We’re often asked, by people who want to get into power kiting, what kite to buy as their first kite. Here are Paul’s recommendations:
An average adult should start with a 3.5m to 4.0m four-line fixed power kite which will get you going in most wind conditions but with much less chance of injury compared to the bigger kites. That size will also allow you to progress to buggying or landboarding without having to buy another kite.
If you want to buy new:
If you want to buy second hand:
Look on Ebay, or similar sites, ensure the kite is in mint condition, ready to fly (RTF), and has no tears or repairs.
- Flexifoil Rage or Blurr or Bullet or Blade (Generation 3 onwards)
- Ozone Octane or Method or Flow or Access (Generation 2 onwards)
- HQ Beamer (Generation 2 onwards) or Apex (Generation 2 onwards)
- Peter Lynn Hornet or Reactor or Rebble
Children and low power kiting:
If you are buying for a child (6+) or you are an adult who wants the fun of power kiting but without serious power or lift then buy a kite between 1.5m and 2.5m and I recommend the HQ Alpha. Their bomb proof build quality means that they survive being hammered into the ground over and over again.
I should mention at this point that there are many cheaper kites available than the ones I have recommended. Some of these work just fine and would suffice while you learn but others fly terribly and have poor build quality. This makes it harder to learn to fly and they don’t last as long when, as a beginner, you spend plenty of time smacking them into the ground! If you are looking to buy a kite that isn’t mentioned in this article and would like to make sure it’s worth buying then please ask about it on the Kite Sheffield Facebook page.
I have recommended Flexifoil Blades (pictured above 4th generation 4.9m). From a safety point of view you need to know that they generate a lot more lift than the other kites I have mentioned which some people say is not ideal for learning. I learnt to fly and kite buggy with Blades and have used them for years in taster sessions and kiting lessons so maybe I’m biased, but my opinion is that as long as you learn to fly them in low winds and know that they can easily take you off your feet in stronger winds you should be OK.
Ozone Pure / Ozone Access / HQ Apex:
These and other depowerable kites give the pilot the ability to change how much power the kite generates while flying it. This means that when other kiters get a smaller or larger kite out as the wind changes you can adjust yours (unless your are at the edge of the kites wind range) and keep on flying. The downsides are that they cost more, you get less power per square meter, and they must be used with a harness so the kite is attached to you at all times. Due to their reduced power per square meter an average adult should start with a 6m to 8m depower kite (4m for a child).
Setting up your new kite:
If you buy a new kite (or a badly set up second hand one) the most common mistake I see is with the colours of the lines, handles, bars, kite killers, etc. If they are colour coded red and blue/green, like most are these days, then RED IS LEFT and BLUE/GREEN IS RIGHT.