If you're looking for the best and safest kiting experience, it's important to choose the right kite. I decided to write a little about each type of kite design providing you with the information you need to make the perfect buying choice.
Whether you're buying for yourself, a child or even want something with a bit more "power" this guide will hopefully ensure you're choosing the right kite.
If you're looking for a kite that is ideally suited for the youngest flyers, then you should consider the Mini Kite range. Generally, these kites are no bigger than a foot across and can fly in the slightest of winds. With a single line attached to the kite, they are simple and easy to fly. As the Mini Kite range is the cheapest range of kites available, they make great birthday presents for young children to get them started in the world of kite flying.
Because these kites are designed and sold with young children in mind, safety is of paramount importance. Their small size means that even in the worst-case scenario of the kite crashing into someone, it is unlikely to cause any injury. It is important to note that safe kite flying is crucial when flying any type of kite. Please read the section below on safe kite flying to ensure that you and your children can enjoy flying kites in a safe and responsible manner.
The classic diamond kite shape has remained unchanged for centuries, but it is now available in a huge range of styles and sizes. The diamond kite is a suitable first kite for children and is very easy to fly, but some consideration should be given to the size of the kite. As we sell many different sizes of diamond kite, some of the larger kites may be unsuitable for smaller children.
Diamond kites require only the slightest of breezes to fly and can easily reach high altitudes. 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 moderate wind coming from a constant direction. Diamond kites can usually be disassembled easily by removing the horizontal strut, making them easy to store and transport.
If you're looking for a kite that is both fun and unique, you should consider a creature kite. These kites are available in a wide range of shapes and sizes and represent creatures that you may expect to see in the sky, such as birds or butterflies, or creatures that you may not expect to see soaring through the air, such as octopuses or frogs. Some are diamond in form, some are delta, but some are purely custom shapes to represent the creature.
Creature kites are 99% single lined, making them an easy kite to fly for novice pilots and very appealing to young pilots. Usually requiring a moderate wind to fly, they are a low-drag kite, which means they won't pull you about when you fly them but can easily reach a good height with little effort.
A low drag kite is one that will not "drag" you around whilst flying making them suitable for children. Low drag kites are not suitable for pulling buggys.
Delta kites are named after their delta-wing shape, which resembles a slanted triangle design. This design makes them very aerodynamic and able to fly in very gentle breezes. The shape is similar to that of a bird's wings or an airplane's body.
Delta kites are a single-line kite and are simple to fly, making them suitable for young pilots. They represent a change from the standard diamond-shaped kite and are more suitable than the diamond for changeable winds, although they are not suitable for strong winds as they tend to "corkscrew" in the air.
Delta kites are available in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and colours, making them a very fun kite to fly. They will be an enjoyable gift for any child, but it's important to check the size of the kite, as some are bigger than others and the larger ones may not be ideally suited for the youngest of pilots.
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 everyone 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.
Stunt kites are a bit more complicated than the previously mentioned kites. They get their name from their ability to perform tricks in the hands of the pilot. This is due to their 2-string control method, which allows the pilot to shorten or lengthen one of the strings by pulling or extending one of the control handles. This makes the kite take a different course through the air, and with practice, the pilot can perform amazing loops, dives, and climbs with ease.
Stunt kites are not the perfect choice for smaller children, but they will be greatly received by older children and adults.
Finally, we reach the cutting edge of 21st-century kiting - the power kite. Power kites 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!
When choosing a power kite, it's important to take care and ensure that the person you're buying it for can cope with it. Safety is of the utmost importance when flying a power kite, which is why you should always purchase additional safety equipment to accompany your new toy:
Kite killers (specially designed wristbands that allow the kite to drop out of the sky in an emergency).
Protective bodywear, like gloves, pads, and helmets will ensure that if the worst does happen (and let's be honest - it will) you are fully protected.
I recommend that you work your way up through the sizes of power kite and don't just jump in at a huge 6-meter kite without prior experience - a starting kite like the Flexifoil 2.6m Power Kite is a great kite to get to grips with.
Aside from safety, power kites are popular for one reason - they're incredibly fun to use. Whether you fly them on their own or combine them 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, while 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 separately.
The importance of safety when it comes to power kites:
- Fly safely
- Know your limits
- Choose the time and place to fly your power kite with the greatest care, for yourself and other people.
Safe Kite Flying
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.
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 changeable wind conditions.
Release the tension on the line of your kite and this will allow it to drift to the ground, quickly retrieve or immobilize 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.