Kite Buying Guide
Kites have been around for thousands of years and they are a part of many different cultures around the world.
They have been a source of entertainment and continue to enthrall both the young and old alike. Kite-flying is a popular recreation in many countries and has now also developed into a sport. Kites comes in varying shapes and sizes. Some are very easy to fly, while some require extensive practice depending on the type of kite being used and the level of skills of the flyer. For beginners, choosing the right kind of kite is helpful to have a fun and enjoyable experience. Kites are mainly classified into three categories, the single line kites, dual line kites, and the quad line kites.
Single Line Kites
Single line kites are designed to be stable in medium winds and are the easiest for younger children to fly. These kind of kites are attached to one piece of string and once airborne they simply float in the sky. Single line kites come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The most common types are the following:
Delta Kites – the most common type frequently seen in public. It consists of a triangle extended over a small framed structure, with another smaller triangle added to its tail in one single line. Lightweight and usually made of nylon, these are easy flyers for low to medium winds and are made in both single and dual line designs
Cellular and Box Kites - geometrically shaped and three dimensional for higher winds. The traditional box is the simplest design of this type and the most popular. The winged box was created by adding wings to the four long sides to give the kite extra lift. From there, many other 3D styles were built, ranging from snowflakes to stars to circles.
Diamond Kites - the classic kite design. Shaped like a diamond and flies well in most conditions. Streamers can added to the tail to give the diamond kite more stability and enhance its appearance.
Parafoil Kites - built without frames and resembles a parachute. The kite is designed so that the air flows through vents to reduce pressure and keep it airborne. If you see fun kites sculpted like an animal or a person, you are looking at inflatable parafoil designs.
Sled Kites - soft kites with no spars. Basically like sails, they rely on the wind for their shape. The structure of this kite is square in shape and two big sized triangles come out from its two sides. A string is attached to each side of the kite and then joined to the main line. Relatively easy to control, this kite is very popular among kids.
Bird kites – realistic three dimensional kites that resemble birds.
Dual Line Kites (or Stunt Kites)
Dual line kites are designed to control the movement of the kite in the air. They have two lines connected to them instead of one, which gives the kite-flyer the ability to maneuver them in virtually any direction they wish.
Dual line kites are quite easy to fly and easy to launch. They are fast and are designed for either stunt flying for tricks and maneuvers, or for power/traction flying. Like single line kites, dual line kites come in many different designs, colors, and sizes.
Quad Line Kites
Quad or 4 line kites are designed for the ultimate control. The bridle is attached to 4 lines that connect the kite to the flyer, usually connecting to handles or a control bar. Quad line stunt kites give you maximum control, any direction, any time (including upside down and reverse). A perfect example of a quad line kite is the power kite.
Power Kites - resemble a parachute in shape. Their only design is like a rectangular surface that makes for a great lift in the kite. There are lines at each end of this kite and therefore, it is easy to control. Power kites can be surfed on both land and water.
To make your kite-flying experience easier and more enjoyable, there are certain useful accessories available to complement your kites. Some of the basic kite accessories include the following:
Kite Bags - ideal for those who travel. Kite bags protect your kites and other gears during transportation and acts as a storage when kites are not in use.
Lines - basic kite accessories. Having good quality lines is a must. Dacron is the most popular line used for single line kites, while Dyneema and Spectra are ideal for use with dual and quad line kites.
Reels, Winders, Spools, Straps and Handles - useful in maintaining control of kites. These are very convenient when flying kites and an absolute necessity at times.
Tails and Line Laundry - tail and other balancers are used to give stability to an otherwise unsteady kite. The tail exerts considerable pull long enough to give steadiness to the kite. A line laundry is usually attached to the flying line for decorative purposes.
Windsocks - are useful as a wind direction indicator and for decoration.
Wind Gauges - useful gadgets that measure wind speed. Some hi-tech models can also track temperature, wind chill and more.
Kite Stakes - are one of the most useful tools for kite flying, making single person kite setup easy and preventing your kite from flying away in the wind.