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.

Steady Breeze-30th OBX Kite Competition

Poetry in motion. Kite flying during ballet competition.

Poetry in motion. Kite flying during ballet competition.

It was the steady winds that brought the Wright Brothers to the Outer Banks to learn how to fly and it’s those same breezes that bring kite flyers from all over the world to fly kites along these barrier islands.

With all that great wind it just seems natural that Kitty Hawk Kites would host a stunt Kite Competition, which they did this past weekend, September 12 and 13, and have been doing for the past 30 years.

The 30th Annual Outer Banks Stunt Kite Competition was a great example of why the Outer Banks is considered one of the best places in the world to fly a kite. Held at the Outer Banks Event Site in Nags Head, the winds held steady both days between 12-18 mph, which for some of the competitors was a real challenge—those are stronger winds than a lot of flyers are used to.

Nonetheless, the competitors put on a great show with the kite ballet Sunday afternoon an amazing display of how much control a flyer can have over a kite. Moves synchronized to music creates feast for the senses and to watch a kite dip, turn and stop in perfect time to the music is fascinating.

One of the great things about any kite event the Kitty Hawk Kites sponsors is everyone get to participate. Our kite buyer, Rachel Sanchez, was tireless in moving from one group of novices to another, showing everyone how to fly a stunt kite.

Decorating the sky with a giant panda and alligator.

Decorating the sky with a giant panda and alligator.

There was also a couple of power kites on the field to try. The HQ Kites Beamer 3 (meter—refers to size), was a blast to fly, but in those winds it was definitely a workout.

The Event Site in Nags Head is a nice wide open field with nothing to stop the wind, so it’s a great location for a competition. A lot of kites were filling the sky—the really big kites—and they were visible at least two miles from away.

Great day, great winds . . . a great time.

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Competition Fills OBX Fall Schedule

Handmade kite flying at the 2014 Outer Banks Stunt Kite Competition.

Handmade kite flying at the 2014 Outer Banks Stunt Kite Competition.

Summer on the Outer Banks is winding down, but there are still a lot of reasons to visit. More and more, it seems, fall is becoming a second season all it’s own with some great events that are really worth checking out.

The autumn—especially September—seems to have become the time for competition on the Outer Banks. Kitty Hawk Kites is sponsoring three competitions—with our 30th Annual Outer Banks Stunt Kite Competition the granddaddy of them all. Just about the only Outer Banks competition that has been around longer is our springtime Hang Gliding Spectacular.

Here are some upcoming competitions that seem to cover almost every sport on the Outer Banks.



Sep 6, 2015

Kitty Hawk Kites, Manteo

A family-friendly competition—free to the public. Whether you’re paddling for the first time or you’re already a pro, this is a great activity for all!



Sep 12, 2015 – Sep 13, 2015

Outer Banks Event Site, Nags Head

OBSKC is a regional kite competition bringing some of the nation’s best kite fliers to the Outer Banks. Two days of kite flying fun for the whole family. Saturday Kitty Hawk Kites and friends will host demos and a FREE family fun fly day. Enjoy massive display kites flying high, and participate in stunt and power kite lessons given by pros.



Sep 19, 2015

This is a kayak and SUP fishing tournament. All fish caught must be caught from your watercraft, no wading. Registration is online or at mandatory captains meeting September 19th at 6p.m. at Kitty Hawk Surf Co. in Nags Head.

This is a photo catch and release style tournament. Click here for rules and regulations. Competitors are allowed to launch at first light Saturday morning. All photos must be received by 5pm on Saturday in order to be eligible for judging. All pictures must show the fish length from upper lip to end of unpinched tail.



Sept. 20-26

Jennette’s Pier, Nags Head

Highlighting the best of East Coast amateur surfers, skim boarders and body borders, the ESAs are a must-see event. Don’t let the “amateur” label prejudice your view. The level of competition is outstanding and the water skills excellent.



Sept. 21-26

Hatteras Island

An annual part of the AWS pro circuit, the competition is intense and spectacular.

Rogallo Kite Festival

Francis Rogallo posing with his Rogallo Wing beside a NASA reentry capsule.

Francis Rogallo posing with his Rogallo Wing beside a NASA reentry capsule.

The 33rd Annual Kitty Hawk Kites Rogallo Kite Festival is coming up this weekend, June 5-7, at Jockey’s Ridge State Park. It looks as though there’s going to be some good winds for kite flying, the early forecast calls for a chance for rain but it stays below 50%, so it should be a great time on the dunes.

The festival is a fantastic at way to remember a wonderful and amazing man.

Francis Rogallo, who died at age 97 in 2009, was the father of hang gliding. A NASA scientist, in 1948 he and his wife, Gertrude, sitting around the kitchen table invented a steerable, flexible wing that did not require a frame. The significance of his patent, which he gave to the government of the United States at no charge, is apparent everywhere.

Every time a hang glider is seen, or a stunt kite, a paraglider or a modern parachute, that aircraft is a direct descendant of the work Mr. Rogallo did.

His deployable flexible wing was almost used instead of a parachute to bring early space capsules back to earth, but concerns about how to store the wing and how it would be rigged made the simpler basic parachute the better option.

As a person, Mr. Rogallo was one of the nicest people you could ever meet. A kind, very patient man, he genuinely seemed to enjoy talking to people about almost any subject. Although he is best known for inventing the Rogallo Wing, that was not his only significant contribution to flight. He also holds patents in the lateral control of aircraft and jet aircraft design.

Showing faith in his invention, Mr. Rogallo flew hang gliders until he was 80.

Top-ten Kites for Summer

Since we don’t want to “string” you along, we’ll get to the heart of the matter and tell you that these are ten of the coolest kites you’ll find anywhere on the Outer Banks.

And if you use promo code “JULY11BLOG” you’ll get $5 off of your $50 purchase. The offer’s good through July 28th, so shop away!

– 6.5-foot Festive Sky Delta Kite Package

– Parafoil 5 Single-line kite

– Rainbow 30-inch Taffeta Diamond Kite 

– Custom Kitty Hawk Kites Dragonfly Kite

– Opie Octopus Kite

– Skull Schooner Pirate Ship Kite

– Rainbow Flip Box Kite 

– Kitty Hawk Flyer Stunt Kite

– Prism 4-D Ultralight Stunt Kit

– Rev-SLE-15 Quad Line Stunt Kite 

And remember: $5 off your $50 purchase with offer code “JULY11BLOG”.

Happy flying!