What to expect
Stunt kiting is a sport. It’s all about flying kites while performing tricks and loops. The kites are usually triangle-shaped and are made from lightweight materials to help them fly. They’re controlled by two lines, which allow the pilot to direct the kite and perform tricks.
What you’ll learn
Stunt kiting is a specific skill, but you’ll have to be willing to jump in and stick at it to develop other skills like coordination. You probably won’t be able to do tricks and stunts straight away, but there’s no rush; just pick yourself (and your kite) up and try again.
Flying a kite’s all about aerodynamics – there’s plenty to learn, so if you’re interested, ask the person leading the activity to explain how it all works.
Stunt kiting competitions where competitors are judged on their skills happen all over the world. In the United Kingdom, the Sport Team and Competitive Kiting (STACK) organise the competitions. People can take part individually, in pairs, or in groups (of up to eight people) and their performances are set to music.
- Check the weather. Kites need wind to fly – check the weather before you set off to make sure you’ll be able to get them up in the air.
- Get familiar with kites first. Before you get stuck into the adventure, spend some time in a usual meeting looking at a stunt kite and a standard kite. Can people spot any similarities or differences? Show everyone how they fly differently.
- Bring some spares. Sometimes disaster strikes and kites get lost or broken in the wind. A ball of string and a couple of spares can rescue a session if anyone’s kite makes a break for freedom.
Stunt kiting gave you the opportunity to try something new and it helped develop your co-ordination skills. Flying a kite isn’t always as easy as it looks, it takes time and practice to complete simple movements, so don’t worry if you didn’t manage the first time. What did you find the easiest and the most challenging? Think about whether you managed to fly the kite, did you manage to do a simple figure of eight or was it putting the kite away after you had finished. Simple aerodynamics help the kite fly, what did you learn about how it works? What other things could you apply aerodynamics too that you do in your meetings? Think about paper aeroplanes, parachute games or building model aeroplanes.