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Go Fly A Kite…

February 23rd, 2007 · 2 Comments

A couple of weeks back, we woke up to a rather blustery day in our Hundred Acre Wood. The Santa Ana winds were blowing fairly hard that morning, and being that it was “Daddy/Daughter Day” in our household, I thought we might go out and pick up a kite and head over to the park to fly it. I remembered that I’d seen a few kites on display at our local REI the last time I was there, so I bundled my little girl up and drove over there to see what we could find.

Being Daddy, I let her choose which kite she wanted. Being a child, she chose the biggest most colorful kite they had. There was no price on it, so we took it up to the register. All the while I was thinking, “It’s a kite. How much could it possibly cost?”

$93.30 later, we’re on our way to the park to fly our new kite for the first time.

What we’d picked up, I learned as I read the assembly and flying instructions, was a kite made by Prism Kites, Inc. called The Quantum. Let me tell you, it sure was fancy. Carbon-fiber, parachute nylon, braided nylon control lines (yes, that’s what they’re called instead of “kite-string” because this kite is controllable and very maneuverable).

No, it’s not really 24 feet wide.
I walked out into the middle of the baseball fields at a nearby public park, my daughter toddling along behind me asking, “When can I fly the kite, daddy?” It took a couple of minutes to put it together (all-in-all a simple process) and unwind the control lines. Setting the kite on its back pointed away from me, we strung the control lines out to their full length so that the kite was downwind of us. Gradually tilting the kite up to sit on its wingtips, a quick yank on the control lines got the kite into the air with very little effort. Keeping it there was another story!

The two control lines allow you to turn the kite right and left. Because of the kite’s aerodynamics, it takes very little movement of each line to make the kite turn. This, of course, is not described in the flying instructions. After a couple of ham-handed yanks and two or three big sweeping turns, the kite impacted the ground point-first! This was no easy feat!

We flew that day until my daughter got bored (which surprisingly was an hour-and-a-half or so) and my skill with the kite gradually increased to the point where I could keep it in the air for more than a couple of minutes. Though initially my daughter was disappointed that she couldn’t fly the kite herself (she weighs all of about 40 pounds and this particular kite was nearly pulling me off my feet), she did take pleasure in directing the kite (“Go right! Go left!”) and trying to convince the wind to keep blowing when the kite neared the ground (“Blow, wind! BLOW!!!”).

Since then we’ve been out together to fly the kite about a half-dozen times. I’ve also been out on days when I’m by myself to practice. Today is another day where the Santa Anas are blowing out of the North at a good clip. I’m sitting here writing this, wishing I had time to go out and fly the kite today. Unfortunately, I have to be getting ready to head to the airport to catch a 1:40pm flight to commute to work.

Hopefully, the winds will blow next week.

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Nicolas // Feb 23, 2007 at 7:35 pm

    Let’s go fly a kite…no wait a beoing 737 is better let’s fly that instead.

  • 2 Ron // Feb 23, 2007 at 8:19 pm

    Sounds like you got one of those stunt kites. Does it have two lines instead of one? I used to play with those in college. We’d have kite fights. Coat the ‘control lines’ in glue and then dip them in powdered or broken glass. Once it dries, you can have fun fighting with other kites, trying to cut each others strings.

    Kids these days… :)

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