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.
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!
The principles of how to fly a kite aren't any different if it's home-made. 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.
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
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...
Of course, with money, extra gear and more experience you can eventually try a range of even cooler things! Like...
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).