. But, It's damn heavy and IMHO, I hate it. The flex in the LE is what helps give me more precision and that comes with the skinny rods, again, IMHO. It also allows me to fly in more types of winds.

Rods... ugh, an endless source of controversy and opinion. I know some who change their rods to match winds. While a good idea with 2 wraps, after a while, it's just a pain in the butt... especially with the winds we have here in the midwest. I am a very strong proponent of picking a rod and just staying with it. That's why I fly Race Rods. I my standard non-vented it too much to handle in higher winds, I switch to my vented with race rods. If the wind is too strong for that, I stop flying or gasp... switch to a 4 wrap. But really, those days are few and far between... And honestly, with the way the winds are here, I refuse to spend all my time switching rods... call me lazy if you wish, but by flying the same thing in all types of winds, it helps you develop technique and ability. It can be done.

When it really comes down to it, it's all about experience and technique and again... PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE.

Now, the even more sticky point of what, how and who to buy from. This is my standard advice to everyone on anything.

You will get NOTHING if you don't ask for what you want. PERIOD

Part of our job as experienced pilots is to impart our advice and knowledge, hopefully to new people, before they cough up a chunk of change.

My personal advice is to buy from your local kite dealer if at all possible. If that's not acceptable, then comb the forums and call around and find someone you are comfortable dealing with. It's that simple.

Once you have someone, just ASK for what you want. All they can say is no. But I don't think you will ever get that answer from some of the dealers I go to. You may have to special order something and pay a few more bucks, but it's better to wait to get what you want than to get something you don't and have to pay even MORE money to get there.

Colors, rods, line, it doesn't matter... just ask... Dave and Kent are both great guys.

And Race rod prices? Worth every single penny.

I think I would just give in to the fact that you will NEED a vented at some point... especially if you are going to fly with others. A non-vented sail is just too difficult to control in higher winds and only after taking out 3 or 4 others will you understand. And I wouldn't even consider flying a non-vented if the winds are so strong as to require both rods... no way in hell... 2 in a vented? That's more reasonable.

Re: What About A Blast?

Posted: Wed, Jul 29 2009, 09:23 PM
by Jeff
BillLamm wrote:This thread has spurred me on a research binge.... :book: ( I am dangerously close to spending money I should save :thx:

the 1.5 SLE (red, white and blue or red black with black center??) RTF with 3 wrap frame can be had from winds of change for a price comparable to Chicago Kite and then later the vented with 4 wrap frame at a price again comparable to Chicago Kite (but their web site doesn't show 1.5 vented as an option)

Dave @ Chicago Kite is out of town so I don't know how willing he is to swap out parts... (but I would love my money to stimulate the economy closer to home

maybe a b-series vented is the best second kite but for the money, is the sail material and panel layout really that much of an advantage???

are the SLE rods that bad?? if they are good for training then maybe their should be an IKE SLE rod library so people can buy a good package and still learn to fly on the indestructible SLEs..


I'd just put the SLE rods out of your mind...pretend they don't exist. They really don't need to. :-D The regular rods are strong enough. I've yet to see a newbie crack a spar. It's usually the hot dogging fliers that know enough to be dangerous, and it's still rare at that.

Honestly, when talking about the advantages of the sail patterns, I don't know what to tell you. I've flown both, and I can't really say that one is better than the other. I don't want to discount the design that they put into the B, but whatever difference there is, I just don't notice it. Maybe I'm just not sensitive to it. Bottom line is, they're both great kites. If you made a decision based on looks alone, you wouldn't go wrong.

Don't worry about what options are on what web site. Give them a call and they'll get what you want. When I got my vented B from Dave, the gold and black wasn't on the site. In fact, I'm pretty sure he thought I meant the lime, and I had to tell him no, it's the gold that Rev shows on their site. No problem, he ordered what I wanted.


I may have some free time this coming Sunday. (No promises yet...my daughter got invited to something, and that may free me up) If so, if you want to get together and fly some of my stuff, (1.5s and 1s) we could do that.

Re: What About A Blast?

Posted: Wed, Jul 29 2009, 10:28 PM
by chicagokite
Hey guys and gals

Yes im out of the store for a week .But just wanted to let you all know just call or email me if you dont see it on our site Il be happy to order it any way you want. Ps not everything we carry is on the site.
:thanks:
Dave

PS dont forget about perry farms fly aug 16-17 and dekalb sept 13

Re: What About A Blast?

Posted: Thu, Jul 30 2009, 02:28 AM
by Sailor99
What Jeff and Babbman said :v: :v: I too cannot tell the difference between the sail patterns. I do have an opinion (Flame suit on) that icarex suffers from a short life and is prone to breaking down under stretch - it was a cloth that was used about 15 years ago in sailing for spinnakers, but only lasted a season or so in that market before people realised it was not up to the job (Flame suit off). SLE leading edges are only good for garden stakes (My opinion of course, but the correct opinion of course!). I hear what you say about doubling the leading edge with skinnies. The only thing I would observe is that I cannot remember when I last did that, and it would have only been with a fully vented (in fact with a non-rev super-vented). IMHO a double LE means winds in excess of 35 knots, and flying a rev is beginning to stop feeling like fun in those winds - other kites are much better. What Babbman says about not having to change the LE is so true. I was watching a newbie last weekend swapping frames in and out as the wind changed; everyone else just kept flying - OK they were sub-optimal for a while, but the wind soon changed back again, it usually does!

Re: What About A Blast?

Posted: Thu, Jul 30 2009, 04:49 AM
by Babbman
One other thought, especially with the non-vented...

You will experience a bit of sail stretch as your kite ages. It's just the nature of the beast. When you subject a non-vented to winds over 10 or so, you will get a lot of pull and some loss of control. Anything more than 15 and you risk damaging your sail, the bungies and/or the rods. If you are flying with others, the 1st thing you will find is that your chances of taking them out will increase exponentially. There will be a lot of expletives and yelling and grunting... from yourself as you go running by everyone else trying to keep things under control.

I spent my entire 1st season poopooing the idea of a vented... I had enough trouble getting any wind at all that year. Then October hit and 15-20 was normal... I bit the bullet and bought a vented and in the first 5 mins of flying it, wondered why in the hell I waited so long...

On sail patterns, symmetry is always a good thing and as far as I can tell, the most significant aspect of the layout of the sail material is in how it stretches over time. Having an equal opportunity stretch on your sail could make a difference but you will be amazed at how easily your body will compensate for these small differences. I think that for purists, this is something to consider and if you have the money, the new B series are beautiful and a work of engineering art...

For new fliers? Get a standard 1.5 and have fun learning and do NOT worry about the details that make absolutely no difference for you right now. Honestly, you have so much more to worry about than that stuff... like how you will justify/hide your next purchase from your significant other and how you can excuse yourself from work or sneak out to fly when the winds you want are there while ducking all other responsibilities...lol

The SLE rods... lol... I like what Jeff Said.... I've heard the arguments for and against them for 4 years now. Personally, like Jeff, I forgot them. Just too damn heavy for the Midwest and since we have a good IKE presence with a lot of people to fly with, it's a good idea to fly what others are flying. I understand the concept of having an almost indestructible LE to start out with but at the same time, you also limit your flying time greatly. I know cause I spent the first 2 months with my new rev wondering why I couldn't get the damn thing off the ground. If you have any ability at all, only a few sessions (especially with all the experience available to you around here) will have you flying good enough to eliminate the need for them at all.

Re: What About A Blast?

Posted: Thu, Jul 30 2009, 09:45 AM
by Mike
BillLamm wrote:I like the idea of a B series because I can get a matching vented sail down the road and the extra spars...
these kites are so modular, it is sad that revolution and the vendors don't give you more upfront choices...


You can get matching sails on any kite setup. Either SUL/SLE vented, SLE standard/SLE vented, or B-Series standard/B-vented. The B-series has those gray panels on the standard sail make it look kinda like a vented, so they match more closely.

The difference between an SUL and SLE sail are minimal: The SUL has a lighter leading edge (that's the black material on top of the kite) and a fractionally lighter bridle that many people don't like because it doesn't hold a knot well. The main part of the sail is the same material on both kites. In practice, an SLE standard works just as well as an SUL.


BillLamm wrote:the 1.5 SLE (red, white and blue or red black with black center??) RTF with 3 wrap frame can be had from winds of change for a price comparable to Chicago Kite and then later the vented with 4 wrap frame at a price again comparable to Chicago Kite (but their web site doesn't show 1.5 vented as an option)

I'm pretty sure Dave at Chicago Kite stocks the SLE sail with 3 wrap rods. His website is incomplete; Email, call, or drop by the shop. If he doesn't have it in stock, he can get anything you want pretty quickly.


Sailor99 wrote:... that icarex suffers from a short life and is prone to breaking down under stretch

That's interesting and I don't doubt what you say. Rev doesn't use icarex though, they use a different brand of polyester. I've only had one kite that had a bad batch of material that actually broke down, my dozens of others are still going strong after years of use.


Remarks on rods: Zach Gordon, last year's AKA National Champion, pretty much uses 3 wrap rods all the time. The previous champ, John Barresi, uses mostly race rods.
My point is that either one works for an experienced flyer.

Doubling up on rods: I agree with Sailor99. I've only done it once and there's video out there of me being dragged down the beach with that setup.

Remarks on the Blast precision. I saw a team in Japan that flew Blasts. So it's possible to do precision teamwork with Blast. I think it's harder though.
Here's the Japanese team:
[youtube]xCSKfRdz5UI[/youtube]

Re: What About A Blast?

Posted: Thu, Jul 30 2009, 10:33 AM
by Jeff
Mike wrote:Doubling up on rods: I agree with Sailor99. I've only done it once and there's video out there of me being dragged down the beach with that setup.


"Out there" he says... :-D

[youtube]lAjS9cBxikw[/youtube]

Re: What About A Blast?

Posted: Thu, Jul 30 2009, 03:20 PM
by Sailor99
I have a couple of older B sails that are really going well. Look almost as good as new. But I understood from someone who should know (if you see what I mean) that the newer revs are icarex and my newer ones are not aging as well. I stand corrected though on this newer cloth.

Re: What About A Blast?

Posted: Thu, Jul 30 2009, 04:23 PM
by BillLamm
Mike wrote:
BillLamm wrote:the 1.5 SLE (red, white and blue or red black with black center??) RTF with 3 wrap frame can be had from winds of change for a price comparable to Chicago Kite and then later the vented with 4 wrap frame at a price again comparable to Chicago Kite (but their web site doesn't show 1.5 vented as an option)

I'm pretty sure Dave at Chicago Kite stocks the SLE sail with 3 wrap rods. His website is incomplete; Email, call, or drop by the shop. If he doesn't have it in stock, he can get anything you want pretty quickly.


from what I have read on this forum I suspected that Dave is very flexible in getting people what they want... I did not mean to imply anything for or against either shop... I was pleasantly surprised to find the options clearly outlined at winds of change.... I think I just worded my post wrong... long term I would like to make my own sails, with artistic designs and imagery.... but for the imagery to respect the kite in flight I have to learn to fly it... so when I can afford such a selfish purchase I will get the SLE with the 3 wraps or race rods and know that a vented with 4 wraps will be desirable sooner than later....

Re: What About A Blast?

Posted: Fri, Jul 31 2009, 12:54 PM
by awindofchange
Thanks for the kind words about our website, we try to give as much information about the Revolutions as possible because they are fairly new to most people and there are such a wide amount of varieties / configurations that can be put together for them that it can be quite confusing sometimes.

A Wind Of Change does ship worldwide and we have one of the largest in-stock inventories of Revolution kites and parts. That being what it is, it is still best if you support your local shop. Your local shop can give you things that no online shop can deliver, and many times those things are much more valuable than just a couple dollars savings. One of those things is friendship. Your local shop not only wants to get you the items that you want to buy, but will be there for you when you need them in the rare event that something goes wrong, or something breaks, or even if you just need information on the best local flying spots and who else is out there that you can fly with. Also, if you happen to have a local shop that enjoys flying as well, there is a good chance that you will be flying with that person(s) on the field and in most cases, the shop owner(s)/employees will be more than willing to help you out on the flying field which is always faster than any computer screen. I also know of many shops that offer demo kites that you can try before you buy - which is always better than putting the order through the internet, waiting a couple days for the items to arrive and then finding out that they really didn't do what you were expecting them to do.

Of course, if your local shop can't take care of you or worse....refused to help then we are more than happy to get you the items that you want. I know that this is not the case with Dave and Chicago Kite, he is a stand up guy and knows kites. :)

Just keep in mind that (in most cases) your local shop can give you so much more than just a few dollars savings on a kite...and they would love to see you and make you one of their friends as well.

Re: What About A Blast?

Posted: Fri, Jul 31 2009, 11:00 PM
by BillLamm
Jeff wrote:
I may have some free time this coming Sunday. (No promises yet...my daughter got invited to something, and that may free me up) If so, if you want to get together and fly some of my stuff, (1.5s and 1s) we could do that.


let me know.... this wold be a good Sunday for that... my wife and son are down south for the week...

Re: What About A Blast?

Posted: Sat, Aug 01 2009, 03:02 PM
by Jeff
BillLamm wrote:
Jeff wrote:
I may have some free time this coming Sunday. (No promises yet...my daughter got invited to something, and that may free me up) If so, if you want to get together and fly some of my stuff, (1.5s and 1s) we could do that.


let me know.... this wold be a good Sunday for that... my wife and son are down south for the week...

Yep, I'm free tomorrow.

Anybody else for a short notice fly?