*****the address for Catch the Wind. Could someone send it to me?
This is the faq (Frequently Asked Question) list for rec.kites.
It is a compilation of information that can be very useful to new
kiters, and it is a good way to become familiar with some of the
topics discussed in rec.kites (r.k).
For those who are very new to kiting, Section 4: First Kites
will be of interest. It tells which classes of kites are best
for new flyers, and gives some of their characteristics.
If you have an addition or correction, send it to me at one of
the following addresses:
Section 1: Questions.
1) Where can I get a good kite?
A) See the addresses section, where many kite stores and mail
order companies are listed.
2) How does one get started in competitions? Where do I find
rules and how do I learn the figures? How does one find out
A) Write to the American Kiteflyers Association (AKA) or a local
club. The AKA/STACK rules book lists the official rules for
competitions and gives many standard figures for precision
American Kiteflyers Association
1559 Rockeville Pike
Rockeville, MD 20852
3) What is a kite?
A) A kite is a wind-powered, tethered flying object/device.
They come in an incredible variety of shapes, colors, and
sizes. The main division between kites has to do with the
number of lines, with single and dual lines being to most
common, and quad line kites gaining popularity.
Section 2: Kite Books.
When it was available, I have included publisher and author info,
otherwise, just the titles are given.
Margaret Greger, "Kites for Everyone." Kite designs.
Mark Cotrell, "The Kite Store Book of Kites."
David Gomberg, edt, "Stunt Kites!" A complete flight manual for dual line
Section 3: Materials.
Ripstop Nylon: This is the most common material used for stunt
kites as well as most single line kites. There are several
problems when working with ripstop, including the difficulty
of cutting it accurately and sewing it. The advantages are
its strength and resistance to tearing. The best way to cut
ripstop is with a "heat knife."
Tyvek: This is cheaper than ripstop, won't tear, and can be
painted. Tyvek can also be glued and taped easily, unlike
There are many other synthetics, I have included those that I am most
familiar with. If someone out there feels that another material should
be added, send me some details about it (i.e. price, strength, how hard
is it to work with, etc).
Garbage bags, construction paper, paper bags, etc.: Not very
strong, but cheap and readily available.
Fiberglass: Flexible, fairly strong, moderately expensive.
Poly-carbon Fiber: This material is also known as graphite. Stiffer,
stronger, more expensive, but generally preferred.
Alumin: Between fiberglass and graphite for flexibility, but it tends to
be very expensive. It is far stronger than either fiberglass or
Dowels: A good material for beginners.
Arrow shafts: These can be found almost anywhere and come in a wide range
of materials, including wood, graphite, fiberglass, boron, alumin,
and just about anything else you can think of.
Composite shafts: If the spars listed don't have the combination of flexi-
bility and strength that a kite requires, combinations of materials
can be purchased. However, these tend to be very expensive.
Kevlar, Spectra, Mylar: The basic cores of most stunt kite lines.
These are extremely strong fibers that can vary in breaking
strength from 75-250lb.
Dacron: Another polymer, which is often used to sheath the core
lines to prevent cutting (most of them are very rough).
Cotton: Not very strong, but light weight and perfect for small
Fishing line: Small kites, a single monofilament line will often
suffice, and it is readily available in a great variety of
weights. For larger kites, monofilaments can be braided into
stronger lines. However, this is not suggested for stunt kites,
because it allows too much stretch for accurate control.
Section 4: First kites.
The following section was written by Jeffrey Burka, I am
indebted to him for writing a section that I had no idea how
to even begin.
The easiest to learn beginners kite is a diamond
(Powell/trlby/dynakite,etc) One of the biggest
advantages to a single diamond is the ease with
which you can re-launch after a crash. Kiting
can become very frustrating when you have to keep
walking 150' to set up a kite. These kites also
verge on indestructible.
3/4 deltas (Team/Spin-off/Extreme/El Nino/Stinger750
/Wizard, etc) might be good 2nd kites, but their
increased speed, both forward and turning, make them
harder to learn on (though I certainly know people who
have learned on them). Their lower pricing (usually
between $75 and $130) makes them attractive to beginners
who aren't willing to dump a lot of money into a new
hobby, but this doesn't necessarily mean they're good
kites for beginners.
Full-sized deltas (Spin-Off/Hawaiian Team/Super Sky
Dart/Slingshot, etc) are a fairly good place to start,
though the price can be inhibiting to a beginner. However,
there are plenty of good full-sized kites that are good
for learning on; slower air speeds, a nice tendency to
never stall, and so on.
With all of these kites, as Marty Sasaki says, it's
probably best to stay away from graphite-framed kites
at first, as they are easier to break.
|Jeffrey C. Burka |
Section 5: Addresses.
Into the Wind
1408 Pearl Street
Boulder, CO 80302
Go Fly a Kite
P.O. Box AA
East Haddam, CT 06423
Peter Powell Kites, Inc.
1040 N.E. 43 Court
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33334
Catch the Wind
(Sorry, I don't have the address on hand)
130 S.E. Highway 101
Lincoln City, OR 97367
585 Cannery Row
Monterey, CA 93940
Balloon Factory & Kites
19306 E. Windrose Drive
Rowland Heights, CA 91748
High Fly Kite Company
P.O. Box 2146
Haddonfield, NJ 08033
Color The Sky
221-Q1 Yoho Drive
Anoka, MN 55303
Wind Walker Kites
P.O. Box 515
Clute, TX 77531-0515
3089C Clairemont Drive
San Diego, CA 92117
Skyward Kite Manufacturing
7384 N.W. 34th Street
Lauderhill, FL 33319
240 Commercial Street
Provincetown, MA 02657
Trlby Products Incorporated
65 New Litchfield Street
Torrington, CT 06790
Mackinaw Kite Company
116 Washington Street
Grand Haven, MI 49417
835 Weldon Road
Santa Barbara, CA 93109
1819 Fifth Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101
P.O. Box 3099
13215 Louvre Street
Pacoima, CA 91333-3099
7208 McNeil Drive
Austin, TX 78729
The Kite Loft
P.O. Box 551
Ocean City, MD 21842
Fly By Night Kite Company
294 Court Street / Route 3A
No. Plymouth, MA 02360
Hang-Em High Fabrics
1420 Yale Avenue
Richmond, VA 23224
Nevada Kite Company
947 North Pecos Road
Las Vegas, NV 89101
The Kite Store
P.O. Box 481632
Denver, CO 80217
51 Layle Lane
Doylestown, PA 18901
Top of the Line Kites
3015 St. Charles Pl.
San Diego, CA 92110
Gasworks Park Kite Shoppe
3333 Wallingford North
Seattle, WA 98103
4 Hemlock Trail
Sandy Hook, CT 06482
Ray & Lynn Lucas
Kites - The Air Apparent
Salt Lake City, Utah 84102
Kitty Hawk Kites
PO Box 1839
3933-N S. Croatan Highway
Nags Head, NC 27959
Highly Strung Kites Pty Ltd
51 Glenhuntly Road
Phone: +61 3 531 3630
The Kite Store
Phone: 071 836 1666
St Annes Road
Phone: 0684 565504
+44 31 220 6336
The following is the rec.kites charter. It was written by Ken
The group rec.kites will, as its name implies, deal with
discussions of kites and kiting. The discussion will deal with
all aspects of kiting with no limitations as to specific types of
kites. In general, possible lines of discussion could be about:
1)Plans and ideas as to how to build kites.
2)Information as to the best places to purchase materials.
3)Tips on flying different kites, and their pro's and con's.
4)Ratings of commercially available kites.
5)Safety and kite flying laws in effect.
6)Anything else to do with kites...
This newsgroup will be of interest to anyone who is
interested in kites and kiting, no matter how serious they are
about it. The group is not to be limited to those who are already
experienced in the sport. It will partially be set-up to
introduce people to kiting.