Tips for Flying a Kite

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As we head into November, the water on the beach is getting a bit too cold and choppy to play in. Without a wetsuit and a surfboard, you’re liable to end up getting knocked around quite a bit. Luckily, the beach is a wide open space, and the increased wind speeds we see during cold weather make the beach an excellent place to fly a kite. Check out our tips to get the best kite flying experience at the beach.

Fly Your Kite in an Open Space
Beaches are a great place to fly a kite, but there still some things to look out for when picking where to set up camp. You don’t want to fly too close over the water, as waves can destroy a kite that falls into the ocean. You also want to fly where your kite won’t become a safety hazard. Avoid flying near power lines, houses, and trees.

Ideal Weather Conditions for Flying a Kite
Kites work year-round as long as the wind speeds are adequate for the type of kite you own. Do some research on the model of your kite to find out what range of wind speeds are best suited for it. Some kites with simple designs can be destroyed by wind speeds that are too high. Almost all kites can be damaged by wind speeds that exceed 20 mph. Never fly during a rainstorm or lightning. Rain can bog your kite down and cause it to get damaged. Lightning is attracted to the lines attached to kites. Flying a kite during a lightning storm could result in serious or life-threatening injuries.

Getting Started on a Single Line Kite:
Stand with your back facing the wind and hold your kite up to its bridle point. Once you can hold this position, begin to let the line free. If the wind is sufficiently strong, your kite will immediately begin to soar upwards. Allow your kite to fly away from you. Its longitude will change naturally. Periodically pull on the line to increase its altitude.

Getting up in Light Wind:
If wind is steady but not quite strong enough to propel a kite, have a friend hold the kite downwind from your vantage point and raise it in the air. Once signaled, the person holding the kite will release it while the kite flyer will quickly pull the line in by hand. This will allow the kite to raise into the air and hopefully catch a wind current 20 or so feet in the air.

Getting up in Light Wind Without a Helper:
If wind is steady but too light to get the kite started and you can’t find anyone to help get the kite up, it is still possible to raise the kite into a wind current. First, prop the kite up against a wall, post, or bush. Next, reel out the kite string and move upwind. Pull the kite quickly hand over hand to raise the kite into the air.

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