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 of them, though. So we compiled this post to help folks who are looking at 200-300 kites in a well-stocked kite store to choose the kite that’s right for them.
There are four basic kinds of kites—single line, dual-line stunt kites, power foil kites, and quad line stunt kites. Within each type, there is an infinite selection, but those are the basics.
Single Line Kites
A single line connects the kite to the winder to make these kites as simple and playful as childhood. Single Line Kites are the easiest kites to fly. They are great for the young or young at heart. 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, then just run into the wind and the kite goes into the air. The classic diamond is actually the hardest to get into the air, while the delta is the easiest to fly.
Two-line Stunt Kites
Two flying lines allow you to maneuver the kite around the sky with loops and tricks. Two-line stunt kites are built for speed, durability, and fun! Challenge yourself with these exciting, hands-on kites. A fun, fun kind of kite to fly. Two lines control the flight of the kite and allow 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. They 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.
Power and Foil Kites
Harness the wind to power yourself land or snow. These 3-4 line kites, known as power or foil kites, can be flown on a control bar or handles. Power kites are perfect for those wanting to experience the thrill of wind-powered fun. One of the perks of foil kites is that they roll up into a compact bag.
Quad Line Stunt Kites
True 4 line kites are also known as quad line kites. There are some power or foil kites that have 4 lines, but only two are true flying lines and two are break lines. 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.
We hope this has helped you choose the perfect kite. Now get outside and enjoy flying your new kite!