Putting Together Your Kite

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 36,833
    Chris Maxa, General Manager of Kite Loft, in Ocean City, Maryland demonstrates how to put your kite together.

    Chris Maxa

    Chris Maxa is the General Manager of The Kite Loft, Inc. located in Ocean City, Maryland. Chris has over 15 years of kite flying experience both privately and professionally. He has instructed and consulted thousands of people on kiting from small children to senior citizens. In addition, Chris has given hundreds of personal, hands-on flying lessons to aspiring kite flyers. Chris has played an interregnal role in helping The Kite Loft grow and maintain it’s status as the world’s largest retailer of kites. He has learned his craft from two of the kite industry’s pioneers and most respected figures, Bill Osche and Jay Knerr, both of whom have been voted “Kite Person of the Year.” Chris has attended multiple national kite conventions and trade shows. He has participated in numerous kite festivals as both a participant and as a vendor. Chris trains and coaches a team that displays the largest daily kite air-show on the East Coast, for millions of summer tourists each year. Chris is an avid kite flyer who enjoys flying recreationally in his free time. He has flown, and mastered, just about every kind of kite imaginable. In 2002, Chris graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore with a degree in Business Administration. He currently lives in Berlin, MD with his wife Kristie and daughter Marlow.

    Chris Maxa: Hi! My name is Chris Maxa. I am with the Kite Loft and today, we are going to learn how to fly a kite.

    In this particular segment, we are going to learn the anatomy and how to assemble your kite and get you flying. Weve already determined where a good place to fly is, what kite was right for you and some of the safety and other factors involved. Now, it's time to put this thing together and get started.

    First thing you do, is you obviously take it out of the bag. Just remove the header card and kite out of the bag. You can get a nice kite at any reputable kite shop, they have a knowledgeable staff and they will be able assist you in picking out the perfect kite for you.

    A lot of that depends of course on the fact as we talked about, such as where you are located geographically, the wind you have at your particular location and anything that you would like to do as far as personal taste and fun. The first thing you are going to want to do is to lay your kite out and see exactly what it is you are working with. I turned our particular kite on its back because I have two separate spars or rods which are going to need to be inserted. Some kites come assembled with this piece which is called the center spine, already intact. Ours however does not, if it is not, it's very simple. You take the end of your spar, insert it into the pocket at the top, stretch the kite, insert it into the pocket at the bottom, and make sure it snug all the way in there, a nice, clean smooth fit.

    The next thing you are going to do is you are going to take the remaining bar, which is called your crossbar in a delta kite and you are going to insert that into the side pockets. Again, make sure it goes in nice and smooth and get a good, clean, crisp bite in there. Take the other end and repeat that step. Now, let's flip it over and see what weve got. Now, we have our assembled kite. You will notice that in this delta shaped pattern, it's a smooth, large flat surface which is great for kite flying in almost any condition. Where do you want to attach your line? You will notice that this triangle piece that obtrudes from the kite is called the keel. On the keel, we have a little grommet with an eyelet. We are going to take our kite line and attach the swivel right through the grommet and clip it close. Very much like a fishing swivel, thats where you attach your kite line. Once thats in place, you are going to take any tails that you may have and you want to put on your kite and we are going to put them on either the wingtips, the center of the spine or the other wingtip. Before I do that, I want to explain a little bit about what the kite is, and what some of the parts are. I explained to you already that this is your keel with a grommet, which is where you attach your line. The long center run which we saw earlier and I inserted our spine into are sparred into is the spine. We also have the crossbar which ran across the back and give the kite width. That we insert it into the side pockets of which known as the leading edges. Thats these long smooth runs that will go on both sides of the kite that allows your kite to get the lift it needs to go up in the sky and look fantastic. Now, I am going to choose to attach my tails right to the wingtips. Simply insert the clip into a little tab thats located, either on the sides or like I said in the center. Some kits are different they may have only one in the center; some have all three, that just depends on which model you get. Alright, now that we have our line, we have it attached, we have our tails, what else do we need? We need a wind sock. This is going to give us some long line laundry and allow the kite to look nice flying in the air. You have chosen this one, make sure you have that ready with you as we are about to go, hit the beach and get flying.