Launching Kites

Single Line Kite Flying Tips

Choosing Your Flying Space
Turbulence makes flying very difficult. Stay away from obstacles such as; buildings, trees and hills which create this unseen bumpy wind. The best places for flying kites are large open fields, beaches or parks. The bigger your space is, the better off you and your kite will be.

Wind Matters
You need wind to fly your kite. The amount you need depends upon the kind of kite you have. Some kites are heavier and need more wind. Some are designed specifically to fly in light winds. Most are capable of flying in average winds of 4-10 mph.

If your kite is looping and diving, the wind may be to strong. Try adding a tail to create drag annd increase the stability.

If your kite will not climb unless you are tugging on the line or it wobbles, you may not have enough wind. Try flying another kite or flying on a different day.

Launching a Kite
To launch your kite alone, stand with your back to the wind and hold the kite nose up to catch the wind and gently release it. Yo should feel the kite catch the wind and rise into the air. Slowly let out the flying line to allow the kite to gain altitude. If the kite starts to stall, rewind the line in so the kite can regain altitude.

In light winds, have a friend hold your kite about 80 feet downwind from you. Once your friend releases the kite, gently pull on the line to make it climb into the sky. Once you have gained altitude, let out more line.

Running to launch your kite is never safe and it is the hardest way to get the kite airborne. Let the line and handle do the hard part so you can enjoy flying.

Flight Control
Line management lets you control your kite while it is airborne. If the line becomes slack reel it in a little to create more tension and reduce the decent. If the kite is pulling too hard, give it some line out to let it soften.

To increase the altitude, gently pump the line. Each time you draw the line in, the kite will rise a few feet. As you pull in the force of the wind increases on the surface of the kite. This will make it climb higher and pull harder.

In moderate winds simply reel in the line. If it is a larger kite, walk it down. Walk toward the kite, pulling the line down as you go. In strong winds you should wear gloves or use a Mini Carabiner to keep from hurting your hands. Walking down the line allows you draw it in without increases the wind speed.

Larks Head knot

The Larks Head knot is the single most useful knot in power kiting, so why not learn it now? The great thing about the Larks Head is that it’s a slip knot. The more you pull the tighter it locks so there’s no chance of it coming undone in flight. But as soon as the tension is released (i.e. after landing the kite) it’s relatively easy to pull loose and undo.

Adjusting the Bridle

Adjusting the bridle: Can be done by moving the tow point. This is the area where the bridle and the flying lines connect. By moving this point on the bridle lines the flight characteristics of the kite can be changed.

If you move the tow point:
  • toward the nose (forward or up), the nose is brought closer to you, dumping air more quickly out the back of the sail. These changes will affect the kite so it will: be faster, have a lighter wind capability ,have less pull, and slower/wider turns. By moving the nose forward in high winds, you will dump more air and lessen the pull exerted.
  • away from the nose (back or down) sets the nose or the top of the kite away from you which retains wind in the sail longer. These changes will affect the kite so it will: be slower, need more wind, have more pull, faster/tighter turns, and much more responsive.
  • to the outside (away from the spine) it will: increase the turn speed, increase oversteer/radicalness, and reduce the turn radius.
  • to the inside (towards the spine) it will: reduce the turn speed, reduce oversteer/radicalness, and increase the turn radius.

Adjusting the bridle is generally done in small steps (1/8") at a time. Make equal adjustments on both sides at the same time. Play with your bridle and see what it does to your kite. If your bridle settings are all wrong the kite won't fly, but you won't break the kite.

What to do in lighter winds?

You want to make your kite as light as possible. Next try putting on lighter and shorter flight lines. Be careful you don't yank too hard on the lines. If you're willing, try the removal of the top spreader. It may fly a little different than usual, BUT it will still fly. Have fun with it!

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