Tied to the Sky / two string kites

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 →

Spectra Kite Flying Line - Stunt Kites

spectra kite lineKite line is an important asset for every kite, especially performance stunt kites. Not all line is created equal! The old adage "You get what you pay for" is true with kite line.

For example, there is a big difference between generic spectra line and
 Shanti. Shanti is a premium quality because of the fibre quality, braiding and fibre treatment which reduces drag and friction! This means longer kite line life and better kite performance. 

Since 1974, Shanti has led the world in the development of kite lines, spools and Winders. In 1985,  Shanti invented Speed-line, the worlds first spectra kite line.  Speed line has been copied by nearly every kite company in the world and it has been widely used in the sport fishing industry.

    To make Spectra suitable for fishing line, companies began coating the line to make itspectra kite line easier to handle, but ironically for the kite flyer coating the line actually increased friction!  In past 10 years kiteflyers have grown accustom to coated flying lines and some prefer the feel.  During this time the quality of coating has improved significantly and in 2009, Shanti began working with engineers to produce a coating that was specifically designed for kite flying not fishing.  This new neon yellow coating uses a polymer-alloy which bonds to the fibres and protects them from damage while remaining slippery.

The new coating allows Shanti to work with some new high modulus polyethylene (HMPE) fibres.  “High modulus” is a comparative term which simply refers to the fibres  strength to weight ratio.  High modulus fibre is stronger and lighter than low modulus fibre.
    The new line from Shanti - Skybond - has the highest modulus rating of any kite line they have tested.  They explain a 100lb/test Skybond line is thinner than 90 lb/test Spectra, but is 10% stronger, costs almost the same!  Bonus!

Is Skybond better than Shanti’s Speedline?  Nope.  This is the classic oranges versus apples question. Speedline has a soft finish.  It is more slippery, has less stretch and wears 3 to 5 times longer than other high performance lines.  But for flyers who like coated lines, the new Skybond is as revolutionary as the original was 32 years ago.  Skybond is also made in the USA.

 

Info: courtesy of Shanti Kite Company

Read more →

National Kite Day - Just what I needed!

February 8 and I discover it is National Kite Day.   February? Kites?  Maybe for the the adrenaline junkies racing across the snow pulled by large traction kites, or perhaps for the lucky folks in southern climates where cold and snow are not a reality - but February 8th in Southern Alberta?

Well, God was smiling upon this prairie boy today with a gorgeous sunny day at a balmy +16 degrees Celsius and a lovely west wind  about 20 kph.   The flying field was clear and dry - so I couldn't have asked for a better day in February!

I started off with a new favourite - the Toxic by R-Sky.  Such a sexy dual-line kite, tuned right in and she snapped to attention.   Had times where I would toss it around the sky to the delight of the children in the school yard across the way as they pressed up against the chain link to watch the Toxic strut her stuff.  Lots of cheers from the pint-sized audience!  Made this kite flying hack feel like a pro!

The recess bell rang and the children returned to class and the I started practicing forms, and a few more graceful patterns.  It has been a long while since I had opportunity to enjoy an extended period of time to fly.

As you probable know - a kite day is not complete without some time with Revolution quad line kite.  The winds had diminished to about 12-15kph so I chose one of my favourites - a full sail1.5 with a 3 wrap frame in our shop colours O'Canada.   Talk about therapeutic!  OMG - sail loaded so nicely, the wind wasn't too trashy at all.   I was a bit concerned that my injured right arm would struggle with control but even my body chose to be gracious on this lovely day.   I like Revs for so many reasons,  I like the precision, the outa box unidirectional control, introverted flying , stop at a dime, and the way they hover, like they are nailed to the sky.

(The only bummer was couldn't find the power cord to my video camera to get the battery charge and shoot some video.  I'd like to blame my kid... but truth be told... I think I'm the guilty party.)

FYI - used Shanti Warp Speed line on both kites today.  Love Shanti line - performs greats, lasts forever!

A fantastic day - and the good news... the rest of the week is looking even better!  I hope that wherever you are that you have time to get out and fly whatever puts a smile on your face!

Smooth Winds.

 

P.S. - April is National Kite Month!

Read more →