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ZENfull experience


JynxKites
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For those of you who either possess or have flown a Zen, there's probably nothing here that you don't already know.

I purchased my Zen in December 2009 and being that I'm from frosty-winter Wisconsin, after setting it up indoors and drooling a bit, it sat in my bag until summer (2010). On a few light wind days I set it up and tried it out to see if it was everything everyone bragged about. Well it wasn't! It was a boat that didn't want to fly and was a total disappointment! A waste of money and just another kite I could add to my bag collection.

Later that summer of 2010, Dave, an IKE 180GO team member flew it in light winds after the Quad City Fest at Centennial Park in Davenport Iowa will such skill and charm that it totally wowed me...was I wrong about it? So I gave it another try when I returned home. Nothing changed for me, an over-rated kite that didn't do what it's said to be able to do! Dave must have had higher winds than I remembered because I had over 5mph winds and the thing was a truck! So, back in the bag with the dang thing!

This afternoon at Veterans Park in Milwaukee the winds were near nonexistent (0-5 mph). My Eyez were set-up and ready to go as I sat on a bench waiting and waiting for just a little wind relief. I can't explain why, but I guess out of sheer desperation, and boredom, I again took-out the ol' (near brand-new nearly two years out-of-sight, out-of-mind) Zen and set it up on its 120' 50# lines not expecting anything but more frustration as in the past.

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Then simply a tug on the lines and...OMG! ...One of the most ZENful Rev experiences I've had in years! With just a whisper of wind it miraculously flew like good-winds of 10-12mph and handled like a dream! It Wasn't the kite after all, it was Me! If I wouldn't have personally experienced it I would have never believed it. Truly WINDerFULL! It didn't do what 'they' said it could... It did so much more!

Re-born, I've finally seen the light! I now am a low-wind ZENaholic and recommend that if you haven't already... give the Zen a Go.

I could go on-and-on but I'll stop here, but not before expressing my gratitude to Revolution and Bazzer's skills... and also to apologize for being such a non-believer!

My Eyez may still be my favorite child, but after today's experience, my Zen will definitely be #1 on those difficult days!

...For those who are laughing and knew all along what it can do... Please be patient and bear with me... I'll get it right someday!

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If it makes you feel any better, allow me to share two things that may be relevant...

Firstly, when Ben was kind (evil) enough to create the circumstances that allowed me to own my first Pros ... I absolutely cound not tell the difference between them and the factory B series. During a chat with JB about it after one afternoon of flying the Pro and B back to back I actually gave the edge to the B in lighter wind. Finish quality on the Pro was far superior, but they flew the same in my eyes. A short while later I started flying just the Pro sails instead of the B because I had paid for them and they were finished to a higher quality - may as well fly the 'good' one of the lot. This went on for nearly 2 months until one day I forgot to put the Pro in my bag and arrived at the field to find I only had my B set in the bag. I was a little sad about that, but for no reason other than I had to fly the factory made one instead of the Bazzer made one ... totally an emotional response. However, not very many minutes into my afternoon I finally understood the difference between the Pro and the B in the air. Its subtle and you need an educated hand to feel it, but once you understand it you don't want to go back. Needless to say I dropped the hammer on a full Pro 1.5 set which I collected at the WCRC earlier this year. :blue-cool:

Second experience relates to my Zen and in some ways is similar to yours. I flew it maybe 4 or 5 times and hasn't really got on with it that well. I had used it to good effect on those occasions and had found that it does indeed make super low wind easiER (not easy, you still need skill) but it still wasn't something I totally enjoyed. Then one day I hooked it up to 120' lines (I had previously flown 50' lines due to the low wind) and to my surprise it did EXACTLY what it said on the tin - it was a low wind machine for long line team flying. Turns out its good at precisely what iQuad designed it for :wacko:

The Zen is a specialty tool in my eyes - you're paying a lot of money for a very small wind range and a very specific set of tasks. If you fly the Zen in its intended tasks it performs well, if not then you may be disappointed. Moral of the story - iQuad and Bazzer seem to know what they are doing and the kites do what they were designed to do, you just may be trying to make them do something else if you find yourself having a bad time.

To be honest, after I got to meet Bazzer and spend time chatting to him and seeing his work versus others, I don't know of anyone else on the planet I would rather have make me a kite. The man knows what he's doing and he makes a damn fine kite. Now that he's promised to make my favourite sail of all time, all thats left now is to get him to make a B2 Pro set and an indoor Pro B)

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I do see in your picture 4 sailboats out on the water, so you must have had a bit of wind. But I know the story oh so well. I flew my Zen once on 65' lines, it felt super heavy, I put it away then had neck surgery and was useless for the rest of 2011, now it's 2012 and I have some 120's and I have some light wind. I'll get back yo you on this. Thanks Jynx for bring up the subject.

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I see you hooked it up to 50# lines!! I had a chance (but didn't take it) to try a Zen on 50#x120' lines!! I was flying my SUL and ghosting around with it!!I have flown JB's in some low wind conditions, but he usually has it on short lines (30')!! There is definitely a different feel to it!!

Yesterday, I had made up a 120' set of lines for my son and put my old Rev1 on them to stretch them out!! I had forgotten how much of a difference there is between the models! But I had also forgotten how much fun that old kite can be to fly!! Yeah, I put a race frame in it and used lighter lines, but something about that first love of quads...! kid_devlish.gif

It's in my bag to use, not reminisce about!!! smile.gif

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...Hyzakite, Nearly no wind at all and most sailboats were still in the water... except for a few that I presume had motors... trust me, as the wind sock shows, there was only a whisper of wind... and no chance (for me) of flying with the 1.5/s.

...Mark, I looked back at my photos... Yes, you're right it was last summer at Iowa. Still, I'm embarrassed that the Zen spent (other than 4 occasions) hidden in my bag for years! smiley-blushing.gifShame on Me!

...Baloo, Thanks for BEARing with me! smile.gif

Conclusion: The Zen was so impressive that I almost look forward to future low winds... and that's a First in my Dark-Side life!

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Awesome story Jinx, and one I hear quite a bit. The Zen is a special monster for sure. I try to tell everyone that orders one that it isn't quite like the 1.5's, it likes to be flown it's own way, you have to coax and caress it and when you figure out just how to do that, it rewards you with awe.

The Zen is incredible in the light winds, but you aren't going to be able to stand flat footed and just yank it up into the air. Once you figure out how to "flow" your body with the kite and what the Zen likes to have, it is an experience like none other.

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Awesome story Jinx, and one I hear quite a bit. The Zen is a special monster for sure. I try to tell everyone that orders one that it isn't quite like the 1.5's, it likes to be flown it's own way, you have to coax and caress it and when you figure out just how to do that, it rewards you with awe.

The Zen is incredible in the light winds, but you aren't going to be able to stand flat footed and just yank it up into the air. Once you figure out how to "flow" your body with the kite and what the Zen likes to have, it is an experience like none other.

Hmmm!

I tend to stay away from certain types of discussion but going with the 'flow' is very much my experience in light wind flying. <grins>

Felix

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I finally got the Zen out today, I had to adjust my top lines all the way to the handle knot I used 13" handles, I flew for about 2 1/2 hours, I had a lot of oversteer. But yes once you have that pattern going it doesn't want to come down, I probably walked a mile back and forth in a 20' space.

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quoting Kent

" The Zen is incredible in the light winds,..... but you aren't going to be able to stand flat footed and just yank it up into the air. "

(HA, that is so true! To do that STAND FLAT-FOOTED you'd have to actually borrow a kite from Dave Ashworth's bag!)

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quoting Kent

" The Zen is incredible in the light winds,..... but you aren't going to be able to stand flat footed and just yank it up into the air. "

(HA, that is so true! To do that STAND FLAT-FOOTED you'd have to actually borrow a kite from Dave Ashworth's bag!)

But I want one that does'nt break.... Benkid_devlish.gifkid_devlish.gifkid_devlish.gif

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Benny, admit it, you're a flailer! if you made Ashworth's kite version it would certainly be more durable!,... Dave's down spars are pultrude .125 carbon tubes, granted there are more of them, but that stick's flexibility requires some restriction between the two sail halves and very long bridle. The bridle spreads the stress of input commands over a great surface area and the outlandish length of the bridle stops the sticks from too much distortion reacting to the commands.

It will axel, but there's not much mass and darn thing is huge. So big input commands are necessary for slack-line tricks and long wait time for the action to be completed. What's really cool about the kite (and the Zen as well) is the incredible glides that are possible. I'm working on a handle carry-off glide that allows enough time so you can decide if you want to retrieve the handles or go catch the kite. It doesn't descend from above you, but rather it as travels parallel with the ground for five seconds or more.

Indoors, Dave's kite can carry the handles under it as it glides along (notice in the picture posted previously, the cute little handles some guy from San Diego pawned off on me?!) Outside the zen does the same thing! It's a magical expression of the moment when you truly connect with your kite. It floats away or back towards you like a yo-yo. The darn things are huge, so everything done is in slow motion or with a big presence if on short lines.

Both of these kites are joys to fly. (one truly dedicated for indoor usage ONLY, but you can stand on 1 foot!) and the other an outdoor no/low-wind masterpiece. One if have to borrow and the other I get to share whenever the conditions are appropriate.

You knew this probably, but given the opportunity, both of these kites prefer long lines. The zen is magical on a set of 100 or 120 feet of fifty pound w/15 no-snag handles.

I can honestly believe some folks are also disappointed with their Zen purchase too. If you want a better glide you need a set of sissy sticks!

If you want a better Zen experience I recommend you make or acquire a set of these "training wheels". It's about the price of replacement bridle + postage, you can take it off if you don't like it and it's easy to install. It makes the frame structure stiffer without adding much weight, that stiffness translates into a hot knife thru butter when gliding across (or even with it!) the wind window.

The glide is a key component of the throw & catch trick, one of the Rev's greatest attributes in my opinion. It's the trick most all other kites CAN never DO!

I love to throw the Zen around 3-D style.

Here's the magic stick test. Fly the kite up as high as possible, invert and throw the handles out in front of you as far as possible (EQUALLY is your objective). Put a stake down at your feet and walk to the grounded kite counting each stride. My guess is the distance your kite will have travelled with be 3 or 400% of the elevation from which it was released when combined with a set of magic sticks. calculation basis (guesstimate) if you had a 100 ft of string you could reasonably assume release point is at 80 feet of direct elevation. Your released glide should measure out to 250 - 320 feet. Whoever said you can't recover your field? Now you get the idea of moving around the field yourself, which is when the Zen climax happens, no lead-footin'!

PS: I know, you've seen Andrew Albosta's photo before,.... but it sums up my relationship with the Zen and our local wind conditions. TRY the sticks if you're unhappy with your glide, do the test before & after sticks, compare for yourself

and move those feet

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For 2 1/2 hours of moving around with the kite I ended up in the ER for 5 hours with my back, neck, shoulder and chest muscle and joint, while I was there I didn't complain once about my torn meniscous. A year ago today I was under the knife getting c5-6 discs removed and fused. I'll get the Zen back out in a few weeks but not on 100' lines, maybe 30'. I don't know about others but when I fly I'm using a lot of muscles in my arms shoulders chest and neck, like rowing a boat. At 61 I love to run around all day, but some wind is much easier on me.

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