Single-Line Kite Skills & Flying Tips

Set-up

First you will want to take a look at your kite in the serenity of your home, where there is no wind to flap about your instructions sheet, and no long grass or sand in which to lose small parts. There are so many types of single-line kites that it is impossible to offer a guide for set-up of each. However, the manufacturer will always give you some instructions. Note the way your kite is packed so that you can disassemble it in the same way. If you made the kite yourself hopefully it will need little set-up on location.

Generally your kite will be packed with its bridle already attached, and any rigid spars packed separately. You will need to attach the spars first, then attach the line to the bridle, usually with a lark’s head knot, and then the tail if it has one. With some kites you can adjust the bridle to suit the wind conditions; if the wind is strong you can make the bridle lines longer, if it is weak or gusty, make them shorter. A shorter bridle will make the kite easier to launch. it you do adjust the bridle, mark its original position as it can be tricky to find a workable bridle length.

Launch

Running into the wind is not an effective way of launching your kite; more often than not it will dive into the ground. You can either use a friend to help you launch your kite, or try alone. if you have the help of a friend, unwind up to 30m (100ft) of line, and standing with your back to the wind, pull gently on the kite line as your friend simply lets go of the kite above his or her head. Pull in the kite if it starts to drop, or let out some line if the wind is strong.

If you are launching alone, and the kite is not too large, start by letting the kite drift out of your hand. Let out some line until it drops near the ground. Pull in the line gently to encourage the kite to gain some height, then let out some more line to let the kite drift again. Continue with this process until the kite is flying at the desired height. If the kite is large and you wish to launch it alone, place it on the ground, preferably up against an obstacle so that it can more easily catch the wind when you pull on the line. From this position gently pull on the line when there is a gust of wind. Again, if the kite starts to drift, pull in some line, letting it out as it gains height.

Manoeuvres

Single-line kites are not highly manoeuvrable, but you can control them to an extent by adjusting the line length to keep them in the sky even when facing a changeable wind. If you find your kite diving about when it is high up, the wind may be too strong so you will want to reel the line in to find the more gentle winds lower down. lithe kite is unstable in the turbulent wind lower down, you can let out some line to find the cleaner winds higher up. If the kite picks up speed to your left or right, letting out the line will allow it to get back on track. If you want the kite to continue to fly in the direction it is travelling, reeling in the line will accelerate it.

Landing

There are two ways of bringing down your single-line kite. The first is by simply reeling it in. This is fine for smaller kites on days when the wind is not too aggressive. Go slowly as increasing the tension on your line too quickly will make your kite rise.

The second way is used for bigger kites and involves walking towards it up the line. To bring your kite down this way you need to either ask a friend to hold on to the reel, or peg it to the ground. You will then take hold of the line (you will need to wear gloves to protect your hands from the line) and walk along it, gently bringing it down to your height as you go. If you have a friend holding the reel, they can gently wind some line around it as you go. When the kite is safely on the ground you can walk back to the reel and wind your line up. You may want to put some weights on it to prevent a gust of wind picking it up again.