Compared to the last time this Dowel Diamond kite went out to fly, average wind speeds today were a little higher.
A light breeze shifted twigs and leaves around, with the gust
strength creeping into the 'moderate' range from time to time. But I was
sure the Diamond would cope, despite its new design suiting lighter
winds than the original kite.
Rigging the kite was quick and easy,
and it was soon away, climbing strongly while I let loops of line off
At about 50 feet up, I paused the climb to grab the camera
and take a few photos. Some video as well, which you can see at the bottom of this page.
From there, I let the kite up to around 200 feet for a while.
a few minutes at this altitude, it seemed the Dowel Diamond kite was
being pushed to the limits of its stability from time to time in the
moderate gusts. Wanting a more relaxed flying experience, it seemed like
a good idea to just take it all the way down and adjust the bridle.
bridle was still at the 'maximum light wind performance' setting. As
far back as possible in other words! So, I just slipped the sliding knot
towards the nose by a centimeter or 2 to ease up the pressure in the
sail. Off went the kite, more stable this time, and still holding good
Shaking loops of line off the winder with my left hand, I let line out by slipping it through my right hand.
The Diamond was not pulling very hard at all, and there were no sudden
gusts, so there was no danger of getting line-burn. I let the kite fly
for a few minutes at a time at various altitudes, before finally seeing
the black tab come off the winder, signaling 120 meters of line. That
would do! A decent thermal would float the kite up to around 400 feet at
that length of line.
The weather was warm, and clouds were
generally hazy and smooth, and fairly high. The wind strength seemed to
vary from minute to minute, and thermal activity seemed fairly gentle
today. The Dowel Diamond kite hung low or high depending on wind speed,
but spent most of its time around 50 degrees of line angle, with not
much line sag.
As wind speeds edged towards moderate, the kite
would respond with a little fish-tailing as the vertical spar flexed
from side to side. The 3 point bridle kept the wing-tips from waggling,
unlike traditional Diamonds with their 2-point bridles.
some video was already 'in the can', I felt an impulse to get some more
despite the high altitude of the kite. It turned out to be a good move,
catching the kite on a long climb from around 200 feet to over 350 feet.
Also, wind shifts caused the Diamond to track sideways across sky during the climb.
it was just an increase in wind strength that triggered the climb, but
towards the end there was definitely some thermal assistance! It felt
like I was tilting my head back until it was about to fall off...
cloud cover was the only way to tell how the kite was moving. There's
the last 10 seconds of it in the video down there. Sometimes I don't
even bother to fly on total blue-sky days since the video would be
Eventually it seemed a good idea to bring the kite down so
we could get out of the heat. On its way down, the Dowel Diamond kite
soared almost directly overhead from time to time, like when a Delta is
brought down. With the kite only 30 feet off the ground I took another
photo of my 4 year old Aren flying it from the winder. During a lull I
managed to get both flyer and kite in the frame... All up, a decent
flying session with the Dowel Diamond kite!
The story above was an actual flying experience with the described kite.
My write-ups are definitely warts-and-all since things don't always go totally as planned. However, half the fun of kiting is anticipating the perfect flight. When it happens, it's magic!