Kites

Kites

The following are the kites that I use.

Note: See KAP Technique for how they are launched and retrieved.

Kite Wind Ranges & Line

Kite Wind Ranges & Line

Note: the green bars are the wind range I look to fly the kite in, looking for good camera lift. The outline boxes are the quoted manufacturers (often optimistic) wind range for the kite, but this is not with anything attached.

The big thing that influences my kite choices is that, living in London, I am limited to flying most of the time in parks and open urban areas, where the wind can be temperamental and difficult. Sadly, I do not get to the coast or up on open moorland, as much as I would like. Consequently I favour frame kites (deltas, boxes, rokkakus etc.), rather than softies (flow forms, foils etc.) with their potential to collapse close to the ground. I would love to fly more softies, especially the larger 5 and 8m foils, but just don’t get the chance. C’est la vie.

Dan Leigh Carbon Whirlwind

Dan Leigh Whirlwind

Dan Leigh Whirlwind

The Carbon Whirlwind is a lovely light wind delta, but has such a narrow wind range (less than a normal Whirlwind) that it a little impractical for KAP – it is my impractical indulgence. 🙂

Below Bft 2 I tend to stay at home, however, if I do fancy putting something up for fun and lifting a light rig, then I will chance my arm with this lovely delta.

As with all my deltas, one of the simplest kites to assemble and dissemble. Packs down thin, but long and not easy to travel with; consequently, does not come on holiday with me.

Flown on 40daN Dacron Black line.

Dan Leigh Carbon Whirlwind

Dan Leigh Trooper

Dan Leigh Trooper

Dan Leigh Trooper

My first and favourite kite. My main strong wind lifter. Such an easy kite to fly in good strong winds, but must have a fuzzy tail to keep it stable. Seconds to assemble and have flying and the same to take down. No annoying bridle to adjust. No over taut line or stress hauling down – lovely. A gem.

One of the simplest kites to assemble and dissemble. Packs down thin, but long and not easy to travel with; consequently, and sadly, does not come on holiday with me.

Flown on 110daN Dacron Black line.

Dan Leigh Trooper

Dan Leigh Wildcard

Dan Leigh Wildcard

Dan Leigh Wildcard

Another indulgence, rarely flown for KAP, as Rokkaku, Triton, and Cody pack down smaller and are easier to travel with.

Dan Leigh Wildcard

Didakite’s Cody 30

Cody 30

Didakite’s Cody 30

A majestic kite with an interesting history. A good and very stable lifter, probably my most stable lifter which never seems to do anything impetuous. Is relatively heavy as a kite, so needs good mid-wind to get it up and lifting.

It does take a bit of assembly (easier if you know the elastic band trick: link), but it is not advised in a strong wind with just one of you. I tried and broke it 🙁  Packs down reasonably well, at under a meter in length, so relatively easy to transport.

Flown on 110daN Dacron Black line.

Link: Didakites Cody 30

Didakite’s Rainbow Rokkaku

Didakites Rainbow Rokkaku

My occasionally temperamental 2m rokkaku. My main mid-range wind lifter. Not an easy to kite fly without practice, as the bridle needs to be adjusted each flight and be spot on – unlike the Triton, its adjustment is sensitive. It pays to spend time understanding how the kite flies and how it should be set-up and tuned (some of the aspects are documented here: link).

When it does fly, however, it is incredibly stable, nailing itself to the sky, and incredibly strong in lifting – potentially too much in excessive winds.

Easy to assemble/disassemble; but a kite I often have no choice but to walk down. Packs down in two ways, the normal (quickest) way is to not take out all the spars leaving it narrow but long. It can, however, be packed down further with all the spars taken out, making it an excellent travel kite to fit in a suitcase. Is usually my mid-wind holiday companion.

Flown on 110daN Dacron Black line.

Link: Didakites Rainbow Rokkaku

InToWind UltraFoil 15

UltraFoil 15

UltraFoil 15

A kite that loves clean constant strong wind, very happy and stable when it has it; however, put it in a park or any dirty wind area and it is like a badly misbehaved child. A delta is easier to launch in dirty wind.

No assembly, you just shake it! Like all soft foils packs away small and easy to travel with is any suitcase or bag. Is my strong wind holiday companion. Always flies with a tail.

Flown with 110daN Dacron Black line.

Link: InToWind Ultrafoil 15

IntoWind Triton

ITW Triton

ITW Triton

My main light-wind lifter. Looks nice. Another kite that needs a tail, primarily to stop it overflying. Has an adjustment bridle, but is not temperamental like the Rokkaku and does not need that much fine tuning.

Always flies with a long fuzzy-tail as it naturally overflies, and stalls, if there is no tail.

An easy kite to assemble/assemble. Packs down relatively small and is not as long packed as the deltas, so travels OK (but at 1.2m would not fit your average suitcase.

Flown on 65daN line.

Link: InToWind Triton

Travelling

If I am traveling on holiday and need to pack small, I almost always take:

  • Ultrafoil & Rokkuku
  • Triton if I am in a car, rather than packed for airplanes.
  • 110daN line
  • Nylon loop & Eight
  • Wind meter
  • Rig (Kapshop Simple 1), pendulum & carabiner
  • Camera & Batteries.
  • Gloves

Other Equipment

Tails

Fuzzy tails – 2m, 4, & 8m. All on swivels.

fuzzy tails

fuzzy tails

Occasionally, and sometimes for fun, I will also attach some laundry, a fish etc. to act as a small drogue. Usually attached to either the tow point or the tail of the kite.

Spirit of Air Windsock Fish

Line

  • Dacron Black line: 40daN(85lb), 65daN(140lb) & 110daN(240lb); on simple 20 & 25cm plastic halo reels.
Reel & Dacron Black Line

Reel & Dacron Black Line

Anchor

Loop, Carabiner & Tie-off Eight

Ground Anchor

Ground Anchor

Wind & Weather Help

  • Turnigy Mini Anemometer (Wind Meter)
Turnigy Mini Anemometer

Turnigy Mini Anemometer

  • Weather & Windfinder Apps 
Windfinder App

Windfinder App

Windfinder App

  • Met Office App

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Met Office App

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