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.
Hi, I am Chris Maxa. I am with Kiteloft; today we are going to learn how to fly a stunt kite. In this segment we going to go through our pre launch setup in getting the kite and kite line prepared to fly. Weve already learned which kite we would like, weve picked up the perfect kite. Weve determined which one would be best for our needs, for our specific situations, which wind we have and where we would like to fly. Today, were going to be flying here at the beach. We have a beautiful offshore breeze, its blowing about 14 miles an hour, perfect kiting weather. First thing were going to want to do is to get the kite. Once we have assembled it, set it up and youve learned where all the parts were and you learned what each function of the kite is, we are going to take our kite line and our kite and get it prepared to fly.
This is done by first allowing your kite to just rest on its back, here at the beach weve a luxury of kicking sand on it. If youre at a flying field with a grass or on a open park, dont worry about it, kites are not going anywhere, youre close enough so you can grab it. Were going to take our kite line, which is on a blue winder here. Youre going to unwrap it from the elastic band which holds it together. On the kite winder, we have two sets of line. They are both parallel, equal of the same length and thickness.
What to do, is you take your kite flying straps, you leave them down wind where youre going to be actually doing the flying and were going walk our kite down wind to where we are going to be flying and launching the stunt kite. Again I like to kick a little bit of sand on the line, so that they are not going to fly away. What I like to do, is to assemble the kite, have the winder, which is wound like a bow cleat, its a figure eight (8) pattern on the winder.
Take our kite, I like to grab it by the nose, it allows the wind to shear off the kite and it creates less difficulty in maneuvering and handling it. Were going to take our winder and with our left hand pull the line as we walk down wind. Remember to allow the line to become untangled and to flow freely off of your winder.
Youre going to be allowing the entire length of kite line to fly off the winder. This is a very different than a single line kite where you can allow as much or as little line to fly off the spool as you like. In stunt kite flying, you need to have the entire length of line removed.
Okay, now that weve gone to the end of our line, we are going to notice we have two loops to attach to our two toe points on our bridle of our stunt kite. Youre going to take the winder hopefully youve a pair of pants that have pockets, you can stick in your pockets or simply stick in your belt loop and thats fine. You are then going to then be keeping your winder in your pocket, until later, we dont need it until we are done. What you want to do is you want to allow the kite to flop backwards on to its back as the wind comes down and over it. Here at the beach weve nice luxury of kicking a little bit of sand on it to allow the stay put. If you are at the park or at a field, dont worry about it, the kite will be just fine with you sitting here on it.
What we are going to do next is were going to create a lark's head knot to attach it to our bridle of our kite. Its a very simple knot; its done by simply taking your thumb and your forefinger, putting it through the loop of your stunt line, pinching around the outside of the loop and then tightening. What this does is, this creates a knot to tighten upon itself and actually get stronger, the tighter it pulls.
We take the loop of our lark's head knot and we attach it to the toe point on our bridle. Simply slide it over the top of the knot and allow the knot to tighten. Youre going to repeat this process with the other one. Again, finger and thumb through the loop, pinch around the outside and put your lark's head right on top of the toe point of the bridle. You want to make sure that both knots are tight, even, clean. Again your kite enjoys being symmetrical nice and neat, assembled correctly, what I like to do at this point is top grab both stunt kite lines, keeping separated and walk back to where I am going to be doing my flying. Any twists in the line, dont worry about it, they are going to work themselves out as you walk towards your kite, all the while keeping one of each line in each hand. This will allow the line to remain separate and youre going to want to grab both handles, take a look back at your kite line and your kite, and you want to make sure that your two flying lines are parallel and equal distance apart back towards the kite. Its always going to be reminiscence to a pair of train tracks running from you to fly down towards your kite. Everything looks good from here that concludes the pre launch setup in getting the kite ready to fly. Next segment, were doing to work on learning the wind window.