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Has anyone here flown a Zen?

Posted: Tue, Nov 24 2009, 07:40 PM
by Mike
Now that the Zen is officially released. Did anyone here get a chance to fly one in Milwaukee?
I'm curious how it compares with a Rev 1 fitted with 2 or 3 wrap spars.

If they're really the cats pajamas, maybe 180GO! needs 4 of 'em for next season. (In 0 wind, we'd fly a team of 4)

Re: Has Anyone Here Flown A Zen?

Posted: Tue, Nov 24 2009, 09:30 PM
by Jeepster
Sure make me feel bad. I was only there for Saturday morning when Ben said the winds were too high to fly it. Later, after I left and the wind died down, he broke them out to use for training purposes.

Sure would be nice if 180GO! would get a short set. You'd share wouldn't you??


Re: Has Anyone Here Flown A Zen?

Posted: Tue, Nov 24 2009, 11:17 PM
by Jeff
I flew one the Saturday at Mots. Prototype #17, I think.

There is no doubt that it handled well in wind quite lighter than the 1.5 could handle. Now, I didn't compare it directly to the Rev 1, I hadn't flown the 1 a whole lot this summer, just a couple times. But my impression is that the Zen was more maneuverable. Not as agile as a 1.5, of course, but still, for a larger kite it felt pretty good.

Funny thing, I was telling some of the other guys the next day at Dekalb when we were struggling to stay in the air that it would be nice to have a set of team Zens for days like that. Certainly 4 would be all the team would need. In those winds, you wouldn't be flying 6 anyway.

Re: Has Anyone Here Flown A Zen?

Posted: Wed, Nov 25 2009, 04:37 AM
by quaa714
I was fortunate enuf to test fly a couple of versions. The first out at WSIKF and then again another version in Cape Fear just a couple of weeks ago. Both vastly different. Honestly, when I flew it at Wsikf, Iwas underwhelmed. It did nothing for me. I got the concept but my style of fl;ying and the then prototype of the zen didn't mesh. Flew it again at Caope Fear where several mods had been made between the previous vers I'd flown. Some minor changes in the sail regarding depth of V, bridle mods, etc. But the biggest change that I could humbly feel was in the sparring. As we all know, the lightest kite possible that fills up with the most air is what we're after but only if there is a proper balance of weight in the leading edge to actually drive the kite. Having said that (insert larry david joke here). I flew the kite at Cape fear first with one set of spars that I immediately said to Ben, felt too spongy, (kinda like race rods, under stress). Then swapped em out for a stiffer LE and the kite felt entirely different, more responsive, easier to fly (if that's possible). Now Rev/Ben won't say what the composisition of the new spars are but think Silver Bullet in that what starts the LE in the middle as stiff, ends less so by the tips. I'm not saying that they are silver bullets for the Zen. I'm just saying that was my humble impression.

Caveat placed here.......Ben's sail at the time may not have been the final sail (damn close tho) as some minor mods may have been done to the bridles and sparring between Cape Fear and it's release yesterday,but it was damn close!!!!!!
For the casual pilot who experiences difficulty in no/low wind days this kite is gonna rock their world, Having said that (insert Larry David laugh here) this kite does require a different skill set that needs to be learned. Low wind technique is a must and needs to be learned. For teams, those days of fly or die just got immensely more easy to deal with.

Can't wait for mine to show up!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Re: Has anyone here flown a Zen?

Posted: Wed, Nov 25 2009, 08:39 AM
by Mike
Thanks for the feedback.

I don't buy the theory that weight is needed to give drive to the kite. I do believe that spar flex makes a big difference though. The Rev I sized kite needs a stiffer spar than we use on the Rev 1.5 because of the longer LE.

It sounds like it flies like a Rev I on lighter spars. But they dropped the 'V" as compared to the Rev I. That'll give you more sail, though I expect it makes it less maneuverable.

Tom: of course I'd share the kites.

Now we just need a way to get the cash to buy 16 new sails for the team and 4 Zens...

Re: Has Anyone Here Flown A Zen?

Posted: Wed, Nov 25 2009, 02:26 PM
by TeamTrejo
16 new sails for the team?

Do you think Ben would send us a final prototype to try out? Kind of a "try before you buy" type thing.

Re: Has anyone here flown a Zen?

Posted: Wed, Nov 25 2009, 04:47 PM
by Mike
Many of the team sails have holes.
16 = 8 fliers x (vented + standard)
The spars are fine, but many of the sails aren't. Something about Revs in the last few years. I don't know if it's the roughness of the spars or what, but the sails get holes where the spars rub.

I asked Ben for a prototype a couple weeks ago. He said that Bazzer had the only one and wasn't parting with it.
Maybe there will be one at the San Diego New Years Day fly. And maybe the wind will be crappy. :) Then I can try it. I just missed too many festivals this year where I could have flown it.
Come on down Isaac, we can check it out together.

Re: Has Anyone Here Flown A Zen?

Posted: Mon, Nov 30 2009, 01:19 PM
by chicagokite
Hey everyone

Hope you all had a great thanksgiving!

Chicagokite is now accepting Pre orders for the Zen 2-3 week delivery Time.
We are Offering a special for the club 1/2 down and and the other at delivery.
So call Email or go to web site


Re: Has Anyone Here Flown A Zen?

Posted: Tue, Dec 01 2009, 11:55 AM
by Jeff
Kitelife article by David Hathaway on the Zen... ... ontent.php