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Go fly a kite!

Kites are a fun, safe, low-impact outdoor activity. There's also learning which accompanies the fun - construction, aerodynamics and the behavior of the wind. Kite flying can be enjoyed alone, with friends or as a parent/child activity. Age and gender are irrelevant, and the low cost makes the fun accessible to all.


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Anatomy of a Kite

The LifeStraw Portable Water Filter

Spine - the framework upon which the kite is built. A vertical stick, usually wood or plastic.

Spar - the cross-piece, often curved or bowed.

Cover - plastic, paper or fabric covering material which catches the wind.

Bridle - string attached to the frame and hanging down. The kite line attaches to the bridle.

Kite Line - the line from the bridle to the person flying the kite.

Tail - a long ribbon or string with knotted bits of material which helps balance the kite. Not all kites need a tail.

Reel - the spool you wind the kite line around.

Kites vary in design and construction, from very simple to very complex. There are some basic requirements, however, which you should look for in any model of kite:
  • Long line - estimate what you think you'll need and get twice as much line. 500' of line is adequate for average kite flying.
  • Strong line - don't scrimp on the line. Thin, braided line is strong, durable and low-stretch.
  • Size - small kites are easier to transport and launch, especially for beginners.
  • Design - simple designs are easier to repair and often easier to launch and fly. A simple, inexpensive kite is also less painful to lose if there's a mishap.
  • Bright Color - a climbing kite gets small in a hurry - you want to be able to see it!
  • Reel - a larger reel pays out and rewinds the line faster and easier. Get a good reel - you'll still have it even if the kite breaks free or gets hung up.
  • .....................Caution: Be careful to keep your kite well away from trees and power lines!