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.
Comparison with deltas
If you're into tricks & competition, you need a delta.
But if you're into "kite FLYING", WindDance PARAFOILS are durable, versatile, easy-to-fly, superior-performance alternatives to state-of-the-art DELTAS.
Are far more rigid than deltas while FLYING, including state-of-the-art deltas with the finest graphite spars. In-flight rigidity is essential for good straight-flight and turning FLYING performance: rising distortion, caused by rising apparent-wind and pull, causes aerodynamic efficiency and handling qualities to deteriorate.
Only while not flying are deltas more rigid than WindDances -- as during a punch-turn while one side of the kite flies backwards, and while doing tricks in the air or on the ground.
Due to their careful aeronautical and structural engineering, WindDances distort far less than deltas when subjected to the forces of flight -- and therefore fly far more in accordance with aerodynamic theory than do deltas. Unlike deltas, wing shape, aerodynamic efficiency (L/D, the lift-to-drag ratio), and handling qualities barely change as the wind increases, while flying from the edge to the power zone, and while turning.
That is true for the small, medium, and large WindDance models. Under the same flying conditions, dual-line delta wings change shape and lose aerodynamic efficiency -- large lightweight deltas the most, small heavily-sparred strong-sailed deltas the least.
The larger the WindDance, the faster it flies -- the opposite of delta kites. Large deltas fly slower than small deltas because the large deltas distort relatively more than small deltas.
From the flight-performance standpoint, WindDances fly like rigid aircraft. Deltas fly like typical kites.
Respond with superb FLYING performance to basic kite-FLYING skill: good acceleration and speed when you pull on both lines, and tight, fast, powerful turning when you pull on one line. With deltas the response is less, especially so when you pull on one line.
With most deltas, when you pull hard and far on one line the kite feels "dead" and little turning happens, or it falls out of the sky, or something in the kite breaks. Such skill, which is basic pull-turning skill for a sport-kite that's made for FLYING, is a mistake for most deltas.
With WindDances, when you pull hard and far on one line the kite comes "alive" with tight, fast, and powerful turning. Such skill is a hot turning technique for a WindDance!
Have superior edge to power-zone acceleration.
Are more responsive to the wind. When the wind kicks in, WindDances accelerate faster.
Competition deltas require low edge to power-zone acceleration, low responsiveness to the wind, and low speed -- in order to have steady even speed over most of the flight envelope. Progressive pull-induced distortion and L/D loss are needed to achieve this kind of performance.
Do not require a bridle-setting change to maintain good performance when the wind changes. Deltas do.
Have a considerably-wider wind range over which FLYING performance remains high. One WindDance covers the same ultra-wide wind range that takes several different specialized delta kites to span with decent performance (larger lighter-sparred delta kites are needed for good performance in light winds, smaller heavier-sparred delta kites are needed for good performance in strong winds).
With deltas, when the wind changes you have to change the bridle setting or switch to different kites to maintain decent performance.
But when the wind is changing rapidly, deltas fliers can't change the bridle setting fast enough or switch to different kites fast enough to keep up with the wind changes.
The solution? Fly a WindDance! In rapidly changing winds, a WindDance flies at high performance at each and every wind speed, using the same bridle setting for each and every wind speed! Choose from three different models for three different pull ranges!
Have a considerably-wider wind range over which the kite remains structurally viable.
Suppose you are flying an ultra-light delta in very light winds and the wind suddenly gusts to 20 mph. Your suddenly-overpowered delta self-destructs in midair.
Suppose you are flying a WindDance in that very same wind. When the gust hits, the WindDance merely flies faster and more powerfully and your body may become overstressed.
WindDances can withstand large, sudden wind increases. Many deltas can't.
FLY superbly, and handle superbly, in strong winds. Few deltas do.
FLY with high performance and excellent handling in wildly fluctuating light-to-strong winds. NO deltas do.
Turn and spin faster compared to most dual-line deltas of the same in-flight wing area.
Have greater aerobatic agility -- that is, greater straight-line speed and greater speed during turns, even during very-tight turns.
Turn with greater power. With deltas, pull drops when you turn which feels soft and vague. With WindDances, pull rises when you turn which feels solid and positive.
Handle well at the side-edge: from a side-edge hover in light winds, lower wingtip one wingspan above the ground, using basic pull-turning skill you can down-turn into a ground-level pass toward the power zone. For a delta, this is a difficult maneuver.
Track and steer and turn like they're on rails. Deltas understeer/oversteer and skid.
Rival the precision and accuracy of deltas.
Have livelier, more-exciting pull during straight flight and while turning:
When turning, the pull rises. With typical deltas, the pull drops when you turn.
When flying from the edge to the power-zone, the pull increases about twenty-fold. With deltas, the pull increase is considerably less.
When the wind fluctuates, you feel every bump in the wind. Gusts can generate huge pull jolts. With deltas, the pull is more even.
In really strong winds, whenever you turn -- or dip toward the power zone -- you get yanked hard downwind. Not with most deltas.
Require much less skill: simple pull-on-your-kite-line skills, even for ultra-hot turning! With deltas, considerable practice is needed to develop and maintain difficult punch-turning and trick-flying skills and the difficult anticipatory & compensatory skills required to overcome understeer/oversteer and skidding.
Require natural skill: smooth tension-generating-&-maintaining skill, the dual-line version of the same skills used by children to fly single-line kites. This skill is used to enhance FLYING performance. Deltas require unnatural skill, punch-&-jerk tension-eliminating skill. That skill is used to diminish FLYING performance.
Are forgiving: Pull too hard and/or too far on one flying line -- or let go of a flying line -- and typically a WindDance keeps on flying. Do that with a delta and usually it turns poorly, breaks, or falls out of the sky.
Are easier to fly than deltas -- and are easier for beginners to learn on -- because WindDances:
- Require less skill.
- Require natural skill.
- Are more forgiving.
- Have a natural and familiar "increasing-resistance" steering & turning feel.
- Don't require ground-avoidance skills.
Respond well to inputs of raw power: Vigorously pull hard on one flying line (the other goes slack) and it turns or spins fast. Do that with a delta and it will probably break up in midair and fall out of the sky.
Provide superior exercise benefits: swing-your-arm pull-turns + pull that rises when you turn + more arm & body movement = a wonderful "WindDancing Workout." With a delta, the pull is more steady, there's less turning force because you push-turn rather than pull turn and the pull drops when you turn, and there's less arm & body movement.
Can be flown side-by-side together with friends -- including for extreme high-performance aerobatic fun in medium-to-strong winds!!! -- without fear of wrecking your kites or serious tangling during midair collisions. Not so at all with deltas.
Can do outrageous, high-impact bounce-'n'-fly stunts including off pavement. Most deltas self-destruct when attempting this.
Are vastly more versatile:
Each WindDance model is a high-performance light-wind kite AND a high-performance strong-wind kite. NO deltas come close to being so versatile.
WindDance speed & pull can be tuned to taste -- for relaxation or excitement. The natural hot performance can be tuned downward for speed & pull. Not deltas: Most are limited to unexciting moderate speed when well-tuned, and they cannot be tuned upward for higher speed.
WindDances are for novices & experts -- forgiving and easy to fly for beginners, with high-speed-turning performance far beyond the physical capabilities of most expert flyers. Deltas are best for experts, or flyers who like difficulty, because they require difficult advanced skills to overcome kite-handling deficiencies, to stop the kite in midair, and to do non-flying tricks.
WindDances can be flown effortlessly or with great physical intensity. Deltas do not respond well to, or hold up well to, intense power inputs such as sudden energetic one-line pull-turns.
WindDances can be flown solo or side-by-side with friends. Except for advanced fliers skillful at avoiding expensive midair collisions, deltas are strictly for solo flying.
You can take a WindDance with you wherever you go. You can't with deltas.
Are far more graceful in the air.
Provide more performance & fun with less hassle & skill: With WindDances, you get high levels of FLYING performance from basic natural skill. With deltas, you get considerably less FLYING performance from difficult unnatural skill.
Are more durable and crashworthy, and are longer lasting: No spars to break.
Hold up to the gritty beach environment better: No spar ends, or fittings, to wear out.
Are more compact: No spars.
Are safer: No spars to cause injury to others.
Are more convenient:
No assembly or disassembly required during setup or takedown.
No need to replace broken or worn spars, or hardware that falls off while flying.
Ultra-compact. You can take it with you nearly everywhere you go.
No need to change the bridle setting for different winds.
No need to change kites for different winds.
Provide a much bigger kite-FLYING bang for the buck.
Are far more rigid than WindDances while not flying. This permits non-flying types of kite flying, and enables more-reliable relaunching.
Are superior at un-flying and doing aerial and ground tricks during which speed & pull are nil; today's best deltas are designed to perform superbly when they are not FLYING. WindDances want to keep FLYING during attempts to make them un-fly, are terrible at tricks, and are aeronautically engineered to perform superbly when they are FLYING (these superior FLYING qualities are serious disadvantages if you're into advanced 'performance' flying.)
Can turn somewhat more sharply, well inside a wingtip, during which part of the kite flies backward. WindDances turn on a wingtip (in light winds, slightly inside a wingtip) during which all parts of the kite fly forward.
Are superb for competition-flying because competition requires 1) stopping and un-flying the kite, 2) aerial and ground tricks during which speed & pull are low-to-nil, 3) very-sharp turns during which half the kite must fly backwards, 4) low to moderate flying speed, 5) low edge to power-zone acceleration, and 6) low responsiveness to the wind. WindDances miserably fail all five 'performance' requirements -- they FLY too well to be competitive.
Competition requires relatively low FLYING performance. Kites with superb FLYING performance are at a competitive disadvantage. That's why recreational kites are faster than competition kites. This is the exact opposite of other sports. The sport and trade are not educating anybody about this.
Are better at self-relaunching after crashes. After crashing a WindDance, sometimes you have to walk to the kite, set it up for self-launching, and walk back to your staked flying handles, about 150 ft per round trip. Trick and competition fliers call this "The Walk of Shame." Most people, however, fail to see any shame in outdoor-recreation walking or in its exercise benefit.
Fly better in very-light winds, size for size and weight for weight. Specialized light-wind deltas (that self-destruct in midair before the wind reaches 10 mph) stay up better in very-light winds. WindDances require winds about 3 mph.
Could fly faster, have greater edge to power-zone acceleration, and be more responsive to the wind than today's trick & competition kites. But most deltas these days, including entry-level and casual-use deltas, are styled after and fly like competition & trick deltas. The few that don't fly faster than competition & trick models. There were more of these fast recreational deltas in the early 1990's -- primarily hobbyists made and flew them, and Seattle AirGear developed several (see Seattle AirGear page) -- and within their narrow specialized wind ranges some flew faster than WindDances. These fast recreational deltas were pure joy to watch and FLY!
Suppose you see a kite flying that's advertised as "fast." Is it fast (does it have high "actual" speed)? Or does it merely look fast (does it merely have high "apparent" speed)? The Kite Physics 101 page explains two ways to generate higher "apparent" speed -- two methods used to create illusions of high speed.
Could have a natural positive-feedback steering-&-turning feel (pull rises rather than drops when you turn) that makes flying easier, enables better control, and provides more exercise. Could track like they're on rails. Could respond with fast & powerful turning when you yank on one flying line and let the other go slack. Could have absolutely zero flutter even in the strongest winds. We at Seattle AirGear developed such deltas years ago. But delta-kite flyers within the kiting community today don't seem to want deltas with wonderful FLYING qualities.
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 Jun-19-2000