Any kite flyers around here?

Deciding to take advantage of the fact that I live in the windiest town in the country, I bought myself a new kite.
It is a standard toy-shop “stunt kite”, dual lines and about a 120cm wingspan, but having taken it out a few times it seems nice and balanced. I have been out for hours at a time the past few days. Great fun :smiley:

I would love to learn more, feel free to shower me with newbie links, all the ones I have found seem to assume a lot of knowledge up front, like how to execute stalls (not to mention why). My only skills so far are solo-launching, turning left and right, doing a single loop (sometimes on purpose!) and crashing nose-first at high speed. Great fun indeed!

So, tell me about your kites, tell me about your skills, teach me!

Ooh, yeah… I want to put bells on my kite, or would that be incredibly stupid?

Yes! I love kite flying too. Those stunt kites are great, aren’t they?

How big are these bells? The extra weight might make takeoff difficult.

Have you ever looked into box kites? The lift on those things is incredible. I’ve seen ones where the string has to be anchored to the ground.

I’m into telemark skiing on frozen lakes in Northern Ontario behind a couple of tandem rigged 10’x2’ parafoil traction kites.

It is a lovely, graceful feeling, genuflecting from one ski to the other, arcing out turn after turn for mile upon mile, on great open expanses of blinding white snow and ice.

Random tips:

If there’s not enough wind, don’t even bother. You can spend hours of futility trying to get that damn thing to fly.

Get someone else to go with you. While solo launching is easy, setting up for solo launches is a pain in the ass.

On the advanced side: Buy a really small kite. Like two foot wingspan. My brother has one, and it is insanely fast in almost any wind, and you only need 20-30 feet of line to fly it. OTOH, he’s cracked almost every shaft on the thing over time, since it flies into the ground insanely fast as well.

I have a few kites and always have one or two in my truck. I don’t get to fly them as often as I’d like, and I’d love to learn more, too. Great thread!

StG

hey guys

i spend all my money on food and kiting…

i started flying single line kites when i was about 10 and soon moved on to a stunt kite which was a Hell Cat…being about 11 with this thing i was often pulled about! which i loved!!!

so the next step was to get a power kite, there is a reason they are called power kites!!! i started on one ten foot Flexifoil and then over the years till i was about 17 i got that up to three ten foot Flexifoils that i would fly in a stack… one above the other on the same set of lines to generate loads of pull… and found i could, in a quite controlled way, get lofted up into the air up to about 10 ft.

i did this for quite some time, messing about with the kites using them to pull sailing boats and kayaks, and then one day when jumping with the kites i came down badly on my right knee and broke my kneecap. This was not the plan and i was unable to walk properly for nearly a year.

that was about 5 years ago

late last year a friend got a flexifoil Blade 6.4 m2, which is used for jumping, buggying and mountainboarding… and once again i was hooked!. i have bought this kite off my friend who lost interest ??? !!! and have since really got into the kiting again… i own a Mountain board and when the weather allows i am out on the board…

two weeks ago i got my dream machine!! in the shape of a 15.5m2 water kite and a board for water… and as of last sunday i am a kitesurfer!

i dont think you can make better use of the elements to have a good time!

weather you get your rocks off by flying a fast small kite or by being pulled along at 35 mph on the water, kites are amazing!

Tony :smiley:

I have a Flexi-Foil 6’ that I have enjoyed for many many years. Very powerful and impressive kite. http://www.flexifoil.com/products/stacker6.php Aside from the amount of cells and lines it’s really not that different from my parachute.

I bought a Revolution EXP quad line last year which is a total blast to fly and never fails to freak people out with its ability to fly upside down, backwards, etc. and to stop on a dime and hover. http://www.revkites.com/pr-frame.htm

Here’s a link to a 2 meg WM video of a Revolution in action: http://www.salubrio.com/mike/imx/kites-2003-03-09/kite-video-20030309a.avi

If you have broadband treat yourself to this completely AWESOME kitesurfing video. Its 29 megs but you wont believe the crazy air these guys and girls are getting under their kites! :eek: Very well made video. What a radical sport! http://www.arminharich.de/Video/webfly.zip

(The kitesurfing video requires WinZip to unzip the file, if you don’t already have it you can download a demo version for free here: http://www.winzip.com/ddchomea.htm)

Great thread Iteki!

Forgot to mention, I see no reason why some small lightweight bells on your kite would not be cool. Give it a try!

Another great thing to try is to attach several different colors (so you can tell the top from the bottom) of glowsticks to your kite and go nightflying. It’s great! A full moon helps but not necessary.

tefuh? The Rev kite stops, like a meter above the ground, and just sits there, and then turns around and goes back up! That is stunning, holy hell :slight_smile: I am at about the swooping stage, but willing to learn :slight_smile: going out right this minute to practise finding the “window”!

Revolutions are fun.

For me, I find fighter kites to be much more fun than stunt kites. If you can find Grandmaster ™ fighter kites, buy at least two of them. They’re not too expensive, and that way you can trash one while you learn–though learning shouldn’t take long.

Since they only have one line, you can give them hundreds of feet of line. Make sure you get the waxed line. I have more fun with a $24 Grandmaster than I do with a $200 Revolution.

Heh. I never thought I’d find an appropriate place to relay this story, but whaddya know!

When he was a kid in the 50s, my husband and his dad used to make kites and take them to the lakefront in Chicago to fly them. They would glue broken glass to the string and kite and have battles to cut the other guy’s string. Last guy still tethered wins!

Oh man, those fighter kites look awesome. I’ll have to take a trip down to my hobby store to see what they’ve got in stock.

They’re easy to fly, too. The way they’re designed they are flat so that there is no tracking and the kite just spins around in place. When you pull on it, it bends the sides back and creates a keel (sp?), like on a boat, so that the kite then travels straight in which ever direction it is pointing.

So if the kite is in the air and traveling to the right (you’d be drawing in line to keep it tracking straight) and you want it to go up, then you release your grip somewhat so that the line slips out quickly causing the kite to flatten. When it flattens, it will start spinning. When it is pointing up, you tighten your grip and start pulling it in, hand over hand, and the kite shoots straight up into the air.

You need to have enough ground space to move around if you can. You’ll be drawing in and releasing so much string that if you let it all drop in one pile, you risk an accidental knot up. If you can move around as you draw in and release the string, then you can minimize the chance of that sort of thing happening.

The hardest part is learning to let go of the line when the kite is about to crash. If you let go, it loses all forward speed and floats to the ground, generally with no damage.

I’ve only ever flown Grandmaster fighter kites, so I can’t say how good any other type/brand is. However, I can say that the Grandmasters are a lot of fun.

I’ve got a Phantom speed kite. On a very windy day it’d travel between 45 and 60mph. The last time I flew it was in a force 6 gale on the beach on New Year’s Day in County Wicklow. Oops. I had shark fishing line on it, and it still managed to break one of the lines and disappear over the dunes. I retrieved it but nearly had a heart attack so doing. Still haven’t been able to undo the tangle. But I got a good few years worth of fun out of it.

Oops, very windy here yesterday. One of my lines is almost snapped through, and one of the little rubber parts dissapeared. Either it managed to wiggle 20 cm down the main umm… crossbar(?) and fall off, in the space of 3 minutes might I add, or it was ripped off said crossbar. It is one of the little rubber T’s that hold the struts(?) and the store doesn’t sell replacements. :frowning:

“You’re gonna need a bigger kite.” :smiley: good enough excuse for me!

Ok, at the risk of being a bumper, I can say that the “bigger kite” has been procured. 160cm wingspan was the biggest they had, so I got that. It came with wrist straps though instead of the rings the last one came with. The rings were kind of cool in that I could reel out in the air, how can I “reel out” during flight with wrist straps? I ended up just laying out the whole length of the strings and then connecting the kite. I really like the straps for controlling though. How can I comprimise?

Here is a load of kite videos I found. Flashy as hell, I have no idea how they do this stuff!

http://www.prismkites.com/new-site/video-library.htm

Um…bigger kite for stronger wind?! You might want to find a new sales guy.

Which is not to say that bigger kites aren’t more fun. They’re just gonna pull harder in the strong wind, IIRC.

No salesguy, my own twisted logic and an attitude of “any excuse will do”. mrsIteki fell for it, and that’s all that counts :smiley:

[Mr. Burns] Excellent. [/Mr. Burns]