Kite Flying is a great outdoor hobby and believe it or not, it’s fun if you know a few of the secrets. I know that during my childhood flying a kite was more about frustration than fun. But, over the years I have learned some of the hard lessons and now it is more fun than frustration.
Of course, the first thing you need is a kite. As usual there are several types to choose from. There is the Delta, a Diamond, a Box, a Dragon and a parafoil. Each of these has its own special flying characteristics. The trick is to know what these characteristics are and when they are important.
For example, Deltas, Diamonds and Dragons all fly best in a light to medium winds of from 6 to 15 miles per hour. Whereas, Box and Parafoil kites like more wind and fly best in winds of 9 to 25 miles per hour.
As a flier you may want to carry with you at least one kite of each of the two categories and switch off as wind conditions change during the day.
Picking a Day For Flying
Until we learn to control the wind, we will have to be satisfied with flying our kites when the wind conditions happen to be right. Wind that is too strong or too light will be difficult to fly in. Best if the wind is in the range of 5 to 15 miles per hour. This means that bushes and trees are moving but still well rooted! A medium wind is absolutely the best and will let you do more than just stand there and hold the string.
You need a fair bit of open space for good kite flying. Stay away from highways, and any kind of power line. Open fields, parks, and beaches are ideal. The more room you have the more line you can let out.
Oh, and never fly your kites when it is storming! Remember Ben Franklin’s key on a kite string experiment. We are lucky he didn’t fry himself with that trick.
Get That Kite Into The Air
So what is the trick to getting your kite air born? Pretty simple, stand with your back to the wind and hold your kite at the point where the strings all come together, this is called the bridle. If there is sufficient wind the kite will begin to rise as soon as you let out a little string. Let the kite fly away from you for a short distance then pull it in a little to make it rise. Repeat letting it out and then pulling it in until it reaches the height where the wind is steady.
In lighter winds, ask a friend to hold your kite about fifty feet away from you and slowly release it into the wind. As soon as it has been released, begin pulling in the line. This will cause the kite to shoot up into the air, just like if you were running. When you get the kite up where the wind is a bit stronger, you can slowly let out some more line.
Now, that sounded easy, but if you are like me, as soon as the kite gets up a little bit it spins and crashes to the ground. What did I do wrong? Here are some thoughts to address this kind of behavior. First off, your kite should have a tail to help it remain stable in higher winds. If the wind is too light, the kite may just sink back down on its tail. If it comes down top first or spins around it may be caused by too much wind.
Adjusting the bridle point closer to the top of the kite will make it more stable in higher winds. Conversely, moving it a little closer to the tail will help it fly better in lower wind speeds.
If you want to increase how high your kite is flying try gently pumping the line. Each time you pull in on the line, you will see the kite rise up a few feet. Then slowly let that line back out. Repeat as much as you need to in order to keep your kite flying high.
Sometimes your kite will begin spinning around in big circles. Each time it comes closer and closer to the ground. Rather than letting it crash wait until it approaches the ground and then let out a bunch of line which will let it land softly.
Tails add stability to your kite. If your kite is unstable, add a tail or increase the length of the tail. A long tail flying behind adds a bit of drag which keeps the nose of the kite pointed upward and catching the wind like it is designed to do.
Tips on Having Fun and Staying Safe
Remember to always be considerate of other people in the area.
Fly your kite away from others trying to fly kites.
Stay away from trees, power lines and highways.
If your kite gets caught in a tree, do not climb the tree. You might fall. If your line gets caught in a tree, don’t pull on the line. Simply let out enough line so the kite comes down to the ground. Then disconnect the string from the kite and pull the line back through the tree.
If you tangle lines with another kite, walk towards the other person and the tangle will slide down the line to where you can unwrap it.
Offer to help others that are not as good as you.
Always think about your safety and the safety of others.
Kite flying can be a fun and rewarding hobby. And, best of all it gets us outside in the fresh air moving around. This is a great way to lose some of those extra pounds that we have all picked up. Kids love kite flying and adults can enjoy it as well. Play safe and have fun!
Other descriptors include kite flying, hobbies for kids, fun hobbies, popular hobbies and flying kites.