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.
A look inside the sport
And at how things could be improved for everyone
Unfortunately for consumers, kites and their performance are presented using inaccurate stereotypes, the common-sense truth about control handles is kept quiet or flatly denied, and the story about skills is not correctly presented either.
Dual-line delta kites are promoted as having the highest performance, dual-line parafoils as having much lesser performance.
The overall message? "Deltas are for hot flying, parafoils are for pulling, it will always be that way, period."
Magazine-ad images show tiny parafoils pulling strongly in mild winds, an impossibility. But for many flyers, such images are more real than reality.
The kiting community has placed deltas on the highest pedestal, merit doesn't matter, and prefers to keep them there.
The prejudice is very strong. On Seattle's Kite Hill, while in plain sight WindDances were substantially outFLYING everything else including high-tech deltas, a delta-flying team told bystanders that parafoils are slow and sloppy-handling.
Feelings sometimes rage against anything that performs better than deltas. An expert delta-kite flyer, capable of FLYING our WindDances far more skillfully than we can, during what we thought was a friendly test-fly on Seattle's Kite Hill expertly made our WindDance 2 perform like a piece of sky trash, left it in a tangled mess on the ground, and huffed off. All of us saw the incident, shortly after our first WindDance shipment arrived in early 1997, as a strong and sincere testimonial.
Many retailers won't even mention how WindDances outFLY deltas in several important ways, not even in the three fundamental ways. Or how a WindDances provide superior exercise than do power kites. Or how you easily maximize a WindDance's speed & turning performance to spectacular high levels by the simple process of precision-tuning with the two bridle adjusters. They prefer to sell WindDances as lackluster-performance stereotype "parafoils," or as stereotype "power kites," or as compact travel kites, or as crashable kites, not as the special high-performance fun-&-exercise machines they really are.
In a kite shop, a delta-flyer carefully avoided all eye contact with the WindDance video. Low-performance parafoils are OK. High-performance parafoils, especially parafoils that FLY considerably better than hot deltas, are not. Parafoils must be kept in their place, well below deltas. Watch for this.
Bystanders and beginners however, not indoctrinated by the kiting community, just love the hot FLYING performance of WindDances!
In what other sports do participants and retailers react against superior performance, and act to keep superior performance away from consumers?
About skills. Can you imagine sports-car salespeople telling customers that the hot new way to drive is to take your foot off the gas rather than stomping on the gas, the old way? Can you imagine customers falling for it?
The equivalent is happening in modern sport-kiting. In a huge way. Gurus, good flyers, clubs, associations, shops, videos, magazines, and festivals all teach that advanced cut-power-to-your-kite skills produce higher sport-kite performance than do basic pull-on-your-kite-line skills. Flyers fall for it. Some scoff at and belittle pull-on-your-kite-line skills.
That's why many experienced flyers -- including retailers and competitors -- have difficulty with WindDances: to get 'hot' performance out of a sport kite, they take their foot off the gas!
Beginners -- who have not been indoctrinated into modern sport-kiting and had their innate FLYING skills purged and replaced with un-flying & non-flying punch-&-jerk slacken-your-kite-line skills -- don't have those problems at all. Smooth pull-on-your-kite-line skills come naturally to first-time flyers.
The first sport-kite book we ever read in 1989 taught this: "Sport kites depend on kite-line tension to FLY -- no tension, no FLYING." The goal back then was to FLY your sport kite. But things change. Sport-kiting doesn't teach this fundamental, or the joy of FLYING, anymore. Un-flying-&-non-flying -- with its low speed & turning performance, low exercise value, and high difficulty -- has become the whole point of sport-kite flying.
We at Seattle AirGear see nothing wrong with un-flying & non-flying. We occasionally do it with our WindDances for the fun of it, and our user's manual explains how to do tricks.
What is seriously wrong is that the sport & trade no longer educate about or promote sport-kite FLYING. Or about the ease and power of pull-on-your-kite-line skills, the old skills that produce the highest-possible levels of sport-kite speed-&-turning performance.
The sport & trade have made dual-line FLYING and single-line FLYING completely different. But according to kiting theory -- pull = speed = FLYING -- they are fundamentally the same. And in actual practice, they use the same fundamental pull-on-your-kite-line skill.
If the sport promoted sport-kite FLYING using sport kites designed for FLYING (kites engineered to respond well to pull-on-your-kite-line skill), people by the millions could quickly become hot sport-kite FLYERS because they already know the necessary pull-on-your-kite-line skill.
From the way the sport & trade are behaving, it seems they do not want this to happen.
Our new WindDance video -- we sent it to all USA and Canadian kite retailers -- exposes the fallacies of the unfair stereotypes about parafoils.
It also shows amazing things you can do with the old basic skills that modern sport-kiting shoved aside during the past decade. In our video, simple pull-on-your-kite-line skills produce speed-&-turning performance that's vastly more exciting than what you see in the serious and competitive sport kiting highlighted at festivals.
Currently, the sport & trade are serving the kiting community but shutting out much of the public. How? By promoting the un-flying & non-flying of sport kites while hyping it as hot flying (most people don't like being deceived). And by not promoting traditional sport-kiting and its recent improvements: the easy, fun-recreational, high-performance FLYING of sport kites.
We suggest a wiser path: educate and give people a choice. 1) Educate comprehensively and accurately about sport-kite un-flying & non-flying and about sport-kite FLYING. Including about the three fundamental FLYING characteristics to look for in a good sport kite. And about the simplicity, ease, and power of the sport's old pull-on-your-kite-line skills. And about sport-kiting's extremely simple basic theory -- "pull = speed = FLYING", "no pull = no speed = no FLYING" -- and how to apply it by using the appropriate skill, pull on or slacken your line(s), to achieve the FLYING or un-flying/non-flying result you want (we do this in the WindDance user's manual, and briefly in our video). 2) In addition to giving the kiting community what it wants, also give the public -- a much larger market -- what it wants. The sport would grow, and the trade would become considerably more prosperous.
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 Sep-11-1998