Flying Sport Kites

Dear New Flyer   

I would like to spend some time with each person purchasing a new kite for the first time. A few minutes of flight instruction usually guarantees the first flight will be an enjoyable one. Because this is not always practical I will try to give you a few pointers to get you started.

Your Lines Are Not The Same Length !

When you purchase a new kite with the lines included the lines are not usually the same length unless the kite comes with Pre-stretched Spectra lines and winder. You will need to make sure your lines are exactly the same length before your first flight. Before flying take a kite ground stake and push it in the ground and hook your flying straps over the ground stake. Next walk away from the ground stake ( do this directly down wind ) holding the winder and unwinding the kite lines as you go. When you reach the ends of the lines you will find that one is probably longer than the other. Take the longest line, undo the knots on the sleeving and slide the sleeving up the line the desired amount, tie the knots the same as the other line. Stretch the lines and check them for length, if they are the same you are ready for flight, if not repeat the procedure until the lines are as close to the same length as possible.

Stunt Kite Lines

Stunt kite lines are generally around 100 ft. long. Long lines slow things down and shorter lines speed up the response of your kite. Generally found on beginners' stunt kites,Nylon or Dacron® line stretches 15% to 50% at it's breaking point and slows the response time for easy learning. Five times as strong as Dacron line is Spectra® line. Spectra stretches about 5% at it's breaking point, much improving your kite's response and light wind performance. Spectra is much smoother than Dacron, when lines are wrapped around each other they slip over each other much better. You will find that you can do quicker and more daring moves, more loops and fly in much lighter wind with Spectra lines. Spectra lines should be sleeved at the ends before flying. Use two colours of sleeving to keep track of right and left hand lines, be sure that you have the same colour sleeving on each end of the same line.

Now When Stretched Very Tight Your Lines Should Be The Same Length.

At this time remove your Kiteworks Canada kite from the bag and place it face up on the ground at the ends of the lines. Face up is when the rods are facing you as you would see the kite in the air. Assemble the kite following the manufacturers directions. Be sure that no bridal lines are wrapped around the kites frame. This step may seem difficult the first few times but it is easier each time you assemble your kite. Now attach your kite lines to the bridal tow points using a larks head knot. You will notice that the sleeving is different colours, this is so that you can tell which line is left & right. From the very beginning determine which colour will be in your right hand. For the rest of your life this colour will be your right hand line.

Time For Your First Flight!

Well here you go. Pull the kite tight on the lines, stand your kite up on its wing tips leaning slightly back away from the wind. If the kite is not leaning away from the wind it will self launch. The kite wants to fly, all you have to do is steer it. Leave the kite, walk back to your straps at the ground stake. Pick up the straps being careful not to pull on them. Put the ground stake in your pocket you will need it when you land or crash, to re-launch your kite. Make sure you have your right hand line in your right hand. Take the lines in your hands and hold them taught, take one step backwards and gently tug on the lines. You are now flying. Your Hand Should Never Be Above Shoulder Height! If flying ultra light kites or on a very light wind day use Boa Straps on your fingers for added control & feel.

Most fliers will wrap their straps around their wrists for extra holding power .

Hand Movements Are Small, Jerks Crash!

Very little hand movement is required to steer the kite. While flying on nylon lines that generally come with inexpensive entry level kites the lines will stretch up to 50% in length. Spectra lines will stretch only about 5% in length. This means that when flying with spectra lines your hand movements will be very small. With nylon lines your hand movements are dramatically larger. A 1/2" movement of one of your hands will make the kite do a full revolution. You must return your hand to where you began or the kite will keep going in circles. Experiment with the thrill of flight, play with the wind, push yourself and your kite to the limits.

Congratulations, you are now an Aerobatic Sport Kite flyer!

When you crash your kite it is not the kites fault. Crashing is from inexperience, poor wind conditions or trying that daring new trick. All kites fly. Some kites fly differently than others, not necessarily better or worse, just different.

Wind Conditions And Flying.

You will soon find out that some kites will fly in low winds and some will not. There are kites for every wind condition from zero indoor kite flying to power flying in 20 MPH. plus wind conditions. The weight of kite lines plays a major role in how well you kite fly's. Do not use kite lines too heavy for the wind conditions, your kite will fly poorly. See the wind chart and learn to read the wind conditions to more enjoy your new hobby and past time.

If anyone has questions or ideas to share please contact us. If you are having a kite event or get together let us know and I will place it on our Events Board. If the event is near our store we will try to attend your events.

An excellent teaching tool is Dood Gross's Flight School Special Edition DVD . This DVD takes all level of fliers from beginners to advanced and shows ways you to improve your flying skills.

From all of us at Kiteworks Canada, good luck flying and keep your eyes on the sky.


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