Perhaps you have never heard the phrase before. But understanding how the wind window works is critical to flying and safely landing your kite.
Understanding the Wind Window
The wind window is a quarter of a sphere. The bottom is the ground in front of you. The window then extends straight overhead (12 o’clock), all the way to your left (9 o’clock), and all the way to your right (3 o’clock). It may be helpful to imagine you are standing in the center of a snow globe. In that case, the wind window is all the glass you can see in front of you.
When the wind is directly at your back, your kite will catch the wind and fly within the wind window. You will notice that in certain parts of the window, the wind feels stronger than in others. That is because the wind window comprises of different areas of strength. The edges of the window will be the weakest, and the center will be the strongest.
Putting It to Use
Let us imagine you are launching a power kite. It is unfurled directly in front of you, with the lines fully extended, and the wind directly at your back. Once you launch the kite and fly it straight up, it will travel through the power zone and gain strength and speed. If you continue flying on this upward path, it will reach the top of the wind window, directly overhead, at which point it will stall, or hover gently. You can then direct the kite to either side (at the edge of the window). You will notice the wind is mellow along this arc. However, if you dip it back down and fly at a 45-degree angle in front of you, the kite will gain speed and pull much more strongly. That is because it is in the power zone, where you can maneuver the kite side to side and fly at top speed. Directing the kite back to the edge of the window is the easiest way to land it without crashing.
For kite sports, such as kiteboarding, snowkiting, or kite buggying, understanding and using the wind window to accelerate, or slow down (and park your kite) is crucial to riding safely and preventing a “kitemare.” It will also prevent unnecessary crashes and stress on your kite parts!
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