Retrospective: Viper Sport Kites “Vendetta” UL

For those who like to skip ahead, the Vendetta UL is the very best kite in my bag.

The Vendetta from Viper Sport Kites is designed by Shawn Tinkham, one of the most accomplished competition fliers (dual and quad line) in the US.

What makes it so special ? I think its mainly due to its versatility. What we have here is a competition proven design with a great wind range and plenty of of freestyle ability.

The other members of the Vendetta family, the standard and the vented are very fine kites too but there is something particularly special about the UL, it just feels so right.


Viper Sport Kites are built for the demands and abuse of competition and thus built tough. These kites are designed to endure rough beaches, gusty/ballistic winds, the occasional hard unplanned landing and demanding routines. Heavy duty noses and thoughtful reinforcement are the order of the day, function over form every time. Cute and trendy features are omitted in favor of tried and battle tested. The kite is framed in Skyshark 3pt throughout and nylon sail with trademark ‘V’. The stitching is very neat and I’ve found no niggles with the construction of any of my Viper Sport Kites.

Wind Range

For a UL this is a particularly versatile design. You might think initially that its low end is  nothing much to shout about, first time out that was my impression. However, when when you get a feel for the kite it shows itself to be a capable low wind trickster.

There are UL designs which can be pushed to fly in SUL type conditions but this isn’t one of them. You need 3mph really to get the Vendetta going, perhaps a hair less in smooth oceans breezes. Then again, you can fly this kite with utmost confidence to the other side of 10mph. Try that with one of these other SUL/UL designs. Actually … don’t try that :twisted_wp:

So, 3-10mph makes for a very useful range indeed and I often find this is the only kite I get out of the bag, able to handle the changes in conditions throughout a session. On the competition field this range is of course a great asset. Murphy’s Law states that as soon as you start your routine the conditions will change and in choosing a kite with a big wind range you have the best chance of being about complete your routine.


The competition heritage of the Vendetta is apparent the first time you take off.  Slow and steady as it moves across the window, constant speed and pull. Clean, bounce free corners make figures simple and would make most anybody look good, even me.


Here again this design is very competitive. While its not going to out freestyle a monster like a Deep Space it can hold its own with most other comp. designs out there. Its plenty pitchy, to the extent that flic-flacs need careful inputs, but turtles are deep enough for easy multilazies and JL’s and yo-yo moves are easy to pull off and rewarding to watch. Old school where this kite surprises, fantastic floaty slot machines and 540’s and great slides in the right very hands.

The transitions from trick to trick are smooth and clean too and its easy to chain together moves into endless combinations. And because it moves and transitions slower than a dedicated freestyle design the Vendetta makes for a very good trick trainer. Its easier to keep with the kite and see the effect of your inputs which is very helpful in “getting a move down”.


For what it costs (~$290) I think this kite is a bargain. With its great wind range, all around competition / freestyle performance and being built to last I don’t see how you can miss.

If I could only have one kite, this would be it.