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.
- What's NEW?
- Where's the short list of FAQs?
CLICK HERE. It's on the right side, under the subheading INFORMATION.
- How HUGELY is organized kiting holding back fun, and financial success for their kite industry, by forcing "kite-culture flying" onto everyone?
Suppose "organized bicycling" adopted a culture like organized kiting's. Bicyclists wouldn't know about pushing on the pedals one at a time, or why. They would be sold defectively-designed bikes that couldn't be pedaled, and shoes that would hurt if you tried to hammer. It would reduce the sport to just steering and coasting (CLICK HERE). Bicycling would be way less fun.
"Kite culture" flying, under the guidance of organized kiting, has evolved into something far worse. Since active skill with unequal pull in your arms isn't possible (CLICK HERE), active FLYING (CLICK HERE , HERE) -- with its hot speed & turning, lively power, and great full-body exercise -- isn't possible either. That's why most kite flyers worldwide are totally clueless about actively pulling on one control line at a time. Why they're happy with control handles that hurt when you apply power. Why they're happy with control bars that severely restrict the motion of your arms. Why they're so happy with kites that miserably fail Kite FLYING Test #1. Applying hot turning power, and moving your arms correctly to do it, are never done. So who needs the control handles for it. Or the kites for it. See why active flying simply doesn't happen in the "kite culture," not even by the top flyers?
What remains? Passive steering and coasting (CLICK HERE), using just-hang-on coasting skill -- along with low-power turning skill and power-killing turning skill. How high is the fun quality of that steering and coasting? The acceleration & speed while coasting are fairly low, you barely feel the exciting texture of the wind, and you feel so little cornering power, especially when you turn using power-killing skill. Not very exciting.
No active flying. Low-quality passive flying. Why is "kite culture" flying like that? It's due to the major performance-&-handling flaws that organized kiting insists on designing and building into their kites (CLICK HERE). They guarantee that NONE of the key FLYING qualities (CLICK HERE) ever happen.
What else? They bred control handles & bars -- and skills -- that also prevent full FLYING from happening.
With those particular kites, skills, and handles -- the well-matched components of the "kite-culture flying" system -- you cannot possibly learn how to FLY a kite well.
Their user's manuals teach, "To turn right, pull on the right line." But it doesn't work. Try it: CLICK HERE. The skill is right. But the kites are wrong because they can't take the basic skill the manuals spell out: pull on a kite line!
See how organized kiting wiped out pull-on-a-kite-line skill? Would organized bicycling ever degrade their gear and skill until it wiped out push-on-a-bike-pedal skill?
The "kite culture" pretty much requires and enforces those performance-&-handling deficiencies. And the passive and power-killing skills needed. And the lesser fun that results. Clearly see that for yourself: CLICK HERE and HERE.
So. There's no active flying because they wiped out pull-on-a-kite-line fun, including natural pure fun like THIS that's found everywhere in normal sport & recreation. There's only low-quality passive flying with dull passive steering and coasting -- equal pull in both arms -- spiced up with power-killing turns and non-flying tricks. Little liveliness. Little exercise. Little fun.
What kind of fun is left? The remaining aspect of passive flying: getting pulled by your kite. You passively let your relatively slow-&-clunky kite steadily pull on you. If you take the power through your arms, they get pulled straight at the kite and stay pretty motionless with same strain in both arms. If you take it through a body harness, you feel no strain at all in your arms or above the waist either. Do those kites perform or handle very well? Not really: CLICK HERE and HERE. How good does it feel, and how good is the exercise, as you lean way back and "power/traction" fly? Like when you dig in your heels and play tug-of-war with the ends of your control lines anchored at varying heights up a telephone pole. What happens when things go bad? CLICK HERE. They seem to encourage and celebrate those dangers. "Getting pulled by your kite" is now the premier fun sold by organized kiting. How strangely has that one-sided focus messed up people's minds about kiting -- and about kites? CLICK HERE and HERE!!! Bizarre, yes?
They claim, "We sell fun! We have something for everyone!" Well, it certainly isn't true: CLICK HERE.
If their "We sell fun!" claim is true, then why did they do THIS?
The actual FLYING of kites with good gear and natural skill -- kiting as recreation for people of all ages -- offers sooo much more fun and safety. As well as a potentially-huge financial payoff for the kite industry, too. For example, see how well the bicycle industry succeeded by selling gear OPTIMIZED for push-on-a-bike-pedal skill?
To avoid or escape the fun-robbing influence from organized kiting, go with "REAL kite flying" (a choice they don't offer) and fly in the big world outside of organized kiting (it isn't tolerated inside of organized kiting)! The hot speed & turning and full-body exercise of its active flying -- as well as the powerful steering and fast & lively coasting of its passive flying -- are a total blast for your body and mind!
IS there "pull?" Heck yes! And it's lively! Frequently, all the pull ends up in one arm, and it may switch from arm to arm faster than once a second when you go crazy turning it like THIS! Guess what that does to your entire body! The intensity of the pull can range from ho-hum to insane . . . in a second! CLICK HERE , HERE , and HERE! What if it's too much? Simple. Easily tame the power ahead of time. Or instantly let go when the wind says, "Surprise!"
As with a hot bike or a hot pair of shoes, you can take it easy, too!
Why not go for the full spectrum of fun!
- In our "controversial" content, what point are we trying to make?
A very friendly one.
The pure fun of actively FLYING a dual-line kite with powerful natural skill -- possible only with "airgear" and not with a typical "kite" -- is one of life's finest pleasures.
The upper-body exercise -- it feels like poling when cross-country skiing -- can make you pant, burn, and shed up to a thousand calories an hour! Plus you dance around as you actively generate that turning speed & power!
Like with a bike or athletic shoes, you can take it easy when you wish, too!
Kids and grannies can do it! Enjoy it side-by-side with a friend! There's physical challenge and thrill for the buff & fearless! Just like in the versatile sport of bicycling!
This is "REAL kite flying:" full FLYING with full skill. Its performance & handling, skill, and exercise have the very same qualities found everywhere in normal sport & recreation -- delightful qualities strangely missing from the "usual" kite flying.
To reach this Way Too Much Fun, you have to overcome the "kite culture" barrier that organized kiting puts in your way. Once you know what that barrier is, you can soar over and past it if you're a newbie. If you're already educated by organized kiting, you can easily uninstall it from your mind.
What IS that barrier? The "kite culture" mindset that organized kiting , as a team , tries to force onto our entire sport: the rigid, intolerant beliefs about kiting -- and expectation & preference for limited performance & handling, skill, and exercise -- that form the mentality of "kite-culture flying."
Unlike other sports, organized kiting evolved in its own tight, insular, little "kite culture" world -- outside of normal sport & recreation. They developed "kite-culture flying" that is based on four major design defects that prevent kiting as normal-sport-&-recreation from happening.
At the very least, they make you believe that the pure fun in this yellow banner and gray box can't possibly happen, which stops you from even trying to go for it. At the very worst, they make you dislike this pure fun -- including the awesome fun of "kite FLYING" with "full basic skill."
We encountered preference for kites that fly poorly (CLICK HERE). We encountered rejection of kites that fly superbly (CLICK HERE). We were also surprised by dislike for speed-&-turning thrill, cornering-power thrill, and active physical thrill (CLICK HERE).
We had no idea it was like that in organized kiting. We assumed they would embrace advances that boost flight performance & handling and exercise quality. We didn't see the invisible "kite culture". . . until it reacted to the Way Too Much Fun we introduced in early 1997.
Since the awesome WindDance performance that we guarantee is unsatisfying for so many flyers, we can only offer a "performance" guarantee -- and not a "satisfaction" guarantee (CLICK HERE).
Not to worry. Dislike for full FLYING with full skill happens only in the little "kite culture" world -- NOT in the bigger & better world of normal sport & recreation that we sell to. Flyers who avoid the "kite culture" world or mentally escape from it -- that is, flyers who "FLY" in the normal spirit of Pure Fun -- certainly do like the performance we guarantee (RAVES)!
It's fair to compare. On this website, we compare the two choices: "kite-culture flying" and "REAL kite flying."
It's also fair to teach fun to others. We wish we could begin with the good stuff, but we can't because organized kiting has placed a barrier in the road to Pure Fun: In order to experience the joy of "REAL kite flying," you must avoid the "kite culture" mindset or escape from it. Here's HOW.
Or deal with that tragedy in a comical way. Think of it as the "kite culture" brain virus -- like a computer virus -- that attacks the pleasure and sensory-motor centers of your brain. The virus deadens your desire to "FLY a kite." And cripples your will and ability to "Just PULL It", so badly you may push on your control lines when pulling is needed (a common mistake among seasoned "kite culture" flyers). It's best not to catch it. But if you do, here's how to ZAP IT! That free anti-virus is already installed in your head! Merely activate it!
People deserve the best -- in speed & turning excitement, exercise quality, and outdoor fun with friends -- from the wind and from natural skill. That is, people deserve "REAL kite flying" with "full basic skill." We freely share with the entire sport the simple and sensible ways how.
For an example of how we share, long ago we derived the fundamental performance equations of stunt kiting, and when we set up this website in 1996 we published them here as a public resource. Recently, to check out a new idea that lit up in our mind, we revisited them. A few calculations revealed how lots more fun is possible including for kite surfing -- yes, we're excited! -- and we began our new aeronautical-engineering work towards THIS. Besides these equations -- they explain FLYING performance and basic skill in the language of high-school math -- here's another 'secret' for organized kiting to freely exploit: CLICK HERE.
See our friendly point?
- How does "organized kiting" operate like organized religion did centuries ago?
During a trade show, a fellow exhibitor explained it like this: "The kite culture is resisting WindDances like the horse culture resisted the automobile."
From 1616 until the late 1800s, organized religion in Rome fought the basic concept of our Solar System. Merely knowing that the Earth and other Planets circle the Sun was considered dangerous to the Faith. Read the interesting history.
Since around 1990, organized kiting has been trying to prevent the basic concepts and pure fun of "REAL kite flying" from reaching flyers and the public. Exactly WHAT is so dangerous to their Kite Culture Faith? For starters, all the fun and value in the yellow banner and first gray box on our homepage. Guess how we learned about that!
How restrictive is the Kite Culture Faith? It DOESN'T ALLOW parafoil kites to perform & handle as superbly as you see in this video clip. It DOESN'T ALLOW basic skill to generate the spectacular turning & agility you see in that clip. See the classic Faith-vs-Reality dilemma that confronts organized kiting today? See why they react so bizarrely to the pure fun the basic concepts deliver?
The peer pressure enforcing the Kite Culture Faith can be so strong it makes you gladly accept pain!
Seeking enlightenment and progress, mankind went against the Church and taught and applied the sciences that grew from Galileo's accomplishments, eventually to explore outer space. The Church had no choice but to officially alter its beliefs to conform with reality. And finally did so at their apology ceremony in Rome in October 1992. It took four centuries.
In pursuit of more fun, we at Seattle AirGear used standard FLYING science to make parafoil kites and basic skill do wonders. We did it with "airgear" delta kites, too. The "kite culture" has yet to admit to any of this reality, and has yet to modernize its beliefs. Since "REAL kite flying" began only a decade ago, perhaps we're too impatient?
In the awesome new sport of "REAL kite flying," see how even the politics can make you smile?
- How can you avoid the "kite culture" mindset -- or escape from it?
Do what's normal.
Go with reality. It's in your genes. Let reality tell you which kind of kite delivers the hottest, most-powerful turning: a kite with a full bridle system, or one that's missing half of its bridle system. Let reality tell you which kind of skill produces the hottest performance and best exercise: basic skill that generates speed & power, or advanced skill that kills speed & power. During these two comfort tests, let reality tell you about wrist straps and sensible handles. Let reality tell you about control bars: with a short control bar, attempt these two basic FLYING moves. Don't have wrist straps, a control bar, or a good kite? No problem. To simulate how wrist straps cripple performance, skill, and exercise, put a few pieces of gravel in your running shoes. To simulate how a short control bar does it, tie a two-foot rope between your running shoes. Also, go with the reality you see HERE , HERE and HERE.
Go with the majority flow. Everyone has a deep emotional need to belong to a group, to go with what's popular, to go with the majority flow. So do it. But instead of bonding with the tight, insular, little "kite culture" world -- that is, instead of joining in with them and doing THIS and THIS and THIS to yourself and to other people and feeling good about it -- bond with the vast majority: with the huge, progressive world of "normal sport & recreation" where "REAL kite flying" takes place.
Do these two perfectly normal things -- go with reality, go with the majority flow -- and your avoidance or ||UNINSTALL|| of Kite Culture Programming will proceed fast and smoothly. Without "kite culture" beliefs and skills to handicap you, your active "FLYING" pleasure begins!
- What are the "basic concepts" of dual-line kiting?CLICK HERE
Here's a fun basic skill that organized kiting SHOULD teach but doesn't: "DO pull energetically on one control line (there's no pull in the other line) -- it feels like thrusting one pole back when you cross-country ski -- to produce a tight, powerful, high-speed turn that works your arm and shoulder AND torques your entire body! Do several hundred of those "pumping-air" reps an hour with each side of your body! The arm motion? Similar to swinging it from fore to rear one-at-a-time when you walk! What it does to your torso and upper body is similar to what bicycling does to your torso and lower body! The Pure Fun makes you do it -- that is, the hot speed & turning and lively power of your well-tuned "AirGear"makes you do it!"
How intense can the physical excitement be? CLICK HERE!!! How relaxing can it be? Like coasting on your bike.
That fun is "active kite FLYING" based on a long-forgotten, simple ancient skill: pull on a kite line! But organized kiting doesn't teach any of that, so hardly anybody knows it.
Instead, organized kiting teaches this: "DON'T pull too hard or too fast or too far on one control line -- because that's "overcontrolling." It's a beginner mistake which can make it collapse or fall out of the sky."
The simple dual-line kiting basic -- "Pull with one arm at a time to turn fast & work out!" -- probably comes as a total surprise to you.
Does the equivalent basic -- "Push on one pedal at a time to go fast & work out!" -- come as a total surprise to anyone shopping for a bicycle?
Does "Push off on one foot at a time to go fast & work out!" come as a total surprise to anyone shopping for running shoes?
Why don't the people in organized kiting teach this major basic skill? Because they're members of a "kite culture" that produces stunt kites which CAN'T TAKE pull-on-a-kite-line skill. That is, they produce kites prevent you from even learning full basic skill. Their control handles prevent real FLYING, too, as we show below.
Easily see that for yourself. Look at how the "kite culture's" dual-line kites of all types -- diamond, delta, parafoil -- are missing half the bridle lines necessary for aircraft-like turning and hot maneuvering flight: although bridle lines connect the end of the right control line to the right side of the kite, no bridle lines connect the right control line to the left side of the kite. So when you put all of your pull into the right control line -- that's basic skill -- the left side of the kite goes dead. The wing of the kite distorts out of shape and loses performance, so much so the kite may fall out the sky. Airplane wings -- and "airgear" wings -- certainly aren't like that. The user's manual for every dual-line kite instructs, "To turn right, pull on the right line." But when you start to bank the kite to the right, by pulling on the right line as the manual instructs, the left side of the kite begins to go dead as it loses critical structural support from left-side bridle lines. If you try a powerful tight spin or a powerful hairpin turn with a "kite culture" delta kite, spars will break if you put all your active pull into one control line (that skill is as basic as putting all your power into one bike pedal or one athletic shoe or one ski pole). As soon as you start to turn a "kite culture" parafoil kite, you see the wing begin to distort out of shape and lose performance. You can even see those kinked-in-the-middle, unevenly-bent wings in ad photos of parafoil stunt kites!!!
The huge, plainly visible design defect described above -- which causes (1) poor response to basic skill (more) -- is just ONE of the four major design flaws the "kite culture" bred for itself over the years, still clings to today, and forces onto the entire sport.
Why do we call them "defects" and "flaws?" And why do we call them "major?" Because they prevent the kite from having good performance & handling. Because they prevent the flyer from having good skill and good exercise.
You can spot all those major defects even in the newest gear from the "kite culture."
We chose not to follow organized kiting's lead. We chose to follow the lead of normal sport & recreation instead, and quickly cured all those problems in the early 1990s when we began to aeronautical-engineer and structural-engineer delta and parafoil AirGear.
If they wanted to, organized kiting could eliminate all four of their design defects as easily as we did.
Because half the bridle lines are missing from the stunt kites provided by organized kiting, you can't turn them powerfully. And you have to keep the pull fairly even in both control lines -- or else. They design and build that giant defect into their "kite culture" kites -- on purpose -- a huge design flaw that makes the LEARNING and USE of full "kite-FLYING" skill impossible. Even their $500-&-up deltas, and their high-end parafoils, are fundamentally defective in that way. So are their entry-level and step-up models.
See why they teach you to merely "coast" your stunt kite as you hang on and steer it on the flight envelope (passive flying) -- and never to "pedal" it like THIS for hot turning and great workouts (active flying)? It's because their "kite culture" kites CAN'T TAKE pull-on-a-kite-line skill.
Can you imagine the "bike culture" being like the "kite culture?" That is, can you imagine the "bike culture" producing bikes that CAN'T TAKE push-on-one-pedal skill? Bikes that bend out of shape, lose control, break, or crash whenever you stomp on it hard? Bikes that make you keep even pressure on both pedals -- or suffer the consequences? Bikes that can be ONLY "coasted" and NOT "pedaled?" Can you imagine most riders -- especially the top riders -- really liking and preferring defective bikes like that?
In addition to producing kites than prevent active FLYING skill from being learned or used (SEE ABOVE), organized kiting produces control handles that prevent it from being learned or used. Their favorite control handles -- wrist straps and control bars -- prevent full basic skill from happening. How? The harder you pull with a wrist strap, such as to do a powerful fast & tight turn, the more the wrist strap tends to strangle your hand like a noose towards pain and purple, which convinces you not to go for the thrill of hot turning or its great exercise -- as effectively as sprinkling gravel in your bike shoes prevents you from pedaling hard. Gripping a kite-surfing-style control bar with your hands two feet apart (remember, they stay two feet apart as you fly) prevents you from moving your hands far enough to actually FLY a kite well or athletically -- as effectively as a two-foot rope tied between your shoes prevents you from running or exercising well, as effectively as a two-foot rope tied between your hands prevents you from double or diagonal poling when cross-country skiing.What skills DO they teach?
- Do it by sight -- rather than by normal sense-and-respond feel. Because "kite culture" control handles prevent you from sensing and responding well.
- Use passive skill (let the kite pull on you, pulling your arms straight) -- rather than active skill (you pull on the kite to generate speed and powerful hot turning, exerting and moving your arms and body like active people normally do). Because "kite culture" kites don't like active skill, and because the handles & bars discourage and prevent full active skill from happening.
- Exert both arms evenly -- rather than one-at-a-time like when cross-country skiing or kayaking. Because "kite culture" stunt kites and handles won't let you go for pull-on-one-line skill like THIS -- for hot powerful turning like THIS or athletic body-burning exercise like THIS.
- Always "coast" your kite (by letting the wind, and where you steer it on the flight envelope, supply all the speed & pull) -- never "pedal" it in a natural way where you supply loads of turning speed & power like THIS.
- Use abrupt-&-jerky power-killing skill -- rather than smooth-&-graceful power-generating skill. That is, use the flight-killing advanced skills that "kite culture" kites need -- rather than the flight-generating, flight-sustaining basic skill that "airgear" thrives on.
Yes, "kite-culture" skill is quite strange compared to the natural basic skill used by millions of all ages in regular sport & recreation (including "REAL kite flying"). Organized kiting, however, HAD to come up with those substandard skills to be able to actually use their deficient kites -- deficient because they lack three essential "kite-FLYING" qualities.
Yes, the flight performance of "kite-culture flying" is quite low, too. So much so that competition flying is the sport's slowest.When "kite-culture" skill becomes ingrained and habitual, your FLYING ability becomes crippled. Suppose it happened to you. Here's what happens when you're given the chance to put airgear (which requires basic "kite FLYING" skill) through its paces:
- You don't sense or respond to what the wind is doing to your kite, or to what you are doing to your kite.
- You don't hold, move, or exert you arms in the natural basic way that generates the utmost speed, turning performance, and power.
- You don't pull on the control lines hard enough, or far enough, or smoothly enough, or at the right time, which makes the airgear perform wimpily or fall out of the sky.
- The idea that a dual-line kite can just love it when you create strong pull in one line seems so insane you won't even try it.
- The idea that a dual-line parafoil can perform as well as advertised in this pagetop banner seems so insane you won't even try it.
- At times you even do the opposite of what's correct: you push on your lines to slacken them which makes it stop flying -- when pulling is required to keep it flying or to make it fly or turn faster & more powerfully. That is, you make the mistake of using un-flying skill or landing skill when FLYING skill is needed -- but you can't see it as a mistake because they ingrained in your mind that's the "hot" way to fly.
- You can't fly airgear as well as a newbie can, whose natural FLYING skill hasn't been erased by the "kite culture" like yours has.
Why those difficulties? Because organized kiting successfully "reprogrammed" you. So successfully it's like being handed the keys of a Ferrari, but not knowing what happens when you crank the wheel or stomp on the gas or how to do it. And if you do try it, you lose control because you lack the feel & response, because you don't apply enough turning input or power input, because you apply them at the wrong time, and because sometimes you do the completely wrong thing such as hitting the brakes when power is needed.
We've seen experts (including a World Championship competitor) mess up badly when flying WindDances -- far more than beginners do!!! How come? Because the "kite culture" things they grew too accustomed to -- the kites (which don't respond well to pull-on-a-kite-line skill, or to the wind, or have a natural steering-&-turning feel), the skills (which are passive, inefficient with limited arm motion, insensitive and unresponsive, abrupt and jerky, and power-reducing), and the handles (which prevent good feel, full control motion, and powerful arm motion from happening) -- erased their natural ability to FLY a kite well.
See how organized kiting -- our sport's leadership -- has crippled the FLYING ability of most flyers? They seem driven to do it.
See why mainstream-oriented businesses -- sport shops, outdoor retailers, department stores -- don't sell the stunt kites made by organized kiting?
Only kite shops -- and their mobile-sales, mail-order, and on-line variants -- sell them. Specialty kite retailers are portals into the "kite culture." People buy entry-level models, discover how they don't respond correctly to the basic skill in the manual ("to turn right, pull back on the right line"), become soured because it's so obvious it isn't real sport or good recreation, and never buy another. Only a relatively few keep it up, and they tend to gravitate into the "kite culture" and help perpetuate the substandard performance & handling and unnatural skill that mainstream-oriented businesses won't sell. By catering only to their tight "kite culture" family, they keep their kite trade very small.
See why stunt kiting isn't popular? See why so many kite-retailing businesses have failed? See why both USA kite magazines -- American Kite and Kite Lines -- folded in 2000? Clearly, their marketing strategy isn't working so well.
Suppose the "bike culture" during the past few decades had applied the "kite-culture" marketing strategy -- by selling defective bikes engineered & built to make energetic pedaling impossible, by selling bike shoes that make athletic pedaling uncomfortable & painful, and by blocking good cycling gear and basic PEDALING skill from reaching consumers. Would bicycling be as popular as it is today?
"Kite-culture" stunt kites -- with missing bridle lines that make full basic skill impossible -- are the only stunt kites that kite shops will sell.
"Kite-culture" handles & bars -- which also prevent full basic skill from happening -- are the only control handles that kite shops will sell.
What about airgear and good handles that DO enable full basic skill to happen? Well, kite shops WON'T SELL airgear or good handles or teach genuine "kite-FLYING" skill including this hot fundamental. Kite festivals WON'T PROMOTE any of it either. That is, they refuse to sell the awesome fun of REAL kite flying that the public would like. Visit specialty kite retailers (including those on the web), or attend any kite festival, and check all this out for yourself.
"Kite culture" gear -- and "kite culture" skill -- are so far removed from mainstream sport & recreation they're in a far off galaxy. Our advice? Avoid the hype and peer pressure to go there. If you're already sucked in, then escape!
The good news? If you're a rank beginner and haven't been exposed to the "kite culture," you're ahead of the game! Your innate "kite-FLYING" skills are still intact, and REAL kite flying is within quick 'n' easy reach! The less your exposure to the "kite culture," the less the above skill mistakes happen. Which is why novices and casual flyers -- including couples, families, kids, and oldsters -- with some practice can fly WindDances as spectacularly as this: CLICK HERE.
More good news. If you're interested in healing any harm inflicted on you by organized kiting, it's fairly easy: CLICK HERE to begin unlearning what's unnatural, and to begin relearning what's natural. With a little mental effort, you can quickly return to the hot & powerful pull-on-a-kite-line skill you were born with!
Besides basic skill, other fundamentals are not being taught by our sport's leadership either. Which is why we have to teach them.
We present all the basic concepts of full-fledged dual-line kiting -- "REAL kite flying" -- RIGHT HERE.
Your incentive for learning them? The loads of fun they deliver!
- We at Seattle AirGear provide full-fledged dual-line kiting --"REAL kite flying." What does organized kiting provide?
It's based on "kite culture" kites with three major design defects: Their kites don't respond well to basic kite-FLYING skill because they distort out of shape and lose performance and power when they're turned. They don't respond well to the wind, or accelerate well from the flight-envelope edge to the powerzone, because they distort out of shape and lose performance when the wind and pull increase. They lack the natural steering & turning feel that humankind normally incorporates into all of its vehicles and gear.
And it's based on "kite culture" control handles and control bars with a fourth major design defect: Their handles and bars prevent full performance, full skill, and high-quality exercise from happening.
Compared to the gear used in normal sport & recreation, "kite culture" kites have distinctly inferior performance & handling and exercising qualities. How much so? Competition kites are about the slowest kites you can buy. Power/traction kiting's low-quality exercise -- the point is to strain both arms equally with no arm motion -- is so inferior you don't find it anywhere else in the sport & recreation world.
To be able to fly those seriously flawed kites, organized kiting had to come up with special "kite culture" skills -- and special "kite culture" ways of flying -- that are distinctly different from what goes on in normal sport & recreation.
To assist with that, they developed control handles and control bars that work in harmony with the three major performance-&-handling defects they design and build into their kites. That is, they developed handles and bars that prevent normal feel, control, and athletic ability from happening.
WHY is organized kiting so strange compared to what's normal in sport & recreation? Because they evolved strangely. They evolved as a tight insular clique outside of normal sport & recreation. Instead of striving to improve the performance & handling of their gear and the quality & depth of the experience like other sports do, they developed and grew to prefer kites, skills, and handles that prevent full-fledged kite-FLYING from happening.
The results? Their internally-bred version of kiting -- "kite-culture flying" -- prevents full straight-line speed & power from happening. It prevents full turning speed & power from happening. It prevents full control and feel from happening. It prevents full exercising from happening. All the "kite-culture flying" variations -- performance flying including competition & trick), power & traction flying including kite surfing, and all the different beginner-to-expert kite models -- have those common deficiencies.
Remember, virtually everyone in organized kiting worked together as a team to accomplish all that. They continue to steer "kite-culture flying" farther and farther away from the normal sport & recreation going on in plain sight all around them.
In sharp contrast, we at Seattle AirGear went with the mainstream flow of the general public. We observed what other sports do. We examined the fundamental qualities the general public likes in their outdoor recreation and gear. We infused those mainstream qualities -- the normal performance & handling and exercising qualities common to all mainstream sport & recreation -- into a new & different type of dual-line kiting we developed: "REAL kite flying." "REAL kite flying" is easy, hot-performance, healthful-exercise outdoor recreation for people of all ages.
- Why isn't hot FLYING ever featured at kite festivals?
Festivals and competitions are put on by organized kiting. You see slow stunt-flying by singles, pairs, and teams. As well as trick-flying "shootouts" of flight-killing one-upmanship among the top flyers. When the wind picks up, that "performance" flying often comes to a halt because their delta kites can't take strong wind, and because un-flying them becomes more difficult; if the festival also features indoor flying, say in a local gym, they may move indoors to continue flying when the wind picks up. Also at festivals, get-dragged-and-lifted "power & traction" flying is featured.
Strangely, there's little in between those two extremes.
For example, kite festivals DON'T feature hot recreational fun-flying. Such as hot solo FLYING like THIS. Or hot side-by-side FLYING like THIS. Or hot elementary FLYING maneuvers like THIS. Or "Hot turning & working out!" like THIS.
How come? Because their kite-culture kites -- including their best "deltas" and "parafoils" -- are so limited in performance & handling they can't do any of it.
- What are the limitations of the "usual" kiting? How does it compare to "full-fledged" kiting and normal sport & recreation?
The usual kiting -- kite-culture flying -- has these fundamental limitations:
- The kites aren't designed or made to TAKE energetic full basic skill. They're missing half the required bridle system AND they fail FLYING test #1. That is, organized kiting chose to design their delta and parafoil dual-line kites in a way that makes them distort out of shape -- and lose performance & handling -- in response to the sport's basic turning skill: pull on a kite line. The usual kites are like faulty bikes designed to deform & collapse if you pedal too hard, which prevents you from even learning full basic skill. The "Hot turning & working out!" basic skill described above simply can't happen. Flying a usual kite is like always keeping even pressure on both pedals of your bike -- or else. Even their control handles and control bars prevent you from using full basic skill.
- The kites are designed and made to distort out of shape -- and lose performance -- in response to rising wind, speed, and pull.
- The kites are designed and made to have an unnatural steering & turning feel that makes learning and control more difficult. It prevents good exercise, too.
The usual kiting follows two separate tracks. No other choices are allowed. Both tracks have these serious limitations:
Performance kiting heavily exploits limitations 1 & 2 above. Trick flying consists of un-flying and non-flying stunts using power-killing skills. It evolved from flyer mistakes and faulty kites, such as making it tumble out of the sky by tugging on one line, which became a "hot" thing to do. Competition flying requires speed-killing punch-turning, as well as relatively slow and even speed over the flight envelope, and trick flying became an integral part of it. The fine points of the "slow kill" and "fast kill" are important. Hot FLYING scores poorly. The exercise comes mostly from thrusting your arms forward and dashing forward to "kill" pull, speed, and FLYING. Wrist-strap control handles -- which prevent full basic skill from happening -- are used. Most delta kites sold today are styled after this kind of flying.
Power & traction kites -- for subjecting you to intense strain, and for towing & lifting you on land and water -- are designed to turn like parachutes or paragliders (CLICK HERE), not like dual-line kites (CLICK HERE). By accident, many power & traction flyers get far more than they bargained for, which is why it's safest on water in the form of kite-surfing. During all this, your arms are pulled straight by all that "power" evenly straining both arms. The exercise is like "working out" by hanging onto a barbell that's so heavy you can't bend your arms to lift it. But if you connect your control lines to a "power harness" instead, you feel no strain in your arms or upper body at all. Wrist-strap handles for land and control bars for water -- both prevent full basic skill from happening -- are used. Most parafoil kites sold today are styled after this kind of flying.
Each of the two tracks has a bewildering selection of specialized models -- beginner, step-up, and expert models for different wind conditions. But none are versatile: none are superb for hot speed & turning AND great exercise, beginners AND experts, light winds AND strong winds. And none perform & handle well -- because none of them FLY well in the three essential ways.
Neither performance kites nor power & traction kites have the minimum bridle system required for full basic skill. The control handles needed for full basic skill are not offered. Therefore full basic skill is not possible. In other words, "full-fledged" dual-line kiting is not possible with the kite culture's performance or power & traction flying.
Do you clearly see all the serious limitations? Compared to what's normal in sport & recreation, kite-culture flying's performance, handling, and exercising are substandard indeed.
"Full-fledged" dual-line kiting -- REAL kite flying -- has none of the limitations of the usual flying. Except for one: it doesn't provide the enormous, relentless rip-your-arms-off pull similar to what Mel Gibson's character experienced while being tortured in the movie Braveheart. For those who seek that kind of thrill, we suggest an inexpensive and safe way: CLICK HERE. But if you're after intense exercise rather than intense strain, REAL kite flying definitely can provide full-body workouts that burn off up to 1000 calories per hour -- something intense power & traction kiting cannot possibly do!
What are other key differences between "kite-culture flying" and "REAL kite flying?"
Compared to "kite-culture flying," notice "REAL kite flying's" superior speed & turning performance, handling, pull liveliness, exercise quality, versatility, ease, value, and appeal to people of all ages!
Are "parafoils" just for "pulling" you?
Not at all.
The parafoil is as basic and versatile as the motor vehicle or shoe. All three come in wide variety. Ranging from sluggish workhorse models, to fast & agile sporty models.
Organized kiting, however, promotes parafoils ONLY as clunky "aerial trucks & tractors" for pulling, dragging, and lifting you. Or as lackluster "soft kites" for crashing into the ground and easy packing. Without mentioning the faulty steering , safety hazards , or low-quality exercise of those "kite culture" parafoils.
Fast & agile sporty parafoil models -- like our WindDance parafoil "airgear" -- are NOT ALLOWED in organized kiting. Organized kiting doesn't want to sell exciting, easy-to-fly parafoils that perform, handle, and feel like aerial Ferraris and like airborne exercise machines. Parafoils that have hotter speed & turning than competition deltas and deliver higher-quality exercise than power-&-traction parafoils. Parafoils so easy to fly even grandmothers using basic skill can produce hotter speed & turning than you ever see in elite stunt-kite competition.
WindDances ARE allowed, however, if they're sold and flown in accordance with the "kite culture" stereotype for parafoils: as sluggish parafoils that can't possibly be turned sharply or powerfully.
Sadly, many WindDances are flown that way. Successfully brainwashed by the "kite culture," many of our customers think their WindDances are just stereotype parafoils -- not hot airgear -- so they never crank the wheel or stomp on the gas, or bother to tune them. What a shame.
In a kite shop, at a kite festival, or elsewhere on the web, has any kite expert ever told you about THIS wonderful fun that happens with a good parafoil? Or about THIS powerful natural skill that's so easy IF your parafoil kite and control handles are engineered and built for genuine "kite FLYING?" Certainly not. Because organized kiting doesn't want the world to even know that such awesome gear exists. Or that such awesome fun is possible.
Why the bizarre insanity? CLICK HERE.
Can you imagine the auto industry promoting ONLY clunky trucks for pulling and hauling? And NOT WANTING to sell hot sporty cars that go zoom, zoom, zoom?
Can you imagine the shoe industry promoting ONLY heavy-duty boots? And NOT WANTING to sell hot athletic shoes for speed & agility and great workouts?
What's the 'secret' of parafoils that DO perform & handle as wonderfully as our pagetop banner describes? Merely engineer and build three airgear features into them. And teach full skill and sell ergo T-handles -- both needed to FLY a kite actively. We've openly shared this 'secret' of kite-FLYING fun with organized kiting and its "kite culture" since the early 1990s. But they stubbornly reject it.
Other sports engineer and build good performance & handling into their gear. We easily did it with all the dual-line kites we developed over the years: with deltas, parafoils, and others. So could other kite producers, even the makers of big kite-surfing kites, if they really wanted to. We wish they would. To pump up the fun for flyers. And to pump up kiting and its industry.
Airgear performance & handling in any type of kite -- along with the full basic skill and the ergonomic T-handles that make "airgear" speed, turning, and exercising come alive -- transform dual-line kiting into exciting outdoor recreation for people of all ages.
Since early 1997, we've tried to persuade organized kiting work as a team to draw the general public into our sport to help it grow and prosper. How? Merely by doing what other sports do: Offer a full set of choices, including a normal-recreation form of kiting the public would like. And foster technological progress and user enjoyment by encouraging gear -- and by encouraging flyers -- to develop to their full potentials. But organized kiting WON'T ALLOW any of that.
What appears to be the real goal of organized kiting? To preserve their "kite culture" at all costs.
As part of that process, organized kiting won't even acknowledge the superior performance & handling of parafoil airgear -- not even when they see the fun happening with their own eyes. When test-flying parafoil airgear, many flyers (especially the kite-culture elite) won't even try for hot FLYING performance -- or for great full-body exercise either. It's as if they're desperate to wish all this pure fun out of existence, and they spread that attitude to other flyers. Under that "kite culture" spell, many WindDance owners won't even try for full-fledged speed, turning, or skill; they won't maintain or tune their WindDances for peak performance either. Instead, they all do whatever it takes to make "parafoil airgear" fly like parafoils are SUPPOSED to fly -- to fly like the "typical parafoil kites" mandated by their kite culture: "Parafoils are good for pulling, or crashing & easy packing, and nothing else; only deltas can deliver performance."
They try to make everyone see "parafoils" that way.
See why so many think "parafoils" are just for "pulling" you?
Remember, it's not just about parafoils. Other than on this website, have you ever heard of the three essential performance & handling qualities that transform "kites" into "airgear" -- for any type of kite (diamond, delta, parafoil)? Or about the natural full basic skill that produces our sport's hottest speed & turning and best exercise -- with any type of kite if it's engineered and built to be "airgear?" Or about the ergo T-handles that make all this fun possible -- with any type of kite if it's engineered and built to be "airgear?" Probably not. See how organized kiting manipulates the minds of flyers and the public to be unaware of -- or to be very skeptical of -- these wonderful fun things?
Gonna let 'em mess up your head about what kites can do? Gonna let 'em cripple your healthy desire -- and your natural ability -- to FLY a kite well with simple natural skill?
What's the difference between WindDances and all other dual-line kites?
WindDances have the three essential FLYING qualities: the gear features that sensible flyers insist on when buying a dual-line kite.
Other dual-line kites -- diamonds, deltas, parafoils -- don't have these essential gear features.
How do the "three essential FLYING qualities" actually benefit you?
Those airgear features -- together with full basic skill and friendly control handles -- transform dual-line kites into aerial Ferraris and airborne exercise machines.
Unlike usual kites, airgear is versatile: Hot speed & turning with lively pull and great exercise. Superb in very-light and strong winds. Easy for beginners and great fun for experts. In addition, speed & pull can be tamed for strong winds, for novice & small flyers, or for a relaxing pace instead -- simply by de-tuning and/or adding tails.
What are the different "types" of dual-line kites?
According to the flyers within organized kiting -- those who practice and promote "kite-culture flying" -- there are two main types of dual-line stunt kites: deltas and parafoils. Those particular deltas and parafoils are actually a subset of all deltas and parafoils: they are "kite-culture deltas" and "kite-culture parafoils" which lack the three essential FLYING qualities. They perform and handle in accordance with the kite-culture stereotypes. They are very different from other deltas and parafoils that are made and flown outside of organized kiting.
According to the flyers outside of organized kiting -- those who participate in "REAL kite flying" -- the two main types of dual-line stunt kites are airgear (made for "REAL kite flying") and the usual kites (made for "kite-culture flying"). Deltas and parafoils can be airgear. Delta airgear and parafoil airgear have "airgear features" -- the three essential FLYING qualities -- engineered and built into them. The usual kites, the kite-culture deltas and parafoils from organized kiting, do not. The two types, "airgear" and "usual kites," are judged by how they actually perform and handle, not by how they're constructed or by what they look like. "Airgear" and "usual kites" perform and handle in distinctly different ways.
Deltas can be engineered and built to speed, turn, and feel almost exactly like WindDance parafoils; we did it years ago. Some flyers have said that our WindDance parafoils fly more like deltas than like parafoils. Our experimental deltas (delta airgear) were very different from kite-culture deltas. Our WindDance parafoils (parafoil airgear) are very different from kite-culture parafoils, so much so that WindDance parafoils blow away kite-culture deltas in speed & turning performance -- which, according to organized kiting, is something parafoils are not supposed to be able to do.
Deltas and parafoils can be "airgear." All that matters is that the deltas and parafoils must have airgear features -- the three essential FLYING qualities -- engineered and built into them.
Suppose someone says they enjoy all kinds of kites, meaning both the delta "type" and parafoil "type" of kites. The big question is, "Do those kites have the three essential FLYING qualities? That is, do they respond with hot powerful turning to pull-on-one-line skill? Do they accelerate fast, with sharply rising pull, from edge-to-powerzone and when the wind kicks in? Do they have the universal increasing-resistance steering & turning feel, and does the pull transfer into one line, to provides superb control and great exercise and fast learning?" "Or do they lack those wonderful qualities?" Describing a kite as either a "delta" or a "parafoil" explains none of this. Describing a kite as either "airgear" or a "usual kite" -- or describing how its performance-&-handling lies somewhere in between -- explains everything.
When someone says they enjoy the usual delta kites and the usual parafoil kites, does that mean they enjoy not experiencing the awesome flight performance, great exercise, and wide versatility that the three essential FLYING qualities provide?
So. It depends on whether you judge a kite solely by appearance or stereotype (the kite-culture way). Or by how it actually performs and handles (the sensible regular-folks way).
We are trying to educate flyers to judge kites by their actual "kite FLYING" qualities, objectively according to the reality of their performance & handling. Rather than superficially, prejudicially, and inaccurately by their "kite-culture type or stereotype."
Does the kite industry have any minimum-standards for dual-line kites?
Other industries arrived at minimum performance-&-handling standards, and sensible basic configurations for their vehicles and gear, before they even began to market their products. Look what the auto industry sensibly did: ALL cars have four round wheels, a gas pedal, two steerable front wheels linked together, and they respond efficiently & stably to power and steering. ALL the various car models and styles have the same few essential things in common. Industries producing sport-&-recreation gear have similar common grounds. They do it because the public wants that good performance & handling, and it doesn't want stuff that performs & handles poorly.
Look at what the kite industry did. They ignored what was happening outside of their kite culture, and came up with performance-&-handling that is substandard compared to normal sport-&-recreation gear. Organized kiting chose to develop "kite-culture flying" which is based on gear deficiencies. There's nothing wrong with that preference -- people are free to chose whatever they like -- except for maybe this: their kite industry is crashing because the public doesn't want that stuff. To grow and prosper, they must dig themselves out of that morass. They have yet to begin.
Look at what we did here at Seattle AirGear. We analyzed the performance & handling and exercising in mainstream sport & recreation -- what the public wants -- and we infused the key elements into a new form of dual-line kiting. The results? The three essential FLYING qualities. Quality #1 requires a bare-minimum bridle system and a bare-minimum level of turning performance. Quality #2 requires the kite to keep its light-wind shape as the wind, speed, and pull increase. Quality #3 requires the universal steering-&-turning feel found in all vehicles and normal gear. All three are simple and sensible, and we consider them bare-minimum standards for dual-line kites -- standards as minimal as the ones above used by the auto industry.
We're sure the kite industry would follow our lead -- if it LIKED the benefits of airgear features.
So far, organized kiting has been resisting these sensible minimum standards that could easily be common to all dual-line kites. Someday, we hope, they'll see the light.
What's the fuss?
The auto industry sells "motor vehicles" in truck and sporty-car versions. Organized kiting, however, sells "parafoils" only in truck-like versions with faulty steering for towing and lifting you. They don't -- and won't -- offer the exciting aerial-sportscar choice.
Why? In the kite-culture mind, "parafoils" aren't supposed to be fast & agile or feel lively. So they don't like -- and won't allow -- "parafoils" that zoom fast, and corner tightly & powerfully, like turbocharged Ferraris.
Our "WindDance" parafoils DO fly like that, which makes them a stunning technological breakthrough. Our passion for flight, careful aeronautical engineering, and years of testing are to blame.
During the 1999 KTAI trade show a fellow manufacturer saw the fuss our achievement caused: "The kite culture is resisting WindDances like the horse culture resisted the automobile."
It runs deeper. The above fellow exhibitor, and another, shared their frustrations about what they experienced when dealing with kite retailers: how organized kiting doesn't readily accept new or different things from outside of their tight, insular "kite culture."
Instead of embracing it, and offering it to the public as another choice, organized kiting tries to prevent "REAL kite flying" and it's key elements -- airgear, full basic skill, and performance-enhancing control handles -- from reaching the public.
Although regular folks like kites with these particular gear features -- the airgear performance & handling qualities that transform kites from "toys" (including scaled-down parachutes) into "gear" -- organized kiting prevents most flyers and the public from even knowing about these gear features. They also keep the world clueless about full basic skill and good handles. For example, have YOU ever heard of these good things before?
In doing so, they're obstructing the Pursuit of Happiness. Isn't that unpatriotic?
The fuss? It's coming from those who don't want the fundamental differences between kites to be described. Who don't want the reality of their "kite-culture flying" to be exposed. Who don't want people to know about airgear, full basic skill, or the best handles. Who don't want "kite-culture flying" and "REAL kite flying" to be compared.
But aren't educating about choices -- and comparing choices -- fair things to do?
Have they damaged YOUR thinking? Take parafoils for instance. Organized kiting does THIS -- which produces THIS effect. They brainwash like that in several ways, forcing you see their beliefs as being more real than reality itself. See how they mess up minds in almost every single way that people think about kites and flying? The good news: all the mental handicaps they inflicted on you are easily cured.
Have they damaged YOUR flying ability? For example, do you even know about THIS basic skill? Have you ever done THESE two basic maneuvers (powerful downward spin at the edge, powerful hairpin turn in the powerzone)? Did they sell you kites and handles that prevented you from learning this basic skill, and from doing these two basic maneuvers? Does your kite not respond well to the basic skill described in its user's manual? Do you inappropriately use advanced skill when basic skill is needed? Do you severely limit your control, performance, and exercise by holding and moving your arms entirely wrong (lifting them up, drawing your hands to your chest or armpits)? Do you lose it in bumpy wind because you hold and move your arms entirely wrong (arms straight and pointed directly at the kite), like skiers would lose it if they skied straight-legged fast over sharp bumps? Did they keep you clueless about the awesome full package that simple basic skill delivers? We suspect you're missing out on most of this fun. It's not your fault. The leaders of our sport -- organized kiting -- seriously impaired your ability FLY a kite at the fullest performance & power that's easily possible with correctly-made kites, natural "kite FLYING" skill, and correctly-made handles. Don't worry: all the skill handicaps they inflicted on you are easily cured.
Organized kiting won't allow the SPORT to develop to its full potential. And they won't allow FLYERS to enjoy all the amazing kiting fun that's easily possible. Look at what they already did to YOU. Shouldn't you be at least a little bit upset at them, and want to taste the Real Thing they kept from you?
In the hope of fully convincing you begin the healing process below, realize how severe the kite culture's damage can be. These real-life examples should astound you: AA , BB , CC , DD , EE , FF , GG.
About the second-to-the-last example. Although the young men saw with their own eyes how a great-grandmother did it with ease, they believed it was way too difficult for them. How's that for serious damage.
That's nothing. Some flyers are so damaged by kite-culture indoctrination they totally reject the pure fun & excitement of REAL kite flying. When given a chance test-fly a WindDance full bore, elite kite-culture flyers typically hold back and simply won't put it through its high-performance paces (CLICK HERE for an educational 'conversation' with such a flyer). During the first ever WindDance test-fly by an elite flyer, he flew it poorly on purpose to make it look bad (CLICK HERE). Many capable flyers won't even try the exciting maneuvers in this video. They won't even try these easy hot moves that are not possible with the usual delta and parafoil kites. Is it normal for, especially for young guys, to turn down fun that looks & feels exciting and very physical?
The members of organized kiting -- together with the unsuspecting indoctrinated into their ranks -- all march and sing in unison as they do further harm to their own sport & industry , and to the thinking and FLYING ability of countless new flyers.
Coming from nearly everyone in organized kiting, the kite-culture mentality rubs off onto many WindDance owners. It alters their minds into perceiving WindDances as "usual parafoils" good for "pulling," crashing, stuffing into a tiny sack, and perhaps for flying "fast." It alters their minds into NOT seeing WindDances as "airgear" that can blow away expensive hot deltas in speed & aerobatic agility, exceed power/traction kites in exercise quality, and surpass both in the raw excitement of pull liveliness and turning power. So they never read the manual, never maintain their WindDances, never keep them tuned up to the hottest speed-&-turning and liveliest power they are capable of. They never use kiting's full basic skill -- "Just PULL it!" -- to bring out the spectacular flying that THEY, as the pilot & the engine, are naturally capable of. Instead, they use the particular skills that the "kite culture's" kites, handles, and peer pressure breed into flyers (CLICK HERE) -- which cause serious FLYING mistakes and loss of fun (CLICK HERE). For them, it's like buying a hot bicycle or a Ferrari, then being taught by experts and peers to never maintain or tune it, to never apply power, to never corner it powerfully, to never "Go for it!" with smooth & powerful natural active skill. Their Pure Fun never happens. What a terrible way for the "kite culture" to treat flyers.
Those who have flown the usual dual-line kites in the usual way for years are accustomed to kites, skills, and handles that are not intended for "kite FLYING" or "full basic skill" -- because they're designed for kite-culture flying instead. It's what organized kiting sells, the only choice they provide. Virtually all flyers are kept clueless about how the "kite culture" is completely different from the cultures of all other sports: how they develop & prefer kites & handles that prevent full basic skill from being learned or used. That's why experienced flyers may have difficulty with something very different: actively "FLYING" state-of-the-art "airgear" using "full basic skill" that newbies quickly get the hang of.
Here are specific skill difficulties that the "kite culture" breeds -- difficulties that new flyers are less likely to experience: CLICK HERE.
All those difficulties can be easily overcome by a little reading & heeding. Since WindDances and WindDancing are different from what's usual, you need to do a little un-learning and re-learning. Much of the usual "kite culture" knowledge, "kite culture" flying, and "kite culture" skill simple don't apply -- because it's based on gear with four major design flaws that other sports avoid like the plague, huge design defects that WindDances and good handles don't have. WindDances have the natural performance & handling of sport-&-recreation gear, not the unnatural performance & handling of the usual "kite culture" kites. They require a reasonable minimum level of attention and care that recreationists normally bestow on their fun stuff. They require a natural sport-&-recreation kind of skill that's innate to people -- rather than the limited-motion, limited-power, limited-feel type of skill favored by the "kite culture" and needed by its gear. In "REAL kite flying," the performance & handling and full basic skill, provide high-quality exercise that doesn't exist in "kite-culture flying." All this is entirely new to the world of kiting. To learn it, merely read about it in the WindDance user's manual and on this website. Then just do it! The payoff? The fun in the yellow banner at the top of this page!
Since "pull-to-make-it-FLY" is as simple and natural as standing & walking -- and since it's the ONLY skill that airgear requires -- the cure is really easy: CLICK HERE. Learning the basic concepts, and heeding our TIPS, are helpful also. If you WANT pure fun, NOTHING can stop you!
Shouldn't flyers be angry at organized kiting for promoting kites and control handles so deficient they prevent thousands of flyers worldwide from even LEARNING the sport's easiest & most-powerful skill, gear so deficient it prevents good performance & handling and high-quality exercise from happening? For trying to suppress the key elements that make all that fun possible: the three essential FLYING qualities, full basic skill, and friendly control handles? For refusing to even consider the "three essential FLYING qualities" as minimum performance-&-handling standards for dual-line kites, sensible standards that uplift dual-line kites from "toys" into the realm of sport-&-recreation "gear," which could hugely boost their popularity? For keeping our sport in the Dark Ages compared to how other sports have progressed? For severely damaging the sport and its kite industry? For steadfastly refusing to promote both choices to satisfy everyone -- "kite-culture flying" for organized-kiting flyers and "REAL kite flying" for general-public flyers -- to help our sport grow and prosper? Where's the fuss about all that?
Shouldn't kite flyers by the thousands be overriding the kiting leadership, like bike riders overrode the cycling leadership a quarter-century ago? For that story, CLICK HERE.
Are we trashing "organized kiting" and their skills and gear?
We are sounding an alarm about how organized kiting -- and its kite culture -- are trashing the sport and its own kite industry.
We are sounding an alarm about how organized kiting's education, skills, gear -- and peer pressure -- are trashing the natural desire for hot performance and the natural ability to FLY that flyers initially have BEFORE their exposure to organized kiting.
In addition, we educate about the fundamentals. We develop and offer other choices. We compare all the choices so that consumers can select wisely. And we offer sensible solutions to organized kiting's problems. Sadly, organized kiting sees these good things as "trashing," too.
What's the most-common and most-serious problem that WindDance owners have to deal with?
Recognizing how organized kiting may have damaged their natural desire and natural ability to FLY their WindDances really well.
On the bright side, the damage is only temporary! Once the problem is recognized, there's a quick 'n' easy cure!!!
Many in "organized kiting" say we're crazy. Are we?
Yes. But not in the way they imply.
We're crazy about FLYING. Our passion for flight began with model airplanes in childhood. Which led to an aeronautical-engineering degree graduating at the top of the class. We learned why things fly (Bernoulli's equation has little to do with it), and we learned how to engineer things to fly really well. What a mindblowing adventure! We applied that math, science, and engineering to develop our WindDances, as well as delta airgear models that flew like WindDances. For the future, we have in mind airgear that's even more fun! Stay tuned! See what being nuts about flight can do?
We're crazy about thinking and acting sensibly. We examined sport & recreation as a whole -- the excitement you see & feel when you do it, how the gear performs & handles, the nature of the exercise -- and we incorporated all the main elements into airgear and REAL kite flying. We saw how organized kiting's "kite-culture flying" was strangely different, so we decided not to go with that flow. And like most people we believe that advancements in performance and technology, produced by successful engineering, are good things.
We're crazy about sharing fun. Society taught us that it's good to innovate and spread the resulting fun to others.
Our craziness is incurable. But hey, we don't mind.
Did we speed up the "WindDance 1 At Play" video clip, as some in the "kite culture" accuse?
Heavens no. The speed you see -- in high-quality, smooth, 10 mph wind -- is for real. In the long version of the WindDance 1 At Play scene, in the background you can see other sport kites crawling through the air.
The WindDance 2 & 3 are even faster.
That speed comes from two sources:
The hot edge to powerzone acceleration and high powerzone speed come from the wind as you fly passively. You're the PILOT. You stand there and steer your WindDance and let the wind do its thing: the speed rises as you fly toward the powerzone of the flight envelope, and drops as you fly toward the edge.
The bursts of speed and the ultra-fast turning come from you as you fly actively using basic pull-on-your-kite-line skill. You're the pilot and the ENGINE. You swing both arms from way forward to way back perhaps stepping back as you apply pull for straight acceleration. You swing one arm back in a long and forceful pulling stroke to snap a tight, fast, powerful turn. Yes, it feels like the poling action while cross-country skiing. In brisk wind, the excitement may force you execute a few thousand pull-turning strokes per hour. The fuel source? Your previous meal, or perhaps your body's energy reserves that need depleting.
The physics of dual-line kite FLYING explain passive and active flying. To our astonishment, we discovered that no one in the history of kiting had ever derived these fundamental performance equations (simple high-school math) that are necessary to guide the kite designer toward hot FLYING performance. So we derived them. And we used them. It shows up in the performance of our WindDances. The "pull" equation shows why basic skill works, too.
As you can plainly see in our video clips, WindDances excel at passive and active flying.
Do other kites excel at passive and active flying?
No. Organized kiting has evolved away from passive and active flying. They've made excellent progress.
The following explains the profound differences between WindDances and the stunt kites from organized kiting:
When you passively fly their delta and parafoil dual-line kites, LESS HAPPENS. Less edge to powerzone acceleration and pull gain. Less powerzone speed. Less speed and pull when you turn. Less acceleration and pull gain when the wind kicks in. Less-lively pull in frisky wind.
When you actively fly their delta and parafoil dual-line kites, LESS HAPPENS. Less straight acceleration when you pull on both control lines. Less turning sharpness, speed, and power when you pull on one control line. Considerably less pull and exercise when you turn.
In short, you experience less visual & physical excitement. And less exercise.
Typically, gear for the general public is engineered to respond with the highest-possible performance to what Nature offers, such as to steepness of the slope (skis and surfboards) or to power of the wind (windsurfing gear). You apply power to your paddle, pedals, and so on -- because it's fun and good for your body -- and manufacturers engineer their gear to respond well to that basic skill.
Dual-line kiting, too, can be just like that. For example, we engineered hot passive-flying performance and hot active-flying performance into our WindDance parafoils -- as well as into several models of delta sport kites we played around with before WindDances and during the early years of WindDance development. Organized kiting could do it, too . . . if they wanted to.
Instead, driven by their internal culture and not by what the public likes, organized kiting has become entirely the opposite of mainstream sport & recreation. Organized kiting chose to design their 'hot' sport kites so they don't respond well to the wind. They designed them to be "killed, not FLOWN" using power-killing skill, and to respond with poor speed & turning to basic pull-on-your-kite-line skill. How many hot skis, bikes, and boards are intentionally engineered to not go fast or turn well?
Organized kiting's sport kites and power kites lose power when turned hard, an unnatural feel. Do you feel the forces drop when you turn hard on skis, a bike, or a board?
Organized kiting's preferred control handles -- wrist straps that pull on the backs and sides of your hands and squeeze your hand like a padded noose -- are specialized for their powerless way of flying: the handles become more comfortable when you slacken your lines, and less comfortable the harder you pull to the point of being painful for many flyers. Since it might hurt to do an exciting fast, tight, powerful spin by pulling forcefully with one hand, you don't do it. And focus on pain-killing skill instead.
In essence, organized kiting's favorite kites and favorite control handles have become aversion therapy for FLYING with basic skill:
Their kites punish you for trying to make full use of basic skill: not made to respond with hot turning to enthusiastic pull-turning skill, their delta and parafoil kites deform or break or fall out of the sky or turn powerlessly when you try. In advertising photos of 'performance' and 'power' kites, you can plainly see how half their bridles are missing which causes one side of the kite to be totally unsupported during full-bore pull-turns.
Their control handles punish you for trying to make full use of basic skill: because wrist straps pull on the backs and sides of your hands and squeeze (even 'comfortable' wrist straps do it), they can be painful when you pull-turn forcefully.
That's what organized kiting imposes. No other choices are offered. For example, we invited every specialty kite retailer in North America, in addition to selling the kite-culture's favorite kites and handles, to also offer WindDance parafoils and hand-friendly performance-enhancing control handles. And we invited them to tell their customers about how the sport's most spectacular speed & turning and best exercise comes from power-generating basic skill (not from power-killing advanced skill). Kite retailers wouldn't do it. No wonder so many have gone out of business. No wonder both USA kite magazines folded in the year 2000.
As other sports strive toward better & better performance from the forces of Nature and human natural skill, organized kiting heads off in the opposite direction.
We at Seattle AirGear chose not to follow. We chose to go with the flow of mainstream sport & recreation instead -- a much larger flow than organized kiting -- and to carry on the spirit of "kite FLYING" that organized kiting seems to have cast aside.
See why only WindDances excel at PASSIVE and ACTIVE flying?
How hard does a WindDance pull?
As the FLYING basics explain, it depends on you and the wind.
Judging from the way we and our customers have snapped Spectra control lines over the years (assuming they snapped at 50% of rated line strength, which is typical), the pull ranged from 0-150 lb for the WindDance 1, 0-200 lb for the WindDance 2, and 0-250 lb for the WindDance 3.
That is, the pull ranged from hardly any at all when flying at the edge of the flight envelope in light wind, to pull that was about 50% higher than the WindDance's Rated Pull Strength (100#/133#/167# for WD1/WD2/WD3) when shrieking through the powerzone in strong wind.
Mostly, the pull depends on where you are flying it on the flight envelope, on the strength of the wind, and on the quality of the wind. As you fly from the edge to the powerzone along a red power-gradient line the pull rises almost 20-fold: also see graph. As the wind speed rises, the pull rises as the square of the wind speed; for example, if the wind doubles in speed, the pull quadruples in strength: also see graph of powerzone pull vs. wind speed. Suppose the wind speed triples during a gust as you fly from the edge into the powerzone. The pull spikes almost 200-fold! The more turbulent the wind, the less the speed & pull. Two winds registering identical speeds on the meter, one smooth and the other turbulent, can produce very different pulls; a very smooth wind can produce twice the pull of a very turbulent one of the same speed!
To a lesser extent, it depends on the WindDance model. See the graph of powerzone pull vs. wind speed.
It also depends on how you have it tuned. Depending on the bridle setting, length & thickness & fuzziness of your two control lines, and length & bushiness of any tails, straight-flight powerzone pull can vary from about 50% less than what's shown in this performance curve to about 50% more.
How you turn a WindDance makes a big difference, too. Turning it energetically using full basic skill produces a very solid rise in pull, and the more tightly you turn it the more all that pull transfers into one arm which torques your body nicely like diagonal poling does when cross-country skiing. That accidental exercise is a nice side-effect of "real FLYING!" Even passive turning generates a rise in pull; when very-experienced "kite-culture" flyers turn a WindDance 3 for the very first time in stiff wind, it's fun to watch 'em suddenly stumble toward the kite because they had never experienced that natural steering & turning feel in a kite before -- and didn't expect it or brace for it! Sometimes, in strong winds, you have to "punch-turn" to keep the pull sane while turning.
How much -- and how rapidly -- can the pull vary as you fly? In steady wind, the pull can vary 20-fold. In gusty wind, it can vary 100-fold, 200-fold, and more. Also, the distribution of the pull into your arms can vary from being even in both arms, to all of it being in one arm when you crank a tight, powerful, high-speed turn. Doing that once per second can feel like hammering up a mountain on your bike -- but with your arms. ANY of these huge variations in pull can occur in one second or less. In addition, you can feel every ripple, bump, and jolt in the wind -- you can even feel the wakes from birds upwind or the wake from your partner's WindDance! We call all of this "pull liveliness", and real kite flyers sure like it! Did you notice how we used the work "can?" By driving your WindDance more sedately (like owners of turbocharged Ferraris often do), and by reducing the bridle setting and/or adding tails, the fluctuations are far less intense.
What does your body experience? Exciting liveliness. Amazing exercise.
So. How hard does it pull? 1) It's up to you, the WindDancer, the pilot and engine: where you FLY it on the flight envelope, how tightly & energetically you turn it, and how you tune it! 2) It also depends on the strength and quality of the wind you choose to fly in, and on the wind's surprises!
Power & traction kites pull forcefully. How can "WindDancing" be better exercise?
Actively turning "airgear" feels like pedaling a "bike" hard!
How does a power/traction/quad workout differ from a WindDancing workout?
How hard does a WindDance "PULL?"
During rip-your-arms-off, bulldoze-the-Earth-with-your-heels, get-dragged-and-lifted power/traction flying, you experience strong pull but little arm and body motion as the kite pulls your arms straight -- like Mel Gibson experiencing traction on the rack in the movie Braveheart. All you do is passively "hang on." It's like hanging onto a set of weights that are too heavy for you -- not pumping, not actively doing much with your arms and body except for experiencing the strain of hanging on, always with the same pull in both straight arms. If you use a harness, as many do, there's NO arm or upper-body strain. Terrible exercise.
Active WindDancing, in comparison to power/traction flying with the usual parafoils, can be intense athletic fun! When WindDancing you move your arms back as you pull on the control lines to turn it powerfully -- you swing them, one at a time, from front to back against the pull to make those powerful turns which look like this. It feels like poling while cross-country skiing. As everyone learns in high school, it's real exercise: your muscle motion against the force times the distance of your arm motion against the force equals the energy you burn. When all the pull ends up in one of your arms, it torques your whole body so you your work out many upper-body and lower-body muscles not usually exercised when flying a kite. The length of each swing-your-arm pull-turning stroke varies from a few inches long, to perhaps more than ten feet long. The force you work against -- as you pull with one arm at a time -- varies from a few ounces, to perhaps 150 pounds or more. Superb exercise. REAL kite flying works your upper body -- like walking and running works your lower body.
The above energy burning DOESN'T happen during the usual power/traction flying because there's so little arm motion since they're nearly always pulled straight, when you do pull back with one arm to turn the pull drops and stays even in both lines, and when a body harness is used you're not exerting your arms at all. Normal power/traction flying works your upper body -- like standing straight-legged with the same force on both feet, with a heavy back pack resting on your hips, works your lower body.
Few people on Planet Earth have enough strength or endurance to hold up to the power a WindDance 3 can deliver in stiff wind as the awesome speed & agility and cornering power entice you to turn it sharply once per second with active FLYING skill. The fun can make you do 1800 167-lb pumps per hour (167 lb is the Rated Pull Strength of a WindDance 3) -- one arm at a time with each side of your body using full basic skill -- with lots of dancing around as you actively generate and tame the straight-flight and cornering power to your liking. That's 3600 powerful, sharp, high-speed turns per hour (the average turn frequency in the "WindDance 1 At Play" video) with the outside wingtip shrieking through the air faster than 100 mph during each snappy turn. In a gym, try to pump 167 lbs 1800 times in an hour with each arm. WindDancing vigorously in strong wind feels like hammering your bike up a mountain -- but with your arms and upper body instead (see above).
Like with a bike, you can "pedal" it easily, too. Or you can just passively hang on and "coast" it along in the typical low-exercise, boring, power/traction-flying way.
"How hard does a WindDance PULL?" Due to the way the "kite culture" educates about kiting, it's usually the only thing flyers ask. (If the music world was like the "kite culture" world, music lovers would only care about, "How LOUD is that new CD?") Besides peak pull, what are the other exciting pull characteristics? CLICK HERE.
No other kite can exercise your body -- or excite your mind -- as intensely. Because a WindDance is "airgear" and not a typical "kite." Because WindDancing is "REAL kite flying" and not "kite-culture flying."
Compared to the usual power-&-traction flying, how much better is "airgear" exercise? With a WindDance the pull rises when you turn -- it feels like a progressive-resistance exercise machine -- and the more tightly you turn the more the pull transfers into one arm, forcing your entire body to resist the torque, repeatedly. The high-speed tight-turning fun makes you "pump air" and feel the burn. On a good day you can do 2000 pull-turn reps per hour for each side of your body, a total of 4000 reps per hour. A wonderful full-body workout. Without even thinking of working out. (For the sake of comparison, a good cyclist pedaling at 90 RPM does almost 11,000 an hour!)
During your WindDancing Workout, you can burn off 200 to 1000 calories per hour. See the graph. Remember, it's purely accidental. The fun makes you do it.
With other dual-line kites you have less speed & turning fun, the pull drops when you move your arms to turn, and the pull remains about the same in both arms. To turn a quad-line power kite you move your wrists, not your arms. Lack of arm and body motion, and lack of pull during arm motion and body motion, provides little exercise.
Compared to WindDancing, how much fun is power & traction flying -- and how do the workouts compare? Tie a long stretchy rope to a telephone pole, assume the "power-flying" position (both arms stretched into alignment with the control lines), and play tug-of-war. Try it with a power-harness on, too, so you don't have to exert your arms or upper body at all. Wow, what a workout!
Are WindDances "power kites" or "traction kites?"
No. And yes.
Typical "power kites" & "traction kites" are sluggish, boring aerial diesel trucks. The pull is strong, but it's steady & mushy and stays even in both arms. Speed & turning are lackluster. And the power dies if you try to actively turn it hard.
A WindDance, when energetically flown in strong wind using active full basic skill, provides a very different kind of power-flying experience. Acceleration and speed are higher. The pull is far more lively. Turning is sharper, faster, and much more powerful. The more tightly you turn, the more the power rises and the more it transfers into one arm. When WindDancing energetically, what you do to your arms and entire body is similar to what happens when you hammer up a hill on your mountain bike -- when turning a WindDance like crazy, you hammer with your arms, one at a time. See how it's far more exciting, and rips up your body lots more, than the usual tug-of-war with a "power kite?"
What are WindDances ideal for?
Easy, fun-recreation, healthful-exercise, high-performance sport-kiting:
Hotter speed & turning -- and easier -- than 'performance' flying with delta sport kites.
Livelier speed, turning, and pull -- and more-powerful turning and higher-quality exercise -- than 'power' flying with dual-line or quad power/traction kites.
The excitement of WindDancing (flying a WindDance) makes regular sport kiting and power flying seem boring.
If you're after hot speed & turning, WindDances replace 'performance' delta kites.
If you're after lively acceleration, lively pull, and powerful turning, WindDances replace delta 'performance' kites and 'power/traction' kites.
If you're after great exercise, strength and aerobic, WindDances replace 'power/traction' kites.
If you want a new, more-exciting kind of power flying from the same size kite in the same wind -- stronger powerzone pull, far more pull gain as you accelerate from the edge to the powerzone, stronger pull when the wind kicks in, considerably stronger pull when you turn, higher straight-line & turning speeds, very-tight turning with perfect tracking, and high-quality strength & aerobic exercise that comes from the frequent powerful active turning that asymmetrically loads your body like bicycling and cross-country skiing do -- WindDances replace 'power' kites.
While WindDancing, you can have all these different kinds of fun -- all at the same time.
Want extreme fun? WindDance side-by-side together with a significant other, family member, or friend -- two WindDances zipping and turning all over the same flight envelope -- while enjoying all the above fun.
Must you fly a WindDance intensely? No. As with a Ferrari, you can take it easy if you really want to.
We aeronautical engineered all these fun qualities into WindDances with great passion and care (our credentials). Nothing else comes close.
Are WindDances used for power kiting?
Yes. For a new and better kind of power flying.
Compared to flying a typical power or traction kite of the same span, when WindDancing you enjoy hotter edge-to-powerzone acceleration, hotter acceleration when the wind kicks in, more rapid and stronger pull gain during those accelerations, stronger powerzone pull but less pull at the edge, higher speed everywhere (except at the edge), sharper & faster turning, much stronger pull while turning because the pull rises when you turn (with other kites the pull drops when you turn), and more of a workout when turning because the tighter you turn the more all that pull transfers into one arm. Since that kind of turning forces large body muscles to frequently get into the act, the "pumping-air" pull-turning strength & aerobic workouts can be so intense you may burn up to 1000 calories per hour (see our calories burned per hour curves).
While flying a regular power or traction kite, you're the pilot -- and that's all. As you dig in your heels, lean back, and hang on with your straining arms pulled straight, you move your arms a little bit to keep it under control; with a quad, you twiddle your hands to control it. That's PASSIVE flying. Since you hardly move your arms or your body during the exertion, the exercise value is nil -- like when playing tug-of-war with a rope or when holding onto a set of weights that's way too heavy to lift. It's all strain with very little movement of your muscles. If you hook up your kite to a body harness, you barely use your arms or upper body at all. Terrible exercise.
While WindDancing, you're the pilot -- and you're also the engine when you generate turning speed & power using full basic skill. In 15-20 mph wind when your WindDance is moving really fast, doing edge-to-edge passes in less than three seconds and peaking at 60-80+ mph, you can easily do 3000 "pumping-air" turning reps per hour, 1500 for each side of your body. That's ACTIVE flying. As you work one side of your body at time, you repeatedly flog the active arm and many large body muscles that are barely used during normal power/traction flying. The workout is great, like when cross-country skiing or when pumping iron or when exercising on a machine.
While WindDancing in strong wind, you can get yanked downwind every time you fly into the powerzone, every time you encounter a big bump in the wind, and every time you turn anywhere close to the powerzone. During such turns, you get yanked by one arm! This can happen even with the small WindDance 1 in strong wind, and sometimes too intensely with the WindDance 3 for most people.
See how WindDancing in strong wind is more exciting, and better for your body, than normal power & traction flying? In comparison, organized kiting's power & traction flying is as much fun as playing tug-of-war with a long rope tied to a telephone pole or slow-moving car.
Are WindDances used for traction kiting?
Yes. The WindDance 1, 2, and 3 for beach buggying. The WindDance 3 for kite surfing. But they're not ideal for it.
WindDances as engines, due to their high aerodynamic efficiency and small size, are best suited for high-speed beam-reach land sailing with small streamlined vehicles on pavement or ice.
For the usual traction kiting -- kite buggying, kite skiing, sand skiing, all-terrain boarding, kite surfing, sea kayaking, etc. -- the high vehicle drag (including the high aerodynamic drag of the fun-seeker), the high power requirement especially for traveling uphill or on water, and sailing courses other than beam-reach courses all require a much bigger engine (bigger kite) which doesn't have to be all that efficient. Generally, WindDances are way too small.
Organized kiting, however, skillfully makes people believe that any parafoil kite -- even a tiny one -- always pulls like a bulldozer. Be aware of the brainwashing. Did they do it to you?
In high-performance kite sailing -- buggying on pavement, skiing on packed level snow -- you travel perpendicular to the wind direction faster than the speed of the wind, and the kite's pull is slightly forward of directly to the side. The kite flies at the side edge of its flight envelope and functions as a normal sail. WindDances have been used for this.
In low-performance traction kiting -- with a dune board, all-terrain skate board on rough ground, skim board at the beach, or sea kayak -- you're pulled along in the direction the wind, and you travel slower than the speed of the wind. When the kite is fairly stationary in the sky near the powerzone downwind of you, it functions as an aerial spinnaker. A WindDance simply won't fly like a spinnaker -- that is, like an old-fashion round parachute or like a quad parafoil hovering in the powerzone. But it might provide decent pull if you continuously "loop" or "power-eight" at high speed in the powerzone.
Visit our Kite Sailing link!
Our What is FLYING link discusses kite sailing, too -- because kite sailing IS kite FLYING!
We have more info about traction kiting:
What are the dangers?
If you want to be lifted high over hard ground, what kind of kite and skill do you need to land safely?
What's the fastest & safest method of wind propulsion (hint: it's not with a kite)?
For the rip-your-arms-off, bulldoze-the-Earth-with-your-heels style of traction kiting, what's the biggest bang for the buck?
We are developing a new kind of "airgear". Maybe large large versions, too -- that would be so insanely fast, agile,