Power Kiting the First Steps


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OK so you have bought yourself a 3 meter kite and a buggy and you’re itching to get out on the beach and ride the wind.

Stop there…. leave the buggy at home and buy a 2 meter kite!

Although it’s tempting to go out and do it it’s not pleasant finding yourself dragged sideways a long a beach by a kite with the power of a 250cc outboard motor or even worse lifted into the air to be then smashed heavily down onto the beach smashing both yourself and the buggy in the process.

When starting out you have to learn how to use the kite. That’s where a 2 meter kite is useful. Even a child can control one in light winds and when the wind gets up it will drag a 200 lb adult along.

The basic method of starting off is to lay the kite on the ground and walk backwards into the wind extending the lines. Once fully extended with kite full of wind you give a tug and the kite takes off…. . and probably so do you.

A safer initial approach:

When you have your kite down on the beach the first thing is to LEAVE IT IN THE BAG. In any sort of wind as soon as the kite is out you’re fighting with it.

Ask someone to accompany you on your first few flights.

Get them to hold the kite within the bag while you extend the lines ACROSS the wind. At 90 degrees to the wind the point of lowest power you will have much more control of the kite once it starts flying.

Check all lines are clear and ask your helper to remove the kite from the bag. Even at 90 degrees to the wind the kite will “find the wind” and inflate.

If your using a four line kite the kite actually flies on the top two lines. The bottom two are “brake line” basically when the kite is in the air if you want to de power the kite or drop it you gently haul back on the bottom lines and the kite stalls and drops.

When your ready ask your helper to release the kite and making sure that the brake lines are slack fly the kite at 45 degrees across the wind until it is directly above you.

In that the position the kite will have maximum lift and almost zero traction. Get a feel for the kite. Pull gently n the brake lines and watch how the kite starts to drop.

Ok lets move the kite:

Pull gently back on the left hand top line. The kite will start to move to the left. Pull back on the right line the kite moves back to the zenith. Try going right.

OK lets land the kite.

Fly the kite slowly at 45 degrees to the location of your helper and as you approach pull back on the brake lines. The kite will settle down to the ground.

Congratulations you can handle a power kite!

Next step a 3 meter kite . . then a 5 then….

James Roberts an avid Power Kiter and Buggy Rider. http://traction-kite.info


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