Jun 03, 2020
Child Flying Kite
This previously published page features our son Aren when he was much younger, flying various kites. From age 2 to 7!
Continue reading "Child Flying Kite"
May 27, 2020
This previously published page gives some facts and some history regarding this popular material for kite lines..
Continue reading "Dacron"
May 26, 2020
The Simple Knot, Variations And Kiting Applications
OK, so the Simple Knot is *so* simple it hardly needs explanation! However...
Continue reading "The Simple Knot, Variations And Kiting Applications"
May 26, 2020
Eagle: Small Birds Swoop
It was looking like a tetra afternoon but turned out differently...
With gusts waving small branches from time to time, there seemed a possibility of lofting the Skewer Tetrahedral from a local reserve. After a few attempts, though, it was clear that there wasn't enough consistent wind by far. On top of that, the large trees surrounding the area were throwing a huge wind shadow across the grass.
After a quick trip to another field, and looking around at the tree movement - or lack of it - it was decided to switch to the backup kite. The Light Wind Eagle! One of the very few retail kites that I fly.
Launching the Eagle was child's play. Yeah I know, some will be thinking 'Sure is, I fly real kites' ;-)
The kite soon put in a good high flight, although it was pushed hard much of the time in gusts. At lower line angles, the bird would shake a little and charge left and right. That's the thing with heavy fiberglass spars, a sudden bit of roughness can get the wing rotating around and the intertia keeps it going. Physics fighting aerodynamics. At the highest line angles, the kite would settle down and ride out the faster air almost comfortably.
As I was bringing the kite in, a dense flock of small birds swooped down for a closer look. Perhaps they were curious about a bird of prey being so low. Also, they probably felt safer with their height advantage!
So it was a fairly short and sweet kite flying outing. Socially distanced of course. In fact I was the only person on the field.
On arriving home and checking an online weather station, it showed an average of 20 kph which had gusted to 30 kph. That average speed was certainly not evident below 50 feet, at either of the locations flown. At shoulder height the breeze never seemed to get above 12 kph or so...
Read more flying stories...
- Tim P.
May 24, 2020
Line Mending Knots For Kite Flyers!
Line mending knots vary in greatly in strength and complexity. Take your pick from this handy selection. Illustrated with braided Dacron line.
Continue reading "Line Mending Knots For Kite Flyers!"
May 23, 2020
As a kid, I never really managed to get a kite flying. The only kite I'd ever owned was a store-bought two-line stunt kite made to look like an airplane,
Continue reading "Beginner's Luck"
May 21, 2020
Global News Report:
One Man, Many Kites
This dedicated sport-kite flyer from Vietnam has featured here before...
Phạm Văn Tâm in Bình Tân District is taking a traditional Vietnamese activity of kite flying to new heights by flying four of them at the same time.
Having flown kites since he was a kid, he picked up the sport of kite flying in around 2004.
"I once saw a foreign kite flier in Vũng Tàu. His technique was amazing, he was able to control his kite however he wanted, and so I began looking into it and gained a passion for the sport," the 50-year-old told Việt Nam News, adding that he has practised every day for years.
Tâm usually practises in a large vacant area in the district in the afternoons when there are strong winds.
He controls two kites a handle each, using both hands, and a kite each is attached to his shoulders and hip using belt buckles.
He can move his kites around, creating appealing visual formations as their tails leave trails.
There is an amazing technique he uses and is very proud of: moving the four kites close together and then spreading them in four different directions.
Watching him perform shows flying multiple kites is an incredibly hard feat: his arms visibly strain to control them, and he often has to brace himself to avoid getting dragged by the wind.
"Controlling four kites requires strength and precise control of my body parts to move the kites at my will. Everything has to be in sync."
In the beginning it was very difficult since he had to focus on how moving his shoulders would also affect his arms, and how walking could hamper his hip movement, he explained. It took a lot of persistence, he said.
Now, by attaching six kites to each pair of wires and using the same technique, he is able to control 24 kites, albeit with much greater difficulty.
He reckoned he was the only man in Việt Nam who could pull that off, and in fact few could anywhere in the world.
Spreading the love of kite flying...
Tâm opened a club called Sao Vàng (Yellow Star) Kite Club in Bình Tân District, which has attracted many kite lovers. Besides having a place to share their hobby, members can also take part in contests, and children can learn how to make kites.
SOURCE: Viet Nam News
URL (full story and/or photos, video): https://vietnamnews.vn/english-through-the-news/716764/flying-kites-in-hcm-city.html
May 21, 2020
Red Roller Baits Birds
It was one of those days where rain had been around and the air was still active despite the late time of day...
An earlier effort to loft the Red Roller kite over our roof was deemed too risky. This roller is very efficient and stable but can dive off one way or the other at the bottom of it's wind range. Scary stuff when flying over the roof in marginal air! So it was off to the local Primary (Elementary) school grounds to try again. Being late afternoon, the kids were long gone, save for a family using the Flying Fox in the corner.
There was not much sunlight due to the remnants of rain clouds all around.
To begin with, the breeze was so light that plenty of line working was necessary to keep the roller kite off the grass. After a while I had about 40 meters of line out. At this length, a very distinct layer of faster-moving air was contacted when the line angle was high. As I let even more line out, the kite moved in and out of this handy air current.
Finally, with the Red Roller soaring away on perhaps 50 meters, it was time for some photos and video. Due to the low light the photos wouldn't be much chop, but perhaps the video...
A noisy flock of small birds arrived from downwind. Sensing an opportunity, I locked onto them with the camera. For a few seconds the flock flew closer, did a circle and then passed right in front of the kite. Great! At that point I kept the kite in frame for a while, to complete the clip. The result has to be more interesting than a solitary flying kite! Bird squawks and all.
By this time there were moderate gusts coming through and the tyvek-and-dowel roller was well into the top half of it's wind range. Dramatic tail slides resulted from slow air and powerful climbs almost overhead in the more energetic gusts.
Seeing a hint of leaning to the left under strain, I eventually took the kite down and headed home...
Read more flying stories...
- Tim P.
May 20, 2020
This previously published page explains what kite running is all about, in the context of various cultures...
Continue reading "Kite Running"
May 14, 2020
Global News Report:
Aerial Color Over The Old City
There's some gold in this story from India - I kid you not, real gold (and silver) ;-) ...
Confined to their homes due to the coronavirus lockdown, bored Lucknowites have suddenly found a passion for kite flying, adding a good dash of colour to their city’s skyline.
More so in the old city areas of Chowk, Wazirganj, Thakurganj, Rakabganj, Yahiyaganj, Aminabad and Nakhhas, where it is easy to buy kites and spools of thread.
Over the years, their look has undergone a big change, Hussain says.
They now come in shapes of birds, animals, insects and cartoon characters like Chhota Bheem and Spiderman.
''Kankawwa'', the Lucknow style of kite in the form of wings of a bird, was perfected during the days of the nawabs. It is quite heavy and tests the skills of the kite flyer.
Kite flying was a sport, particularly among the nobility, during the time of the Mughals. And the nawabs of Lucknow had their kites trimmed with gold and silver.
In “patang baazi", kite flyers aim to snag and cut the strings of other each others’. Sometimes, there is betting between teams competing in these aerial dogfights.
Children – when there is no lockdown, of course – wait for a kite to fall and take home as a trophy.
Yakub Khan, a kite-seller in Nakhhas area, says the fighter kites are usually smaller in size, made of thin paper and diamond shaped, for greater manoeuvrability.
While a “patang” is the common kite, “guddi” is the tall one with a small tail, he explains, proud of his knowledge in the field.
"Making a kite requires great accuracy and care, it is an art in itself," he says. Khan also claims skill in making high-quality threads.
''Sadda'' is plain cotton thread, ''manjha'' the lethal cotton thread coated with powdered glass, good to cut the strings of other kites.
Another piece of vital is equipment is the wooden spool – traditionally made of bamboo splits, wooden discs at each end and protruding sticks as handles – which is deftly manoeuvred in a kite fight.
"The game of yesteryears has again come alive, thanks to the lockdown," Yakub says.
Another old-timer Waris Mian says history has it that Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula''s kites were decorated with gold and silver trimmings, and in the time of Amjad Ali Shah the “guddi” became popular.
The origin of the kite is disputed, but it is widely believed to have been in China.
SOURCE: Outlook India
URL (full story and/or photos, video): https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/lockdown-brings-kites-back-to-lucknow-skies/1827995
May 13, 2020
This previously published page is an overview of how people go fishing with kites! A little history is in there too..
Continue reading "Fishing Kites"
May 12, 2020
Knot Strength - Test Results For Dacron Kite Lines
When selecting kite line, take knot strength into account! Here are results from pull-tests on a variety of kiting knots.
Continue reading "Knot Strength - Test Results For Dacron Kite Lines"