Jabberwocky G2 Review
Kitelife Ezine Summer 2002
7' 2" x 2'10"
Wind Range: 3-20 mph
Rec. Lines: 80-150#
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"
He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.
And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!"
By Lewis Carroll (from Through the Looking-Glass and
What Alice Found There, 1872)
That is part of the inspiration behind the name Jabberwocky. A kite designed
by Bob Childs around 1992. The Jabberwock was a dragon, but there is nothing
ugly about this kite.
American Kite Magazine had this to say about the original: "There's
nothing fancy about the Jabberwocky except the way it flies. No vents,
extra standoffs or tricky bridle hookups have been added for the gizmo
fan, just the best materials assembled with great care according an elegant
plan. The simple approach - and some sophisticated aero-engineering -
extract a lot from a little wind." in the Vol. 6 No. 2 issue which also
included the Jabberwocky on the cover.
the 2002 issue of Into the Wind's catalog came out I was excited to see
that the Jabberwocky was once again in production as a 2nd generation
version. The magazine made a small note of the kite being redesigned for
today's standards. I quickly responded with a chance to try a kite of
old. Like all good kite addicts, my bag is full of the current kites,
but like many others I was looking for a taste of the early days.
I was looking for Nostalgia. What I found looked more like the future
than the past. Bob Childs was not content to just reproduce a great kite
from the past. He worked and tweaked the kite into a new wonderful flying
machine. One that lived up to the original description, "...nothing fancy
except how it flies, ...with subtle innovations that allows the kite to
extract a lot from a little wind" and the demands of today's pilots. Full
original review at: Original
Jabberwocky review by AKM.
The kite is sewn and assembled by Heads
Up Kites here in the USA. Construction is excellent. The seems are
double stitched and the sail is ripstop polyester. The sixteen panels
are cut with the stress lines along the warp to provide maximum strength
and long life. The trailing edge is double stitched as well. The frame
is Avia .210's. A lightweight frame yet I noticed no distortion in flight.
pointed out that the kite was built with "Gadgetless Wing Mechanics"
- automatic features that do not require additional set up or constant
adjustment. At the heart of the innovations are its Wing Silencers .
Little strips of mylar along the back of the leading edges and the base
of the spine. This is how Bob described them, "The Wing Silencers are
the secret for making a silent trailing edge that does not alter the shape
of the kite. Leach lines often force an unnatural shape in the wing while
in flight, and encourages stretching and distortion of the sail. They
also require readjustment as the wind increases. Wing Silencers quiet
the trailing edge automatically without altering the flow of the wind
across the sail." Let me say that they do their job perfectly! When I
originally examined the kite I noticed the lack of a leach line. When
I saw the strips of mylar (actually it's Prizmatex laminate created by
Stan Swanson of Condor Kites). I assumed they were there for sail reinforcement.
Yet once I flew the kite the feel was too different. Something was having
a positive, but radical effect on how the kite flies.
I've flown it in winds from 3 mph to about 17mph and on several occasions.
Not only is it a silent flyer, it stalls very easily-always ready to set
up for tricks. As the wind increases, there is an increase in pull, but
forward speed seems to remain controlled. This is especially noticeable
on takeoff. Even in the higher winds launching the kite resulted in the
same speed. This control of speed I see as a positive. Too often a kite
races out of the gates and one has to slow the kite down to be able to
perform tricks. The J'G2 is always ready to stall and pop tricks.
The bridle is set in a way that makes the kite slightly nose heavy. This
results in the kite being eager to jump onto its back for a variety of
tricks ranging from Lazy Susans, Yo-Yos, and even Fruit Rollups. Pancakes
are another line of tricks that come easy for the J'G2. This opens the
door for 540's, Fade-Flacs and Fades. One trick that I especially enjoyed
doing with the J'G2 is the combination of 1 backspin into a Lazy Susan
back into the Fade ready to repeat the cycle. This is a trick that I had
worked on mastering for some time with little consistency until I tried
it on the J'G2.
With the heavy nose setting, Axels are not as flat as some prefer and
I have yet pulled off any double Axels This slight weakness in perfect
Axels is easily overlooked thanks to the vast array of other
tricks that the J'G2 excels at!
While on the Bridle topic I found the
information included with the kite some of the most helpful I've ever
read regarding adjusting the bridle. The documentation not only tells
you how to adjust the 3-point bridle but also what one looks for when
making adjustments. Slight adjustments to the bridle have a big impact
on the handling of the kite. Once as I was setting up the kite the winds
were about 10 mph stronger than the previous time I had flown the kite.
I adjust the bridle the amount I usually would on other kites, this proved
to be too much of an adjustment. The proper adjustment was half of my
G2 is not only a trick kite but one that is designed for the precisionist
as well. Bob Childs' goal was to achieve a kite that would excel at square
corners and straight ground passes as well as trick combinations. Bob's
early career includes not only kite design, but kite competition. Thus
he had the competitor in mind as well when he redesigned the Jabberwocky.
There's something about watching its wingtips snap around in square corners
that will bring a smile to the precisionist in every flyer.
As the poem says, "Beware of the Jabberwock my son, the jaws that bite,
the claws that catch!" Beware, and don't let it get away again!
Beware, this Jabberwocky may have the look of nostalgia, but it has new
claws! Claws that will snag the heart of any pilot who takes one for a
If you would like to contact Bob Childs about the Jabberwocky G2 you
can reach him on the web at: It's
A Breeze Kites. I found corresponding with him almost as fun as flying
his latest creation.
Glen Warren / Kitelife.com
Thanks to Glen Warren and Kitelife.com for this review. Read the original
article at: Kitelife
reviews submitted by Jabberwocky G2 pilots here.
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