Single Line Kite Guide

Single-line is the largest and most diverse category of kites.  From the basic diamond shape to highly advanced designs, single-line kites span skill levels, price range and wind conditions.  In this guide we will examine single-line kites in depth.

If you are simply looking for products on our site for a specific category of single-line kites, you can follow the links below:

What to Look For

What elements of a single-line kite are most important?  If you have ever built a kite for a school assignment or a craft project, you probably understand that a kite can be designed from a wide range of materials – even a plastic grocery bag can be turned into a kite.

Modern kites available for purchase are often designed from a Ripstop Nylon or Ripstop Polyester material.   The kite sails are lightweight and durable for optimal performance.  They are literally designed to prevent tears and rips thereby resulting in longer life.

Similarly, a homemade or low cost kite may use wooden sticks or spreaders to create the skeletal shape.  A higher quality (and therefore higher value) kite will often utilize fiberglass or carbon rods.  Once again, these materials are lightweight and durable ensuring you’ll have a functioning kite for years.

Certain kites, usually called parafoils, are flown without rods or spreaders.  The wind creates the shape of the kite, similar to a parachute.  Usually, these kites can be packed very compactly and are great for travel.

Size, Tails, and easy fliers

Size - Determining the appropriate size of your single-line kite is most important for wind conditions and skill level.  A larger kite will require less wind to stay aloft, while a smaller kite will fly safely in higher wind conditions.  Small children may have trouble handling the larger versions of single-line kites.  Size is also a determining factor in the stability of flight so it is important to strike the right balance for each individual pilot.

Tails – Sometimes referred to as kite laundry – are used for both decorative purposes and flight stability.  Many
manufacturers have variations of an Easy Flier, Best Flier, Great Flier, etc.  These are often delta-shaped kites in varying sizes. They are provided with pre-attached tails for the optimal balance in flying ease and stability. 

Easy Fliers – Are good kites to choose if you have experienced trouble flying in the past or are looking for something very easy to fly.  Other kites to consider for easy flying and launch are classic diamonds and deltas.  Quality kites in these categories are sold ready to fly and may or may not include a tail - depending on the design and pilot preference.

Controls

Most single-line kites come equipped with a control system or flight line.  For more advanced or higher-end single-line kites the control system may have to be purchased separately due to the varying preferences of experienced fliers.

There are two primary control systems that you will find with most single-line kites:

The first is the simple traditional spool that is easy to lengthen or shorten during flight as conditions change.

A second control system often used is the flight ring.  This has gained popularity as it can be easier to reel in the line after flight or to avoid tangles. 

The choice between these two systems is very much about pilot preference

Most included flying lines on quality kites are between 150’ and 300’ long.  There are many more advanced control systems and differing line lengths available for purchase.  You will quickly learn your individual preference for control system and line length.  Before purchasing an after-market line of substantial length, check with your local jurisdiction about allowable altitudes.

Unique Designs

When searching for a single-line kite, you will encounter many unique designs outside of the traditional delta and diamond shapes.  These may include birds, ships, planes, dragons and much more.  Often described as beginner kites, these may include unique features like flapping wings or rotating propellers. 

The variations inherent with these kites will be optimal wind range.  For example, most of the bird kites sold in our store require at least 8 mph of wind to launch and maintain altitude whereas a traditional diamond, delta or best flier could be launched in 4 - 5 mph winds.

Indoor Kites

There is also a wide range of kites available (often called gliders) that are designed to fly indoors or in 0 mph wind.  Most of these kites are capable of flying outdoors in low to medium wind conditions as well.  When flying indoors, the pilot will take a much more interactive role in controlling the kite.  Take a look below at this video of an indoor kite from Flying Wings. 

 

Keep this in mind as you search, but always remember quality is the number one factor in selecting a great single-line kite.

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