WHERE TO FLY
Always fly your kite in wide open spaces well away from trees, buildings and hills. The beach, park or paddock are usually great places to fly. Obstacles within 50m of your kite will greatly interfere with the steady wind flow needed for good kite flying.
Medium winds are best for most kites. If there is not enough wind, your kite will not get off the ground – if there is too much wind, your kite will spin around in circles and you risk crashes and breakages. Kites fly best in steady winds, not in gusty, strong-then-light type winds.
You should not need to run to fly your kite except for very light winds.
A well designed kite will fly in a wide wind range and cope with less-than-ideal conditions but there is no kite that will fly in all conditions.
A single rod across the back of a delta
kite spreads the sail into position.
Two rods across the back of a Diamond kite meet at a joiner.
Make sure the joiner is around the right way.
Thin fiberglass rod spreads the Sharks head.
(It slips into the stitching break behind his beady eyes!)
Dragons & Foils
Shapes like the Jellyfish don’t need any assembly at all. They are already together so all you need to do is attach the flying line and you are ready to fly. This also applies to Parafoil designs. They are soft kites with no frame that fill up with air in the sky. No frame means no assembly.
The last step in getting your kite ready to fly is to connect the Flying Line. This is the fancy name we give to the string wound onto the handle. Most of our kites here at Leading Edge come with the flying line already connected but, in case it comes loose, here are a few ways to attach them.
Never assume your flying line is tied to your handle!
If you let out all of the string and it is not tied to the handle, your kite, and line, will disappear into the sunset!
Slowly let out string until your kite gets high.
Most kites will be quite wobbily and unstable close to the ground (this is because of ground turbulance).
If this happens, have a friend hold the kite a few meters downwind from you while you pull it gently from their hands.
Once you have got into more stable air, start letting out more line slowly, the higher you get the more stable the winds will be.
You should not need to run to fly your kite however in very light winds you may need to run a little to allow the kite to rise.
Make sure you only run into the wind and watch where you are going.
Tell them not to throw the kite into the air, just let you pull it from their hands.
This is the same technique we describe above for getting away from turbulent winds so,
if the regular just-hold-the-kite-to-the-wind launch doesn’t work, give a long line launch a try.
If you don’t have someone else with you to hold the kite, just lean it against a fence or tree trunk or any sort of obstacle, walk back to your kite handle and pull it gently away. Again, you may need to do a little running to get the kite high. .
Other kites, like keeled deltas, may have a few different anchor points or eyelets on the keel. By attaching your flying string to a different eyelet, you can change the ‘angle of attack’ of the kite. Try the top eyelet in stronger breezes and the bottom eyelet for lighter winds.
Kites with bridle strings with 2 attachment points, like our magnificent Rainbow Cell, can be adjusted by moving the towing ring up or down.
If your kite is adjustable, try experimenting with the different settings in different winds. Generally you want the sail to be open for light winds and flat for stronger winds.
If your kite spins in circles or rolls to one side.
Loosen the slip knot at the ring and pull on the piece of string that goes to the TOP of the kite.
This will move the Start Mark ABOVE the slip knot and make the Top leg of the bridle a little longer. This will heel the kite down and it will be more stable in flight.
* If the kite spins in circles, pull the TOP bit of the string until the Mark is 5-10 mm ABOVE the knot.
If your kite doesn’t lift away from the ground.
Loosen the slip knot at the ring and pull on the piece of string that goes to the BOTTOM of the kite. This will move the Start Mark BELOW the slip knot and make the Bottom leg of the bridle a little longer. This will flatten the kite in the wind and it will rise higher in the sky.
* If your kite won’t rise away from the ground, pull the BOTTOM bit of the string until the Start Mark is 5 to 10 mm BELOW the knot.
Most times when you are flying, you will hold on to the handle (never the string!) but every now and then you might need to use a ‘hands-free’ technique. If you ever do need to anchor your kite, simply tie it off to something that is fixed to the ground like a fence post or tree trunk.
Never tie knots in your flying line….it will weaken the line so that it breaks and it’s also very difficult to untie the knots!…. so it’s best to use a ‘larks head’ knot. It’s easy to do and very easy to undo.
Never leave your kite unattended. Even if it’s flying smooth and steady you never know when the wind will change direction or change strength.
- Always wind your string onto the handle, don’t spool it on the ground, that’s a tangle waiting to happen!
- If you can’t wind the string straight onto the handle, keep it stretched out along the ground, disconnect the kite and wind in towards you while it is stretch out in front. This is the best way to avoid tangles.
- Don’t wind your line in under pressure. If it’s really windy and there is lots of pull on your line, winding in with this strong pull will put lots of pressure on your handle and can crush it. In strong winds, have a friend ‘walk ‘ the line down…while you hold the handle, get them to hold the line as they walk towards the kite to bring it to ground but away from you. Then you can disconnect the kite and wind the line in without pressure.
- – When ‘walking’ a kite down, use a hand-over-hand method like lifesavers do with rescue reels. If you run the line through your hands it will really burn, especially in strong winds.
CARE and REPAIR
- Store your kite rolled up in it’s carry bag. This will protect it and save you from last bits.
- Sand and salt are very abrasive, if you’ve been to the beach, give your kite a quick hose down with fresh water and let it dry before packing it away.
- Direct sunlight will fade bright coloured nylon fabrics quite quickly. Don’t store a kite in direct sunlight like the back dash of a car.