Let’s go fly a kite! Did you know that National Kite Flying Day is held annually on February 8, and that National Kite Month is celebrated in April? Well, now you do. These are two of the many reasons to get out there and try your hand (literally) at this national pastime that’s fun for everyone. Indian Rocks Beach, Florida is the perfect place to fly a kite with its wide-open beaches, fewer crowds, and obstacle-free air space. We have some of the best kite flying tips right here in this blog to help get you started on your high-flying adventure.
Choose the right kind of kite for the beach.
There are three types of kite designs: single line, dual line, and quad line stunt kites. We’ll be focusing on single line kites today. They are the most basic type of kite where one line attaches to a central point on the kite. Within the single line kites, there are different kinds you can choose from. In light to medium winds, diamonds, deltas, and dragon kites fly the best, whereas stronger winds are great for stickless parafoil kites and box kites.
Fly your kite at wind speeds at or below 20 mph.
You may think that the windier the day, the better it will be for kite flying—but that’s not true. Most kites fly best when wind speeds are between the range of 5-20 mph. Deltas, diamonds and dragon kites fly well in light to medium winds (approximately 6-15 mph) while box kites and stickless parafoil kites fly better when the winds get a little stronger (approximately 8-25 mph). Wind that is too strong or too light is difficult to fly in. A flag or windsock is handy to help you see the wind. You want to see a flag or windsock that is standing straight, but not being whipped around by the conditions.
Choose wide open spaces for kite flying.
Wide open spaces are best for flying a kite. Stay away from roads, power lines, airports, or too many people. Open fields, parks and beaches are great for flying kites. The more room you have, the more line you can let out. The fewer the people, the easier it will be to maneuver your kite if you’re not anchoring it. Also be sure to keep away from kite-eating trees!
Never fly a kite during rain or lightning.
Electricity in clouds is attracted to damp kite lines. A wet kite line will conduct electricity! Some power lines carry extremely high voltages, so you want to avoid flying near those on any day—but especially on rainy ones.
How to launch your kite.
Stand with your back to the wind. Hold your kite up by the bridle point and let the line out. If there is sufficient wind, your kite will go right up. Let the kite fly away from you a little, then pull in on the line as the kite points up so it will climb. Repeat this until your kite gains the altitude necessary to find a good steady wind.
Bring a helper.
On light wind days, it’s especially helpful to have another person to assist you when launching your kite. Have your helper take the kite downwind and hold it up. On command, your helper releases the kite and the flier pulls the line hand-over-hand while the kite gains altitude. No helper? No problem! Prop the kite up against a bush, post, or wall. Reel out enough line for altitude and simply pull the kite aloft.
Keep a steady line of tension.
A happy kite is one that has a steady line of tension. You can change your kite’s direction by reeling in your line or letting it out. Have fun letting your kite direct what way it wants to go, just be sure to keep the line taut and watch out for other kiters. If the wind begins to lull, you will notice some slack in your line. That’s OK, just reel it in until it is on par with the wind again. If your kite is tugging at you harder, the wind has picked up and you may need to give it more line to keep it from diving or looping.
Watch how your kite reacts to the conditions.
If the kite sinks tail first, there might not be enough wind. If it comes down head first or spins, there might be too much wind. Different kites fly in different winds.
How to land your kite.
Typically, you can bring your kite down by just slowly and evenly reeling in the line. If it is looping and tugging at you a lot, you can have your friend hold the reel while you walk towards your kite with the line under your arm. This will bring it down as well.
Watch this video to see how easy and fun it is to fly a kite on the beach.
It really doesn’t take much to enjoy a good day of kite flying at the beach. Watch and see for yourself—and then get out there!
have you flown a kite on indian rocks beach?
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