Kites: Flying Skills and Techniques, from Basic Toys to Sport Kites

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The perfect handbook for every kiting enthusiast

More than three thousand years ago, the Chinese used kites to spy on their enemies, send messages and lift themselves up and out of hostile situations. Eighteenth century Japan banned kites because too many workers were out flying them - and staying away from the job. Indonesian fishermen, on the other hand, have used kites in their work for centuries.

Kites is a complete guide to kiting -- from ...

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Richmond Hill, ON, Canada 2007 Soft Cover New 6 1/2 x 8. Shows slight shelfwear. A practical and essential guide to get started with basic kite design, understanding the wind ... speed, direction and quality, set-up, launch, maneuvers, landing, packing up, decorating, etc. Read more Show Less

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Richmond Hill, ON, Canada 2007 Soft Cover New 6 1/2 x 8 1/2. A practical and essential guide on how to get started and what you can expect about kites. Includes kite design and ... choosing a kite; understanding wind speed, direction and quality; set-up, launch, maneuvers, landing, packing up; types of kites; advanced techniques such as kitesurfing and landboarding; safety guidelines, protective gear and fitness. Illustrated throughout. Read more Show Less

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2007 Paperback Brand New Paperback, clean, tight, unmarked, no spine or cover creases() The perfect handbook for every kiting enthusiast More than three thousand years ago, the ... Chinese used kites to spy on their enemies, send messages and lift themselves up and out of hostile situations. Eighteenth century Japan banned kites because too many workers were out flying them-and staying away from the job. Indonesian fishermen, on the other hand, have used kites in their work for centuries. Kites is a complete gu. Read more Show Less

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Overview

The perfect handbook for every kiting enthusiast

More than three thousand years ago, the Chinese used kites to spy on their enemies, send messages and lift themselves up and out of hostile situations. Eighteenth century Japan banned kites because too many workers were out flying them - and staying away from the job. Indonesian fishermen, on the other hand, have used kites in their work for centuries.

Kites is a complete guide to kiting -- from flying a paper kite at the park to para-kiting on a lake or ocean. Written in a clear and accessible style, this book features:

  • Detailed descriptions of kites and equipment
  • Step-by-step photographs in full color
  • Guidelines for choosing a kite
  • Basic skills-setup, launch, maneuvers, landing
  • Decorative kites, stunt and sport kites, power kites, water kites and specialty kites
  • Kite-buggying, para-kiting, wheel-kiting, snow-kiting, kite-surfing
  • Safety guidelines.

Step-by-step, full color photographs illustrate each maneuver, and a glossary explains kiting terms such as sheeting, lofting and chicken loop. Kites may have changed over the years, but the joy of flying them remains a thrill for adventurers of all ages.

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Editorial Reviews

Packet and Times (Orillia, ON) - Lynne Gibbon
When someone tells you to "go fly a kite," turn to [this] beautifully illustrated book.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554072620
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 3/16/2007
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 6.25 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Rosanne Cobb is a sports enthusiast whose hobbies include skiing, snowboarding, football, tennis- and now kite flying. She has traveled the world teaching these sports and is the author of Skiing and Snowboarding.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

  1. Understanding Kites and Equipment

    • Choosing your kite
    • Basic kite design
    • Understanding single-line kites
    • Understanding dual-line stunt or sports kites
    • Power kites
    • Other equipment
  2. Understanding the Wind

    • The wind window
    • Wind speed
    • Wind direction
    • Wind quality
  3. Basic Flying Skills

    • Single-line kite skills
    • Stunt-kite skills
    • Power-kite skills
  4. Kite Sports

    • General skills
    • General equipment
    • Land-based traction sports
      • Recreational kiting
      • Kite buggying/parakarting
      • Kite landboarding
      • Snow-kiting/kite skiing/snowboarding
    • Water-based traction sports
      • Kiteboarding/kitesurfing
  5. Safety

    • Safety guidelines
    • Protective gear
    • Insurance
    • Fitness and strength

Glossary
Index

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Preface

Introduction

Kite flying is a pastime enjoyed by millions the world over, across all cultures and age ranges; from the Inuit to the Irish, the Tibetans to the Turkish, all can appreciate the joy of flying a kite high above them in the sky. Kite flying was invented over 3,000 years ago in Asia. The Chinese military used kites to spy on the enemy, to send messages and to lift themselves out of sticky situations. But it wasn't all work. With bamboo, rubber and silk, the inventive Chinese were able to create all types of playthings, including musical kites that emitted sounds when blowing on the wind. Once the Chinese artistic flair was applied to their creations, it is not surprising that kites became items to be worshiped and to which great superstition was often attached.

The popularity of kites quickly spread to neighboring countries. So many people were flying kites instead of working in Japan in the 18th century that the government banned the pastime, as there was a detrimental effect on the working day. Children in Afghanistan and Thailand were staging whole-day events flying kites with fiercely sharp lines in order to ruthlessly bring down other kites in the sky. Indonesians used the leaves from trees to create kites they used for fishing (and still do!).

Some time later the Western world caught the bug for flying. Predictably, kites were used in the late 19th century in warfare, and in World War II they were used as target practice. However, a greater use for kites was found in the realms of science and transportation. Due to their ability to reach places that other instruments cannot reach, kites have helped advance our understanding of the atmosphere. (Were it not for kites we would have taken a long time to understand the effects of altitude on temperature, or the electrical nature of lightning, for example.) Without kites as forerunners -- and the inventive thinking of the Wright brothers -- it is unlikely we would be so adept at air travel. Samuel Franklin Cody almost succeeded in crossing the English Channel in 1903 in a boat powered by two kites.

Kiting has enjoyed a surge of popularity in the past 50 years for two reasons. First, kites have ceased to be of such importance in warfare or transportation as more sophisticated methods of research and travel have been developed. This has meant that kites have been redefined as playthings once again. Second, material and design capabilities have advanced considerably. The development of ripstop nylon, fiberglass and the various compounds of other new materials has allowed the limitless development of kites, and the sports associated with them.

The variety of kites flown today is as broad as the sky is vast. Single-line kites are great fun to watch in the air and are still the main attraction at the numerous kite festivals around the world. Single-line kites can be small and simple like the diamond kites of Mary Poppins fame, or elaborate and enormous air creations, some of which can total 10,000 ft. square (3,050 m square).

The main kite disciplines enjoying a growth in popularity, and two of the most exhilarating sports to explode in recent years, are stunt kiting and power kiting. Stunt kites (also called sport kites) are highly maneuverable two-line kites that can perform tricks and intricate dancing sequences in the air. Power kites (also called traction kites) are parachute-like kites that are used to generate lift and forward motion for the flier. Flying these huge, powerful kites, on land or water, on foot, in a buggy or on a board, is referred to as power kiting.

These two kite types occupy different spaces in the kiting world. Stunt kites, although not small, are about delicate maneuvers, purposeful stalling, reversing, looping and swooping. The joy of flying them is in being able to direct them to perform dancing maneuvers and create patterns in the sky. Although the pleasure in flying power kites also comes from perfecting control, the effect of that control has nothing to do with a pretty dancing kite. The big, slow power kite is used to create not a spectacle in the air, but an exhilarating spectacle at the level of the flier as he or she is pulled forward and upward. From its roots in recreational flying, power kiting has fast become an independent mainstream sport enjoyed by people from all walks of life.

Whether kites are big or small, homemade or factory-designed, flown for power or beauty, all are a truly inspiring spectacle and never less than fantastic fun to fly.

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