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Stunt Kite 101 : At the Flying Field

Where and When to Fly Stunt Kites

Look for a flying area without people, trees or obstructions for a distance of 150-ft. downwind and to either side of you. Avoid buildings and trees upwind that can cause turbulence. If there are single line kites in the sky, stay away from them to avoid crossing lines with them. It's easiest to learn to fly stunt kites in gentle to moderate winds. Too much or too little wind can be frustrating. If you don't have a wind meter, use the Beaufort Scale to estimate the wind speed.

Set Up Your Lines for Flying

Stunt kites are flown on two or more equal length lines. The lines are laid out on the ground for the desired flying length (usually 80 to 100 feet). You attach lines to your kite, launch and fly your kite, land and then wind your lines in when you're finished. Unlike single line kites, you don't change the line lengths while your kite is in the air.

First let out your lines as you walk into the wind. Rock the winder or handles back and forth to get the line to flow off them smoothly.

The first time you use new line

Tie loops at the flying ends of your lines, if they aren't already tied. If your lines aren't attached to straps or handles, use the Lark's Head Knot (right) to attach them. Check your line lengths to make sure they're equal by attaching the flying ends of the lines to a tree or post and pulling on the straps or handles. With stunt handles, adjustments are made by winding the line around the line stop. With sleeved lines, untie the loops and slide the sleeving to the same location on both lines. Fold both lines at the center of the sleeving and retie identical loops. Replace the overhand knot at the sleeving on the adjusted line (Sleeving Illustration). Lines can stretch with use. Check for equal lengths again after a few flights.

Attach the Lines to Your Kite

If your stunt kite has snaps on the bridle lines, just attach them to the loops at the ends of your lines. Many kites terminate the bridles with knotted loops of line instead of swivels. Use the Lark's Head Bridle Knot (left) to attach your lines to these loops. First take the loop at the end of your flying line and form a loose lark's head knot. Then put the bridle loop through this lark's head. Finally, tighten the lark's head up against the knot on the end of the bridle loop. Go back to your handles and untwist the lines to be sure that you have the right flying line in your right hand.

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