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Good in, good out!

I see a few new names on the build list for one of the final Mambas and Tsurus, and I just want to share a few notes, in particular about the Mamba.

Both kites are capable of an amazing number of technical tricks but don’t be surprised if they’re not as pop-and-flop friendly as the current crop of hardcore tricksters. The Mamba can be an especially demanding dance partner and is very particular in what it’s going to accept. I find my kites partial to short, fast, crisp inputs. Best results in precision and square corners come from fast combination turns, with a quick return to neutral and a crisp acceleration out of the corner.

Both kites will demand good setups and good technique in order to reward you with the more technical stuff. Give it sloppy input, and expect the kite to laugh and shrug. Slow down, and learn good technique. They will punish sloppy harshly, but reward good flying in high style.

Have fun with your new toy. Take care of each other, and you’ll be skydancing for many years to come. 😊

 

A little progress report…

I just wanted to thank everybody again for filling the build queue. It’s usually a very soft time of year, so it’s nice to have a good reason to spend the days in the studio. I got off to a slower start than I’d thought, but finally kicking into gear! All the applique is sort of kicking my butt, but I’m very pleased with kites that are coming across the old Bernina. 🙂

I’m expecting to have the flames & eagles Mambas finished up in the next couple of weeks, and then it’s on to the “std” Mambas and Tsurus. If anyone in that second group would like to move your build and delivery back a little, until after the holidays, I’d be happy to work with you on that. I don’t need a break, just trying to accommodate those of you that have a life outside of kites if needed! 😉😆

Please don’t forget to share a picture of your kite!

Turning the page…

The book has been closed on sport kite orders.

While I can’t make a schedule promise, you can keep a general eye on the build queue progress. Check out the list of numbers at the bottom-right of every page on the website that has a sidebar. It works simply – “bold is sold, deleted is completed.” Right now, I’m looking at a couple of kites a week as I work my way through the list. I’m hoping to wrap things up before Christmas.

Two kites a week keeps the bills paid during a traditionally soft time, and gives me breathing room to plan and develop the next chapter of this kiting story.

Thank you, to all that have been a part of my business, my story, and my life in kiting. People change, and interests and markets shift. It’s time to turn the page to the next chapter.

Be well, be happy, go fly…

An update, a reminder, and an FYI…

The update –

The last time I wrote was about a limited edition of t-shirts with the proceeds going to charity. I’m happy to report that we were able to raise a little over $600 for the Wounded Warrior Project. The full amount will be donated as a memorial to a friend to many of us, Col. Norman Douglas (Doug) Charleville USA (Ret.), who passed away recently. Thank you, to all that made this donation possible!

The reminder –

I also wrote recently about a limited number (15) of special Mambas that will be made, and the graphics retired. As of today, 8 of the 15 have been sold, and the ordering period ends on 3 Oct. If you’re interested, a $50 deposit will secure your order today. Full details are on the “Flames & Eagles” shop page.

The FYI –

I’m discontinuing my sport kites after the 15 mentioned above and putting 100% of my focus and energy into developing a dynamic lineup of single-line kites, which has become more of my interest and passion over the years. If those 15 kites don’t sell by 3 Oct, the remaining slots will be available for Mambas and Tsurus ordered through my shop. So, if you would like one of the last Ken McNeill sport kites made, hit my website on Monday evening to see how many sport kite build slots are still available.

Thank you, be well, go fly!
Ken

Flames & Eagles on Mambas, oh my!

All of the “Flames and Eagles” Mambas have been accounted for. Thank you all!


I’ll be crafting a limited number of kites on the Mamba 3.0 platform, using two graphics I developed. The graphics used will then be retired. The two graphics are the “Moon Eagle”, and “Ghost Flames”. You’ll see a drawing of both in their available colors below. (order page)
edit: Orders will close Oct 3rd.

The colors are pre-determined, and there are no customizations. The only variations will be a choice of std or UL framing. Pricing is based on time and materials above the stock Mamba price. The “Moon Eagle” Mamba is $424 USD, and the “Ghost Flames” version is priced at $459. The price does not include shipping, taxes, etc.

The run will be a maximum of 15 kites, made at the rate of 4-5 a month, over the next 3-4 months. Production will begin on the first Monday in October, at which time ordering will close. There is a limit of one kite per customer. A $50 deposit will secure your order, and I will invoice you for the balance including shipping when your kite is coming to my table.

Kites will go on the schedule in the order received unless you specify that you’d like a later build slot on your order. Out of necessity, the schedule will be “soft”, and I can’t accommodate specific delivery dates or deadlines. I’ll let you know where you are in the build queue within a few days of your deposit and will publish a simple list of build numbers that will be updated as we go. edit: You can find that build list at the bottom-right of every website page that has a sidebar.

The order page is up now – https://kmacfab.com/shop/flames-eagles/

What’s happening, and what’s coming

I just wanted to share a few quick notes about what’s going on at KmacFab.

You probably noticed I had a modest price increase a couple of months ago. It was, in effect, a “cost of living” increase designed to keep me even with rising costs of materials, shipping, etc. In the time since, I’ve taken a hard look at where the business is, and its health moving forward. What became crystal clear was the fact that my prices were still too low to allow for growth and development, as well as shop and equipment updates.

If you take a quick look around the KmacFab website, you’ll see price increases, the largest coming to my single-line kites. I’ve always tried to keep my prices lower and make up the difference by working longer and harder. I’ll be 65 in a few weeks, and the thought of working 70 hours a week, just to stay even with the bills, doesn’t have quite the charm it did thirty years ago. 🙂

Over the coming months, I’ll be working hard on updating existing designs, as well as extending the lineup. I’m bringing at least one classic KmacFab kite back and will take a hard look at a second. In addition, I have a list of about a dozen variations on historical kites that I’m looking at to give a Kmac twist. Three of those are already in the early development stages!

One last note. If you take a look around the website, you’ll see some changes and streamlining. I’ve discontinued the T-shirts and will be trimming back on the “stock” color combinations on the shop kite pages.

Thank you for letting me, and KmacFab, be a small part of your universe, and for being a major part of mine.

Be well,
Ken

Price increase…

Just a quick note to give y’all a heads up. It’s not a surprise to anyone that costs of living, and doing business, have been going up. I’ve recently had an increase in the cost of fabric, framing materials, parts, etc, etc. Shipping costs have increased, so it’s more expensive to have materials sent to me. And oh yeah, PayPal raised their fees again.

As a result of the costs increases, I need to raise prices a little across the board. The price increase per kite will be between $10-30, just to keep my head above water and build for the future.

Thanks, once again, for your business and support!

A few changes around here…

As you may have noticed, there have been a few changes around these parts. The most noticeable change is that Blue Moon Kites is becoming Kmac Fab!

Ken McNeill Fab. (aka Kmac Fab.) has been the business name since 2013. You’ve seen it on every invoice and packing slip, as well as at the bottom of every website page. In 2017, I started using Blue Moon Kites again as a brand name, but over the last several months, I’ve come to the same conclusion I reached when I came back to making kites in 2013 – my personal and professional goals are best served by doing everything under my own name. Please be patient while I’m going through every little corner of the website, and making sure everything is current and correct.

I’m going to break this here for today, and pick it back up soon. If you have any thoughts or questions, please share them in the comments section below.