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Flying a Power Kite

Launching a Power Kite

Each type of kite is launched differently, so there is no generic way of launching one. However there are a few tips that should be remembered when attempting a launch. Have plenty of room down wind in case of emergencies - you don't want your kite floating off on to a busy road Make sure the down wind area around you is clear of obstacles and people. Kite lines could get caught on an obstacles and cause problems with the launch, also some-one in the vicinity may not be aware that you are launching, and as kites can move very quickly, well you can imagine the potential problem Always have some sort of quick release mechanism so that you can detach your self from the kite quickly if the launch goes wrong. Most power kites should could with some sort of mechanism.

The Neutral Position

When the kite is almost directly above your head, this is called the 'neutral position'. In this position the kite has the least amount of power as the surface area of kite exposed to the wind will be at a minimum. The kite should generally fly naturally to this position when no leverage is applied. Having the kite in this position will enable you to move about under the kite (the kite should follow your movement as it tries to stay in the neutral position). For example the kite should be in the neutral position when you try to get into your buggy.

Figure of Eight

One of the first kite skills to learn is the figure of Eight8. It's not very challenging technically, but will increase your kite skills as it enables you to get use to the changes in the strength of your kite in the wind window. To execute a figure of 8, from the neutral position, turn the kite downwards (either left or right), before the kite starts to fly directly downwards, turn the kite the other way so it starts to loop back up. Keep turning the kite, so it starts to descend again and then once it reaches almost straight down, turn it back the other way. In theory this should mean you are making figure of 8s with your kite. Keep doing figure of 8s, and feel the change in power of the kite as it goes through different parts of the wind window. As the power increases you can lean back against the pull of the kite. After a while you should be able to predict when increases or decreases in power will occur. This will enable you to have more control whilst buggying.

Scudding

Having gained confidence with the kite, the next thing to try would be scudding. Scudding is the technique of being dragged by the kite, whilst leaning back on your heels. If you were leaning back during figures of 8 then you are part way there. Carry on doing figures of 8 but lean back more and increase the kite power by dipping it even more into the power zone of wind window. Eventually you should start to be dragged by the kite whilst leaning back on your heels. Note that as the kite power decreases, having passed through the peak of the wind window, you will need to lean up, otherwise you will end up landing on your, well, you get the picture! Again, scudding is a good technique to learn as it teaches you to get used to the changes in power from kite as it moves through the wind window.