Kite Flying Tips for Beginners

First, the obvious step: choosing a kite. Don’t go for something huge and flashy if you have no idea what you’re doing. Pick a good beginner’s kite. If you aren’t sure, try a kite store or look around online. They make easy-flyer kites, so those are a good choice if you see ‘em. They have tails attached and usually are in a diamond or delta shape (think stingray). The bigger they are, the harder they will pull, so keep that in mind. Try a single line kite to start, it will be a lot easier. Check the line recommendation if you’re going to be giving the kite to a child. If it recommends line stronger than 20ish kg, I would look for something with a little less muscle. Let’s not scar anybody for life here.

OK, once you’ve found your perfect kite, you may have to assemble it. I can’t help you here, that’s what the instructions are for! Maybe you’ll get one preassembled, who knows. Whatever you like.

Next, let’s get that baby in the air.

Here is a shocking tip I tell everyone who wants to learn how to fly a kite: don’t run with the kite. I don’t know where that crap started but please don’t do it. It can make the kite unstable and you’re likely to trip because where are you looking? Either at the kite behind you, so you run into something or at the terrain in front of you and the kite gets caught on something. It’s dumb. Don’t do it.

Instead, go outside in a nice open area with winds around 10 km/h and you should be fine. You may want to bring a buddy (or help a kid) the first couple of times. The flyer holds the string (this is important. Really hold it. Seriously. I have seen parents go out and within the first five minutes have a screaming kid because somebody didn’t expect the line to move or whatever, it gets knocked out of their hand and bye bye kite). Stand with the wind at your back, and the other person holds the kite facing you so that they are also facing the wind. Have them walk backwards while you unravel around 20 m of string. Wait for a gust, then signal your kite holder to let go. If you pull on the string, and your buddy lets go at the right time, the kite should go right up. Make sure the wind is always blowing from the direction of the kite flyer TOWARD the kite. Releasing more string will make the kite fly higher, but be careful—sometimes the string isn’t actually attached to the bridle and then bye bye kite. So there’s that to look forward to.

To get the kite back in, reel it back in gently.

And that’s it, how you get a kite up in the air. Once you’ve got this mastered, you can experiment with different styles of kites and more lines.