Kite Stunts

Become An Aerobatic Pilot...

Without ever leaving the ground! To keep things simple, I'm going to just talk about doing kite stunts with 2 line kites. That's a good place to start anyway, before moving up to those fancy quad-line kites.

Apart from the kite manufacturers, very few people would build anything for doing kite stunts these days. The shop bought ones are so good, and some of them aren't too expensive either.

With a delta stunt kite or dual-line parafoil you can really feel like an aerobatic pilot! Particularly when you get good at flying kite stunts accurately, coming really close to the ground from time to time without crashing...


A dual line Delta stunt kite in action at a kite festival.Delta stunt kite
A dual line 'soft' stunt kite in action at a kite festival.Dual line parafoil


Just to add a bit extra to the spectacle, many shop-bought kites these days are designed to be easily 'stacked'. This lets you fly more than one kite at a time, on one set of lines.

I have memories of an expert flier doing kite tricks with 3 tiny black deltas, stacked together and zipping around very fast in a stiff breeze. That was at the Adelaide International Kite Festival, back in March 2007.



Basic Flying Tips

If you browse around the Web, the obvious source of visual demos is YT videos. Just getting the kite into the air can be a challenge for the first-timer! But the right technique makes it easy, as demonstrated in this video.

David Gomberg is the author of a well known book titled Stunt Kites! and has published an extract on the Web. It's a great, informative introduction for beginners, called Flying Basics for Dual Line Sport Kites. It covers the basics, for example laying out the lines, steering and choosing where to fly.


 

OK, Some Actual Kite Stunts!

Anyone can fly a few loops and figure 8's and zip around here and there in straight lines. It's easy to pull the left line to loop the kite left or maybe pull one line and push the other at the same time to snap the kite around in a really tight turn. 'Pull turns' and 'combination turns' they're called, and they're the basis of most kite stunts. Another technique for tight turns is the 'push turn'. Yep, just push one handle towards the kite to momentarily slacken off that line. 

Sooner or later, it's good to learn a few precision figures for a bit more of a challenge. Not to mention seriously impressing other family members when you pull off your best kite stunts. ;-)




What do some precision figures actually look like I hear you asking...

How about seeing some animated graphics on the Web! Check out this web page created by a very skilled webmaster who has re-created the movements of a kite going through all the standard competition figures. Once you are at the page, just click on a maneuver name to see an animation.

For example, Circle Over Diamond is one of the kite stunts. You should see a grid overlaid on a moving cloudy sky background, with a little kite flying along a red line which represents the figure. The moving kite can be paused and re-started.

Some technical info, in case you find the animations don't work. I have tested a few of them using the Internet Explorer browser (V7) and the Mozilla Firefox browser (V2 - V9) with the latest Flash plug-in installed. Most browsers should work fine as long as the Flash plug-in is at least version 4. More recently, in 2013 the animations were updated to play in browsers that don't support Flash. That should include iPhones and iPads. I can vouch for the fact that they work well in Chrome!




Here's some printed resources for doing kite stunts...

There's a little booklet available for just a few dollars in kite shops. It's called Sport Kite Precision Maneuvers by David Gomberg. There's that name again. :-) You can test your skills by learning to fly such stunts as Ladder Down and Eight In A Rectangle.

Want to get a bit more official? Ok, in the International Sport Kite Compulsories Book there are the Dual-line Individual figures. If you ever consider entering competitions, there are just 15 figures to learn if you're not in a team.



Safety

You know, it's really pretty easy to sum up the safety aspects of flying stunt kites. Just have a good look around your flying site, and imagine every single thing that could possibly come into contact with your kite or its lines! Keep in mind you might have to back up a few steps while doing kite stunts, too. Can't see any problem? Time to fly!

About the only other thing to consider would be to not fly in bad weather. Lightning and/or very strong wind don't mix with sport kite flying! That's just common sense.

In case you don't trust your imagination, here's a list of things not to hit. ;-)

  • buildings (not good for the kite)
  • power lines (could be an electrifying experience)
  • trees (retrieving the kite undamaged could be interesting)
  • people (ouch! ...and in the U.S. 'I'm calling my lawyer!')
  • animals (ouch again, and maybe some vet bills)
  • moving cars (even the toughest stunt kite might come off 2nd best)
  • any other obstacle your kite might possibly reach


You might like these...


I can tell you love kites...

Otherwise you wouldn't be all the way down here near the bottom of the page :-)

So, could you do me just a small favor? 

Please sign up for my free monthly publication, "Tethered Flying". No other emails will be sent, and your details are safe with me. You do need to be at least 16 years old. There's...

  • A huge "photo of the month" (linked from a much smaller one in the email of course)
  • 3 "tips of the month" (1 for beginners, 1 for parents and 1 for more experienced kite-fliers)
  • A "flight report of the month" (selected from my own flying logs and illustrated with a photo)

Looking forward to hearing from you...

P.S. My free kite-making e-book "Simplest Dowel Kites" can be downloaded as soon as you sign up.



 

Back to top of page


Need winders, reels, flying line?

We earn a small commission if you click the following link and buy something. The item does not cost you any more, since we are an "affiliate" of Amazon.

Click here to buy anything you need. Just use the Search box in there if you need different weights or lengths of line, for example.

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

What's New!

  1. Aerodynamics Class

    Jun 24, 19 08:59 PM

    I am teaching a Hands-on Aerodynamics class to 9-12 year olds as part of a summer program at our county museum. A little theory with lots of hands on demonstrations

    Read More

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

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

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

Strong ...
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

Like/share this site...

Like/share this page...

Comments

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...