If you feel like you’ve graduated from the flimsy paper kites you can buy at the corner store, never fear. There’s a wide range of different kite types in a wide range of prices that can help you take a step up and move into something more exciting when it comes to kite flying.
First of all you’ll need to figure out what type of kite you would like. There are three basic types, categorized by how many lines they have:
- Single line kites
- Dual line kites
- Quad line kites
Single Line Kites
Single line kites are the traditional kites that most people fly, and the types you’re most likely to find in any toy store. This type of kite comes in a huge variety of different designs, and you can get them anywhere between 1 and 10 feet in size. The single line kites are relatively easy to set up, and your kite should be flying only a few minutes after you’ve taken it out of the bag. You’ll see a lot of single line kites with the classic tails hanging off the end, but these are not at all necessary for making the kite fly.
This type of kite can be adjusted to the wind strength by adjusting the bridle connection point. When it comes to design, the single line kites can either be single skinned (flat) or they can be double layered with an air pocket in between, a so called ram-air design. The frame of the kite can either be rigid or soft, and these kites are often cheaper than the more advanced multi-lined variants.
A very simple but flyable single line kite can be found for as little as $5, but it’s advisable to spend a little bit more if you want to enjoy your kite for a longer period of time. An elaborate single line kite can easily set you back more than $50, but that gives you more than just a quality kite; you are definitely paying for design and visual impact as well. When you are shopping for a single line kite it’s a good idea to look for durable materials and a smart design that will ensure your kite has a long life.
Dual Line Kites
Dual line kites are for those who want to take their kite flying to a new level. The double set of lines means the flyer has a whole new level of control over the kite, and they make it possible for the flyer to control the direction of the kite more easily. Dual line kites, like their single line counterparts, are still quite easy both to launch and to fly. Landing of a dual line kite does take a little more practice than landing a single line kite, but normally it doesn’t take very long to master the technique. With a dual line kite there will be no need to perform bridle adjustment unless a line is either worn or broken.
Unlike a single line kit, a dual line kite will not have a spool of extra line to give you more length for flying. The dual line kites have pre-set lengths, and these kites are mostly used for performing stunt and trick flying, or for power to drag the flyer. Just like the single line kites, the dual lines are also found in a wide variety of sizes and designs. Some dual line kites can reach a speed of over 50 MPH and can also generate enormous pulling power, and this is why caution is advised when you first start flying dual line kites of the power type. A dual line kite normally starts somewhere between $10 and $15, but if you want a high quality power or stunt kite, you’ll be looking at closer to $200.
Quad Line Kites
Quad line kites have four lines and gives the flyer the maximum amount of control – as long as he or she knows how to harness the power of the kite. These kites are usually flown with handles, with the lines in pairs. Bottom lines are often called brakes, and help slow the kite down or fly it backwards. This type of kite gives the possibility of extremely precise turns, huge speeds and a much better control than what can be obtained with a dual line kite. These kites can be flown upside down, in reverse, and perform pretty much any other trick you can think of. With the larger power or traction kites, this is not always possible due to a slower response because of the size.
However, a quad line power kite will create the largest amount of power possible, and thus make up for the lesser speed and manoeuvrability. For this reason, these kites have the potential of being seriously dangerous in the wrong hands, and it is not something you should be trying without proper training. It’s possible to get quad line kites for around $200, but the best and most powerful kites can easily cost more than $400.