Kite Flying is tremendous fun and easy if you follow these simple steps.
Choosing a Kite
The first thing is to pick a kite. A simple kite is often good for beginners. There is no reason why you can’t have more than one kite. Kites have different flying qualities.
And you might want to choose a particular kite on the day to suit the wind conditions.
Take the time to make sure your kite is put together correctly. Otherwise, it may not fly well and is more likely to crash and break.
For light to medium winds (approximately 10-25 km/h), Deltas, Diamonds and Dragon kites fly nicely.
When the winds are a little stronger (approximately 15-40 km/h), use Box Kites and (stickless) Parafoil kites.
What are Good Conditions for Flying?
As a kite flyer, you need to watch for the right kite flying conditions. We can’t control the wind after all.
Strong winds can be as much of a problem as still conditions. About 8-40 km/h is best for most kites. This is when leaves and bushes rustle, but before it really starts to blow.
Medium winds make for the most fun because you can do more than just hold on. You can make your kite dance in the skies by pulling in and letting out the line.
A good flying space is a clear, open area. For safety reasons, definitely stay away from roads, power lines or airports. Ovals, parks and beaches are great for flying kites. With more room, you are able to let out more line.
An important tip to remember is that the wind goes over and around trees and buildings. Objects make kite flying difficult and bumpy. Watch out for kite-eating trees. They do exist.
Of course, never fly in stormy conditions with rain or lightening. Electricity in clouds is attracted to damp kite lines and you may be at serious risk of electrocution.
How to Get Your Kite Up
Every kite must be flown – even if your kite is mainly for decoration. Flying a kite gives it a spirit and a history.
Single Line Kites
- Stand with your back to the wind.
- Hold your kite up by the bridle point and let some line out. If there is enough wind, your kite will go up straight away.
- Let the kite fly away from you a little, then pull on the line as the kite points up so it will climb.
- Repeat this until your kite is high enough to find a good steady wind.
Light Wind and a Helper?
Get you helper to take the kite downwind and hold it up. Tell the helper to release the kite and you pull the line in hand-over-hand until the kite gains altitude.
Light Wind and No Helper?
This time, prop the kite up against a bush, post, or wall. Reel out enough line for altitude and just pull the kite aloft.
Problems and Adjustments
In very light winds, the kite tends to sink tail first. Strong winds can cause the kite to come down head first or spin.
If your kite has an adjustable bridle, move it higher (nearer the top) in strong winds, and lower (towards the tail) in light winds. Adjust no more than a cm or two at a time.
Adding tails to your kite helps it keep stable in strong winds. Use light-weight materials so you can add more length and bulk.
Acrobatic Sport Kites
The safest starting method for a sports kite is to lay out your stunter and lines completely before launch. Check all connectors and straighten lines and tails. Check the bridles as well – be sure they are adjusted for the conditions.
Make sure your flying lines are even. If one line is shorter, your kite will think you are pulling on that line and will spin that way.
To launch the kite, find a place where you have plenty of room to walk backward safely. Step backward and pull both handles to your side.
Pull the left line to make the stunter turn left. Pull the right line to turn it right. Hold the lines evenly to fly straight. Try not to over-control your kite. Learn to fly long loops rather than spinning in tight circles.
Lift and Speed
The more directly into the wind the stunter flies, the more lift and speed it has. While learning to fly, keep the stunter downwind. As you get better, explore more side-on flying.
Always keep distance between your kite flying and spectators or passers-by. You are responsible for safety. Sport kites should not be flown in crowded areas.
General Kite Flying Tips
- Always fly away from other people and be considerate of others.
- If you tangle lines with another kite, don’t yank the line.
- You and the other flyer should walk together and the tangle will slide down the line to where you can unwrap it.
- If you think you’re getting good, consider offering to help a friend. Pass on the fun of flying to someone else.