What is a Power Kite and How does it Work?
These aerofoil wings made from toughened high performance fabric are huge amounts of fun. Also called traction kites these are specifically designed to generate impressive amounts of power.
The common types are as follows:
- Leading edge inflatable - single skin kite with inflatable bladders
- Foil - soft kites with lateral cells which inflate to create an aerofoil
- Rigid frame - combining a single skin and a rigid frame, these are common for kite surfing
- Soft single skin - commonly used just for flying, they are simple and hence more affordable
What Size Power Kite Should I get?
This all depends on your level of expertise. If you've not flown one before a two line kite is the usual starting place, although these can be a bit of a handful to launch by yourself. Four line kites have the advantage of being easily launched alone and of course work well with kite surfing boards and land buggies etc, which is where the fun really starts.
The key thing to realise though is that bigger is not better. These things are powerful and if you're overpowered you're not in control and you will not be safe. 2-3.5 square metres is a good place to start for the average person. Just to clarify, these sizes are calculated by multiplying the wingspan times the kite cord, or front to back length of the kite while flat on the ground.
How do I Choose a Kite?
First you need to be realistic about your level of experience. Don't go for a larger power kite unless you're confident you can handle it.
Secondly, you'lll need a kite which works for the way you plan to use it. This might be kitesurfing, landboarding, buggying etc.
Also, what are the average wind conditions like in your local area? How much do you weigh? Do you have a budget in mind?
Please do give us a call if you'd like to chat about a specfic choice and how that might work for you. We're passionate about kiting and with a lot of experience to help you make the right choice.
Why are Power Kites so expensive?
We are sometimes asked why power kites are so expensive?
It's a fair question, they're certainly premium kites but if you're entrusting yourself to a fast moving object in sometimes extremely testing conditions wouldn't you want it to be well made?
Designed to handle tremendous lateral and vertical pull, as well as the rigours of salt water, power kites are designed to be extremely strong yet lightweight and well crafted.
Add to this that the industry is still relatively young and somewhat niche, and you see that power kites are made in small numbers to a high standard and as such come with a price tag.
Over the coming years we expect to see the prices come down substantially and, of course, evolutions in aerodynamics mean this sport is only going to get more fun.