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.

Kites We Love!

This Valentine’s Day we wanted to change things up! We decided instead of telling you about a bunch of products that are red and have hearts, we would tell you all about the kites that we LOVE. These kites have genuinely brought some happiness to our lives, whether through family time or just simple serenity. Take a moment to check out some of our favorite kites and the fun ways that we get out to use them.

Rachel's Kite

Rachel, KHK Head Kite Buyer • “After years of flying all kinds of kites, the triangle-shaped Festive Sky Delta package has become my all-time favorite kite to fly.  It has tails that you can add to it, or just fly it by itself in almost any wind.  My kids love the moving tail and play games trying to catch it!”

Check out this kite HERE!

Kirsten, KHK Store Manager • “I’ve flown hundreds of kites, and the Killip Foil 90 is such a show in its own that is will grab attention for miles – hands down my favorite! It’s soft so there’s no assembly, it flies surprisingly well in a low 6mph wind and with a higher wind you can attach all kinds of fun flair to it, like flags, spinners, streamers, and even large inflatable kites like you see at kite festivals! But don’t let its size intimidate you – that’s the best part! Just make sure it’s always anchored off before you launch and that you have a helping hand for takeoff and landing.”

Check out this kite HERE!

Brett, KHK Digital Marketing • “I love taking my box kite with me to the beach. It’s a good kite for a variety of winds which is perfect on the Outer Banks. The single line design makes it very easy to control. And you can’t beat the design, it will always draw some attention. Overall just a very cool kite, that is tons of fun to watch fly!”

Check out this kite HERE!

 

Heather, KHK Store Manager • “I absolutely love our Nexus Special edition. Not only is a great stunt kite to learn and grow, it’s a great value with all the extra bells and whistles. You get the line and winders, repair kit, tail and a full size extra nylon case. The case is perfect for people like me who don’t want to disassemble their kite all the way. It’s great to have options! It flies like a champ and has a wide wind range. It’s very responsive and has a fantastic wind range. The hardest part of this kite is choosing the color you want.”

This is a special KHK exclusive kite! Check out this kite HERE!

 

Stephen, Graphic Designer • “Ever since the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens came out, my daughter can’t get enough. This kite became the perfect way for us to go out and have fun… and to help bridge her into the Star Wars world! It flies extremely well and is easy to control even for my young daughter. To be honest, it’s just fun to feel like I’m finally flying the Millenium Falcon.”

 

Check out this kite here!

Learn to Fly a Stunt Kite!

The Prism Quantum-our favorite entry level stunt kite.

The Prism Quantum-our favorite entry level stunt kite.

Flying a stunt kite on the Outer Banks—or anywhere—is a lot of fun and a great way to enjoy the outdoors.

It’s pretty windy on the Outer Banks right now, but when the winds do calm down—fall under 20 mph—that’s a great time to learn how to fly a two line kite and make it dance across the sky. At Kitty Hawk Kites, we specialize in kites, so of course, we have the best beginner stunt kites around.

Osprey, entry level stunt kite.
Seahawk, entry level stunt kite.

Seahawk and Osprey are our most basic stunt kites, both priced under $40. Featuring a tubular fiberglass frame, these are rugged kites ready to take the beating that is often a part of learning how to fly a stunt kite.

A mid-sized kite—it’s 54”—the pull on it is relatively light making it ideal for a younger flyer. Wind range is 5-18 mph, although at the lowest range you  may need to walk backwards to keep it in the air.

The Comet from HQ Kites.

The Comet from HQ Kites.

The Comet ($59.99) made for Kitty Hawk Kites by HQ Kites, is perfect for someone who is looking for a little bit better kite for their first experience. The frame is a combination fiberglass and carbon fiber, creating a lighter weight kite that is a little more responsive.

The kite comes with a blended line set of dacron and spectra. Not quite as good as 100% spectra which has not stretch, but a great compromise that keeps the price down a bit.

A 64” kite with a wind range of 4-24, the Comet is a great kite to take home to places with lighter winds than the Outer Banks.

Prism nexus.

Prism nexus.

The Prism Nexus ($65.99)is nimble and responsive enough that it can take beginning flyers into some intermediate stunts. The carbon frame cuts the weight down so it can handle lighter winds. The frame is also stiffer making the kite more responsive.

The wind range is 4-22 and the kite flies remarkably well thought the range. Spectra line comes with the kite, giving flyers a quick reaction when steering.

Prism Quantum.

Prism Quantum.

The Prism Quantum is the most expensive ($109.95) of our entry level kites, but Wow (!) what this kite can do.

Boasting a 7’ wingspan, spectra line, carbon fiber frame and ripstop nylon,/mylar laminate fabric, the kite is remarkably light in weight yet very strong with a wind range from 3-24 mph.. A nice feature for beginning flyers, there is a bungi cord at the base of the spine to absorb the shock of a nose first landing.

An exciting kite to fly, put this up in a 15 mph wind and hold on—it’s got some pull. However, that 7’ wingspan and lightweight materials also means it flies very well in light winds.

Add a tail to any kite and dress it up. For beginners it slows things down just a little bit, but mostly it dresses up the sky.

Annual Outer Banks Used Gear Sale Has Begun!

used-kayak-sup-surfboard-outer-banks-obx

September has arrived and the annual Used Gear Sale kicks off today at all five Kitty Hawk Surf Co. locations on the Outer Banks.

If you’re in the market for a gently used stand up paddle board, kayak, bicycle or surf board at a great price, then you’ll definitely want to stop by and check out the huge selection of used gear on sale from September 1 through 7, 2015.

Here’s a list of items that will be for sale starting on September 1, 2015. Please note that all items are sold on a first come, first serve basis! If you want the best used kayaks, paddle boards, surfboards and bicycles, then be sure to visit a Kitty Hawk Surf Co. store ASAP!


outer-banks-used-gear-sale-priceused-equipment-sale-kitty-hawk-surf-co

The Great Kite Debate

19' Teknacolor Delta Kite by Prism Kites.

19′ Teknacolor Delta Kite by Prism Kites.

Delta kite or parafoil? Which is the easiest to fly?

We’ve been having a bit of a debate here at Kitty Hawk Kites about this. On the one hand our buyer, Rachel Sanchez, has stated deltas are the easiest; the writer of this blog concedes that deltas are a great beginning kite but favors a parafoil.

Either choice is a wonderful kite for children, families or anyone who wants to put a kite in the sky and enjoy the beauty as it dances in the wind, so this is a debate of small portions of degree, not huge differences.

Delta Kites
Delta kite.

Delta kite.

Shaped like a triangle, delta kites are easy to assemble with three struts, two on the leading edges of the wings and one to hold the wing struts in place. With their flat surface, they capture the wind very effectively meaning they fly in light winds.

Because they have a flat surface, they are offered in an extraordinary array of designs and patterns—pirates, Disney characters, birds, multiple colors; the list seems infinite.

A 56” delta is a good place to start; their wind range is listed from 5-18, they don’t pull too hard and in a wind over 10mph a tail can be attached to make things a little fancier.

Parafoils
Parafoil 5 in flight.

Parafoil 5 in flight.

A parafoil has no struts, using the wind to fill baffles and lift it into the sky. Struts can be replaced, so breaking one is not the end of the world, but when flying with young children, it’s nice to know you don’t have to worry about that.

The shape is not what people often envision when they think of a classic kite, but don’t let that be a barrier. This is a remarkably easy kite to set up, it is virtually unbreakable and it packs into a small, easily stored bag.

For really young kids, the Parafoil 2 is probably a better choice—very light pull to the kite, it’s not quite as stable as the Parafoil 5 which adults and kids over nine years of age may prefer. The Parafoil 5 has enough lift that it can be nicely decorated with tails and spinners.