Power Kite Manual

Enthusiasts have used kites for many years, to drag themselves over all sorts of surfaces. Over the years kites have been developed and perfected for this purpose. This range of kites are commonly known as power kites.

They are used for Buggying, Sand Skiing and Landboarding.

Safety first! Never fly near:

  • Power lines
  • Roads
  • Airfields
  • Railway lines
  • People and animals
  • Poles or fences
  • Thunderstorms

Notice

  • When venturing into power kiting you should already have a very good idea of how to fly a kite before getting onto anything that moves. You need to be able to fly the kite without watching it.
  • Use common sense when dealing with these kites, they are big and very powerful and can be potentially very dangerous.
  • Never hold onto the lines when under tension or try to launch the kite holding onto the flying lines.
  • Keep your kite and line away from bystanders, lines under tension can cut or burn.
  • Always make sure that you have enough space around you. When launching power kites in strong winds they can pull you forward or even drag you off your feet.
  • Never underestimate the power of your kite or that of the wind. Try to fly in winds that you feel comfortable in. Be aware of your limitations and never try to exceed them.

Equipment used with power kite


 

Power Kites

Power kites or parafoils are designed for traction.

They come in a wide range of sizes. Your weight, the wind you intend to fly in and the type of power you need to generate will dictate the size of kite you need.

Power kites have either two lines or four lines. The two line variety give the truest pull. The four line kites require a different technique to fly, the additional two lines act as brakes. The most commonly used kites are the two line variety.

power-kite-equipment

Buggies


These usually have 3 wheels with a sling seat that is set very low to keep your centre of gravity low.
Made with a stainless steel frame and inflatable tyres.

power-kite-buggie

Sand Skis

There are a lot of different types of sand skis. Generally they look like snow skis but with a shorter ski.
The foot attachments can either be in the form of boots or slip in straps.
The ski itself is either made of a highly varnished hard wood or composite resign.

power-kite-sand-skis

Land Boards

These look like really big skateboards.
They have large inflatable wheels.
The boards are usually made of laminated wood and carbon composites that are very flexible and durable.

power-kite-land-board

Accessories - Helmets

A helmet is always a good idea especially when learning.
Power Kite Flying Manual. Power Kite Equipment. Kite Helmet.

power-kite-helmet

Accessories - Harness


Land harness with quick release is both a comfort and safety issue.
It has a quick release mechanism for instant disconnection from the kite in an emergency situation and is designed to remove the strain from your lower back and place the center of pull closer to your own center of gravity.

power-kite-harness

Accessories - Pads

When land boarding or sand skiing, elbow and knee guards are essential.

power-kite-elbow-pad

The Flying Area for Power Kites

Requirements:

wind-windowChoose your flying area carefully.

The kite lines are 40m (130ft) long, so make sure you have at least 80m (260ft, or 85yds) radius safe flying area.
Make sure that the area downwind is clear of rocks and other solid objects - impact at high speed can cause injury.
If you are flying on hard ground wear suitable shoes.

The wind window is that space in which your kite will remain airborne, the window is a half hemisphere in front and above the flier, with a radius equal to the length of your flying line.
With your back to the wind, the area directly down wind from you and about just above the ground is where you will get the strongest pull, this is known as the power zone. This is also the best place to launch your kite especially in light wind.

Hot Tip: In strong wind and with larger kites it may be better to launch towards the edge of the window where the initial power surge will be lessened and you reduce the risk of being dragged across the ground. The space directly to your right and left and extending directly over head in an arc is known as the neutral zone.

There are two factors that affect the size of your wind window. The first and most critical is wind speed, if you are flying in a strong wind the window will expand in comparison to a light wind where the window will shrink. The second will be the length of your lines, the longer your lines the greater your wind window will be. Longer lines also make maneuvers less precise.

 

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