Kite flying is a great way to spend an afternoon with kids. It’s inexpensive (kites are cheap), it lots of fun even for adults and it forces everyone to be active.
But it’s not so fun if there isn’t enough wind to propel the kite. You’ll struggle to get the kite flying high.
But that doesn’t mean you have to pack your kite and go home if there’s little wind. With the right flying techniques, you can still fly a kite in low wind.
Here some helpful tips on how to fly a kite in low wind.
Make sure you have the right kite
Some kites are designed to fly well in all wind conditions. They typically have a large wingspan – up to 1.5m – that allows them to take advantage of a slight breeze.
They are also very lightweight, which lets them soar higher and fly easily in low wind.
When shopping for a kite, look for one that’s designed to work in different weather conditions including low winds.
Try to avoid 3D kites shaped like an octopus or some other animal.
Look for a kite with a triangle design. It can be in the design of an animal like a dragon or eagle, but it should have the streamlined triangular shape of traditional kites.
These kites capture wind better than 3D kites, making for a better flying experience in low wind.
Another shopping tip: kites with tails fly much better. They maintain stability in strong winds and glide smoothly in light winds.
Use the right flying technique
When it is sufficiently windy, you can just release your kite and it will soar without a problem. But when it’s less windy, you have to be smarter with your flying technique.
Here are the best tips.
- Stand with your back to the wind. This allows the kite to catch the wind and rise up on its own.
- Maintain tension. As the kite starts to fly, pull back on the line to create tension in the line. You can do this by walking back or pulling on the line. Maintaining tension allows the kite to climb.
- Make sure you don’t apply too much tension as that could drag down the kite. It’s already struggling to climb in the low wind, don’t make it worse.
- When the kite is up in the air, judge how much tension to maintain depending on how the kite is flying. If it seems to be stalling or falling, loosen the tension.
When there’s low wind, you usually just need to get the kite flying to enjoy stronger winds higher above the ground.
If the usual launch techniques don’t work, you’ll need to give the kite a hand.
The best way to do this is to have a flying partner – it can be a friend or a family member. Ask them to go downwind and hold the kite high above their heads.
On your word they release the kite and you pull on the line to tighten tension, allowing the kite to rise.
Try another day or location
If everything fail, pack for the day and try another time when the weather forecast is more promising. All kites, regardless of design, require a minimum level of wind speed to fly.
You can also try another location. Beaches are perfect for kite flying. They have consistent wind that makes for perfect round the clock kite flying conditions.
If you are too far away from a beach, look for an open field away from trees and buildings as this can reduce wind speed.