Stunt Kites :   Tips and Tricks

Flying A Stunt Kite | Your First Few Minutes


So it's time for your first flight, you've read all the tips, you've checked your kite, chosen a safe place to fly and you're ready to take off. Although there are probably as many theories as to what to do during your first flight as there are kites, these are a couple of tips that may help you to understand what you should be attempting to achieve.

The basics of controlling a dual line kite are extremely easy. Pull on either line and the kite will turn in the direction of the line being pulled. Remember when you're flying upside-down, towards the ground, that the lines are crossed and the steering feels reversed but the kite will always turn in the direction of the line being pulled.

Stunt Kite Tips and TricksThe neutral position (both handles at the same position) will pretty much keep the kite going in a straight line whether it be up, down or sideways, depending on what position it was in when you went to neutral.

The trick while starting out is not to overreact and use only gentle steering inputs at first to manoeuvre the kite.

Note: Before heading out to the field, make sure your lines are of equal length. If for example you are flying with a right line that is 6" shorter than the left line and you are flying with your hands in the neutral position, your kite will turn in the direction of the shorter line. Since your right line is shorter, it's the same as pulling on your right line to steer the kite.

Once you're set up with your kite in the launch position, it's just a matter of pulling the kite up into a position that the wind will lift it off the ground (or having a helper release the kite).  Your first goal is to keep the kite in the air without any wild turns until you get a feel for how your hand movements affect the kite.  You'll want to fly the kite straight up by holding your hands in the neutral position, adding a little left/right guidance to help it go in a straight line to the top of the wind window. Once it reaches the top of the window it will stop moving forward and start hovering. At this point the kite will be out of the power zone of the wind window and you'll have time to practice holding the kite in a stationary position while giving very small amounts of steering input. This may seem easy, but keeping the kite in a stationary position while providing corrective inputs of steering will help teach your subconscious what it needs to know for future "split second" decisions. Since you are practicing with your kite high in the wind window, you'll have plenty of time to react if it does something you didn't expect.

After you feel comfortable with controlling the kite in a stationary position it's time to try moving it around the sky a bit. Gently pull a small amount on your right line and notice how the kite moves slowly to your right, let it move to the right a small amount and move your hand back to the neutral position. Do the same with your left hand and return to neutral. Still haven't crashed yet? Great!, just keep performing small inputs until you feel comfortable with simple manoeuvres. You want to get to a point where you are not only thinking about controlling your kite but able to control it without thinking.

If you're ready to fly a loop just pull with your right hand and don't return it to the neutral position until the kite has flown a complete circle and the nose of the kite is facing upwards again. The farther you pull your line the faster the kite will turn and the smaller the loop will be. Remember, if you return your handles to neutral when the kite is facing in any direction, it will continue to fly in that direction. 

Once you've completed your first loop, hold it in a neutral / hovering position and have a quick look at your lines. Notice how there is a twist in your fly lines after doing the loop? Don't worry, this won't affect your steering until you have enough twists to tighten up the lines. You should try to keep track of which way the lines are twisted and plan your next loops in the opposite direction than the ones you've been doing. If you can't remember which way the lines are twisted, they will start to tighten up while looping in one direction and loosening up as you unwind them with loops in the opposite direction.

Controlling your new stunt kite will be familiar to you in a very short period of time, your goal is to keep the kite in the air until familiarity sets in and flying becomes second nature. Once you've had a couple of hours of flying experience, you'll likely find you don't have to concentrate in order to control it anymore. It will be your natural connection to the sky and wind. It's a very calming and energizing experience that will likely get you hooked on flying, either as a future kite fanatic or a recreational pilot.

Congratulations!! Now that you've had your first successful flight you'll never want to stop flying, we hope you had fun your first time out and that you continue to enjoy many more years in the sport!