Wednesday, August 2, 2017

No One Said Kite Flying Is Easy

Except for all those salesmen selling me all those kites, no one said kite flying was going to be an easy hobby.  It takes dedication and coordination.  I only have one of those attributes.  What they DID say was once you get the hang of it, it will be so much FUN!!  You know I love a challenge!!  What better way to acquire skills than trying to learn to fly ONE KITE??   Why learning to fly MANY kites of course, because each and every one is like a different animal.  Consider the difference between a teddy bear and a grizzly!!

It was a gorgeous day with the weather guessers saying the winds would be in the 9-10 range.  Perfect.  I gathered up all my stuff, sprayed myself from head to toe with greasy sun screen and headed out the door.  I only had to come back once to get my iPod.  You've GOT to have music to fly with.

I walked the quarter mile to the beach, checked the wind and picked my setup spot.  Just to be sure I'm far enough away from the bushes, I actually count my steps.  I only need 80 feet, but I always count to 100.  No use taking the walk of shame to unhook your kite from sticks and stones.

I grabbed my lines, held them in place with my handy dandy kite stick and began the walk.  The line flowed off the spool like a pro until I was in the middle of the weeds.  Wait ... what happened?  Didn't I count right?  It was then I realized I had the 120 foot lines out.  RATS!!  I wound them back up, walked to the start where I grabbed my bag and KEPT walking another 50 feet.  I unwrapped for the second time.

Now to set up my new EYES kite from Bazzer Poulter in Australia (this picture off the web).  I probably should set these up a time or two BEFORE getting on the beach.  It was so windy I KNEW there was no way this was going to work.  With no venting at all, it would drag me kicking and screaming down the sand.
I wrapped it back up and made the 120' deep-sand walk to the kite bag.  Take two ... I grabbed my all time favorite John Barresi B-Pro vented.  This kite is so well made it's the easiest to fly ... so it's always a good choice in windy situations.

It drug me right down the beach.  Hmmm ... maybe the weather guessers weren't so right after all.  I made adjustments in the lines, flew some more, made more adjustments and actually remembered SOME of the tricks before being drug along the beach again, but at least this time not quite so far.
Time for a different kite.  As I took it apart and made the long deep-sand walk BACK to my bag, I spotted this guy overhead.  Aren't planes supposed to have identifying numbers underneath??  A nice diversion anyway.
Back at my kite bag AGAIN, I grabbed my Elliot Shook kite.  Joanna once said I can fly this in any big wind ... I set it up.  There's so much more to kites than just flying them.  There are many different weights of spars that hold the sails so they can be flown.  For the life of me I can't remember what ones are in what kite.  Some are better in heavy winds ... stiffer and less likely to break.  The Pros can feel the difference.  They all feel the same to me.  

The Shook went up like a dream after I spent twenty minutes trying to figure out how to retie the bridle (what the four lines attach to) that came loose from the kite.  Every place it attaches must be tied exactly right or it will fly crooked ... more likely not fly at all and make big crashing sounds when it hits the ground.  

That's when my music died.  I heard something faint like "battery" and click ... it was gone with the wind.  No worries, I kept going until I stepped backwards and tripped over my kite bag.  Okay, I get the message.  Time to call it a day!! 

Just one more thing ... I tried to hold the two handles (four lines) with one hand for an in-the-sky picture.  The kite headed straight for the ground.  I dropped my phone in the sand and grabbed both handles, saving it in the nick of time.  As I said before, there will be NO sky pictures.  I will probably never get all the sand out of the charging connection on my phone.
With the lines all wrapped up, I was only able to find the kite bag because I had tripped over it, dislodging enough sand for it to be seen.  It took me another ten minutes to clean all the blowing sand out of the bag for the walk back to the car.  As I turned around for one last look, the beach was essentially empty.  The perfect time to fly!!  
I'll try again another day ................ at least I'm dedicated!!


  1. Try setting up one of your smaller Cameras on a Tripod and use the Timer to get your Sky Shots.
    Finding a nice Picnic Table will allow you the space to sort your Lines and Kites so the next time you hit the beach you'll look like the Pro that Nick claims you are.
    Invert the Charge Port on your phone in the down position and gently tap in the palm of your other hand. After doing that a few times blow across the Port and the vacuum created should completely remove all the sand.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

    1. Thank you for the tips ... I do have a gorilla tripod I might be able to set up. I'd take a chair out with me, but I haven't found one light enough to carry more than 50 feet!!!

  2. And so another words you're saying you had a good day at the beach ✅

    1. Exactly ... any day at the beach is a good day, right??