Stunt Kites :   Tips and Tricks

Some Old Time ( but still useful ) Stunt Kite Tips


Looking for a fast way to equalize the length of your lines without re-sleeving your Spectra? You might want to add a calibrated knot attachment to your quad or dual line handles or straps. You can use as many knots as you like and it makes line adjustment easy and fast without having to re-sleeve your lines.

Stunt Kite Tips and Tricks

This tip works on most sport kites sold today:

Use thin line to "safety wire" whiskers and battens to the kite. Mono (fishing line) now comes in diameters smaller than a human hair . Leave enough slack so the kite can still be broken down. The added weight is undetectable and it will save hunting through long grass or snow (usually unsuccessfully) for lost stand offs and battens. Taking the time to protect your kite before you fly it  will be rewarded with more flying hours and less time buying replacement parts.

Vinyl tips found on most kite parts (such as stand-offs) should be checked every now and then for looseness, if you can pull them off with your fingernail, it's time to re-glue them with a small amount of Super Glue. Also check for loose stoppers, do-hickeys etc. for signs of loosening.

Flying a sport or single line kite with a long tube tail following every move can add to the enjoyment already found in kite flying. While a ripstop nylon tail would be great, the cost is brutal compared to a plastic tube tail. The plastic tail is not as sturdy as a nylon tail, especially if you fly in winter or in higher winds. To make your inexpensive tails last far longer, a simple tape re-enforcement can be used, and by adding a swivel clip you can easily clip it on or off your kite as desired! Remember to attach your clip in a fashion that allows the tail to inflate by only attaching it to one side of the tail's opening.

Bee's wax ( available at craft stores ) applied to the bridle line where it passes through the swivel ring / bridle adjustment knot area will help keep your bridle adjustments from slipping. It is a high friction wax so don't apply it to your fly lines.

Have to replace that upper leading edge but want to keep the ferrule ?
Dunking the Super Glued piece in hot water will loosen it up in most cases. A 3-4 minute dunk would enable us to recover the ferrule for use on the new spar.

If the manufacturer's bridle setting mark is wearing off the adjustable bridle, or you've found your kites ultimate settings, sew a bright thread through the bridle line at the swivel ring as a marker. Use one color for the manufactures setting and different colors for your favorite high/low wind settings. It never wears off and makes fine tuning extremely easy.

Nylon tent repair tape, available anywhere quality tents are sold, is a good emergency fix for a small hole or tear in your kite. Cut it in a round patch to reduce future peeling, place on both sides of the hole, and allow 2 days for the adhesive to cure for best results.

If you're using enhanced Spectra that does not require sleeving ( or you don't believe in sleeving your 100% Spectra ), it's a good idea to tie a double loop at the tow point end of your line. One loop acts as the lark's head loop, while the second allows you to grasp and release your lark's head when it comes time to change to another kite. This will save damaging the fine spectra fiber with your fingernails every time you want to release the lark's head knot.

Shock cord is available in the tent section of most hardware stores. It usually comes in 18 foot sections. It makes a good emergency fix to keep your kite flying when you don't have access to the bungee cord that your manufacturer used.

Surveyors tape (most hardware stores) makes for a suitable tail. It comes in neon colors usually 150 feet long. It's very light and works well with a swivel and clip. It's not as good as a tube tail, but if your budget specifies something less expensive........

Broken spars are a sign that you're enjoying your kite and broadening your talents (hey, they're WAY cheaper than green's fees) .
If you see a spar start to crack, it may be possible to save it while you wait for the replacement. Super glue around the inside of the cracking spar will reinforce it. When your replacement comes in, you can save the repaired spar for a spare.
If your spars are constantly breaking near the same area, first make sure you are using quality spars, if so, try one or two wraps of fiberglass tape (packing tape) around the area where the break normally occurs.

If your spars are breaking clean at the entrance to the "T" connector (and you are using quality replacement parts), bevelling the "T" connector may help your spars last longer.
"T" connectors can be gently bevelled (1/2 mm) with a drill bit slightly larger than the entrance diameter of the "T" to reduce the stress on the spar at the joint. If you have access to smaller diameter fiberglass rod , gluing a 3" section of it up the center of your spar where it meets the "T" will greatly extend its life.

Attaching lines with swivel clips from your workroom ceiling, will allow you to hang your kites and inspect them for damage, repair/re-glue them, modify them or just admire them. When you're done, raise the clips so you don't get one in the eye when you least expect it .

When you have lost / shattered a spar, you don't always need a direct replacement part. In most cases the make/size you require is stamped on the spar itself. Just order up a few of them and cut them down to the correct length for the application. You may want to order some stoppers to glue to the spar where it enters the center "T" as well as some standoff connectors if they were lost. Clear tubing cut to a 1/4" long = stopper, cut to 1.5" long with a hole drilled through the side = standoff connector.