Adelaide Kite Festival 2013

A Public Flying Focus This Time!

Our coverage of the Adelaide Kite Festival 2013 carries on the MBK tradition of taking a new angle each time. Did YOU fly anything down at the beach, on the South side of the jetty? Chances are, your kite is now featured in close-up, in one of the photo gallery categories below! Mind you, this year we only attended on the Saturday of the Easter weekend.

Of course, we have not ignored the magnificent kites of the registered fliers completely. See the image immediately below. This shot turned out surprising vibrant considering the miserable lighting conditions of the day. Incidentally, most of these registered fliers' kites have been seen and photographed by us in previous years. Flying from North of the jetty as usual.

Adelaide Kite Festival 2013 - some of the Large kite action North of the jetty

We arrived at the Adelaide Kite Festival 2013 around 12:30pm on Saturday. With several MBK kites in the boot (trunk) of the car, to be able to fly in various wind speeds. By the time we walked onto the sand and rigged the Dowel delta, winds were 9.6 kph gusting to 13 kph, but had been lighter earlier during the morning. The commentator was noting how this was better for the big kites North of the jetty.

But the fresher wind was worse for us and our light-wind Delta! I rigged the Dowel Delta and put it up briefly. On 3m (10 feet) of line, it veered left, veered right, leading edges bending in at the tips. The kite might have survived for a few more minutes, but at the risk of snapping the spreader. Particularly if we let the pale-orange Delta up much higher where the wind tends to be a little stronger.

The Big Kites

Just for the record, here is a list which summarizes the big kites that we saw in the air on Saturday at the Adelaide Kite Festival 2013...

At the Adelaide Kite festival 2013 - a giant bouncing ball sewn up from hexagons and pentagons,Whopping great bouncing ball
  • several Rokkakus
  • several multi-keeled Sleds and Flowforms
  • Deltas of course
  • an interesting complex cellular or 2
  • the yellow Cody with red top sail from previous years
  • various inflatable sea creature kites - dolphin, mermaid, blue whale, killer whale, hammerhead shark, manta ray and others
  • that giant tethered ball in the photo over there, which I carefully captured in mid-bounce off the sand :-)

In addition to these flying craft, and ball, there was much of the usual line laundry from previous years. One in particular is worthy of special mention...

An intriguing chain-like structure that rotated continuously in the wind, maintaining its general looping shape, but shifting around with subtlety from moment to moment. An aerial belt on invisible pullies, if you like! This is where a picture, or better yet, a video, would be worth 1000 words. But sorry, didn't get it.

At 2:30pm the breeze was definitely stronger. Averaging 11.5 kph with gusts to 17.5 kph when I did a brief check at shoulder height.

Public Area Kites

I spent quite some time criss-crossing the sand and piles of damp seaweed south of the Semaphore jetty, getting shots of the various small kites. Quite a display of the retail scene really! A couple of soft Stunt kites were in there as well.

A few designs were obviously being sold somewhere nearby. There might have been 5 or 10 SpongeBob Diamonds in the air, for example!

Just click on any picture in the categories below to start up a full-featured gallery. For any picture that really catches your eye, you can then see it in a much larger size by clicking on the icon at top-right.

The last category is a catch-all for any remaining images taken at the Adelaide Kite Festival 2013.

The Sleds

Simple green Sled kite with ram-air spars.
A Thomas the Tank Engine kite.
2-tailed Sled with long vertical panels.
Another kite showing Thomas!

The Diamonds

Diamond Kite - Racecar
Fairy kite
A SpongeBob Diamond kite.
Ranger Robot Diamond kite.

The Deltas

Delta kite with 2 butterflies for decoration.
Eagle Delta kite apparently Made In China.
Small pink Delta kite.
Delta smiley kite!
Delta kite with 2 rabbits for decoration.
Another Eagle Delta kite.
Simple 2-color Delta.
Delta tiger kite.
Delta kite featuring Buzz Lightyear!
Delta kite with stripes lining up with the leading edges.
Colorful kids Delta with eyes.
Delta kite with bold vertical stripes.

Bird Kites

A bird kite - possibly...
A stylized but great-looking Owl kite!
Sea Gull kite.
Colorful bird kite - from Bali?

Octopus Kites

A sharp-looking green Octopus kite.
Octopus kite with rainbow color scheme.
A sky-blue Octopus kite in flight.

Miscellaneous Kites

Blue-winged jet plane kite.
Soft 2-line stunt kite.
Pennon kite decorated with 2 balloons.
Another soft 2-line stunt kite.
Novelty ship kite in flight - only just!

The Lolly Drops

Several Lolly Drops went off during the afternoon at the Adelaide Kite Festival 2013. As usual, these were a massive hit with the kids! A bag of sweets, each individually fitted with a spinning 'parachute', would be hoisted into the air under a kite messenger. The messenger is just a small Delta-shaped sail with a simple mechanism that releases a payload when the device bumps into a stop attached to the kite line.

The lollies drift down, some falling faster than others, and the kids stream in from every direction. By the time the last drop has gone, and with a bit of sharing going on, no kid is disappointed. Hopefully.

The same person with the same distinctive green-and-brown Delta-like kite has provided this essential service for quite a few years now. On a previous occasion, I captured some video of the event. Browse around a bit and see if you can find it.

A Wet Ending, And A Helicopter

Later in the afternoon, rain clouds came in despite earlier assurances that rain would stay away. About this time, the wind swung around to the South-West. During this transition is was interesting to watch some mild mayhem! Big kites nosing around with some of them losing height, unsure of which way was up-wind.

Finally, 15 or 30 minutes later perhaps, the winds smoothed out in the new direction and freshened up a bit more. Once again, all was sedate up there with all the colorful impressive kites back on show.

The WestPac Rescue HelicopterA chopper flew past

We had the small 1-Skewer Sode with a rather long tail which would have coped well with the wind strength, but we decided to go home instead. Mainly due to the dropping temperature and threat of further rain. Showers could be seen in various directions but mainly to the South, over land and sea.

It was a reasonable kite-watching outing though, with the whole gamut of single liners on show. From a struggling novelty ship kite to the giant Blue Whale and Peter Lynn Manta Ray!

Not all spectators were watching the Adelaide Kite Festival 2013 from the sand. A least a couple might have been viewing the kite cloud from above, in the WestPac Rescue Helicopter as it flew past...

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P.S. Keep an eye out for books by kite author Glenn Davison, a prominent kite person in the USA.

What's New!

  1. The Dowel Rokkaku Kite

    Oct 17, 18 06:00 AM

    This previously published page is a flight report featuring the 1.2m (4ft) span Dowel Rokkaku kite. Read how the kite performs in light winds and thermals...

    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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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