Thursday 14 September 2023

North Shore Radicals

Top of the Line North Shore Radicals are the classic team kites, and they have several world championships under their belt. In the past, I've already posted on several other Top of the Line kites in our quiver, namely Hawaiians and Spin-Offs. What about the classic NSRs?

The first North Shores we got were these 'rainbows':

These are not original Top of the Line North Shores; they were made and marketed by a US kite shop, Cutting Edge Kites (the shop doesn't appear to exist anymore). They have modern spars and fittings, but the sails are sewn by Pam Kirk, who was one of the people sewing the original Top of the Line sails. So they do have some original North Shore Radical 'DNA' in them!

They handle and fly pretty much like original Top of the Line North Shores, including the famous NSR roar!

Going off at a bit of a tangent, what we also have in our quiver is this "Weston Shore Radical". Based on an NSR, it was made years ago by a kite friend, who passed away, for another kite friend, who also passed away recently. The kite ended up with us, and has special meaning, as you will probably understand. The reason behind the name, by the way, is that they often flew at Weston Shore in Southampton.

Staying with home-made kites based on a North Shore Radical, we have a set of four of these 'Point-Nine Shores'. Made by Josh Mitcheson, they are basically 90% scaled down versions of a North Shore. We have this set of four (pictures show three, but we have four) to allow us to give interested people a taste of pair/team-flying. Due to their reduced size, they pull less than a classical North Shore Radical (thus making it easier to handle for people new to team-flying), but still make some noise!

None of the kites above are original Top of the Line NSRs, of course, so what about those? First of all, we have, on loan from STACK, a set of six North Shores (i.e. three pairs), previously flown by the Punchline team.

A pair of North Shore Konas:

A pair of North Shore Radicals:

And a pair of North Shore VIPs:

Twisted Bridle, our sister pair in L-katz, also have three pairs of NSRs on loan (which used to be flown by Airkraft), allowing us to fly North Shores with the team; imagine the noise!!

So that was the situation until quite recently, when we were basically given two different batches of team kites. Together, these batches contained four Top of the Line North Shores, plus an original sail. The sail was a 'neon' R-20 sail, which I really liked. Given that one of the North Shores in the batch had the same colour pattern as one of our modern Cutting Edge kites, I decided to swap the sails.

The frame of this kite is not original; the spars are thinner and lighter than normal.

The kite flies absolutely fine, and feels and sounds as a North Shore Radical should, but best to consider it a unique 'light' Radical (the sail is not a Kona sail, so I'm not calling it a Kona).

The neon stripes look fantastic when the sun hits them!

Both recent batches of kites included a North Shore VIP, and, purely by chance, these two kites had the same sail: black with single rainbow stripes (V-15).

They flew together perfectly matched from the word go, without any need for bridle tweaking! Quite possibly, the previous owners never changed the bridles from their factory setting. 

Indulge me, North Shores are always fun to refuel ...

The final North Shore Radical from those two recent batches has an R-13 reverse sail.

Unlike the 'neon' NSR, which I'm happy with flying on its own (especially given the lighter frame), I very much would like to find this R-13 reverse NSR a fitting flying partner. An obvious good match would be an R-13 like this one (picture credit: Bill Lancashire):

Fingers crossed I'll be able to get my hands on one!!

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