EDIT in 2009
When I first wrote this in 2007, Pansh kites were cheap. Over time they have increased in price to over three times the introductory price. They are now more expensive that other higher quality brands, and hence can no longer be recommended.
The review below remains for historical interest but is now very outdated.================================================
Blaze (and Legend) are from a new Power kite manufacturer Pansh, who started selling power kites direct from China to the general public at VERY low 'introductory' prices in early 2006. As some of these are making there way onto eBay now I thought a quick guide might help.
Find all you need to know by googling for "pansh"
Yes very! The price varies with exchange rate. On launch in early 2006 they ranged from £53.46 to £107.46. Prices have changed, and crept up in the middle sizes.
They come in the following sizes
- 3m Blaze
- 5m Blaze
- 7m Blaze
- 8.5m Blaze
- 10m Blaze
- 12.5m Blaze
Their price is for a complete kite, delivered to your door from China.
They include, kite, 4 lines, handles and simple bag. You will need to buy a ground stake and kite killers yourself before going out to fly.
Needless to say they cause quite a stir in the kiting community, and many people bought one on spec...
The delivery has proven to be excellent, most people report within a week. There is full online tracking and traceability of the parcels they send. If any damage has occurred in transit, Pansh have a no quibble system for rejecting the original delivery and they send a new one out no problems.
Are they any good?
Surprisingly the consensus seems to be yes! For the money they are very good value. Obviously the material and finishing is not up to Ozone, Libre, or Flexifoil, but, if you go in expecting about 60-70% of the performance of their far more expensive cousins you are likely to be pleasantly surprised.
The Blaze is a medium lift intermediate kite suited to static, buggy or board. The obvious comparison is Ozone Samurai, or maybe PKD Brooza, its not in the same league, but it is fraction of the price! It comes in several colours all with striking '70's hot rod' type yellow and orange flames. There is no mistaking a Blaze! The sizes are 3, 5, 7, 8.5, 10 and 12.5m.
Pansh also make the Legend, which is aimed at the beginners market and stable with very low lift but good traction. It comes in a staid stripe design in Primary colours, in 2, 3, 4.5 and 5.5m sizes. Its most suited to static or buggy use. Please see my Legend review
New additions from Pansh include:
- Blaze II - Released 1/1/2007 - More expensive depower kite, sold kite only. Flame graphic both sides.
- Airlink - Released 28/2/07 - Race style buggy kite. Again sold kite only
- Ace - released 12/5/07 - High lift kite ideal for Boarding or freestyle buggy, for experts only. A rival to Blade or Haka, at a fraction of the price
Are there any instructions or help and advice?The kites themselves just come with a basic setup diagram that is emailed to customers, no instructions. however there is now:
- A dedicated eBay pansh shop set up by Pansh, that has a full set of Pansh set-up and flying guides .
- An unofficial Pansh forum set up by fans, at panshforum-dot-com.
What's the catch??
The early 2006 models of Blaze had several problems:
- Not enough brake line bridle points on the Blaze meant little or no brakes
- Lines sent out without pre stretching, they changed length by several feet in the first use. Many people threw them away
- The handles had rough burrs on the holes for the leader, which meant they quickly wore through
- The original credit card payment system had many problems, rejecting most cards
HOWEVER - a thread on Pansh quickly built up on the forums at www-dot-racekites-dot-com (58 pages and still going strong), and surprising Pansh listened! Several forum members gave them improvements and suggestions which have been incorporated into later models!
You will find messages like this on the Panshkite site:
'Since 25th,May 2006, all the flying strings are pre-stretched. The sent products before this day are without the pre-stretched lines.'
Great honesty - hats off to Pansh!
While there are still a few issues, for instance
- The 7m, 8.5m, 10m and 12.5m Blaze seem to require a bridle modification to get good turning performance, and make the brakes work fully..
- People also report good things from attaching Power Rings to the Blaze (like the old Mk1 Firebee).
But most of the small Pansh Blaze kites should fly fine out of the bag.
Was this guide useful? If so please rate it YES below ...
IMPORTANT UPDATE 3/11/06
Buyers are were reporting that they are being charged an additional £27 import duty in addition to the above. This is believed to consist of:
- £2.40 Import Duty,
- about £7.40 VAT
- TNT handling/administration charge about £15 for doing the paperwork on the import (pretty standard across all the express carriers).
UPDATE ON UPDATE FROM PANSH ...9/11/06 ;¬)
"We have never met this problem before. It was caused by the British Customs. We are really sorry for the inconvenience caused by this mistake. In addition, we decided to stop delivering packages to our British clients by TNT for a while because TNT did not deal with this problem rapidly. Start from November 6, we have changed TNT for DHL and Fedex to deliver package to England.
Now we think everything is clarified. As we have promised, we will never let our client cover any cost that should not be covered by them. We hope all the British clients can continue to trust us, so we can provide better products and better services."
Customer Service Manager
Pansh Kite Inc.