After only stunt-kite flying for ten months, I have just recently been
exposed to indoor flying! Wow, what a great way to spend a rainy day! The
only problem was that I thought I would have to take out a loan to pay for
one of those super-ultralight, high-tech indoor marvels. Well, I'm here to
say it's not so! With some skepticism, I bought an "X4i", made by Buena
Vista Kites. I paid less than $71 US! Now, I must say that this kite is
smaller than those $200 to $400, eight-foot wing span kites. The X4i has
about a four-foot wing span, Icarex sail, and is spared with rods that are
smaller than the standoffs (aka wiskers) on larger stunt kites. One of the
greatest things about this indoor kite is that it weighs in at one ounce!
Honestly, I weighed it! Now for the good part. It flys GREAT indoors! As
a novice, I found myself doing quite a bit of running when I first flew the
larger, eight-foot indoor kites. But with the X4i, I could tip-toe around
the basketball court and keep it flying! The other nice thing about this
kite is that it is VERY durable. Many of the big indoor kites are so fragile
that one good nose dive and you are buying new spars. Not so with the X4i.
Its so light and flexible that it bounces, well almost :) In conclusion,
if you are interested in trying indoor flying but don't want to shell out the
big bucks for an eight-foot super-ultralight, try the X4i. It's much easier
on your wallet and flys great! One last thing. This kite CAN be flow
outdoors too! It's great for those days when you only have a whisper-soft
wind and everyone else is grounded!
"Good Friends and Good Winds,
That's What Kiting is All About!"
e-mail address: JerryYurek@aol.com
This next review is by Steve Thomas who is closely connected with the manufacturer.
You should read his
Buena Vista Kite Company
301 8th Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
415-626-3599 / 415-626-1226 (FAX)
Price: US Suggested Retail: $78 (Street: $69)
Type: Dual-line dart-type, stand-offs, curved leading edge.
Dimensions: 48" wide, 18" tall
Weight: approx. 1 ounce (28 grams)
Graphic: 2 panel: one peice with one wingtip panel
Frame: Avia Sport Pulled Graphite
Sailcloth: Icarex .5 oz.
Construction: Laser Cut panels, sail-taped seams
Wind Range: "Indoor Only" (max. is probably at about 5 MPH)
Two Line Sets Included (7 feet, 12 feet)
The X4I is Buena Vista's newest entry into the realm of Indoor kites. The
idea behind the X4I was to be a low priced, easy to fly, indoor kite
The construction quality of the X4I is much the same as the rest of the
Buena Vista line--laser cut panels, sail-taped seams, flawless quality.
The basic construction is that of Buena Vista's larger kites, but with
"micro" fittings, etc.
The X4I is a really neat little kite. The four foot size makes the kite
very flyible on seven foot lines. This makes flying the X4I in small
spaces--lobbies, tall rooms, etc.-- very possible, and lot's of fun. At
the KTA I had a chance to teach several *kite store owners* (read: not
necessarily awesome competition flyers) to fly indoors with the X4I. Each
one of them were able to fly in just a few minutes!
The X4I's lift is simply amazing. A quick pull with both hands will send
the kite flying over your head. Peter flies the kite *sitting in a
chair*! (I've tried to one-up Peter by flying it laying on the ground,
but haven't pulled it off yet--I guess I should just start with the chair).
It's small size gives it a lot of maneuverability on short lines.
Spinning the kite indoors, on seven foot lines, is fairly easy--on the
twelve foot lines, it's a no-brainer. Falling-axles work great.
This kite really shines in the 3-D flying department. Throwing--and
thraxeling (throw-axle)--the kite works really, really well.
Stacking the kite is another intriguing idea, and I'm waiting for this
kite to set the "indoor stack record"...
A Note About the Company.
Buena Vista Kite Company was founded in 1991 and is owned entirely by
Peter Werba (Peter is now a renown indoor flyer and innovator). Buena
Vista sells kites in at least 50 kites stores all over the world, and is
one of the top selling kites (if not *the* top selling kite) in Japan.
Buena Vista sells a complete line of high-performance sport kites ranging
from beginner kites (Streaker), to competition kites (XTC line), to
competition team kites (XTC X-10 line), to the two indoor products (XTC
Feather and X4I), and the newly released Cyborg VIII. A total of 11
products in all.
Buena Vista continues to be an innovator in high-performance flying, as
well as high quality sport kites.