Size: 7’ 2” x 2’10”
Wind Range: 3-20 mph
Price: $166.00 only from
Into The Wind
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 in 1992. The Jabberwock was a dragon, but there
is nothing ugly about this kite. American Kite Magazine had this to
say about the orginal: “ 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.”
When the 2002 issue of Into the Wind’s catalog came out I
to see that the Jabberwocky was once again in production as a 2nd
generation version. The catalog 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
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
The kite is sewn and assembled by Heads Up Kites here in the USA.
Construction is excellent. The seams 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
yet I noticed no distortion in flight. Bob 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 it’s 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 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 J2 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
J2. This opens the door for 540’s, fade-flacs and fades. One trick
that I especially enjoyed doing with the kite 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 J2). 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
kite 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 to
much an adjustment. The proper adjustment was half of my initial
The Jabberwocky 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!"
The kite comes signed by Bob Childs, for now! He has committed to
signing them through this year. Beware and know that the kite can only
be found at Into the Wind. 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 test spin.
If you would like to contact Bob Childs about the Jabberwocky G2 you
can reach him at:
firstname.lastname@example.org or on the web:
http://www.itsabreezekites.com. I found corresponding with him
almost as much fun as flying his latest creation.