coping with wind
Beaufort wind scale
UK kite stores
US kite stores
kite fest photos
design & plans
how to buggy
buggy: first lesson
buggy tricks guide
kite buggy e-list
kite fest photos
the kite bag
Prophecy (Prism Designs)
.5 oz. Ripstop Polyester/Mylar Laminates
P100, P300, 3PT, 5PT, 7PT Skyshark Pultruded Carbon
90-200# at 80-150ft.
For those of you who are delighted with the
Illusion family of kites, get ready to do "The Happy
Dance." This latest offering from Prism
Designs Inc. will immediately feel right at home on the end of your lines. For
anyone else who has been searching for a truly meaningful kite with a large, impressive
look and feel, you're in for a real treat as we finally have a larger kite that
delivers high end performance.
The Prophecy, while maintaining a distinct character and feel all its own, definitely has
many vestiges of the Illusion heritage evident in its appearance and performance.
Originally designed for precision flying, this kite has evolved into something much
more significant, a fantastic all around kite for the serious flyer. Indeed, one of the
hardest things to achieve in kite design is a large kite that is not only stable and
precise, but has the ability to do all the "new school" slack line tricks.
The Prophecy delivers on this daunting necessity.
Prism Designs Inc. has always been known for the highest quality in materials and
construction and this new model does not miss the mark. Everything on this kite is top
notch, from the stitching on the taped seams to the APA fittings and Kevlar nose. The
frame set is an eclectic collection of hand picked rods from Skyshark, which work with the
sail to control the camber and load characteristics of the overall design. A total of six
stand-offs provides depth to the sail and tensions the trailing edge, providing an
amazingly responsive feel.
Included with the package is a very well-designed padded zip-up bag that holds two kites,
spare rods and line sets, all in webbed pockets. This is a real bonus in that the Prophecy
is too long to fit in many kite bags.
Once out of the bag the Prophecy assembles quickly and easily. The speed of the kite
is very controllable, given the many combinations of active bridle and stand-off
adjustments possible. I had no problem flying mine down to 1mph, pulling off 360's on
85ft of line just by jogging around. At about 18mph, the kite begins to get
unhappy quickly, and by 20mph the wingtips begin to shudder as it flies, indicating that
it's time to get out a vented!
About the only limiting tendency to report is a reluctance to enter a back-flip. Due
to the size of the sail, this move requires a bit more effort than I am accustomed to.
Having to work harder for this one particular move seems to be a small price to pay,
considering the benefits of the overall design. In this case, the reward you receive
is a kite that floats its way through 540's, fades, axels, coin-tosses, and lazy-susans
with a heart stopping slow grace and elegance.
While the price tag may give some pause, the kite's performance, quality and visual impact
does a very good job towards justifying its expense. For me, nothing else even
Rec.Kites Addendum for the Cyber-Kite Addicted
OK, that was the watered-down version, so for all you Gear-Heads and Techno-Phreaks that
demand a little more than your average 500 word review, here's the low down on what Matt
REALLY thinks. Please keep in mind that I am splitting VERY fine hairs here, and
nothing that follows is anything more than minutiae.
As I said, stable and precise applies. Having more sail depth than any other big
kite that I've flown, means it also has more mass in the sail than your average precision
kite (NSR for example), so that means that you have to work to turn it. Less
so, perhaps, than most of you who fly big kites are used to, but more than my Illusion trained hands are programmed for. All the
Mylar contributes to a certain hesitancy to lock onto right angles, and results in a bit
of a wobble coming out of turns. Again, this is VERY minor, and maybe even unnoticeable to
most, but I felt it worth saying, even if just for respectability. I got over this
feeling very quickly, and in a few hours was having no problem practicing figures with
nice, sharp, right angles. One additional thing to mention here that I neglected to go
into depth on originally is that this kite tracts really smoothly and slowly. Very tunable
to compensate for a bunch of wind conditions, and the kite itself, be it sail design
or bridle or combination of both, smoothes out the bumps and swirls in uneven air
amazingly well. After trying to fly figures with an Illusion, this characteristic is
very appreciated, especially to me as I am still trying to get the knack of precision
flying. (I don't know how Michael Moore does it, but good for him!) Having a
kite that does most of the work for me in the area of speed control is great!
Another point I wanted to make is that, being a very stable and smooth flying kite, the
Prophecy is gonna do great things in the hands of an aggressive team at some point in the
future. Coupling these precision and trick capabilities in one kite means that a
whole bunch of new possibilities now exist. Team fades with threading? Very
cool. Team slot machines into team fades? No problem. Group 540's? You bet.
Almost any low-percentage slack-line move becomes fair game with flyers
who know what they're doing and a kite that broadens the margin for error. I've been
messing around with some pairs flying lately, and so far we have been able to do some very
cool looking stuff. More on this later as we progress!
I'm actually gonna have to think long and hard about whether or not to
switch from my Illy to the Proph for competition flying in Ballet. Those of you who know
me, know what a heavy statement that is for me to make. For those who don't, just
believe me when I say that I like my Illusions a lot. (read: enough that my constant
flying of them has put my marriage in jeopardy more than once! Sorry Karen,
I'll try to be better (^8) The big key here is that the kite floats around so slowly
that you are almost tempted to put your handles down and go over to the kite to help.
Seriously. I'm not exaggerating here. When the winds are down to 5 or so, magic stuff
starts happening with the flat-work! This isn't to say that you can't make the kite
trick more quickly, but after all, there is a limit to how fast an 8ft kite can rotate, so
for a faster routine keep a back up around for sure. This tends not to be a problem over
8mph or so, as there is enough wind at this point for fairly fast movement from maneuver
Looking deeper, I have to mention the back-flip thing again. I couldn't mention it in
the published version (again due to space), but the real problem I found wasn't so much in
the Prophecy's inability to go onto its back, but in its hesitancy to go far enough back
to be controllable. Ever try to initiate a lazy-susan with a kite not quite far
enough nose back? Disaster!! Major tangles and ugliness commence! As I reported
earlier, it's not hard to get it right, just takes a bit of work to get the steps down.
Here's a hint: give a little rock just before you go for it. This will start
the kite thinking about moving, so that when you really let it go, it pops over far enough
to spin. This will also help the kite to exit cleanly and crisply without sliding
around a lot.
Other moves like axels, coin-tosses, cascades, and etc. work just fine and look as
beautiful as you would expect, but the wingtip stabs are massively cool. Having a
kite that big race towards the ground and then slam into a tipstab really messes with my
reality. I haven't been able to snap a LLE yet, but give me some more time, as I'm
sure it can be done! Speaking of that, this kite has been pretty hard for me to
break, so nothing bad to say there. All the different Skyshark rods work together
well, and, believe it or not, changing around the configuration really does mess with the
performance of the kite.
Flic-flacs are worth a mention here as well, as they are very solid and predictable.
Flying on long lines, it's not hard to start flic-flak-ing 120ft over your head and not
stopping for a very long time before hitting the ground. If the wind is smooth and
even, you're going to have no trouble controlling the kite through any series of
Oh yeah, I almost forgot to even mention this. The kite will dead-launch! It was such
a big deal only a year or so ago, but now it's so common place that I forgot to say
it. Oops! Your standard two quick tugs put you right back into flying position,
maybe even a little easier than the Illy.
So that about sums it up for me. Nothing else that I can think of anyway. Let me
know if I forgot anything that anyone is interested in finding out, and if I don't know
the answer I can at least make up something that sounds good ;->
Thanks for reading,