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The WhangDoodle Sport Kite.Kite Lines Magazine vol.11 no.1

Wingspan: 116 in.
Height: 53 in.
Weight: 13 oz.
Frame: 3 wrap graphite
Wind Range: 2-25 mph
Rec. Lines: 80-150#
Purchase: Retired

We admit it; we expected this kite to be good. Bob Childs is a top stunt kite competitor, and his kites, sold under the company name It's A Breeze, have enjoyed and enviable reputation for quality and craftsmanship. Early this year, the company introduced a new variation on its Jabberwocky design, the 10-foot WhangDoodle.

The WhangDoodle is very well constructed using Carrington sailcloth on a 3-wrap Advantage carbon frame. Apart from its size, its most interesting design feature is the inflatable cells located just behind and along both leading edges. The cells inflate in flight to give the WhangDoodle a very thick wing profile, said to redirect airflow across the back of the wing and produce more laminar flow at the trailing edge.

We flew the WhangDoodle over a period of four weeks, using 80'-120' lengths of Spectra line ranging from 80lbs to 200lbs, depending on wind conditions.

We first flew the kite in a gusty 12-mph wind. The kite pulled hard against our 200lb lines, but showed no signs of stress. The kite's motion was slow and deliberate, and made only a small amount of noise.

It was obvious from the start that the WhangDoodle needed a large amount of arm movement to perform the crisp moves we were accustomed to with smaller kites. With that change in technique, we were able to perform a wide range of moves including snap stalls directly downwind, slides and axels. Turning was fairly tight, centered approximately a foot inside the wingtip. The kite tracked very well and exhibited no oversteer at all.

At a kite festival a few days later, we had the WhangDoodle out in steady 3-4 mph winds. Under these conditions, its large sail area gave the kite a very solid feel, becoming a bit soft with the stock bridle setting. Lowering the tow point 1/4 improved the cornering, at the expense of a little bit of wind window.

In the lighter breezes, tracking and cornering remained very good. We practiced many figures and tricks without ever feeling limited by the 10-foot wingspan. With a bit of effort we were even able to perform a few tumbles on the ground. Relaunching from various positions on the ground posed no problems. Overall, the WhangDoodle showed the same smooth, forgiving performance we have enjoyed with the smaller Jabberwocky.

We also had the chance to fly the WhangDoodle in a pairs formation, alongside another manufacturer's 10-foot kite. The WhangDoodle seemed to offer snappier performance, more like an 8-foot kite. Several people who tried it agreed that it would be a strong contender as a team kite in light to moderate winds.

The WhangDoodle offers a strong combination of size, performance and style. It's a very good kite that just happens to be big.

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