A kite is officially a heavier-than-air object that flies supported by the wind and secured to the ground by one or more wires. But it is more than that, it is fun, passion and sport. I would like to highlight some factors you can consider in order to narrow down you research for the best kites. But first, let’s have a look at the most popular options on the market.
Our recommended kites:
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Things to consider when buying kites:
Kites are usually classified into two large families: static kites and stunt kites.
Static kites are designed for stable flight, they are flown to admire their shapes and colors, or to experience the thrill of flying at high altitude. They are generally connected to the ground by a single wire.
Stunt kites are designed and built to rise up in flight and perform maneuvers in a clear and more or less significant airspace.
They are connected to the pilot by two or four wires.
Which kite to choose for a child?
It all depends on the age of the child. If the child’s age is about 6 years, the mono-wire kite is the most suitable. This kite takes flight immediately and makes the child have a lot of fun.
Thanks to this type of kite, the child begins to discover the pleasure of running. And the fun of playing in the open air.
These kites start flying in a wind of about 5mph.
After the age of seven, they can use a two-wire kite. This kite is slower than a classic pilot kite and, therefore, more comfortable to fly.
I recommend using one with the handlebar. This bar has three advantages that will allow the child to:
- to control the kite very well.
- have the right length of cable.
- to fly with a handlebar and how to have a steering wheel in the car (the child can steer the kite, right to the left, increasing speed).
At twelve years of age, the child can safely use an adult kite. Triangular in shape, with two cables and without a handlebar.
What features does it need to have?
As I told you before, the mono-wire is ideal. With a tear-resistant polyester canvas and solid fiberglass rods and a classic rhombus shape.
Reinforcements must be present on all critical points so that the kite lasts longer.
The kite must also have a tail that allows it to be more stable even in strong winds.
How long should the line be? Not too long and not too short, it depends on the age of the child at the beginning, if the child is 3 years old, even a few meters are excellent. The kite must fly immediately.
Which kite to choose for an adult?
Unlike for a child, the choice factor does not depend on age. For an adult, it depends on two other factors. Passion for this hobby and experience.
If a person has so much passion but has no experience, the advice is to start with something as simple as a mono-wire kite. Made of polyester and with fiberglass rods and a cable of about 80 meters. Like the one I recommended for children, only the length of the cable changes.
If you already have experience, you can switch to something that requires more skill. Like a stunt kite.
If you want to try riding a stunt kite, there must be some features that must not be missing.
- Dimensions: the more prominent a kite is, the more difficult it is to maneuver it and requires more manual skills.
- Number of wires: there are models of aerobatic kites with 2 and even 4 cables. The first ones are recommended for beginners. The second are those that are larger and require more experience.
- Design: here goes according to your personal preference. There are all kinds of colors and shapes on the market.
In addition to these features, you must also consider the material, I recommend the resistant polyester. Do not overlook the weight, choose a light one.
Prices range from $10 to $7000. It depends on your budget and how strong your passion is.
If you like to compete, there are races for stunt kites.
In these competitions, the participants have to take 3 different trials.
- The precision figures: representation in the sky of mandatory pictures on paper
- The freestyle routine: practically a free flight session in which you have to demonstrate kite mastery.
- The ballet: performing acrobatics in music time, a bit like in artistic dance.
The competitions are divided by type of kite (2 or 4 wires) and can be individual, in pairs, and teams of more than two athletes.
Brief summary of the kite history
The kite was the first flying object with which man imagined flying.
It was born in the East, in China 2500 years ago, and its first uses have to do with man’s spirituality and religion. It was considered a way to make contact with the sky.
Bamboo immediately proved to be a suitable wood because of its resistance combined with flexibility. Since at that time, the paper had not yet been created. Kites were built only in cloth, with precious decorations that recalled themes of the mythology of the time.
From China, the kite spread throughout the Asian continent to the distant islands of the Pacific Ocean.
The kite arrived in Japan between 600 and 800 BC, brought by Buddhist missionary monks who moved to the island from China. Here the kite decorations become an art that combines complex structures with refined decorations.
A legend tells in an absolutely random way the birth of the kite.
One day a farmer was in a field when a gust of wind took his hat off his head. He managed to grab it by a string and stopped to observe the evolution of the object in the air. He showed it to his villagers, who invented the kite.
More recently, in 1750, Benjamin Franklin published a description of an experiment to prove that lightning is a manifestation of electricity by flying a kite during a thunderstorm.
Kites were used during research and development by the Wright brothers to build the first airplane in the late 1800s.
Over the next 70 years, many kites were designed, and several of them were patented. Probably all these patents contributed to the invention of modern hang gliders.
The growth and popularity of airplanes decreased interest in kites.
During the Second World War, there was limited use for military purposes. Since then, kites are mainly used for recreational purposes.
A kite to start with must not be very expensive, but not too cheap either.
With a massive wingspan, the kite is slower, and you have more time to set the maneuvers, a right presence on the wires, but avoid it pulling like a bull.
Choose a durable material, even for the frame. Then it has to be adjusted to the wind range you’re thinking of using it in.
Remember that it must be fun and entertaining.