‘Single String Kites’
are what you would usually refer to as ‘regular’ or ‘normal’ kites. Usually for children but some bigger kites are very much for adults and, in some cases, very experienced flyers. (When we fly at kite festivals some of our kites are so big we need to anchor them to a truck on the beach!)
The main feature of a single string kite is balance…it must be perfectly balanced on both sides of the middle string so it will stay in the sky and not roll to one side and crash.
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 like trees or buildings within 50m of your kite will greatly interfere with the steady wind flow needed for good kite flying.
Single line kites like smooth, steady winds and will become very ‘eratic’ if the wind is gusty or swirling around tres or buildings.
While there is no such thing as a kite that will fly in all winds, most Stunt Kites now days have a wide wind range.
Most will perform well in 10 to 35 klm’s per hour (that’s about 6 to 20 knots). While medium winds are best for most kites, it’s important that you know the wind range for your particular kite.
Because Carbon Graphite is lighter then Fiberglass, Stunt kites with Carbon frames like the Fluid will get up and flying in lighter winds then fiberglass framed kites. Foils, even though they have no frames and are therefore very light, need more wind because they need to fill their cells to keep the kite in shape.
Wind is too light: Your kite won’t lift away from the ground if there is not enough wind. As the wind picks up a little it will lift but may not perform well, it will struggle to do basic manoeuvres like spins and turns. You won’t do any harm if you persist but it will be pretty frustrating! Our advice? Go home and try again later on!
Wind is too strong: Don’t do it! This is when you break stuff….lines break with too great a pull, rods break (even in the air), sails stretch and rip because of strong pressure. Hurting bystanders is also much greater risk in strong winds because the kite is more powerful and faster making it much harder to control.
How strong is too strong? Can’t say sorry. It depends on your kite, your experience and where you are. Better to pay heavily on the safe side until you are sure.
Read your instructions !!!!!
All kite designs are different so we can’t give you detailed instructions here on how to assemble because every kite assembly is unique.
We constantly see kites that have been mis-assembled because the owners (and it’s not always the dads!) didn’t read the instructions. Whoever made your kite knows how they intended it be be assembled so read them and do what they say, not wat you ‘think’.
Larks Head Knots
Or, check out the images here to see how to do it. Once you’ve made the knot like the diagrams, simply slip the ‘Rats Tail’ …the end of the Bridle String…through the Loop of the Larks Head and pull tight.
It’s easy to do and easy to undo.
PREPARING for TAKEOFF
Choose a flying site with plenty of open spaces: – no obstacles to crash into like trees, buildings, power lines or fences and with open space BEHIND you. If the wind coming toward you is rolling over obstacles like trees or buildings, it will swirl and push down in eddies making it very, very difficult to fly – we call this ‘dirty air’.
Set your kite down FACING THE WIND (your BACK will be to the wind) and let it fall backwards. You’ll notice that the WHISKERS make the kite ‘3 dimensional’ so it will sort of ‘stand up’, not lay flat. This will make it a lot easier to launch the kite.
Your hands should be:-
– pretty close together
– out in front of you a bit.
– arms relaxed and loose, not straight and rigid.
Now ready for takeoff!
Now simply jerk your hands down by your side and take a few steps backward. The kite will rise, the wind will catch the sail and take it skyward. Now slowly return your hands to the ‘relaxed n loose’ position in front of you.
When you launch, the kite will not go exactly straight up, it will probably roll a little to one side or the other (because the wind is never exactly at your back or the lines are never exactly the same length….) Simply pull ever–so-slightly on the opposite elbow. e.g. if your kite is rolling to the left, pull your right wrist slightly back to get the kite to sit still straight above you. Your first goal is to KEEP IT STILL.
Keep your movements Smooth and Small. Avoid hard, jerky movements. If you pull too hard you’ll overcompensate and it will roll to the other side….just keep re-adjusting your wrists until it’s still, at the top of the sky. This is actually a precision skill that will take a few launches to master…The greatest skill you can show yourself is to keep the kite STILL. Practice it…
Ok, you’ve got your kite into the air and it’s sitting quite still at the top of the sky. Well, that’s about it. You’ve done the hard work so now just stand back, relax and enjoy the kite!
When you’re finished flying, just wind the kite string down towards you and then you can just catch it and pack up.
If you are flying in strong winds, or with a big kite, it’s a good idea to bring the kite down ground before winding in the string. In stronger winds, there will be greater pressure on the line and, as well as being hard to wind, you can buckle or break your handle if you wind the string on under this sort of pressure.
CARE & REPAIR
Most good kites now days are made from non-deterioating materials like fibreglass, nylon and carbon. A little care and attention will give you years of fun and enjoyment (but some running repairs may be necessary.)
SAIL: Sails are usually made from Spinnaker grade ripstop nylon or polyester. It is very strong and will withstand the rigours of much flying and many crashes. Repairs, if necessary, are best made with adhesive sail repair tape from your local sailboat chandlery. Stick on a patch and sew it down. If stitching needs resewing, use a similar stitch to that being repaired and use normal polyester cotton.
SPARS: Kite spars are guaranteed to do two things: Perform brilliantly … and break! They are very rigid and very light but they are also quite fragile … so be prepared for breakages, they will occur. Replacement spars are available from us or from your local kite shop or archery shop for a few dollars each. Take your existing spars with you so you can get an exact match. Call or email us if you get stuck finding replacement rods. Rods can break at any time, on a seemingly gentle landing, while assembling your kite, they have even been known to break in flight! When cutting fiberglass or carbon rod, use a hacksaw and twist as you cut…don’t cut straight through like you would a piece of timber, twist as you go so you are cutting from the outside into the inside. This will stop splinters on the bottom of your cut.
LINES: Lines will eventually wear out because of the friction caused by constant rubbing. The only solution for this is replacements but it will be heaps of hours of flying before this happens. Worry about it in a few years time. If you fly in stronger winds (over 20 knots) be prepared for breakages! Regular twisted nylon (comes with all of our Fiberglass framed kites) can be tied back together if it breaks. Dyneema lines (with bigger High Performance kites) need to be spliced back together if they break, don’t tie a knot in them, it weakens the line and will break immediately. If you do need to splice ‘em, call us or google it. If you do want stronger lines (we don’t recommend it.) call us and we will put you in contact with your nearest supplier. Please note that Broken Flying Lines are not covered under warranty……do not use your kite in winds too strong for your lines.
CLEANING YOUR KITE: If your kite gets dirty, just hose it with Fresh Water…pay extra attention to Joints, Holes,Tubing & Spars. Never use brushes or abrasive cleaners on sail-cloth. Sand and Salt are very abrasive and can wear through the cloth easily. After flying on the beach, always shake the sand off your sail and out of your bag. It’s a good idea to give your kite a quick hose in fresh water to get thew salt and sand off when you get home. Let your kite dry before putting it back in the bag, the moisture won’t hurt it but will smell ‘like wet dogs’ when you next use it.
COMMON SENSE AND CAUTION ARE OVERRIDING RULES
NEVER fly in electrical storms.
NEVER fly near overhead powerlines.
STAY AWAY from trees, buildings and roads.
NEVER fly near airports.
BE AWARE of the great cutting force of taut control lines.