Written and compiled by Fred Jaicks.
On a windy day, nothing is more fun than flying a kite. Kites are magical toys that have captured the hearts of both young and old. The way a kite works is fairly simple: it is a small aircraft tethered by rope, and the wind’s pressure above and below it are what keep it adrift in the air. Kites come in many different shapes, sizes and colors, and there are many different types of kites available. They are typically made of nylon, a material similar to many patio umbrellas. The kite was originally developed in the nation of China well over 2,000 years ago, and became a Chinese tradition. Eventually the kite made its way across Asia and into India, where it then spread to Africa. It was not until much later that it became a popular toy in Europe.
Most kites have what is called a single line, which means that the kite is tethered only by one line of rope. These types of kites cannot be as easily maneuvered as dual line kites. With more than one line or rope, the kite can be moved around much easier. The user has a lot more control over how the kite flies,
and in what direction it will go. Kite flying has quickly changed from a simple hobby to a serious sport. Because of the dual line kites, people have adopted different kite flying competitions. Tricks and the longevity that the kite can stay in the air are just some of the different things judges are looking for in a kite competition.
While many think of just the traditional, flat nylon kite, there are actually different classes of kites. The Rokkaku kite is a six-sided kite that is popular in Japan, but can also be found in other nations. They are framed with thin bars usually made of lightweight plastic, so the kite stays very light in weight and can stay in the air. Many kite related retailers sell Rokkaku kites, since they are very popular for use in competitions. Another type of kite is called the Genki kite. These kites are more complex and usually have a long tail or several tails, trailing behind it when in flight. Peel kites are another form of kite that originated in New Zealand. They can be maneuvered with two handles at the end of their ropes. They are very popular for beach kiting or sporting events, and are commonplace at kite retailers.
A sport known as kite buggying has become quite popular in recent years. This sport involves a small all-purpose vehicle that is very light in weight. The vehicle is then pulled by the kite, usually on a beach or somewhere it can easily be moved quickly. Peel kites are one of the most commonly used types of kites for buggying. The sport was actually invented in 1827, but did not really take off until much later. Some people compare the sport to
windsurfing, only it is on land instead of water. It just goes to show that kites can be fun and serve as a wonderful way to spend a windy day or to take a nice ride on the beach.