Being single and always involved in one creative project after another, I've also found time for a variety of hobbies that are
just for fun. I introduced myself to stunt kites out of a mild curiosity in late 2003. I had no one to
influence me because it was very rare to see anyone flying anything but single line kites in Tucson. Like most, I
was put off by the high cost of even a basic stunt kite. My thinking was that I would most likely break it before I learned
the knack of flying. The Internet offered a variety of stunt kites in a wide price range, with very little
information for a novice to go on. I decided to purchase one kite and give it a try anyway, so I made my best guess.
I was quite lucky in picking my first stunt kite and found that flying a kite you can control was more fun than expected. Soon after,
I began researching for and purchasing a larger selection of stunt kites. Each stunt kite has its own handling characteristics.
They are designed to fly in certain wind ranges, at different speeds, each giving the flier a different experience. As you can see
by the size of my current collection, I have found them to have considerable entertainment value. I fly about once a week and usually
take only a couple of kites that will perform best in the winds at that time. For most fliers, three or four well chosen stunt kites
will enable them to fly in any wind conditions.
I have introduced a number of people to the fun of flying stunt kites, including my friend Hal who built and maintains this website.
At first, most people are hesitant to purchase a kite that costs more than fifty dollars. However, after their skill level has
increased and the fun factor has kicked in, most people find themselves searching the online stores looking for higher performance
kites, which could have a price tag as high or higher than three hundred dollars. On our
links page, are the online stores that we recommended.
For beginners, I would not recommend a delta shaped stunt kite but rather a foil, similar to my Prism Stylus P1. Generally speaking,
foils don't break when they hit the ground because they have no rigid components, as do delta shaped stunt kites. A foil will be a more
satisfying experience because it should survive the beginner's learning curve. Many who have started with a delta shaped stunt kite have
broken it at least once. However, after the beginner gets the hang of flying a foil, he should have the basic skills necessary to safely
start flying a delta shaped stunt kite. At that point, the foil becomes a learning tool for others who wish to be introduced to flying.
Unfortunately, the Prism Stylus P1 foil is no longer being manufactured. However, there is an alternative. Prism now makes a series
of foils called the Snapshot. The Snapshot comes in three sizes. The middle of the three, Version 1.4 which has a 56" wing span, is similar
in size to the previously made Prism P1. The smaller Snapshot, Version 1.2 which has only a 48" wing span, would only be effective in high wind
areas. The larger Snapshot, Version 1.9 which has a 76" wing span, has some very serious
pull due to its large surface area. If you are an experienced flyer, the larger power foils can be fun, though the potential for injury to yourself or to others is greater.
FYI, all of the stunt kites I feature on this page are not of the size that would pull down or drag an adult.
For those not familiar with stunt kites and their maneuverability, I'd
suggest going to You Tube http://www.youtube.com/. In their Search box, type in
"stunt kite team" to see some amazing stunt kite flying. Or, type in "foil power kites" to see what power foils are
about and why I would not advise big foils.
To launch a stunt kite, you lay your kite on the field and unwind your two control lines to their full length, walking into the wind. You take
the slack out of the lines, which makes the kite stand vertically. The wind fills the sail of the kite and it launches without having to take
a step. With practice, landing is also under the pilot's complete control.
Fly Safe! Power kites, such as the Snapshot foils, can easily pull you off your feet in a breeze and the larger
sizes could cause serious injury if mishandled. Flying safely is your responsibility, so use common sense when you fly and read all
instruction manuals carefully before your first flight. Do not fly near power lines, roads, vehicles, other people, or storms.
If you're a beginner, be sure you can safely control your kite in light winds before attempting to fly in stronger winds. Not for
children under 13. For the most part, this disclaimer applies to flying any kite, including delta shaped dual line stunts kites and quad