How To Fly A Kite

Having Trouble?

Need a hand with knowing how to fly a kite? We've seen plenty of struggling kite fliers from time to time! On the beach, at the park, near a kite festival in full swing. Can you relate to this? If so, the information here should be very helpful.

How to fly a kite like this simple home-made DeltaMBK Simple Delta - quick to make, easy to fly in light winds

This page is all based on our own flying experiences with single-liners such as Diamonds, Deltas and Rokkakus. Each type has its quirks, but the basics apply to them all. The emphasis is on flat or bowed kites with solid spars, but you should find plenty of info here that applies to Parafoils and Sleds as well.

A note about flying shop-bought kites...

If the weather and location are good, and the kite is a simple, proven design like a Diamond or Delta, there shouldn't be much problem. The manufacturer should have pre-set the bridle to give immediate success in most weather conditions.

These kites are generally quite accurately made. Most have a good wind range, meaning they fly in fairly light right through to fairly fresh wind.

However, be aware that not all those fancy novelty kites are great fliers!

This Stowaway Delta Kite from Amazon is an example of a good shop-bought Delta.

NOTE: Video views from this website don't appear to be counted.

The principles of how to fly a kite aren't any different if it's home-made. Like that Delta up there in the video. However, a whole bunch of things can go wrong if the kite is not made carefully. Also, the smaller the kite, the more accurate you have to be!

Having said that, homemade kites can provide a lot of fun and reward. Heck, most of this website is all about making your own kite!

The beginning of any flight is the launch. This can be a little tricky when you are on your own, inland, in a gusty variable breeze. I've put together a few tips for this hand-launching situation. Since there are some large fields quite close to home, we don't often fly down at the beach where winds are smoother.

In good conditions, once you have your kite up high, there really isn't much to it. Just watch it do its thing. Anchor the line somewhere and keep an eye on things from time to time, while you do something else.

Often, it gets more interesting than just turning up somewhere and holding a string. So, I've written more on the various situations that can arise when kite flying with single liners.

But, supposing there are problems, for whatever reason. Time to check out a few tips. Maybe someone has fiddled with that bridle adjustment...

How To Fly A Kite...
And Not Get Bored

Some, maybe most, people just enjoy the relaxing aspects of flying a single-line kite. Just watching it fly, perhaps enjoying the subtle artistry of color and movement. Maybe even enjoying the feel of controlling an almost-living creature on the end of the line. However, if you would like to get a little more out of your kite, why not try the following ideas. No special equipment is needed! OK, maybe a stopwatch if you want to get more serious...

  • Launch straight off the ground, on a long line. Pull in line to get the kite in the air, then let it climb up to full height.
  • Bring your kite right down into your hand without letting it touch the ground. Pull in quicker from time to time if needed, to keep it airborne.
  • Keep records. See how long you can keep it in the air, to the nearest 5 minutes.
  • See how fast you can get 150 meters (500 feet) of line out, from a hand launch.
  • See how quickly you can get the flying line to a 45 degree angle from your hand at maximum length.
  • Once you know how to fly a kite, get serious about photographing it from time to time.

Of course, with money, extra gear and more experience you can eventually try a range of even cooler things! Like...

  • Teddy drops or lolly (candy) drops under a simple parachute, using a Kite Messenger to haul the payload up the kite string
  • KAP - Kite Aerial Photography
  • Flying really large and artistic kites of various kinds, to draw a crowd
  • Getting involved in kite fighting competitions with Indian or other fighter designs.
  • Getting serious about making and flying really small kites. Requires great craftsmanship and finesse!

That's about it for my somewhat long-winded speil on how to fly a kite.

Talking about being long-winded, here's some more ideas on why you might want to go fly a kite. It's quite a long page!

And just in case you want to know how a kite flies, I've done a piece on that too.

By the way, if you are in any way involved in teaching others to fly kites, take a look at How To Fly A Kite, by Glenn Davison. This book was prepared for the AKA (American Kite-fliers Association).

E-book special of the month (25% off)...

Click to get 'Making The MBK Parachute Kite'

This printable e-book takes you step-by-step through making a 119 cm (4 ft) wide Parachute kite. It's not quite that wide in the air since the canopy takes on a distinct curved shape when inflated. This 14-cell kite performs best in moderate to fresh wind speeds. That's 20 to 38 kph or 13 to 24 mph. In gentle winds, this kite will hang in the air at fairly low line angles. In fresh winds, it pulls firmly for it's size, so small kids should only fly it while supervised!

Every kite design in the MBK Soft Series satisfies the following points...

  • Materials are plastic sheet, tape and line – and nothing more!
  • Tools are a ruler, scissors and a marker pen - and nothing more!
  • All cuts are along straight lines.

For the greatest chance of success, I make recommendations regarding the materials. For example, the type/weight of plastic, type/width of tape and line type/strength. Close enough should nearly always be good enough, since the design is well-tested and should be tolerant of small differences from my original.

Get the e-book for making the MBK Parachute kite. After making your first one in plastic and seeing how it performs, you can try soft Tyvek or rip-stop nylon for your next build.

The e-book is a PDF file - which means printable instructions to refer to while you make the kite. It also means convenient off-line access if that suits you better.

What's New!

  1. Flight Report:
    Some Kites Just Need The Beach

    Aug 21, 17 03:11 AM

    The local kite club bought a load of second hand gear - including kites - from interstate some months ago... With the power supposedly being cut sometime between 8am and 3pm today, it was an opportuni…

    Read More


Plenty of fun kite info, photos and videos - there's definitely too much here for only one visit! Feel free to leave your impressions of this site or just this page, below...

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Kite-making e-book: Simplest Dowel Kites

This one's FREE
Download it now!

More E-books...


"Love the easy to understand step by step instructions, made from next to nothing materials and above all so much fun to fly... cheers Tim for sharing your well thought out pdf kite designs with the whole world.

Very satisfying making your own and watching them get air-born for the first time."


"I decided to run kite making as an elective again on this camp in the past week - so I bought all your e-books, a bunch of materials, and then took a group of 10 high school students through making the kites over 4 days. We built a diamond, a Barn Door, a Delta, and two skew delta kites. Again - every single kite flew."


"I've just bought your super e-book and spent most of last night pouring through all the great stuff in it!

Very detailed and USEFUL information - thanks for such a great book."


"30+ years ago, I tried making a kite using the 'instructions' in a free kite-safety booklet. What a disappointment for a young boy.

 Your instructions and methods are wonderful. You help the builder to focus on accuracy, without making it hard. Also, you use materials that are durable, yet cheap!"


"omg i made a kite from this site and i fly it ....... booom i didnt expect this bc in the other sites instuction are trash

thank you"

Kite-making e-book: Simplest Dowel Kites

This one's FREE
Download it now!

More E-books...

Wind Speeds

Light air
1-5 km/h
1-3 mph
1-3 knots
Beaufort 1

Light breeze
6–11 km/h
4–7 mph
4–6 knots
Beaufort 2    

Gentle breeze
12–19 km/h
8–12 mph
7–10 knots
Beaufort 3    

Moderate breeze
20–28 km/h
13–18 mph
11–16 knots
Beaufort 4    

Fresh breeze
29–38 km/h
19–24 mph
17–21 knots
Beaufort 5    

Strong breeze
39–49 km/h
25–31 mph
22–27 knots
Beaufort 6

High Wind
50-61 km/h
32-38 mph
28-33 knots
Beaufort 7