"M" kite reviews: McBird & Manta

The McBird is a nice indoor/light outdoor wind kite.  Christine and Daniel work hard to make a lot of nice kites and this is definitely one of them.   All icarex and carbon tubes keeps the weight down.   Like a few other xUL (extra Ultra Light wind)) single lines there is a nicely designed pocket in the nose to accommodate a coin or two to produce more of a glide out of this kite.  
Rods are all attached to the skin with thin bungees for easily removal/assembly.
The flight is very easily controllable, although i have had a bit of trouble coaxing a flat spin out of it since the skin forms a deep keel at the spine when moving forwards.   Practice makes perfect though as I imagine if you wait a second or two before giving a tug to allow the kite skin to go slack much better spins would be the outcome.  
In terms of a gliding flight I have not had any change in my pockets (a normal occasion) to be ableto  drop another coin in there to help bring the nose down - but then I also like McBird as a better tracking and up-and-over kite, a little more active flying than other kites.
Overall, the McBird is a very good quality kite to add to your Light wind arsenal!
You can find more about McBird, how to order one, and about Christine and Daniel (and their projects as well) here at their website: http://lcvs.ca

The Manta, made by Hunter and Paul of Focus Kites Designs, is a scaled up, and tweaked version of their already well known xUL/indoor kite, the Skate.   Having owned a Skate for a couple of years I am very familiar with its flight characteristics, and quality; and both are top notch!   
Focus has a line of top end sport kites and the guys bring their designs into their single line kites as well.   
To start with, the Manta is not small!  It is over 10' wide and its spine is over 6' long.   That creates a vast area of skin that, along with its nice light framing, gets this kite up and flying in almost no wind.   Indoor flight is possible, but I would rather pull out my Skate since it is a bit more manageable in the areas I get to fly in now.  
The spreader has an adjustable bow line on it that is done in a very classy way with the tension being formed by a sliding and lockable splice (LOVE the knot-a-tool device of old!).   Simple clean pockets are very easy to put rod ends into and are reinforced with flat webbing as well.   The spine and leading edges are all 2 pieces so that the kite ends up folding and rolling into a bag around 48" tall, not bad for this bugger!   
Like the Skate, this kite is able to be tuned and adjusted for more of a gliding flight.   On the Skate there is a coin pocket in the nose, while on the Manta there is some brass tubing that is slid onto the nose end of the spine.    That will flatten the kite right out for when you want to play with it.   If you get out to your flying spot and there is just barely any wind pull the Manta out and get ready.   It will catch any gust (if you can call a 1mph wind a gust) and soar right up to as high as you let it.   Then as the wind drops off the Manta will settle backwards on its tail, if you have removed that brass weight, or start to become activly gliding around, with its weights in place.   a big kite in low winds will create a big grin!!!
The Manta is a definite kite to add to your bag that will bring a huge impact on a xUL wind day or situation!
To check out Focus' Manta and other kites head to: http://focuskites.com/

Good extra light winds to all!


New kites! Celtic Panels!

Coming from Portland, Maine, from the studio of Tony & Petra
come the newest offering on the website.  
These are lower winds panel kites that burst with color!   
These are the perfect size to fit into a window to add some kite art to your home or office as well as flying them!

They have a great light weight frame that allows them to absorb any gusts, but not like the traditional Japanese Edo's that you may have seen.

At 70$ shipped, in the States, these are a great deal, and a beautiful piece to add to your kite bag!
Personally, we like to fly them as a pair (there is a pair kite deal) since the colors will compliment each other.

Click here to go right to the new page and claim your colors!

These are only one of the handful of new items that are going to be coming out on the website int he next few weeks - so keep an eye peeled!

Good winds


Bobby Stanfield Cellular kite

Now to be honest this is not a one of a kind kite; this is a one of four of a kind kite.   Bobby made 4 of these amazing cellular kites.   Two were sold on the East Coast and two on the West coast.   The other East Coast one will not be sold (I know who has it), and the West coast ones - well I jave no clue where they are.   
But you could bring this kite to your region!   

This kite is in fantastic shape (and truthfully belongs in a museum!) and is ready to fly.   
Assembly takes about 10 to 15 minutes and then it is good to go.   

If you are not familiar with Bobby's work he is one of the best kite makers out there ever.   The sewing is perfect, 
the design is exquisite, 
the framing is one of a kind (he made a lot of his own fittings).

This kite can come to you for the price of 675$ + shipping.   
A veritable steal in the world of high end show single line kites.

You can find more pictures of the kite here: UNnamed Bobby Stanfield Cellular Kite
As well as pictures of how it goes together here: Stanfield Assembly

There are still some great deals in the Yard Sale, as well as some great kites available from Windswept Kites!

Good winds everyone!