Hotter speed and turning than competition kites. Higher-quality exercise and livelier pull than power kites.
WindDances are "airgear," a new concept. They fly better and feel more exciting than typical stunt kites.
Our other advancements: Ergo T-handles that boost feel, control, exercise. Natural active FLY-a-kite skill.
Beware of the "kite culture"
A TV-news crew drove by Fairview Park near Huntington Beach in Southern California in the spring of 2001. Among all the stunt kites in the air, something special caught their eye and made them stop their van and start filming: a pair of flyers WindDancing side-by-side, two WindDances speeding and turning in the same airspace. Obviously, it was exciting to the news team. And yes, their footage appeared on the news.
How exciting is it for WindDancers? In 1999, as two boys in their early teens WindDanced side-by-side, one exclaimed, "I never knew that kite flying could be this much fun!" At times, that park is covered with WindDance flyers of all ages!
It's all part of the pattern (even here in Seattle and Washington State). Worldwide, the people in "organized kiting" -- including kite shops and kite clubs -- suppress knowledge, skill, and gear that don't fit in with their "kite culture" way of thinking and doing things. They want all of dual-line kiting to follow their particular tune: "kite-culture flying." They discourage anything that breaks their rules, including "REAL kite flying:" kiting with the basic qualities found in mainstream sport & recreation. Not surprisingly, organized kiting is severely hurting itself. Yet they keep on doing it anyway.
Organized kiting -- and its "kite culture" -- are in charge of caring for our sport. Do we really want or need that kind of 'care?'Not to worry. Follow the example of the happy WindDance flyers in Fairview Park: don't let the "kite culture" limit your fun!
WindDances are well-engineered aerial Ferraris. Straight-line acceleration and speed are high. Turns are tight, fast, and powerful -- merely use "crank the wheel and stomp on the gas" basic skill. Even novices can do it, as well as exciting basic maneuvers you can't do with other kites: click here and here.
Sadly, many WindDance flyers never even try hot turning -- remember, all it takes is basic skill -- because the "kite culture" discourages it.
Why doesn't the "kite culture" encourage this pure fun instead? To achieve this fun, 1) your kite must have at least the first of the three essential FLYING qualities, 2) you must use natural basic skill and understand the basics of kite FLYING, and 3) you must use control handles that enable and encourage full use of basic skill. But the "kite culture" has little interest in any of these things, and they try to prevent the public from developing a taste for it.
Within the "kite culture," many flyers don't like the exciting speed-&-turning performance of a WindDance. Their rejection of normal fun totally baffled us at first, but this particular umpteenth incident (click here) -- during a kite festival in Berkeley -- certainly clarified the picture. It's so ingrained in the "kite culture" we simply cannot offer a "satisfaction" guarantee.
See how the "kite culture" indoctrinates flyers into not having fun?Picture a hot new Ferrari parked beside a sharply-winding mountain road, idling and eager to go. Can you imagine the "sportscar culture" brainwashing young male drivers into not knowing about and not having the primal urge to crank the wheel, stomp on the gas, and go for it?
To have the most kiting fun in a normal sport-&-recreation way, first you must understand how the "kite culture" restricts your access to the knowledge, skill, and gear you need.
For example, try to find this consumer information anywhere else: The three essential FLYING qualities to look for in a dual-line kite. How easy basic skill is the highest-performance and best-exercise skill of all. How natural control handles enhance your ability to FLY a kite well.
Also, notice how they don't even begin to clue you in about the "kite FLYING" basics.
The "kite culture" -- including all kite shops -- should gladly promote these good things. It would spread the Joy of FLYING, and help foster the growth and success of kiting.
Instead, they try to prevent this fundamental knowledge from reaching kite flyers and the general public.Ask yourself this: How can you possibly have loads of pure fun if they won't tell you how or about the gear you need?
Nearly everything about kiting comes from one source: organized kiting and its "kite culture."
Nothing different is supposed to happen. Parafoils aren't supposed to hugely outperform delta 'performance' kites. Nothing can be faster than the so-called 'fastest' kites in the world: sparred-parafoils. Nothing can be more physically thrilling, or provide better exercise, than 'power' or 'traction' flying. No kites can provide the exciting turning power normally encountered in sport & recreation, or when driving a car or flying an airplane hard. No kites can provide body-burning one-limb-at-a-time exercise similar to running, bicycling, and cross-country skiing. No way can people fly stunt kites side-by-side, with absolutely spectacular speed & turning, without considerable training.
When it does happen -- such as the emergence of hot-flying WindDance parafoils and easy WindDancing fun for people of all ages -- organized kiting throws a fit.
Their way is supposed to be the only way.
That's why organized kiting doesn't promote any form of kiting that has the mainstream sport & recreation qualities the general public likes.
That's why organized kiting -- the sport's top authority -- suppresses education about "kite FLYING" with "basic skill".
That's why the "kite culture" resists WindDancing -- an exciting mainstream-recreation form of kiting based on "kite FLYING" with "basic skill" -- like the horse culture resisted the automobile a century ago.
The most exciting & spectacular dual-line kiting is flying side-by-side with a partner for the pure recreational fun of it -- using 100%-soft parafoil kites that have the Three Essential FLYING Qualities. The speed, turning, and aerobatic agility vastly exceeds anything you ever see in competitive sport kiting. Crashes and midair collisions are OK. It's easy. Couples and families can do it. Youngsters and grandparents can do it. The side effects? Great fun and great exercise for the flyers, and great entertainment for bystanders.
But organized kiting will not admit to the existence of this amazing kind of fun. Not even when they see it with their own eyes. They steer consumers away from this fun.
And they will not admit to the hot performance of well-engineered parafoil kites.
Care to see that for yourself? Visit any kite shop, ask to view the WindDance video we sent them (we sent one to every kite shop in North America), fast-forward to the "WindDance 1 At Play" section, then watch how they react to the reality of a parafoil flying better than any delta they sell.
See the snappy down-turns at the side-edge of the flight envelope? You do 'em with basic "pull-on-a-kite-line" skill, every turn feels powerful and exciting, and all that turning power ends up in one arm which certainly does good things to your body.
Ask the kite shop why none of their delta and parafoil kites turn that well -- or feel that good -- and see if they answer honestly: "Our kites aren't designed to respond well to basic turning skill. That's why they don't have the bridle lines needed for powerful sharply-maneuvering flight -- here, have a look at the missing bridle lines. It's what we in the "kite culture" like best, and you should, too!"
For a summary of how the "kite culture" has resisted the loads of fun we offer, click here. For a longer version, click here. Testimonials from our customers sure tell the story, too. How did we at Seattle AirGear step into this strange mess? Click here.
When you fly kites the "kite-culture" way, you limit your kiting fun. It's the only thing organized kiting wants to sell. They won't offer anything different, even if it heightens the kite-FLYING experience and appeals to the public. No wonder their kite industry is crashing.
Even kite-surfing kites and the small models for training -- about the only facet of kiting the media cover -- don't have the bridle system or control handles needed for spirited turning or quality exercise. Which certainly limits your fun.
We tried to help stop the ongoing death-spiral of organized kiting. But they rejected our help every time.
Why won't they give most people what they want: kiting that's similar to rather than different from normal sport & recreation -- such as kiting like this? Because they can't: their rigid kite-culture beliefs won't let them. Organized kiting cannot think or act in any other way, and they're all caught up in it. You find so few exceptions it's scary.
How did organized kiting grow to turn off and turn away the public -- even when they try to attract the public -- including during their National Kite Month media campaigns? Click here.
Fortunately, there's another group of flyers and another way to fly kites: You can go with the flow of "kiting" rather than "organized kiting." "Kiting" is separate and different, has been around longer, and is comprised of flyers in the public mainstream who are free of the "kite culture's" bondage. The Joy of FLYING is alive and well in "kiting!"
Of course, "organized kiting" doesn't tell you about any of this. So we do. Others fond of genuine "kite FLYING" and its pure fun are spreading the word, too. Care to help? Recommend this website to a friend!
Unfortunately, a "kite culture" tries to rule the entire sport of kiting.
The "kite culture's" rigid beliefs, stereotypes, and rules about dual-line kiting -- listed in red below -- control the thinking and behavior of organized kiting worldwide. That mindset comes through loud and clear in virtually every kite shop, kite catalog, kite website, kite magazine, kite club, and kite festival on Planet Earth. And in media reports about kiting, too.
The "kite culture" imposes those beliefs onto the entire sport. And onto the public during its education and public-relations programs.
The members work together as a team to prevent anything different from becoming popular -- such as "REAL kite flying", the fun in the yellow banner at the top of this page, even exciting active skill.
They enforce their culture much like organized religion controlled the minds of the population centuries ago: CLICK HERE.
Virtually everything the general public and kite flyers learn about dual-line kiting is heavily tainted by the "kite culture." The usual kites, skills, and control handles are heavily tainted, too: CLICK HERE.
Here are the "kite culture" beliefs about stunt kiting. Although they hold true for "kite-culture flying" (developed and sold by and for organized kiting) in the world of "REAL kite flying" (stunt kiting as mainstream sport-and-recreation) every bit of their dogma below is false:
There are two main types of dual-line flying: 'Performance' flying (competition flying, trick flying). 'Power' & 'traction' flying (get pulled/dragged/lifted, beach buggying, kite surfing).
Delta stunt kites are 'performance' kites. Parafoil stunt kites are 'power/traction' kites, or compact kites for travel. Period.
Parafoils can't possibly perform as well as or better than deltas. Parafoils can't possibly turn sharply or fly precisely.
If you want good 'performance' you need a delta. If you want good exercise you need a 'power' or 'traction' kite.
Competition & trick delta kites are the highest-performance sport kites you can buy. 'Performance' flying, especially at the elite and competitive level, is the highest-performance type of dual-line kiting there is. Performance during recreational flying doesn't come close.
'Power' and 'traction' kites provide great exercise, better than the exercise during recreational flying.
You need specialized kites matched to your skill level (entry-level & then a series of step-up models), wind speed (light-wind to strong-wind models), and flying type ('performance' models and 'power' models).
When your ability changes, you need a different kite. When the wind changes, you need a different kite. For each different flavor of 'performance' or 'power' flying, you need a different kite. So you need a large kite bag full of many different specialized kites.
Start with an inexpensive beginner kite, then buy the different specialized kites at $50 to $1000 apiece.
There is no such thing as a versatile kite: one that's great for beginners and experts, light and strong winds, performance and exercise.
Sparred-parafoils are the fastest kites in the world.
Tiny deltas on short lines are also really fast.
Small kites are faster than big kites. Big kites are slower than small kites.
The more expensive the kite, the higher its performance.
Bigger is better. So step up.
Flying side-by-side with one or more partners, two or more kites flying close together in the same airspace, is strictly for competition and performing at festivals. Only experts who practice a lot can do it. It's too difficult to do just for fun, too difficult for recreational flyers, too difficult for couples and families. If you do try, you must do it the right way: the way it's done for competition, according to the rules, according to what the judges want to see. And it's possible only with slow-moving kites. (Fun like THIS isn't supposed to happen.)
Basic skill is just for beginners. Advanced skill is needed for hot performance.
For kiting on land, wrist-straps are the most comfortable and the best control handles for everyone. For kiting on water, or when training for it, a control bar is best.
The best Spectra control lines are the expensive ones specially made for kiting.
When you compare the above "kite-culture" way with the reality of REAL kite flying -- to do so, click here -- it becomes very clear how "REAL kite flying" is a completely different choice. These links -- old vs. new and advanced skill vs. basic skill -- further clarify the differences. Yet in the face of those facts -- including the fact that REAL kite flying would appeal to the general public -- organized kiting pushes their choice as hard as ever, and tries equally hard to make it seem like REAL kite flying doesn't exist or is something you don't want. In the mind of the "kite culture," there's room for one choice only -- theirs -- and no others.
The consequences of that cult-like, one-sided approach? Organized kiting has made sure that thousands of flyers can't possibly enjoy "kite FLYING" with "basic skill" to its fullest; you might be one of the victims (if so, we offer an easy cure). Organized kiting itself is a victim, too, and is suffering dearly from self-inflicted harm.
How strongly does organized kiting cling to its "kite-culture" way? How strongly do they resist REAL kite flying? The best way to explain that to yourself is to look at the third element of REAL kite flying: the need for hand-friendly control handles. The wrist-strap handle is a cherished icon of the "kite culture." Wrist straps have received best-product awards in the kite trade, are the most popular, and are considered the best (only for flying on land). But hardly anyone else in the world uses wrist straps; they're even disappearing from dog leashes. This comfort-test result explains why: even the most comfortable wrist straps can inflict pain and suffering and may permanently injure your wrists and hands. In spite of experiencing that pain and suffering, organized kiting still insists that wrist straps are the best. Try this: ask someone in a kite shop to perform the comfort test on their own hands in your presence -- as their hands turn a darker-and-darker blue, ask how that's "comfortable." The poor feel and control, and resulting inability to fly or exercise well, also appear to be attractive control-handle features for organized kiting. Although sensible handles of the type used by the rest of the world don't have these problems, organized kiting doesn't like them; kite retailers during a trade show certainly made that clear. If "organized bicycling" had evolved like "organized kiting" did, cyclists (especially elite riders) would be happiest with shoes that grow more painful the harder you pedal, and they would dislike the comfy high-performance shoes so popular today.
Organized kiting resists the first two elements as stubbornly. To witness that firsthand, ask kite shops and the experts to explain the first thing to look for in any dual-line kite, and how basic skill is the highest-performance skill of all.
We truly wish organized kiting -- and its "kite culture" -- would open up their minds and hearts to "REAL kite flying." So that they -- and the public -- could enjoy both choices.
WindDance dual-line parafoil stunt kites/sport kites are developed, sold, and backed by Seattle AirGear.
WindDance, WindDancing, Seattle AirGear, and AirGear are trademarks of Seattle AirGear.
Copyright © 1995-2017 Seattle AirGear.
This page last revised Dec-2-2001