Kite Flying on the OBX
There are few things as fun to see as the joy of a child flying a kite, especially for their first time. While the simple joy of kite flying has remained the same, the kite technology and options have drastically changed over the years. This week we have loads of tips, ideas, and all the newest kites for you to enjoy during your Outer Banks beach vacation.
Choosing the right kite
When choosing your first kite there are a several things to consider, such as the age of the child, what your looking to do, wind conditions, and cost. Basically there are two types of kites you'll consider when shopping. There are single and double line kites. It is not to say that there are not other types of kites but these are by far the most popular. Here is what you need to know about each one.
Single Line Kites
Single line kites are the easiest to fly, and basically, any kite you purchase will perform well. Usually, the more complex the kite is the more skill it will require to fly, but even the most complex single line kite will still only require minimal effort. The hardest thing to decide is usually the type and color.
Single line kites are not just for children either, some of the most advanced and exotic kites are single line types. Single line kites can range in size from 12" wingspan diamonds to 7-foot ghost kites to the enormous 19 foot Delta's. For a simple, indestructible single line kite, the Parafoil 2 (2 sq ft.) is an excellent kite, the colors are bright, it's inexpensive, very stable, requires no assembly, and anyone can launch and fly it, even a 5-year-old child.
Stunt kites require more skill to master than single line kites. Stunt kites are quick and very responsive. For this reason, we recommend that a beginner start with a kite that is as indestructible as possible. We always recommend learning to fly an inexpensive stunt kite first, then when you're ready to go for the more expensive high-performance model, you'll be familiar with the performance, handling and speeds of stunt kites and will have the best idea on what you want out of your next kite.
Two of the most popular kites
The Diamond Kite
The most common type of kite that you will see when you go out to the park will be the diamond kite. This is the type of kite that most people imagine when they think of kites. It gets its name from its diamond shape, featuring four sides with two sides of equal length.A diamond kite is such a popular design because it is both well balanced and easy to learn with. Due to these excellent performance characteristics, you will find that diamond kites are the best choice for younger children who are first learning how to fly kites and even beginner adult kite flyers.While their performance may not be overly impressive when compared to other forms of kites, they feature other advantages besides their ease of use. Unlike other types of kites, diamond kites are easy to make on your own, meaning that the vast majority of homemade kites will fall under this category.
The Delta Kite
The delta kite is one of the more popular high-performance kites. While they may be more expensive than diamond kites, this is for a good reason. Delta kites tend to be made of high-quality materials such as ripstop nylon and they feature frames made of lightweight materials for the best possible performance.Featuring a roughly triangular shape, delta kites typically do not have the type of streamer tails that are commonly seen on diamond kites. When it comes to single line deltas, few kites feature the same level of performance while being controlled by only a single line. Deltas are very versatile kites, as they can fly in a large variety of wind conditions. This makes them ideal for areas where the wind is somewhat unpredictable. If your child demonstrates a love of kites from an early age, you might find that it would be a good idea to purchase them a delta kite.
Parafoils are easy to fly, come in a variety of styles and colors and are the easiest to pack as they lack any poles. Think of these as looking a lot like modern parachutes. The other fun thing about parafoils is they are strong and very durable. Check out the video on the right to get an idea why the parafoil is such a fun kite to travel with during your Outer Banks beach vacation.
General Rules for Picking Kite Days:
Because we don’t control the wind, we learn to watch for the right kite flying conditions.
Wind that is too strong or too light is challenging to fly in. A flag or windsock is handy to help you see the wind. About 5-25 mph is best for most kites (when leaves and bushes start to move, but before it really starts to blow).
Flying is most fun when the wind is medium, so you can do more than just hold on. You can make your kite dance across the sky by pulling in and letting out the line.
Flying Space should be a clear, open area. Stay away from roads, power lines or airports. Open fields, parks, and beaches are great for flying kites. The more room you have, the more line you can let out.
Remember that as the wind goes over and around trees and buildings, it gets bumpy and challenging to fly kites in. Watch out for kite-eating trees!
No Storms: Never fly in rain or lightning. Electricity in clouds is attracted to damp kite lines and foolish kite fliers.
Now that you've picked out your kite and are ready to fly, now its time to book your Outer Banks beach vacation and choose your favorite beach on the OBX to take to the sky. Give one of our friendly receptionists a call today at 866-760-3526 or click the button below to plan your vacation today.
What's your favorite Outer Banks kite flying memory. Leave a comment below and let us know all about it.