Picking out a kite? Let us help!

There are so many different kinds of kites in the world that we couldn’t possibly list them all. There are certain constants among all them, though, that might help folks who are looking at 200-300 kites in a well-stocked kite store–Kitty Hawk Kites, as an example–and are wondering what to buy.

There are four basic kinds of kites—single line, single line fighter kites, dual line stunt kites and quad line stunt kites. Within each type there is an infinite selection, but those are the basics.

Single line

This is the most basic kite and what almost everyone thinks of when they imagine flying a kite with a child. A single line attaches to the kite, run into the wind and the kite goes into the air.

Three basic frames—diamond, delta and parafoil. The classic diamond is actually the hardest to get into the air; either the parafoil with no frame, or the delta are the easiest to fly.

Rachel's Kite

Two line Stunt Kites

A fun, fun kind of kite to fly. The flight of the kite is controlled by two lines that allows the flyer to maneuver the kite up, down, across the horizon, figure 8s, just about anything imaginable.

Most two line stunt kites are delta shaped—actually look a bit like a miniature hang glider—but there are also dual line parafoils that generate tremendous lift and power.

It generally takes about an hour or so to get comfortable controlling a stunt kite. The time is very well spent.

 

Quad Line Stunt Kites

The Revolution quad line kite.

The Revolution quad line kite.

When Revolution Kites brought out their line of quad line kites back in the 1990s, it was, well . . . revolutionary. But here’s a historic footnote: look at a photograph of the Wright Brothers flying their 1901 kite and they are controlling it with four attachment points.

Nonetheless, quad line kites really got people thinking about new stunts and new ways of doing things. Remarkable in their maneuverability, and surprisingly easy to master.

Revolution is still making their frame kites. Ram air quad lines are great power kites; kiteboarding kites use quad line controls.

Wacky Weather? Welcome to the Outer Banks!

Beach in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina

The Outer Banks was once considered simply a summer destination for weary vacationers looking to get away from the hustle and bustle that is everyday life and unwind at the highly regarded beaches of the OBX.

During the last half decade or so, travelers have been flocking to the area not only during the sizzling summer months, but also during what is considered the offseason, which is otherwise known as the fall, spring and winter seasons.

With mild winters and a rather pleasant fall and spring, the Outer Banks has been transforming into more of a year-round vacation destination. These barrier islands enjoy around 200 sunny days each year, with a year-round average temperature hovering around 70°.

Wind is an everyday constant on the Outer Banks (the Wright Brothers came here for a reason), and can range from gentle southwest breezes to strong northeast storm winds.

Outer Banks Seasons

Summer

Ah, summer! If you’re staying on the Outer Banks during the summer months, expect average lows from the mid 70°’s to highs near 90°, depending on the time of the summer. During this time of year, average temperatures can climb to 85°, but even on the hottest summer days, you can expect a slight to moderate ocean breeze to help keep you cool even though the temperature is scorching. In the summer, the wind typically blows out of the southwest and picks up speed in the late afternoon.

Fall

Considered by many year-round area locals to be the best time of year on the Outer Banks, vacationers should consider a trip to the area if they’re at all interested in spending the day outdoors enjoying cool ocean breezes and temperatures in the lower 80°’s in September and mid-70°’s in October. Easily the busiest time of year for events on the Outer Banks, consider planning your trip around the Outer Banks Seafood Festival, OBX Brewtag, Mustang Music Festival, Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival, or the Duck Jazz Festival.

Winter

During the winter, temperatures are usually cool, though the wind can make it feel colder. Temperatures during the day usually hover around the lower 50°’s, with nights averaging in the upper 30°’s.

Spring

Typically a very mild season, temperatures during the spring months can be very unpredictable. Average daytime temperatures are normally in the upper 60°’s and lower 70°’s

Jennette's Pier in Nags Head, North Carolina

Outer Banks Average Temperature, Precipitation & Wind Chart

The weather readings below reflect the average temperatures (degrees Fahrenheit), wind velocity (MPH), and precipitation (inches) from Cape Hatteras, NC. These temperatures have been provided by The National Weather Service Newport Office.

outer-banks-weather-chart

North Carolina’s Outer Banks: A Destination Any Time of Year

Thank you for the recent feature, Sara Kendall, of the Epicurean! “Spanning over 200 miles in a string of narrow barrier islands, the Outer Banks is an ocean haven anytime of the year. The locals refer to them as OBX, and millions of people make these islands their vacation destination. Looking to book a winter retreat or plan next summer’s getaway? The Outer Banks is a fabulous choice no matter the time of year you decide to venture to the ocean breezes.” http://www.epicureancharlotte.com/travel/

This Article from the Charlotte Epicurean on just a few of the reasons why the OBX is so special hit the nail on the head! We have so much to do here and a ton of great dining options! What are you going to choose to do today?

Fly Into Fun at the Outer Banks Stunt Kite Competition

16_stunt_kite_fbOBSKC is a regional kite competition bringing some of the nation’s best kite fliers right here to our back yard. This gives people the chance to be introduced to a sport that is consistently gaining in popularity because of the skill and artistry that is involved. This is a great opportunity to bring your kids out and let them explore the world of wind driven flight, all while you enjoy the talent at hand as well.

On Saturday the 22nd, Kitty Hawk Kites and the Eastern League Stunt Kite Association will host demos and a competition on the field and a FREE family fun fly day. Enjoy massive display kites flying high, and participate in stunt and power kite lessons given by pros. Following OBSKC, on Saturday, October 22, and the 2nd annual OBX Brewtag, a celebration of flight and beer benefitting The Rogallo Foundation.

Sunday, come watch some of the nation’s most talented kite fliers put on world-class displays of elegance and skill with kite flying set to music, synchronized performances, and more.

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A day in the life: The 34th Annual Rogallo Kite Festival

Written by: Emma Turnbull- 2016 Marketing Intern

It was a beautiful weekend for the 34th Annual Rogallo Kite Festival! Typical with any kite festival, the wind was not completely cooperative (too light on Friday and too strong on Saturday and Sunday), but it was good enough to get the kites up and give everybody an awesome scene to admire atop Jockey’s Ridge.

dunkin

Rogallo Fest ran on Dunkin’


This was my first kite festival as a Kitty Hawk Kites marketing intern, and I’ll admit I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when the weekend began. I obviously knew we’d be flying some kites, but I didn’t realize just how massive and impressive they’d be. For instance, our octopus, affectionately dubbed Squiggs, is 100 feet long! As you can imagine, trying to launch and take down Squiggs in strong wind was a bit of a challenge. There were even a couple times it took 5 people to wrangle him. Once he got under control though, he was quite a sight to see, with his huge yellow body and his tentacles flapping around in the clear blue sky. A couple other personal favorites of mine were our giant purple eel and the rainbow koi fish, which both slithered around in the air to the point where they looked like they were swimming against the blue sky. It’s amazing how much of a show can be put on by a bit of cloth, so strong line, and a few poles.

Squiggs

Squiggs, the 100ft Octopus- a personal favorite.


Now, I’m by no means an expert yet, but this weekend taught me a lot and gave me a sneak peek into the world of kite flying. There’s a lot that goes into flying such huge kites. You don’t just need the kite and a line; you need the kite, bridle, line set, carabiner, and sand anchor, and a bit of expert know-how. I learned about the safety when flying large kites, how to tie a larks head, and daisy chain just to name a few of my new skills. Basically, there’s a lot more that goes into flying show kites than I could have ever imagined.

allkites

Not a bad view


As an event crew member, my weekend consisted of a combination of physical labor, interacting with children, and teaching people about kites. To be fair, I didn’t shoulder a huge portion of the physical labor given my small size and utter lack of muscles, but that’s not to say I didn’t pitch in whenever and however I could. One of the highlights for me was set up Saturday morning, when I was helping John Harris, owner and founder of Kitty Hawk Kites, prepare and launch numerous large kites. It was surreal to be able to learn so much from a man who is such an expert in the field.

RevSpinIn addition to the eye catching show kites, visible from across the sound in Manteo, the Rogallo Kite Festival included free stunt kite lessons, and a Revolution Kite Competition. I spent much of my time tending to the larger kites and unfortunately didn’t get to take a lesson, but I did get to talk to many stunt kite flyers, from visitors trying it out for the first time to experienced flyers who travel the country showing of their skills. Watching the performances from afar, the twirls, spins, dives, and other tricks executed but the Revolutions and other stunt kites were every bit as impressive and transfixing as Squiggs’ tentacles in their own way. I look forward to trying it out for myself at the next festival in July!

RevWinners

Revolution Invitation Winners with Rev Rep, Lolly Hadziki, and John Harris


Between digging holes for anchors, talking to curious vacationers on Jockey’s Ridge, and relaunching kites that the wind took down, the days actually sped by. There’s no denying it was hard work, and being out in the sun for 3 full days certainly took its toll. (I have the awkward suntan/burn lines to prove it). There were moments I just wanted to stop what I was doing, lie down, and fall asleep on the spot. But for every funk, there was also a moment equally as funny or inspiring or beautiful to break me out of it. Like the moment a huge kite would get launched and I would just watch it float upward so peacefully into the bright blue sky. Or seeing a kid’s face light up as they watched the koi fish “swimming” through the air. Or honestly just taking a step back and taking in the whole panorama: a beautiful sunny day on the sand dunes with a bunch of colorful kites floating overhead and the ocean in the distance. I now understand peoples’ fascination with kites a whole lot better.

If you missed the Rogallo Festival, don’t fret… The Wright Kite Festival hosted at The Wright Brothers’ National Memorial July 16-17 will feature many of the same show kites (possibly even a few more), free stunt kite lessons, and kite making workshops for the kids. You may also check out this awesome Rogallo Festival recap video below: