June 1st, 2011
It has been so for thousands of years since kites were first flown in China. But today’s kites are far different.
You can buy a basic diamond-style kite for a few dollars and have fun with it. Or you could opt for a Delta or Dragon kite for winds below 15 mph. For more challenging winds, box kites and Para foil kits are recommended.
New materials like ripstop nylon, fiberglass, and carbon graphite have made kites stronger, lighter, more colorful and durable. Modern Delta kites, like the one pictured here, can be used for tricks and aerobatics.
Advice for novice fliers
* Choose a colorful kite so you can see it against the sky and clouds.
* Find a large, windy and open area that is free of power lines. A beach or a football field is fine.
* Hold the kite in both hands and throw it into the wind until the wind catches it. Or let out some string and run with the kite behind you until the wind catches it.
* Gradually let out more string until it reaches the desired height.
* If the kite dips or begins to crash down, run with it or pull in some of the string to give it more lift.
* When you are finished, bring the kite down slowly by winding in the string.
* Grab the kite before it reaches the ground.