This 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)
There are Five XTC's, here are their stats:
Product Name Price* Frame Approx. Weight
Linear Graphite $150 Avia Linear 9 oz.
Competition Graphite $200 Avia Excel 8 oz.
Competition Ultralight $240 Avia G-Force/UL 6 oz.
Competition E-Vent $280 Avia G-Force 11 oz.
Feather Indoor $280 Avia G-Force/SUL 5 oz.
*U.S. Suggested Retail, "Street Price" will probably be
Type: Dual-line dart-type, stand-offs, curved leading edge.
Dimensions: 96" wide, 38" tall
Graphic: 7 panel: two horizontal wings, split; three
Sailcloth: Grade-A Norlon ripstop Nylon by North Sail
(Linear Graphite), Icarex 1/2 oz., 3/4 oz. (all
Construction: Laser Cut panels, sail-taped seams
Wind Range: Linear: 2-25 MPH, Feather Indoor: "0"-5MPH,
Comp. Ul: ".5"-10 MPH, Comp Grp: 2-25 MPH
E-VENT: 10-35 MPH
Nicknames: 'The X'
The construction quality of all of the XTC's is not only superb, it is
flawless. Using a construction technique used by only a few manufacturers
in the world, the XTC's quality and consistency will be noticed
Construction design of the XTC's (except for the Feather Indoor) reflect
three things: the refinement of a very mature design; the influence of the
very harsh Bay Area wind conditions; and the needs of a "radical"
competition flyer. The XTC's are built *tough* for doing harsh, radical
flying. They are also built with features like, "tangle free" fittings,
and very *tight* vinyl so they don't pop out even after a long time
flying. The bridal is a "6-point" type for maximum control and
wind range. The "Competition" models have advanced features such as
rubber-banded fittings securing the vinyls (again, with the "hard core"
competitor in mind), as well as the wrapped graphite frame.
The XTC is no only my favorite kite, but the *only* kite I have flown that
I don't feel *limited* by. The XTC is the kite I originally developed the
Axle with, and I (and many others) continue to push the move further
along, with moves like double-axles and double-coins, triples, etc.
The XTC is very, very responsive--more responsive than any I've flown.
The "Competition" line is extremely so. This is accomplished not only by
the overall design, but by a very stiff frame, stiff vinyls (made out of
very hard polypropylene or nylon instead of soft vinyl or rubber), and a
very tight overall sail.
Although the kite is responsive, precision work with the kite is
excellent. Tracking is excellent--although the kite is sensitive, it has
no uncontrollable oversteer. Stalls are very stable, and this is a great
kite for a beginner to learn very advanced moves like stalls and axles.
As for it's "radical features", the XTC stalls better--and more
dramatically--than any other kite I've flown. Black-hole and Wall moves
are simply awesome. Stall moves done *upside down* are especially cool.
This is the kite that invented the Axle, and the design continues to
improve the kite's ability to do the move. Double axles and double coins
are no problem at all with the XTC (I can do them *sitting down* :-) ).
The new-for-95' design axles *even better* than the 94' design, even
though the new design also improves overall stability and tracking.
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.