Tied to the Sky / online kite shop

Why do we Sleeve Spectra Kite Lines?

Why do we Sleeve Spectra Kite Lines?

kite line sleeving kitKite line Sleeving 

 

(You can find this article in our Kite Resources section too!)

Line sets
 are an important and costly necessity of flying your multiline sport kite, so it is important to make sure that you take steps to protect your line sets to maintain performance, increase longevity of the line and save you money.

Sleeving is like a tube sock that we put on the ends of spectra kite lines or any place where we tie a knot. Sleeving is made of hollow braided Dacron and is usually positioned at either end of each line where the line connects via a Larkshead Knot to the flying straps or to the kite tow point.

Spectra kite line, while stronger than steel, has a relatively low melting point.  Wherever there is a knot in the line this is a place of friction which creates heat and will significantly reduce the strength of your spectra line and will be the point of a line break.

This sleeving material acts like a heat diffuser by reducing and diffusing the heat generated by friction at the knot.


Sleeving Your lines.

At Great Canadian Kite Company, all of the sport kite spectra line sets we sell comes pre-sleeved. We are pleased to offer a variety of quality kite line that provides good braid braid, performance and kite line life. That being said it is possible to purchase line sets that are not sleeved, or perhaps you wish to buy bulk kite line and make your own line sets and then a kite line sleeving kit is a valuable tool.


To make your own line sets you will first want to stretch your lines and make them equal length.  With cheaper line (even cheaper spectra labeled line) you can expect lines to stretch as much as 12-15% where quality line sets may stretch 4-6%.   The point is line will stretch with use and it may be necessary to equalize your lines from time to time.

Once your lines are stretched and measured you are ready to sleeve each end. Our Sleeving kits come with simple instruction, two different colours of sleeving and a sleeving tool.  Here are the basic steps to sleeving your spectra kite line:

  • Sleeve one end of the line at a time making sure that you use the same colour of sleeving for both ends of the same line.  This is really helpful to help you keep straight which line goes to each side of the kite and which its corresponding flying strap.
  • Insert the sleeving tool through the sleeving. Pull the tool a few centimetres through the sleeving.
  • After the tool is inserted through the sleeve carefully take a lighter and melt the ends of the dacron for a clean looking sleeving job. This will keep the sleeving from fraying.
  • Thread your Spectra line through the end of the sleeving tool and pull the tool back through the dacron sleeving bringing the kite line with it.
  • With the sleeving now on your line, you can remove the sleeving tool.
  • Slide the sleeving towards the end of the line being careful not to go too far or you will have to reinstall the sleeve using the sleeving tool.
  • Tie a knot in the very end of the line (including the sleeve).
  • Stretch the sleeving back up the line so it won't bunched up.
  • Tie another knot at the end farthest from the end.
  • Bring these two knots together and make a loop as shown below. Make sure this loop is big enough that you can easily tie a Larkshead knot to attach to the kite or flying straps.  Ensure these loops are the same size on each end of each line.

The end of the line is now sleeved and you can repeat the process for each of the other lines.  Remember: make sure you have the same colour sleeving on the ends of the same line. 

Sleeving kite line

Read more →

5 Reasons Kites Make Great Gifts - Fathers Day

5 Reasons Kites Make Great Gifts - Fathers Day

Last year we spent a stellar day hiking and kite flying one Alberta's premiere provincial parksflying kites at Writing on Stone Provincial Park - Writing on Stone.  It was a great way to get out in the fresh air for some quality time together as a family  One of the best aspects of it was there was no cell service!  What this meant was we had to talk to each other (novel idea, eh? LOL!), climb, laugh and fly kites together - we had a blast!  I tell ya,  my wife & I didn't think about work once and felt like we had a truly refreshing day.

Many folks are looking for great gift ideas for Fathers Day this year.  We know that kites are one such gift idea and it is a fun, enjoyable and here are a few reasons why.

1) Fresh air is underrated!  How good it is to get outside enjoy blue sky, the sun and the great outdoors.  We fly kites all year round - including winter!

2) Physically active - Getting out and moving does a body good!  There is a kite for just about every kind of physical ability from the gentle to the full on extreme - glide kites,  single line kites to carving up the sky with a trick kite.

3) Reduces Stress -  Getting away from the day to day grind is a first great step for stress reduction.  Add the gentle flight of kites on the breeze or flying your stress through your stunt kite through the sky, flying kites have demonstrated to be an effective ways of reducing stress.

4) Promotes creativity - Many quality kites are flying pieces of art and many with tails make for a lovely display in the air.   But stunt kites can be a great way to express yourself as well!  I love to listen to music while I fly and in a very real sense fly my kite to the music.   Some folks like to soul fly and toss and flip and manoeuvre their kites as an expression of what's going on inside them.

Mike- owner of Great Canadian Kite Company5) Great way to spend time as a family - Lets face it, there are a lot of things competing for your time, and we all want to make time for quality activities to do as a family.   With quality kites, a good wind and a place to fly, you and your family can make some great memories!  One thing my wife and I enjoy doing together is flying our four line Revolution kites together, side by side.  We play follow the leader, hover side by side and fly forms together.  Lots of fun and good for a few laughs if you don't take it too seriously!

Looking for exciting Fathers Day gift ideas? Great Canadian Kite Company sells a variety of kite for many different interests, ages and abilities. Browse our online Canadian kite shop to buy your kites online.  Don't see what you are looking for?  Drop us an email!

Read more →

Kites: Not Just Another SKu

Kites: Not Just Another SKu

Great Canadian Kite CompanyThere is an old joke in the kite retail biz that goes:  How do you make a million dollars selling kites?  Answer:  Start with two million dollars!
It usually produces a chuckle, if not through a few tears!

The kite business has been good to us as we reflect over our past 12/13 years providing great kites and service to kite flyers throughout Canada and beyond.  It has been a joy to help people discover kites, and help them develop a fun family and personal hobby.

We are excited because right from the beginning the mission of the Great Canadian Kite Company was to promote the sport of Kites and share the fun.  We have endeavoured to do so by providing top-shelf knowledgeable service along with quality products at fair and competitive prices.

In addition, we have supported Kite Festivals, hosted numerous fun-flies, sponsored and supplied kites and information for kite exhibits in local libraries and schools, teaching people to fly, as well as being friendly on the kite field with onlookers, and the interested.  Its one thing for folks to look on, its quite another when you put the lines in their hands!

If you haven't guessed, we like kites - a lot.  We are proud of our kite shop.  We are a kite shop owned by everyday people who enjoy kites.   As such, kites are not just another Sku., not just another do-dad that we sell.   Kites are our thing!

While we work really hard to compete with larger online retailers, we offer something they simply can't - a professional, personalized kite purchase experience.   We know kites. We work hard to resource our customers with solid information to help in making a good purchase but also to be able to help trouble shoot when there may be a performance concern or you need parts to get your kite back in the air.

We pride ourselves on providing solid service both before and after the sale. And as our many repeat customers, referrals, and many 'Thank you' emails demonstrate, we are definitely doing some things right!


We can't be all things to all people, all the time, but for Great Canadian Kite Company, kites are not just another Sku. Kites are our main thing.  Our commitment is to do our very best to do that one thing really well.

 

Read more →

Wind Ranges for Kites - What to think!

Wind Ranges for Kites - What to think!

Andrea of Great Canadian Kite Company flying her Revolution kite

I remember as a kid trying to fly kites that you had to run like mad just to keep them aloft. It made for a very frustrating experience. One exception from my childhood was a delta shaped black plastic kite  - the one that you affixed adhesive eyes too. These fiery eyes made it look pretty cool, and you know, it flew pretty well! As fun as that kite was, being made of plastic it didn't last very long!

When we started the Great Canadian Kite Company (read our story here) we wanted to make sure that we sold a quality product that flew well and was built to be durable by quality kite standards. As such, the kites we have chosen are from reputable manufacturers with proven designs that fly in the stated conditions.

But even then... what does a wind range really mean? A wind range is provided to communicate the range of wind speed that the kite will fly in. So a range of 10 - 40 kph means that the kite is capable of flying in winds as low as 10 Kph to an upper limit of 40 kph.

The upper range can be a little more flexible if just flying the kite is the priority. When kites fly in winds above the range, they will often become much faster, harder to control, pull too hard and become difficult to trick. Too much wind will rip stitches and fabric, or break framing and line. It also can increase the potential for damage with hard crashes.

In higher winds you can add wind brakes or add tails, and this will often raise the upper limit.

Nexus Kite by Prism KitesSometimes, especially with stunt kites (low wind or Indoor) you see a lower wind range of zero or 5 or 8 or 10 kph. Low wind kite flying is an art as much as it is a science, and many manufacturers when establishing the lower end of the wind range have folks testing it who are really good pilots!

So can the kites fly at those low ranges? You bet! Can anybody fly them in the low range - with some practice you can learn to keep your kite aloft at the lowest wind ranges.

As kite professionals, we are here to offer you experienced recommendation on the kinds of kites and kite accessories that will get you in the air with the goal of providing the best kite flying experience we can!

Great Canadian Kite Company also have some Resources for the Kite Flyer:
Read more →

Flying Kites for the Health of it!

Flying Kites for the Health of it!

Health Fitness Revolution shared Top Ten Benefits of Kite-Flying on their site  in April of 2015. There are other articles along the same line but Health Fitness Revolution put together  a pretty impressive list. Here are their Top 10 Health Benefits of Kite-Flying:
Read more →