The requirements for kite landboarding are quite similar to those for snow-kiting...
You want a steerable kite with decent pull, crash-proof in case it contacts the ground hard, and packable into a small space for travelling convenience.
Also desirable is the ability to re-launch off the ground without having to walk over to it, and the ability to 'de-power' the kite during strong gusts of wind.
And of course, the rider races along on a board. On wheels, rather than just planing along the surface as with snow or water.Something like this Slingshot B2 Trainer on Amazon can provide a good start with learning to handle a power kite.
Firstly, thanks to Cobra Kites who hold the copyright for the pic of the black and red Montana kite over there!
One kind of kite in particular is suitable for kite landboarding. The ram-air foil. It's no coincidence that these look like small paragliders, since the parafoil kite design came first! Full size paragliders were later developed from the foil kite idea.
Foils are flexible, with an upper and lower surface when inflated. Openings at the front edge allow air in which pressurizes the kite and makes it behave like an aircraft wing. Most depowerable designs have 4 lines, which allow steering and also the 'angle of attack' to the wind which controls power. Like many modern kites of all types, rip-stop nylon is the most commonly used material.
At the beginner or intermediate level, most kites are sold as a complete package with lines, control bar and a rucksack to carry everything around in. Add in a harness, and the rider can wear it to take most of the kite's pull. No more tired arms.
Pulling one end of the bar at a time steers the kite. Pulling both ends in towards your body increases the pull of the kite, while letting the bar out decreases the pull of the kite. For emergencies, some kites even have quick-release pins to let you get rid of the kite in a hurry.
Another approach to emergencies is to use a hook knife to slice through the lines. Some paraglider pilots have these handy too, for similar reasons.
The control bar picture is shown with permission from Cobra Kites, who hold the copyright.
For starting kite landboarding, just about any medium sized depowerable traction kite will do. There's a wide range available, and not surprisingly perhaps, it's the paraglider manufacturers who make the best ones. They also happen to be the most expensive!
When deciding just how big a kite you want, here are the things that can affect your decision.
I won't get into huge detail about the boards used in kite landboarding since this is a Kite Site after all!
Many kite boarders use 'mountain boards' which are basically over-sized skateboards. The wheels are pump-up rather than hard as on traditional roller skates. These boards were originally designed for downhill racing and freestyle for when all the snow had disappeared from the slopes! That's because snowboarders decided there must be a way to get down the mountain fast, even with no snow.
Hence the birth of mountain boarding, which also came to be known as dirt boarding or all-terrain boarding (ATB). So if you hear someone talking about their dirtboard or ATB you'll know what they are talking about.
Since so many people are into these sports, there are many manufacturers all trying to get a piece of the action. That means more different kite board designs than you can poke a stick at!
The photo down there is courtesy of JC Medina.
Even so, it's possible to make some very general statements about all these boards. Here's a few reasons to consider the most expensive boards, if you can afford them.
Boards for kite landboarding are a bit shorter than snowboards. A typical landboard is about 110 cm (43 inches) in length, with 4 wheels. The wheel diameter is usually between 18 cm and 33 cm (7 inches and 13 inches). An exception are the 2-wheel in-line designs that have 51 cm (20 inch) spoked BMX wheels. There's even some 3-wheeled designs out there.
Did I say all you need is a kite and a land-board? That's not quite true if you want a painless experience! Here's all the other bits of gear that complete the picture.
I hope all this has at least given you an idea of what kind of gear you need for kite landboarding!Check out this Slingshot B2 Trainer kite if you are starting from scratch.
You might have noticed that this site has a monthly newsletter...
For single-line kite fliers and builders, it's always been a good read. But if you are interested in KAP and/or large home-made kites you won't want to miss it!
So sign up today, and download the free 95-page e-book "What Kite Is That?" straight away. Info-packed and fully photo-illustrated.
And there are even more free resources, such as a kite-making e-course, waiting for you in the next issue of this newsletter.
Jul 28, 14 05:06 AM
This was an experiment with mounting a camera directly onto the kite. With winds gusting to over 30kph up high, the Fresh Wind Barn Door kite was selected...
In a word, it was tricky. I mounted the camera as close as possible to the center of gravity of the kite, but it still ended up quite a few cm closer to the trailing edge than I would have liked. It was only practical to mount he camera - on its bendy tripod (!) - near the diagonal spars crossing point. Electrical tape secured 2 short tripod legs to the diagonal spars, holding the camera upright with the kite sitting on its trailing edge.
It was a struggle to get enough lift to gain much height, and the kite swung dangerously from side to side. Might try the drogues next time! I did my best to urge the kite higher in mid-swing.
Eventually, for a few seconds, the kite got to around 100 feet on almost 200 feet of 200 pound Dacron.
A video clip will of course be forthcoming on Facebook. And only seasoned kite fliers will bother watching it all the whole way through, possibly wrestling with sea-sickness all the while. Hence the title of this post. Still, it was an interesting, if slightly nerve-wracking, outing! At shoulder level, the breeze measured around 9kph gusting to 18.5kph. Some low cloud over the hills was absolutely tearing along, perhaps up around 40kph.
Huge Homemade Kites And Aerial Photography: This is often the topic for posts which appear here. New things are always being tried so sign up for my newsletter to stay right up to date with the latest developments!
Apologies for this site's current lack of video when viewed on mobile devices...
For now, please view this site on a Desktop or Laptop computer to see the videos. And there's plenty of them!
Are you just
holding the string?!
For so much more, try
"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'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."
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
to try these books