Traction Kiting 102: Your Next Flights with a 4-line Kite

by Angus Campbell, Coastal Wind Sports

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After your first flight with your 4-line traction kite, you'll have a better idea how to judge the best wind conditions as you'll know more about what to expect from them. In this tutorial we will help you learn to fly and care for your kite after your first time out. While we will talk about flying in higher winds, it's still a good idea to choose conditions conservatively until you have more experience, and perhaps by now you have learned why. If you do not show your kite and the wind respect, judgment is metered out quickly!

Setting Up
The next time out, you'll un-pack by doing everything pretty much in reverse of how you packed up last time. Remember to bring your weights, or dig a trench in the sand with you heel to bury the trailing edge in order to keep the kite secure in the wind. Un-roll the kite and put the handles on the ground, using the same hand you use to place it on the kite when you packed up. Do not touch the handles until you are ready to unwind the lines. Unfold the kite, securing the trailing edge as you go to keep the wind from getting under it. Next, straighten out the bridle lines and lay them out upwind like you did the first time, with the mian bridles inside of the brake bridles, but this time with the handles and wound lines attached.

Now, as you unwind the lines, the trick is to make sure you unwind using both hands in the same fashion as when you wound them, but in reverse. Even walk away from the kite backwards as you un-wind, so you are re-creating the true reverse of each motion. You should notice that they fall to the ground straight and pretty much untwisted.

Do not walk back to the kite flipping the handles in the air in one hand, letting the lines fall off as you go. This seems expedient, but when you wound the lines, one of your hands put short little twists in the lines and you need to use the same hand to undo them by unwinding them the same way but in reverse.

If, when all the lines are unwound, it looks like they are twisted, fight the urge to rotate the handles to try to untwist them. Most often the lines are twisted a few turns to the left on one end and to the right on the other and will just pull apart. Spinning the handles in this case will only cause a real twist that was never there in the first place. First, try holding a handle in each hand and spread your arms all the way apart, giving each handle a good shake and a tug. The lines will often just pop apart.

If after shaking the lines out they still appear to be stuck, lay the handles down with the lines taught and walk back to the kite. Then start walking back to the kite between the left and right line sets, with a brake and power line running through seperate fingers of each hand, gently pulling them apart as you go. By the time you get near the handles, if you in fact have a real twist or two, it will be apparent and it is a simple matter to move the handles around to get them straight.

When walking back between the lines to the handles, you might find a twist bunching up in front of your waist and forming a snarl. Pulling apart harder will not help. Instead, continue to hold one pair of lines in one hand by your side with you back still to the kite and put the other hand around the snarl in front of you with your fingers wrapped around. Now extend your hand out, down the lines away from you and towards the handles. This will push the twist closer to the handles, allowing you to walk a step further. Continue walking while pushing the twist. If the twist is a "false twist", it will fall out before your get to the handles. If this does not work, and it looks like one or both lines of one side are interwoven with one of the other sides and not just twisted in pairs, drop the lines to either side of you, step out and go back to the handles and try the same procedure walking between the line sets towards the kite. Most often the snarl will disappear and the lines will fall to the ground straight.

New lines, especially the colored ones like those from Flexifoil have coatings on them that can make them a bit sticky. This will wear off after a few sessions and you will notice the lines falling apart more readily.

In the event you do end up with severely twisted lines that cannot be pulled apart, sometimes the fastest way to correct it is to disconnect both the power and brake lines from one side of the kite bridle. Just pull the back of the loop of the larks head knot with your fingernails and it will loosen easily. (Flexifoil lines have those handy pull tabs on their loops for this.) With the ends free, you can pull them out of the mess, re-lay them on the ground and reconnect them. If you try this at the handles in anything but the lightest breeze, the loose lines will blow back over themselves and you will have macrame' for sure. If you disconnect the lines from the bridle end, the wind blowing over the downwind end of the lines will help you rather than hinder.

The last thing to do, once the left and right line sets are separated, is to make sure each of the left and right power and brake lines are straight and true back to the kite with no twists amongst themselves. You might have to flip a handle over to get the power and brake lines to run separate and parallel back to the kite.

Tip: Kite killer straps can get in the way here and in a breeze are likely to flop around and cause a real tangled mess. To avoid anguish, keep each one strapped around its respective handle until you are ready to put them on.

This may sound like a lot of work to get your lines set up, but if you get used to winding your lines and rolling up the kite in a consistent manner, set-up will be a snap. Very often I will unwind the lines, shake the handles once to seperate the lines, and they will be straight and true and ready to go without having to walk them out or do anything else.

Express Set-up and Launch
If the wind is light to moderate and smooth, try this quick start method. You will need a ground stake and some weights, such as the kite bag or a couple of water bottles. First, with your back to the wind, unroll the kite with the trailing edge towards you and take the lines out, but do not unfold the kite. See figure 2 Instead put the weight(s) on the trailing edge section of the folded kite to keep the wind from getting into the kite and blowing it open. Now unwind the lines up wind and stake the handles by the stake loops behind the brake leaders.

unrolling folded kiteunwinding lines
Figure 2a. Unroll, but do not unfold the kite with trailing edge upwind and replace the wound lines and handles with a wieght across the trailing edge to keep the wind out. A water bottle is used here.Figure 2b. Begin unwinding the lines with the same hands you used to wind them as you walk upwind.
walking sideways upwind and unwinding linesstaking handles and lines
Figure 2c. Keep walking upwind as you unwind, using the same motion you used to wind them but in reverse. You will find yourself walking kind of sideways. Figure 2d. With the lines unwound, stake the handles by the loops a the bottoms behind the brake lines. Make sure the stake is secure and tilted back into the wind.
Unfurling kiteInflating and setting kite
Figure 2e. Open the kite in front of you, unfolding from center out. The lines will go tight and start to pop apart, left and right. Figure 2f. Open the entire kite and pay special attention to the bridles that they are straight and not snagged. With the handles staked at the brakes, most kites will sit tight with no need for weights.

Now, go back to the kite, remove the weights and, standing at the leading edge of the kite (down wind), simply unfold the kite in front of you. As you unfold, it will inflate, but will stay on the ground since you have tension on the brake lines. Shake it a bit to make sure it unfurls and inflates evenly. If it does not look even and neat, check for snagged bridle lines at the attachment toggles. The flying lines should pop apart and run straight and true back to the handles.

When you get back to the handles, any twists in the lines will be right there and easy to spot. Grab the handles together in one hand, pull out the stake with the other, and keeping the handle bottoms pointed towards you, twist the handles around to get out any line twists. Next, grab a handle in each hand and relax the brakes enough to see if either of your brake lines are twisted with its respective main line. Un-twist each of them as necessary. Now, just put the kite killers on and launch. The safest way is to momentarily re-stake the handles, but in real light winds I will hold the handles between my inner thighs while I put the wrist straps on.

Tuning a Kite
Kite bridles and lines are made out of either Spectra (c) or Dyneema (c), and neither one will stretch much, which is one of the benefits of these high-tech fibers. To the extent that they stretch or "creep" at all, most kite manufactures pre-stretch their lines under load before assembly so that the finished product will hold its shape properly. This leaves very little need for tuning a fixed bridle kite besides possibly adjusting the effective length of the brake lines.

As we discussed in "Quad Kiting 101" when setting up the kite, most kites have brake toggles with several knots, each a few inches apart and spaced evenly on each of the left and right brake bridles. By moving the larks head knot on the brake lines from one set of knots to another, you can effectively increase or decrease brake line length and tension. Here are some indications of when it might be necessary to adjust brake line length:

Brake lines too loose:

Brake lines too tight:

Brake lines uneven:

Seting un-even brake lines can be an easy mistake to make during set-up but it is easy to diagnose and fix. Check the brake bridle toggles to ensure that the brake lines are attached to the same knots on each bridle, left and right. If not, loosen the larks head knot on one side and move it up or down to match the other side (and cinch the knot tight again). If the bridle points check out OK, look for a snarl around the handle pigtails, especially if you have kite killers, as they can twist in the brake attachments and effectively shorten a line.

While your power lines will always be relatively straight and taught under the load of flight, it is normal for your brake lines to be curved in a slight arc leading up to the kite. Even if they are not taught, just the weight of the lines and the aerodynamic drag will produce some tension, so do not use this as a measure of proper line tension.

Some kites like a little tension on the brake lines to fly right, and a little bit of trailing edge bend may be normal for regular flight. Sometimes it's a matter of taste for the pilot depending on flying conditions and personal preferences, so experimentation is the key. You will soon learn what "feels right" to you.

Landing a Difficult Kite
One way out of a predicament where you have an angry or unstable kite is to drop the handles and let the kite killers dump the kite. A more graceful method is to fly the kite down the edge of the window and land on a wing tip. If you have flown 2-line kites, this should be familiar as it's the only way to get one on the ground gracefully. We covered this briefly in our first article "101:..." but it's worth reviewing.

photo of a kite at the edge of the window
Figure 2. A Blade hovers at the edge of the window. A little more tension on the lower (left) powerline will bring it down right on its wing tip.

Start by moving the kite to the left or right from the zenith and keep it moving with tension on what is now the power line nearest the ground. With tension kept on the lower power line, the kite will stay pointed into the wind and move sideways down the edge of the window to the ground.

When the lower wingtip touches the ground, flip the handles and apply full brakes to sit the kite down for good. If you were flying with brake lines too long to start with, you may have to quickly put the handles together in one hand and grab the brake lines beyond the pigtails with the other to get the scope you need to kill the kite. This is another good reason to wear gloves.

Flying in Higher Winds
After gaining some experience with a few flights under your belt, you may feel more comfortable flying in slightly higher winds. The question comes up, how do you avoid getting knocked off your feet the moment you launch right into the power zone? With proper set-up, you can safely launch your kite without flying directly into the grunt of the power zone by launching closer to the edge of the window.

Start by setting yourself up in the normal fashion, but with the wind about 45 degrees off of one shoulder instead of directly behind you. In other words, lay out the kite almost sideways to the wind with the lines running about 45 degrees to the wind. See figure 2. When laying out the kite, you will probably just have to weigh down the upwind trailing edge. When you are ready to launch, start by pulling the downwind line first and then stepping back, letting the kite inflate from the downwind end to the upwind end, almost rolling off the ground into an upwind turn. Continue the turn upwind towards the edge of the window, gradually turning up towards the zenith, skirting the edge of the power zone all the way up.

If you are really confident with the kite and your conditions, you can launch downwind in the window, but immediately turn it on it's wing tip and zip it to the edge of the window. I use a combination of the techniques when launcing my Rage 3.5 (my high winds kite) in winds up around 20 mph or more. For example I will step to the right a bit so the kite is not directly down wind and the wind is favoring my left shoulder, then launch, turning hard left immediately with the left tip practaclly touching the ground, skirting right to the edge of the window. Just be sure if you launch this way that you are really confident with your kite and know that you can make that first hard turn right away or it's going to be a real eye-opener!

If you find that the wind is such that you cannot take the kite anywhere near the power zone without disastrous results, then you are clearly overpowered and will need a safe way to get the kite on the ground. Use the method described above under "Landing a difficult kite" to fly down the edge of the window and land on a wing tip. Keep in mind though that when you land a kite on the ground at the edge of the window in a good breeze, it will likely start to "weathercock" and start sliding sideways in the direction of straight downwind. This is another reason you need a flying field clear of brush and obstacles. With the kite resting straight down wind, you can easily stake the kite by the handles and put it away. If the kite snags its sail or a line on the way downwind, you are likely going to have a floundering, angry monster on your hands. Again, this is another good case for gloves, as you can safely reach up the brake lines and pull in a good length so the kite flags on the rear lines rather than powering up.

Right way to set up for a launch in high winds Wrong way to set up for a launch in high winds
Figure 3a. Correct set-up for a launch in high winds. Kite is nearly sideways to the wind, and lines run at about 45 degrees off the wind to the pilot. The kite will roll off the ground into a right, upwind turn to the edge of the window. Figure 3b. Wrong way to set up kite for a high-wind launch. The right wingtip will roll off the ground first and the kite will tend to launch into a left turn right into the belly of the power zone!

Adjustable Bridles
It's worth noting here that some fixed bridle foils have ground adjustable bridles that allow you to tune the kite for different wind conditions and/ or flying preferences. Two examples are the Buster II from PKD kites and the Blade IV and new Blurr kites from Flexifoil that allow you to change the angle of attack (AoA) of the kite and thus widely increasing the effective usable wind range. By increasing the AoA you turn up the lifting power and slow the kite down and conversely, when decreasing the AoA the kite flies faster with less vertical lift. The low lift setting also improves upwind performance and can tame a lifty kite for buggy work where the higher overhead lift is not welcome. The AoA is changed by effectively lengthening or shortening the A lines of the bridle with the opposite effect on the C lines and the whole kite pivoting on the B lines. See photo and schematic in figure 3.

photo of Angle of Attack Adjuster on Blade IV Bridle diagram of Angle of Attack Adjuster on Blade IV Bridle
Figure 4a. AoA or Angle of Attack adjustment on a Flexifoil Blade IV kite. The A-bridle lines come together at the blue bridle on top, the B-bridle lines come together at the middle line with the ring and the C-bridle lines are on the lower line with the adjuster knot to the left. Figure 4b. Schematic diagram of the bridle adjustment. Moving the adjustment point up or down one or more knots lengthens or shortens the C-lines and has the opposite effect on the A-lines. The result is to pivot the kite on the B-lines.

Flexifoil offers (and we sell) a "Triple A bridle adjustment kit" to retrofit kites for adjustable AoA. It will work on most kites where the main A, B and C bridles all meet at a single point, such as on the Blade III and Rage kites. It will not work on kites that have cascaded bridles and do not meet in one place, such as on earlier Blades and many Peter Lynn foils.

This bridle adjustment has essentially the same effect as a de-power foil, with the big difference being that with the de-power foil you make the changes literally on the fly by moving the control bar in and out as you fly. While a de-power rig adds to the cost of the kite, it adds value, as the kite arguably takes the place of two or more standard fixed bridle kites in your kite bag since thay have a wider wind range. De-power kites are not for the novice, though and we will cover them in a later article.

A little Skudding
When you become comfortable flying in heavier breezes, you'll want ways to put the energy of a power kite to use. Even a mid sized power kite in moderate winds will generate more pull than you can hold onto, so something has to give, and if you haven't found out yet, it's always you! One passtime that you may have already discovered unintentionally is scudding, or allowing yourself to be dragged while (hopefully) standing on your feet.

On the right surface with the right shoes, skudding is arguably safer than running downwind to burn off the energy and certainly it's a lot more fun. The trick is to have the right kind of bottoms on you shoes that will allow you to slip smoothly on the ground surface without catching and digging in. On beach sand almost any shoes will slip smoothly. On some fields with stubby grass it may be more difficult. The last thing you want are shoes that dig in like cleats, lest you end up doing a "superman" and end up on your face.

photo of Skudding
Figure 5. Skudding on the beach with a 4.5 meter Pro Foil. Note the skid marks behind my feet. Note also that I am losing ground and getting close to the dunes, so I have to be more aware of my surroundings, including people.

To start a skud, bring the kite across the middle of the window in the power zone. As the pulling force grows, lean back like your sitting in a chair that is not really there. Adjust your foot posture so that you weight is more on your heels and less on your toes and you'll be off. Don't be afraid of leaning back too far; it's better to fall a short distance on your butt than fall on your face or belly. And if you do end up sitting down, you can usually use the kite to pick you up on the next pass.

Skudding like this is a great way to learn about the power of the kite and how it behaves throughout the window. Learn how fast the power comes on for your kite and try to control it by flying it at different speeds through different portions of the window. This is essential if you are prepping yourself for a kite buggy, an ATB/ mountain board or skis.

Some safety tips are in order here. If you are around people, be especially careful, as you are bound to attract attention and draw the curious closer. They won't always appreciate the danger, especially children. Sometimes you can keep the kite up at the zenith until people walk clear but sometimes the only safe thing to do is to land the kite for a minute. Remember that your window is now larger that your kite line length, since you are frequently moving downwind. Remember to walk yourself back upwind occasionally so you don't eat up all your flying room and start bumping the kite into things.

Images of kiters being pulled into the air is one of the things that attract people to the sport and is one of the first things that novices ask about. There is however something of a paradox that faces novices and would-be jumpers: Any kite that is suitable for a novice to learn with is dangerous to jump with, and any kite that is suitable for jumping is dangerous for a novice.

Notice I said "suitable" for jumping and not "safe" for jumping. That is because kite jumping is really not safe in any condition. Even our best quality kites are just that; they are kites and not paragliders or parachutes and are not built or engineered to those kinds of standards. That being said, larger high aspect ratio kites will mimic some characteristics of these foils: they can produce enough vertical lift to pull you off the ground, and in some conditions will have a "floaty" parachute-like effect and can provide a somewhat gentle return to earth- sometimes.

A small to mid sized kite that is likely to be a novice's first kite can indeed pull someone off the ground, given a strong enough wind or gust. The problem is, any gust that is strong enough to do so will drop you faster than it picked you up and if that drop is from any real height, then you are in trouble and are bound to be injured. Any kite less than at least 5 square meters in area will generally not have enough "float" to bring you down gracefully and even with larger kites it can be a crap shoot. Making a soft landing from a jump requires "re-direction" of the kite while you are aloft to keep it in the window and powered up, and that is an advanced skill that is beyond the scope of this article.

Wait 'til you get a larger kite and are comfortable handling it in moderate winds. Kites that are known for their lift include the Flexifoil Blade, The Peter Lynn Twister and the HQ Crossfire. De-power kites such as the and HQ Montana series, Neos and Peter Lynn Twinskins are lifty too, but de-power foils are a different breed and will be covered in another article.

Emergency Exit
There may come a time when you have to get off the beach or the field right away and do not have the time for a neat and tidy pack-up session. For example, it happened to me in one of my not-so-brightest moments when I got so focused on a bridle tuning issue with a Rage 3.5 meter foil that I did not notice what was a baby squall line coming off the water behind my back. One moment I was remarking to myself about the suddenly lumpy wind and darkening sky, and the next moment I was knocked down and doing a shoulder roll, struggling to hold on to a suddenly overpowered foil.

When I rolled over and got on my feet, I grabbed the handles in one hand and grabbed an arm's length of brake line in the other, killing the kite. I wrapped the brake lines a few turns around the stake and resolved to get off the beach quickly as I was being pelted with rain and wind driven sea spray.

In a case like this, where you need to leave in a hurry, it's OK to just grab the kite and wad it up in your arms quickly and without ceremony, stuff it into your kite bag. It won't hurt the kite to stuff it in unfolded as long as you are careful not to tear anything, obviously. Next, run back to the kite stake with the kite wadded in the bag, leaving the lines stretched out in a big arc on the ground. Starting out where the lines are hanging out of the bag, grab the lines hand over hand and stuff them into the sack until you get to the handles. You can then zip the bag shut around the end of the lines and stuff the handles in one of the outside pockets of the bag, or reach in and down the side of the bag and make a pocket between the side of the bag and the fabric of the kite and stuff them there. The whole idea is to not let the handles get intermingled with the loops of wadded lines, which is the only way they can get truly tangled.

You can now re-pack the kite back home when it is dry and calm in your back yard or any open space with enough room to stretch out and re-wind the lines. If you got caught in rain and had to pack the kite wet, that's OK, just un-pack and dry it out as soon as you can before re-packing. Leaving a kite packed wet for long can lead to color bleed and stains. Remember, it's best to dry it out in the shade, since we do not want to expose the kite to harsh UV light any more than we have to. When you unpack the mess, as long as you kept the handles separate as described above, the lines and bridles will come out of the bag the same way they went in without a tangle. If when pulling out the lines you do see a snarl, don't pull it tight. Instead, pull on individual segments of line so that the loops get larger, not smaller, and the snarls will just fall apart.

This is a good opportunity to inspect the kite for damage, dirt, loose sand and any twigs or flotsam ensnarled in the bridle lines. If the kite is dirty and or has a lot of sand in it, see the section below "Cleaning a kite" for proper care.

Another Way to Pack
While stuffing lines into a bag in a hurry may seem like an expedient way to get off the beach in a hurry, it is also part of a legitimate method of packing that some say is a faster and fool-proof way to pack and unpack a kite without tangles. It's called "para-packing".

When you para-pack, you first fold the kite in the normal, neat fashion with the bridles tucked inside and the lines leading out of the center. Instead of rolling up the kite around the wound lines and handles, fold the kite into a square that will fit in your bag with the edges of the folds exposed towards the bag opening. With the kite in the bag and the lines hanging out, go and get your handles and stake and walk them back to the kite in a gentle curved path so that they lay on the ground in a gentle arc and not folded back on themselves. Now reach into the bag between two folds and spread them open to form a big space that you can reach your hands into. Be sure you choose a cavity where there are no bridle lines exposed. Now pull the lines hand over hand and stuff them the cavity as you go, working your way towards the end with the handles. When you get to the handles, pick them up and keeping them together, choose a separate space between folds in the kite to stuff them in. Never stuff the handles in the same cavity as the wadded up lines.

Next time you go to fly, start by removing the handles from the bag and staking them in the normal fashion. Now with the bag opening pointing towards the handles, start walking down wind, letting the lines tumble out of the bag as you go. If you do get what looks like a tangle of loops, stop and push or pull on whatever segment of the line that will make any loop bigger and not smaller, and the snarl will fall apart. Resume walking and paying out line until there is no more and then simply unpack and unfold your kite as normal.

As counterintuitive as it seems, para-packing actually works quite well and is indeed quite fast. It works by the same simple logic that lets us wind lines without tangles: As long as you keep the lines connected to something at both ends and never pass a handle between the lines of the other handle, they cannot get tangled, pretty much no matter what you do. Para-packing also eliminates any twisting action, preventing other types of snags.

About the only downside to para-packing that we have found is that if you often unpack your kites at home as we do for cleaning, display, or whatever, you'll always have to stretch out and re-pack your lines, too. On the other hand, we have already acknowledged that about the only time you can truly get twists in your lines is when you move your wound handles and line set about when you unpack between flying sessions, so maybe this is not a disadvantage. Try it for yourself and see what works best for you.

Cleaning a Kite
When packing away the kite after the last flight, you may have noticed some dirt or dried sand, especially if you bashed it in the ground a few times while learning to fly. Mud and sand add unnecessary weight and their abrasive qualities will accelerate wear and tear on the fabric and its coatings, so cleaning should be done with care.

Never put a traction kite in a washing machine. Period.

When unpacking and unfolding the kite for cleaning, be careful about moving around the handles, so you don't get too many twists. Un-wind the lines just enough to be able to unfold the kite flat and move the handles a few feet away and leave them there.

First pick up the kite by the trailing edge and shake it gently to get out any sand or debris out of the kite or at least near the leading edge vent openings, where they can be swabbed out with a damp sponge or cloth. Don't use a brush at any time, as it can scratch and damage the fibers of the cloth. Some kites have Velcro clean-out traps ("dirt-outs") in the trailing edge at the wing tips, too.

A perfect place to wash down a kite is on a well drained surface such as a back deck. I have also used my driveway which is well sloped for drainage and put a cheap palstic tarp down to lay the kite on and avoid abrading it on the concrete. (See figure 4) A clean healthy lawn is fine, too. Use a hose with no high pressure spray nozzle and low water pressure to gently flood and rinse the surface. Use something soft like a terrycloth towel to loosen any tough spots. Avoid brushes that will scratch the fibers of the fabric. Unless the manufacturer says otherwise, do not use detergents, as they can damage the protective coatings on many fine kite fabrics or spinnaker cloths. If you must use something, most kite fabrics will tolerate gentle hand soap like Ivory or Dove brands. Sometimes when you go to clean a mud stain, it looks like it's gone when you wipe it down, but re-appears when the fabric dries. These is where a little TLC with a terrycloth and some mild soap with a good rinse is needed.

In the event of blood stains - like when you get a cut or a scrape and then pack your kite, or a stain from the beach such as bird crap and the like, I have had good resutlts with a pet store product called "Nature's Miracle". The is stuff is not a detergent or solvent, but an enzyme-based agent that is designed to attack biological stains like pet waste, dog barf and other unpleasantness. While I cannot yet get anyone in the industry knowlegable to tell me it's bad for the kite material, I still use it sparingly, wiping some on with a cloth soaked in it, let it work for a while and then rinse. It's one of the few products I know of that is worthy of the word "miracle" in the title.

photo of kite cleaning on Driveway
Figure 5.Two tarps on a sloped driveway make a good palce to wash down a kite. Note the morning shade before the sun comes over the house with its harsh UV rays.

If there is a lot of sand still inside, you can gently flood the interior with low pressure water flow, let it flow between the cross vents in the ribs and flood the interior, then slowly pick up the trailing edge to drain it out through the front vents. If any of the cells are closed at the front, such as is common with the wing tip cells, you will have to gently move them around to let the water flow out through the interior vents if there are no "dirt-outs" to drain them.

Let the kite dry, preferably indoors, but in no case in the direct sun, as the UV rays degrade the fabric. Yes, there is irony here, as we fly our kites in the sun all the time, but the point is not to expose it to the sun any more than we have to. Often I'll drape mine over some chairs on the shaded front porch where air can move around it to dry it, but it's still out of the sun.

Summing Up and Moving On
At this point you might be wanting to put the power of your kite to more use, perhaps in a buggy, on an ATB / land board or maybe on skis. Even if you are moving to the water with larger inflatables, the skills you acquire here will be useful To be successful at these activities, you really should have a good comfort level with your kite, so let's sum up the skills that you should have under your belt first.

If you haven't mastered all of these skills or are not comfortable with these topics, practice more. Look around on the on-line forums to find locals to fly with, as that is one of the best ways to learn. There no sense in getting in a buggy or on a board when you are not completely comfortable with your kite, as you'll only increase the frustration level and the risk of injury. And that's no fun!

Copyright 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 Coastal Wind Sports, Inc.

last updated 2/1/2011