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Friday 4 May 2007

Let's Go Fly a Kite [Spiro]

I've been asked to knock up a quick blog about my new found sport Power Kiting. I've only been doing this since the end of summer 2006 thanks to the awful British weather I've not managed to get much experience. As summer is almost upon us I'm hoping to get a lot more in.
I've started off with a bullet 4.5m after trying a mates on the beach. I fly it in 21-25mph winds and it's more than capable of lifting my lardy 15st body off the ground. At this moment all I do is Kite jumping although I'm looking to upgrade to buggying. You fancy a work out this will do it, the first few times I flew my arms, shoulders, legs, stomach, fingers and back all ached the next morning, it's an all over body work out.
I can't explain what it feels like to fly one of these, some days the wind is so powerful it'll rip the controls clean out of your hands or worse, drag you face first across the ground (remember to let go next time). When you get it right and you're floating several feet off the ground it's awesome. I always keep my kite in the car so next lan party if anyone fancies trying it I'll be more than happy to get it out room and wind permitting.
Also if anyone wants to get into this sport best thing to do is find your local Kite centre and have a lesson or two. Then start small, a 4.5m kite is more than enough, Ebay has loads of them for sale just do a search for Flexifoil or power kites, you're looking at about �100 for a second hand kite of this size.
Be aware that there are different types of power kite. Try to avoid stackers or 2-line kites as they're more for casual/stunt flying.
Several items to consider along with the kite are
Kite killers - when it gets ripped from your hands these straps de-power the kite immediately
Ground Stake - ideal for lone flyers or for taking a break (you'll need it)
Protection - helmet, knee and elbow pads, wrist & ankle supports.
Insurance - Get this from the BPKA
Try not to fly alone or in crowded places, once tight the lines are like razors and the wind can easily change speed and you'll be in trouble.
Background and details about Power Kites can be found here
Here is a video of a few guys who're very good, I'd like to claim it was me but no.
I know Floyde has more experience than me and can probably add a lot more to this

1 comment:

  1. Fuck me! That's the exact same title I starting writing under this morning for a Power Kite blog! One mind dude! :-)
    Spiro's blog pretty much tells the craic.
    I'll post some pic's and vid clips tonight of my kites.
    I use a Flexifoil 4.9m Blade which has great lift (will pick you off the ground easily), medium float (won't just dump you on the ground but will still be quite rough) and real strong drag!
    I usually fly it in 15 to 20mph winds the latter being hard work at times!
    Its a Ram Air kite which has openings at the front leading edge to allow the foil (kite pocket) to inflate and create wing shape.
    For long flying sessions you can also use a harness which you pass a strop through thats connected to the kite handles. Your arms get seriously tired very quickly, so straping in can give you a rest but if a gust of wind comes along then where ever the kite goes, your going to!The only downside to the harness is that kite killers won't work as the harness is conencted to the power lines at all.