Tied to the Sky

  • Autumn Kite Flying on the Prairies

    The Echo low wind kite Well it's official.  The summer of 2012 has officially ended giving way to autumn.  The leaves are changing color and falling from their soon-to-be sleeping hosts, and the smooth gentle winds blow them all into my yard!   

    I like autumn because with the crops all harvested the flying fields become abundant. The winds tend to come gently from the west and the south and have been 6 - 20 kph (between 4 and 12 mph) and on the lighter side I really enjoy a light wind kite - typically an UL or an SUL and away I go.   I like the way that even with a breath of the winds the sails load up and giddy - up.  I am no expert pilot - I was told once that you have a choice, you can be an amazing kite flyer or you can sell kites and though I fly a fair bit, selling them along with other things in my life has stunted my learning curve.  Well ... not to mention that I am just not all that co-ordinate either! :)  Regardless, I am so enjoying the art of flying well-made kites in the soft autumn breeze and for me that's the bottom line - kites are supposed to be fun!

    Of late, I have found myself playing with The Echo.  The Echo is a Paul DeBakker design and is manufactured by Into the Wind Kites.   I am having so much fun with this kite in next-to-nothing winds as it float for what seems like forever and still has a very real presence in the lines.  I have enjoyed the liveliness of the kite, but it is quite precise. I like its balance, it's quite comfortable on its back. Wiith a gentle backwards step it is all too ready to go.

    I am also impressed with the build quality.  Nicely stitched  and finished, and I like its size, again for the presence and the generous square centimetre's of sail.  I have also come to appreciate that for a zero wind / indoor kite she is pretty durable which is good for my more spazzy moments.   I am finding I am referring this kite more and more to folks who are looking for a solid low wind kite.  I think its geometry, sail to weight ratio, bridle and some of the little extras like some tail ballast make this an easier kite for those looking for a thrilling, positive low wind kite flying experience.

    Here's the Scoop:

    Wing Span: 182 cm

    Height: 89cm

    Sail: 0.6 oz. Icarex

    Frame: 3mm carbon tubes

    Lines:  50lb (Indoors:12-14ft) (Outdoors: 25-35ft) I've been using 25ft 90lb LPG.

    Wind Range: 0 - 10 kph

    To me it seems like a value packed, solid performing kite for only $130.  I will have to figure out how I can take good video and fly at the same time but in the meantime, here is a video of The Echo in the hands of an amazing flyer - Paul DeBakker


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