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About Kite Activities

Home Kite Basics How to Fly a Kite
 
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How to Fly a Kite

Flying a kite can be done by anyone with a little patience and by following a few basic tips. This section refers to single line kites only. Multi-line kites require different methods. If you are new to kite flying, make sure you read the safety tips page before heading out.

flying


Launching a Kite


For strong wind days:


1.    Stand with your back to the wind.
2.    Hold your kite up by the bridle point with the kite pointed up and let the line out. If there is enough wind, your kite will go right up. Be careful not to let out line so fast that you burn your fingers! Wear gloves if the kite is large enough to pull hard.
3.    Let the kite fly away from you a little, then gently pull in on the line as the kite points up so it will climb.
4.    Repeat this until your kite gains the altitude necessary to find a good steady wind.

 

For light wind days, use the Long Launch method:


1.    Turn your back to the wind. Have a friend walk your kite out at least 50 feet downwind (the farther the better, holding the kite loosely.
2.    Pull the line snug. When the kite catches a breeze, pull on the line until the kite gains altitude. If necessary, walk backwards to keep the kite aloft. Be careful to look behind you to ensure your safety.
3.    Let the kite fly away from you a little, it might even fall some, then gently pull in on the line as the kite points up so it will climb.
4.    Repeat this until your kite gains the altitude necessary to find a good steady wind.

If the kite sinks tail first, there might not be enough wind. If it comes down head first or spins, there might be too much wind. Different kites fly in different winds.

Bridles: If your kite has an adjustable bridle, move it higher (nearer the top) in higher winds, and lower (towards the tail) in lower winds. (Adjust no more than 1/2" at a time.)

Tails: Adding tails to your kite helps it remain stable in stronger winds. Use light-weight materials so you can use lots! Looks great!

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Flying a kite

 

Most good kites are fairly stable and will simply sit in the sky needing very little attention. But, like people, kites have personalities. Sometimes due to a gust of wind, or simply no reason at all, your kite will turn over and dive. When this happens, simply let out line so that it's not pulling and your kite will right itself. (Hopefully before it gets to the ground!) Once it's pointed up again, just keep tension on the line and it will climb right back up.

 

Landing a Kite

Yes, you can just let go of the line until it hits the ground, but the idea is to retrieve your kite undamaged so you can fly it again!


To land, simply start winding up your line and bring the kite in to you.  It is best to pull the line in, then wrap it onto your spool loosely. That way you don't crush the winder once you have several hundred feet of line getting tighter and tighter on it. When the kite gets within arms reach, reach out and grab it by either the bridle line at attachment point of your flying line or on the leading edge of the kite. By holding onto the leading edge of the kite you should be able to keep the kite in control very easily.


To land a large tethered kite,  reach out for the line and walk towards the kite pulling the line down hand over hand or with a pulley or carabineer.  This will "walk the kite down" to the ground where you can safely pack it up for another day. Wear gloves!

 


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