Help Me Fly A Kite!
September 16, 2011 8:31 AM   Subscribe

I am interested in flying kites (single line). Need help to get started.

The last time I flew a kite was with my Father probably 30 years ago. I am interested in taking up this hobby and I am sourcing online resources to help me get into the whole kite flying scene. I have been looking for local resources (found some, but nothing too substantial) so I am coming to this community for more generic help and assistance.

Again, I have never flown (flew?) a kite since I was about 6 years old (and it was with someone else doing all of the work). I know there are all sorts of kites one can buy and fly, but what would be the most basic kite to start with? Single line? Dual? Something I don't even know about? And what is the easiest kite to fly? Diamond shape? Box shape? Etc.

Also, I don't want to make a kite (so I am not looking for homemade resources), and I am assuming that it would be best to start out with a single line kite (probably in a diamond or triangle shape), which is what we had. Safe to assume?

So I will eagerly accept any suggestions, tips, resources, advice, etc about kites that you can pass along. I will also be looking to buy a kite online, so any recommendations of places that allow kites to be purchased online that offer affordable shipping to Canada, is a must. Thanks in advance.
posted by dbirchum to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Into the Wind has a very nice selection of kites and accessories as well as advice for beginners. I don't know about their shipping rates to Canada, but you might get some ideas of the kind of kite you want from their web site.

I got a Delta Coyne kite from them years ago -- it's a combination of a box and a delta kite -- easy to fly and looks cool too.
posted by elmay at 8:42 AM on September 16, 2011

Try the AKA. The American Kitefliers Association.
( They accept memberships worldwide.)

.02 go to any number of kite festivals, the AKA has a calender of events, talk to the kiters and get a little OPK time ( Other People's Kites)

A delta is easiest to set up, a Rokaku is easier o fly in a variety of winds.
posted by Gungho at 8:52 AM on September 16, 2011

I got my dad a beginner stunt kite several years ago, dual line, and it's a Blast. I ended up using it so much that I broke it (they're really fun in high winds, but don't love being flown into rockfaces, oddly) and bought "him" a new one. The more recent one came with a CD on how to fly it, but it really was simple, so I've never watched it. I've personally imported them both to Canada, so don't know about resources for buying them there, though.
posted by ldthomps at 8:54 AM on September 16, 2011

To add, I basically got started by seeing someone fly one, asking where they bought it, then walking into a kite store. I walked out with everything I needed, including the information for getting started.
posted by ldthomps at 8:56 AM on September 16, 2011

I've always heard parafoil kites (like this one) require the least wind. There's also no frame with rods to assemble (or end up breaking).
posted by mnemonic at 11:46 AM on September 16, 2011

Totally butchered that link, should be: Skyfoil™ Frameless Parafoil Kite: Lazer by X-Kites
posted by mnemonic at 11:49 AM on September 16, 2011

Single line kites are pretty basic. You launch it, it goes up, and you watch it flutter. If you want to actively fly a kite consider a two-line kite. They aren't hard to launch or steer and if you practice you can do neat tricks. I bought my two-line kite (made by Prism) from High Line Kites in Berkeley. Expect to pay $70+ for a well made two-line. (Stay away from four-line kites at first, they're much harder to fly).
posted by Nelson at 5:18 PM on September 16, 2011

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