Types of Kite
Generally speaking, kites can be categorised into two types: soft and framed. Soft kites are any kite that does not use sticks to support its sail, but rather use the pressure of the wind to form the shape of the kite. These kites are often called inflatables. They come in many shapes and sizes, but there are two important distinctions, those that fly unaided, and those that require a lifter kite to support them. Framed kites use sticks to support their sail and these are the kites people new to kiting will normally think of.
What kite should I buy?
A very difficult question to answer. It very much depends on circumstances, who the kite is for, what type of flying you want to do, etc. But here are a few general tips.
- Smaller kites tend to be harder to fly, they require more wind and tend to be less stable. Small kites usually need a tail.
- Large kites can generate a lot of pull and can become dangerous in inexperienced hands. They look spectacular but must be treated with respect
- Small sports kites (2 line stunt kites) generally have heavy cheap frames and heavy material. They can be difficult to launch in anything but a strong clean wind, e.g on a beach. in flight they will be very fast and difficult to control. so may be very frustrating
- Kites with complicated frames and bridles may look good, but usually require some knowledge to set up and get the best out of them.
- For children, a small "easy fly" delta or a small sled kite or foil can provide hours of pleasure. they are very easy to set up and fly. They should be available for under £10.
- For sports kites, expect to spend at least £30 to get a kite of reasonable quality.