The Assembly and Anatomy of a Stunt Kite

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 52,924
    Chris Maxa from The Kite Loft demonstrates the anatomy and the assembly of your new stunt kite.

    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.

    Hi, my name is Chris Maxa, from the Kaylock. Today we are going to learn how to fly a stunt kite. In this segment, I am going to go over the anatomy and the assembly of your new stunt kite. You can purchase the stunt kite at any reputable kite shop, they have a wide variety and knowledgeable staffs that will help you pick the one thats right for you. Weve already determined where it will be a great place to fly and some of the safety involved. So lets get started and build this kite. First thing you do is you want to take it out of the bag, obviously. Once we have done that, you are going to notice that the kite has three struts or spreaders, two of them that are identical and one which is shorter than the other two.

    We are going to fold out our kite and see what we have here. Stunt kites are constructed in a delta wing manner, meaning it has the Greek letter Delta shape to them. These kites have the similar properties of all stunt kites. In assembling your stunt kite, the first thing you want to do is to take the shortest of the three spurs. You are going to assemble this by inserting the rod into the fitting at the top part of your kite. I am going to go through what some of these pieces and parts are called a little later in this segment, but for now I am going to use laymens terms and just talk you through assembling it first. You are going to take your top spreader, stick in there good, dont be timid, stuff it in there nice and tight, do that on both sides. What that does is, that gives your kite some depth. It will allow it to be spread out and easily work on the rest of the kite. The next thing you want to do, is you will see this series of string, this is called a bridle. Basically, a bridle is the steering mechanism in which the kite in turn steers. We want to make sure that this out of the way; that will allow us to proceed with our two lower spreaders, which are these two identical pieces here. Now various stunt kite are constructed differently and you will might note on yours that this center T piece which is it called, is a little different than the one that I have in front of me. Dont worry; it's actually quite simple to figure out. In my particular model, I am going to insert the lower spreader through the rubber fitting. I am going to in turn take the other lower spreader and put that in the center as well. Remember how I said you want to make sure you keep these out of the way? Stunt kites love symmetry, if anything is non-symmetrical on your kite, it's going to hinder the way it flies. I simply pull this to the top of the kite, just to remove them from the action. As in the top, we want to make sure that we stick our lower spreaders into the fittings nice and tight. Again dont be shy, stick them in there good. Now that we have three pieces that came separate from the kite assembled, it's time to figure out what to do with these. These are called stand offs, they give the kite depth. Without it, it would be a flat surface which will be pretty tough to do tricks and maneuvers and make a stunt kite, so what you do, is you are going to pick your stand offs and insert them into your stand off fittings, which you locate it again along the bottom spreader. I am going to go over on some of these times a little more in depth in a second. These should slide easily into your kite and if they are for some reason off center, thats going to hinder the way that kite flies. Take an imaginary line, you cut your kite down the center spine. The kite should be symmetrical on both sides and if it's not, that maybe a problem in flight. So simply move the piece to the center position where this is a perpendicular 90 degree angle and that will be best for flying. Now, that looks like a stunt kite. I am going to over some of the parts that we just put together, as you heard me mention, these are called spreaders, this is a lower spreader and this is the top spreader. This particular piece that goes up and down the center is called a spine, which is like yours. Also you have the nose of the kite, which is generally made out of a very tough Kevlar material. Longest and most pronounced part of the kites are these leading edges. Why are they leading edges? Because they lead the kite through the sky as you are flying. Lastly we have this series of ropes, which I already mentioned is your bridle. Bridles are very important, that will be number one thing that can hinder your flight in the air. You want to make sure that your bridle is nice and balanced, even and symmetrical in all ways. Thats the anatomy of your kite as far as the skeleton goes. Some other terms that maybe Ive used, is the big area with all of the cloth, this cloth is a Rip-stop nylon material, is known as your sail. Last thing, we are going to go back to our kite bag and pull out our kite line. This kite line actually has two separate lines on it, they are located on a winder cart which is not used in the flying of the kite. These lines differ from one line kite, in the fact that these are precut, pre-measured, equal lengths of line, in difference to a single line where you let it up as high as you would like. These lines are precut and measured, because you are going to be the pilot. Now that we know how to assemble our stunt kite, now we know what some of the parts are called, lets go ahead to beach.