It looked ideal for the parachute kite, on my PC screen. The breeze was 24kph gusting to 31kph from the west, straight off the sea. That was according to the online weather site...
It's been on the to-do list for ages. To fill in a gap in the website content for these soft kite designs. It was time to do a long-format report on the MBK Parachute kite in a stiff smooth breeze. Photos, video clip, the whole bit. Was today the day?
Approaching the beach it seemed promising since there were white-caps out across the ocean.
Minutes later, after arriving on the sand, things were not looking so positive. The tide was well up. However, there were signs that the water was receding so with that I found a spot and checked the breeze. What - only 9 kph gusting to 12 kph?! That was odd, but it was still worth putting the kite up for a while.
Space was very limited. To gain an extra few meters, I placed the bag on very damp sand not far from the water's edge. The line angle of the flying kite was clearly boosted by the steep slope forcing the breeze up and over.
The small MBK Parachute kite waved around happily enough, just clear of the artificial rock-face. On only 15 meters (50 feet) or so of line. The rocks were real, just the slope had been put in place by artificial means ;-)
For some minutes I scampered around getting stills and video from various angles. Despite the Winter weather, the sun was finding substantial gaps in the cloud cover and pouring through brightly. At one point, after rescuing the kite from a rock landing, I photographed directly upwards at the kite while standing part-way up the rock-face. That'll be the closest in-flight pic of this kite taken so far, I'm sure.
A seagull soared close by but turned away just as I framed up the shot. Bother.
An even bigger bother was the seawater suddenly washing past the bag on the sand and my shoes while video was being taken! A 'dodge tide' perhaps...
Within a second or 2 the bag was taken to safety a couple of meters towards the rocks. The kite kept flying. A glance to the north confirmed that the water had also reached the steps where I had descended to the sand!
Wasting no time, the kite was taken down and stuffed into the bag. Further down the beach to the south it wasn't clear if the other off-ramp would be accessible without getting wet. I was out of there pretty quick, up the concrete steps.
So, the hardy little 'chute still flies. It's been many many months now since the construction of the MBK Parachute was first documented. There's a lot of taping in the kite's construction but that has the benefit of extra durability it seems.
Parachute Kite Gallery
Click or tap on any photo below to start up the gallery viewer...
Have a look at Making The MBK Parachute Kite if you would like to make and fly one yourself, from my e-book instructions. The e-book is a PDF file download, from which it's easy to get print-outs.