Choosing & Flying A Kite
This section of the shop is here to provide you with the right information to choose the perfect kite for the flyer, some of our kites are suitable for very small children, while others should be given the greatest respect by competent adult pilots.
First of all we'll tell you a little about the different types of kites we sell..Mini Kites
Generally these kites are no bigger than a foot across, ideally suited for the youngest flyers, they can fly in the slightest of winds and simple to fly, a single line attached to the kite means that they can be flown with ease. On the whole the Mini Kite range is the cheapest range of kites we stock, which also makes them great birthday presents for young children. As these kites are made and sold with young children in mind, safety is of paramount importance, their small size means even in a worst case scenario of the kite being crashed into someone it is unlikely to cause any injury. Please also read the section below on safe kite flying.Diamond Kites
The classic kite shape, unchanged for centuries, but now available in a huge range of styles and sizes. The diamond is a suitable first kite for children and is a very easy to fly style of kite, although some consideration should be given to the size of the kite as we sell many different sizes of diamond kite and some of the larger kites may be unsuitable for smaller children. Diamond kites generally require only the slightest of breezes to fly and can reach a high altitude quite easily, most can also be easily adjusted for the angle of flying to ensure a stable flight in a wide range of wind conditions, although they are best flown in a moderate wind coming from a constant direction. Diamond kites can usually be disassembled easily by removing the horizontal strut, which makes them easy to store and transport. Please also read the section below on safe kite flying.Creature Kites
Creature kites are available in a wide range of shapes and sizes, and as the name suggests they represent a creature, which could be something you'd expect to see in the sky, like a bird or butterfly or something you may not expect to see soaring through the air like an octopus or frog. Some are diamond in form, some are delta, but some are purely custom shapes to represent the creature. They are 99% single lined, and therefore an easy kite to fly for the novice pilot and very appealing to the young pilot. Usually requiring a moderate wind to fly they are a low drag kite which means they're not going to pull you about when you fly them but can easily reach a good height with little effort. Please also read the section below on safe kite flying.Delta Kites (Not to be confused with delta stunt kites)
Delta kites are named after their delta-wing shape, a slanted triangle design, very aerodynamic and able to fly in very gentle breezes. Alike to a birds wings or an aeroplanes body. They are a single line kite and simple to fly, suitable for young pilots they represent a change to the standard diamond shaped kite and are more suitable than the diamond to changable winds, although not suitable for strong winds as they tend to 'corkscrew' in the air. Available in a wide range of sizes, shapes and colours they are a very fun kite to fly and will be an enjoyable gift for any child, check the size of the kite though as some are bigger than others and the larger ones may not be ideally suited for the youngest of pilots. Please also read the section below on safe kite flying.Box Kites
Another age-old design, the box kite, flies in a different fashion to other kites in that the air passes through the kite to create lift rather than push against a solid face. They usually look as though they shouldn't fly, but in fact are one of the most graceful flying kites there are. Not available in as many forms as the diamond kite, but every one is beautiful in it's own way. They are suitable for children as they produce very little drag, but may also appeal to the adult flyers out there, in fact they are the ideal gift for active grandparents to accompany their grandchildren when they're flying their kites. Single flying line guarantees an easy flying experience. Please also read the section below on safe kite flying.Stunt Kites
Getting a bit more complicated now than the previously mentioned kites, stunt kites get their name from their ability to perform tricks in the hands of the pilot, this is down to their 2 string control method, which by shortening or lengthening one of the strings by pulling or extending one of the control handles makes the kite take a different course through the air, practice will allow the pilot to perform amazing loops, dives and climbs with ease. Not the perfect choice for smaller children, but will be greatly received by older children, and also adults, for who we stock a wide range of high end stunt kites. When browsing our shop note that the stunt kites are divided into different sections; childrens, novice, advanced and expert, this is generally dictated by the size of the kite - the larger ones produce more pull and require more tug on the lines to perform their tricks. Please also read the section below on safe kite flying.Power Kites
Finally we reach the cutting edge of 21st century kiting - The power kite, ever more popular and our best selling kites. Powerkites are named for just that reason - they take the maximum power from the wind, flying a power kite is not about watching it gracefully soar into the air, it's all about the drag. Even the smallest power kite can produce an outstanding amount of pull, and the largest can even make you take off! Always take care when choosing a power kite that the person you're buying it for will be able to cope with it. Safety is of maximum importance when flying a power kite and that's why we stock a wide range of safety equipment to accompany the power kites, such as kite killers (specially designed wristbands which will allow the kite to drop out of the sky in an emergency), and a range of protective body wear; like gloves, pads and helmets. We recommend that you work your way up through the sizes of power kite and don't just jump in at a huge 6 metre kite without prior experience. Safety aside, power kites are popular for one reason, they're so fun to use, whether you fly it on it's own or combine it with an ATB (off-road kite powered skateboard) or a buggy, they produce a huge amount of power which is very exciting to be at the end of. Smaller power kites tend to be 2 lined, whilst larger 'traction' kites are generally 4 lined, which require some form of handles or harness to fly them, sometimes these are supplied with the kite or they are available seperately. Again we have to stress the safety point with power kites, fly safely, know your limits and most of all choose the time and place to fly your power kite with the greatest of care, for yourself and other people. Please also read the section below on safe kite flying. And see our special page on flying power kites safely.Safe Kite Flying
Location - Select a location that is free of obstruction such as houses and trees that can pose a danger to your kite and the public, and even more importantly do not fly your kite anywhere near power lines, substations or airports. Make sure wind conditions are right for your particular kite. Also make sure that as well as preventing damage to yourself and your kite, that you are going to fly in an area where you are not going to cause harm to anyone else or any wildlife, a beach is a perfect place, but make sure that there are no people around you if you are using a large or powerful kite. Also be aware of changing weather conditions, if you think there may be a storm approaching, quickly and carefully cease your flying activities, a kite can act as a lightning conductor when it is damp, and even if there's no lightning, excessive winds can damage or destroy your kite, or just pull it from your hands, which in the case of children can be very upsetting.
Launching - With the wind at your back, take the kite about 50 feet or more downwind and have a friend hold it up, pulling the line tight. As your kite catches the wind, pull on the line handle until the kite gains altitude. Smaller kites can be launched from a smaller distance than this. Ensure you quickly give the kite lines some length after launch as the wind tends to swirl close to the floor and can quickly bring your kite back down. Ensure that there is no chance of wrapping the lines around another person or yourself as this can be dangerous in changable wind conditions.
Landing - Release the tension on the line of your kite and this will allow it to drift to the ground, quickly retreive or immobolise your kite as it can easily take off again in the right conditions. Choose a suitable place away from water and busy public places for this. You may also find that you can just wind your kite back onto the string and as your kite is approaching the ground it can be caught and held for you while you finish winding it up.
Above everything else USE YOUR COMMON SENSE, and constantly be aware of your environment, the wind is always changing and can only be guessed at. Keep aware of other people coming close to you and always supervise young children when flying kites. When you follow the necessary safety steps kite flying can be one of the most enjoyable pastimes all year round. Thank you for reading - and fly safely.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Keith McGregor is a partner of Strawberrysoup, a web design agency with offices in Chichester and Bournemouth. Strawberrysoup specialise in creative web design, content managed websites, search engine optimisation, search engine marketing and graphic design