Chris MaxaChris 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 I am Chris Maxa I am with the Kite Loft. Today we going to learn how to fly a sport kite. In this segment were going to learn how to control our kite. Were going to do various maneuvers and actually pilot our kite from the air by doing left and right turns as well as some loops and some other fun stuff. Were going to re launch our kite again by putting our hands through the loops, taking a step back pulling down to our side, as we learned in the last segment in re-launching.
Once the kite is in the air and you found a comfortable balance, this is where pilot in a kite comes in to play and you take over. Sport kite flying is not much more than an extension of your hands through the line to the kite. What I mean by that is your kite will mimic the actions of your hands. If I, for example, pull my left arm, the kite is going to go left. If I pull my right arm, the kite is going to dive back to the right. You can see that as we talked about the Power Zone and Wind Window earlier, the kites pulling it strongest right out in front of me. All I am doing is the series of back and forth maneuvers by pulling my arms left and right. This is where the sensation of flying actually comes in to play. You can see that the kite, if you dont pay attention, can easily get away from you. Safety is of utmost importance when we fly stunt kites, as you can see theres people all over the place here and you want to be very- very conscience of that as you fly.
Somebody can get really hurt, if you dont pay attention and you fly, there might be a bad situation. Dont let that destroy your fun. What I want emphasize, is the kite will do what you command it to do. You want to make sure that you keep your hands in front of you. Pretend like you have a pair of hand cuffs on and then there its hard for you to fly. You dont want to get all out here on the sides, where its difficult to control.
You want to be real precise, real tight and real smooth in your control. By simply pulling back and forth, left and right on the kite line, my kite is an extension of my body. You can see that I can make it go quicker or slower depending on how fast and how slow I pull my left and right arms back and forth. Explore the wind window by venturing out to the sides where it pulls a little less, to both sides and then flying it back through the center, where our window is strongest and it gives much faster and pulls a lot harder. If you want to pull off maneuvers such as loops, it looks complicated but its really not. All you want to do is an extension of a turn. So if I want to do a counter clock wise loop, Im simply going to pull on my left hand and allow it to keep pulling. Now you will note that my kite lines are twisted. Thats okay, you can still fly the kite with twisted lines as long as you remember that if you do three left hand loops, youve got a pull on your right line and the three hand loops in order to untangle your line.
This gets your kite back to the point where you were, when you launched it. Remember, be vigilant in watching your kite at all times, it is important and safety is a concern but with lot of try, little bit of practice and lot of time, hopefully you can be an expert too. Just to recap pulling on left line allows your kite to go left and pulling on the right line allows your kite to go right. In the next segment, well show you how to land this sucker.