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.
Your money's worth!
Speed in the flight envelope power zone is about 4-times wind speed. Power-zone pull is about 16-times edge pull. On 75-ft lines in 15-mph wind, from the edge to the power zone a WindDance does zero to 60 mph in less than two seconds -- the 16-fold pull increase is exciting, too. These speed & pull increases are considerably higher than with deltas -- including trick kites and precision & ballet competition models -- and considerably higher than with power kites, too.
When the wind kicks in, a WindDance responds with strong acceleration and sharply rising pull. And you feel every bump in the wind. An exciting and lively feel while flying straight! More so than with other dual-line kites.
The pull RISES when you turn. The benefits? Superior steering-&-turning control, faster learning, better exercise, and a new exciting and lively feel while maneuvering! When you turn a WindDance, it feels like hitting the accelerator when you turn the steering wheel. Other kites -- deltas, other parafoils, and sparred parafoils -- don't have nearly the positive feel or turning power because their pull typically drops when you turn them.
WindDances turn & track like they're on rails. They turn on a wingtip -- and turn, hairpin, and spin faster than most deltas of the same wing area. And they're accurate and precise, even when stronger wind makes them fast: in 15-mph wind, the WindDance 1 can do a 10-ft square in less than one second, performance that few deltas of the same wing area can match.
WindDances have superior handling at the edge, too. From a side-edge hover near the ground in light wind, you can sharply hairpin-turn downward into a pass toward the power zone, or snap a fast & powerful downward spin, difficult moves for most stunt kites.
Wide high-performance wind range, from 3-5 mph to 30 mph. One bridle setting (two simple adjusters) provides peak speed & turning performance in that range. When you become good at using the basic skill in the user's manual, WindDances can be flown in winds below 3-5 mph; some flyers do 360s in light and zero winds. In winds above 15-20 mph, you may wish to reduce the bridle setting slightly to restrict the pull to sane levels. Each WindDance model, a good light-wind kite, becomes a hot power kite in strong wind. Deltas are different: if you want decent performance, you need different kites (large for light winds to small for strong winds) to cover this same wind range, as well as a different bridle setting every time the wind changes. WindDances are pure speed-&-turning joy in wildly fluctuating winds!
As a 9-ft ultra-light delta and a WindDance 1, 2, and 3 fly in 4 mph wind, suppose the wind suddenly gusts to 20 mph. The delta self-destructs in midair. The WindDances become high-speed tight-turning power kites, the WindDance 3 pulling twice as hard as the WindDance 1.
How do WindDances compare to trick deltas and precision & ballet competition deltas? WindDances can't turn as tightly: they turn on a wingtip; good deltas can turn around the kite center, during which half the kite flies backwards. WindDances, except for stalls and backflips and tail-down spin landings and relaunches in light winds, can't stop on command because they want to keep FLYING, and can't do most aerial & ground tricks because they don't have a solid frame to keep them in shape. Compared to deltas that understeer/oversteer and skid, WindDances are more accurate and precise when carving straight lines, turns, and patterns; compared to specialized precision deltas, WindDances are about as accurate and precise. With a WindDance, tight pattern flying happens at higher speed -- at much higher speed in medium and strong winds -- which means you have to be a quick and powerful pilot, a supreme challenge to your FLYING ability and it's tremendous fun! With trick and competition deltas, there's relatively little speed change from the edge to the power zone, or when the wind picks up. With WindDances, these speed changes can be extreme and very exciting. Deltas tend to skid & wobble in turns and fly in jerky fashion, trick kites especially. WindDances are the smoothest and most graceful fun-machines in the sky.
The differences between WindDances and trick & competition deltas are something like differences between World War 2 and World War 1 fighter aircraft: thicker wings, more power & acceleration, greater straight-line & turning speed, far more force while turning, and superior aerobatic agility. The similarity? WindDance turning is only slightly looser.
How do WindDances compare to ultra-light-wind deltas? Specialized light-wind deltas are superior in near-zero wind. The WindDance 3 needs 2-3 mph when peaked-tuned, and flies and turns faster and more-powerfully than ultra-light-wind deltas. The WindDance 2 needs about 1 mph more than the WindDance 3, the WindDance 1 about 2 mph more. The deltas can fly only in light winds because they severely deform and self-destruct in stronger winds. WindDances are good at both -- in stronger winds they become exciting power kites.
How do WindDances compare to typical power kites? With "power kites," the pull although strong is relatively dead-feeling: the pull-increases when passing through the power zone or encountering gusts are softer and less intense, that is, the pull is relatively steady like when playing tug-of-war with a rope tied to a telephone pole, and the pull typically drops when you turn. With a WindDance, the pull is far more lively and exciting, and the speeds are higher and the turning much faster, too.
If the wind is brisk and you've peak-tuned your WindDance, you get raw FLYING performance -- from a purely-recreational fun kite -- that's vastly more spectacular in speed & turning than anything ever seen in trick and competitive and power flying!
This happens. Quickly subdue speed & pull -- for first-time flyers, for slow leisurely flying, or to be able to fly in very strong wind -- by attaching a pair of long & colorful tails. Is colorful really necessary? We think so. Want to have less pull but keep most of the high speed in strong winds? Reduce the bridle setting a little.
Only basic skills are needed. Pull on one line to make it turn or spin. Pull on both lines to keep it airborne and make it go faster. To turn or spin, swing one arm from front to back (like when walking fast) as you pull; to sustain a turn or spin, move away from your kite as you pull. To keep it airborne when pull drops low, and to accelerate, swing both arms from front to back while moving away from your kite as you pull (like with a single-line kite). The harder you pull, the faster it turns & spins and the faster it goes. The longer you sustain the pull, the longer that fun lasts. You feel for pull, maintain at least some pull, and go for pull. Since these skills are so much like single-line flying skills and since they're a lot easier than today's delta-kite skills, even eight-year-olds have caught on fast.
Pull hard on one line -- and your WindDance responds with a tight, high-speed, powerful turn or spin. Other stunt kites typically respond to that basic skill with poor turning performance, or they fall out of the sky, or something in the kite breaks. Let go of one line -- and your WindDance typically keeps flying, spinning tightly. Other kites typically stop flying and fall to the ground.
The WindDancing Workout. You get a much better workout than with other stunt/sport kites of the same wing area, and a better workout than with power kites, too.
Trick flying is about eliminating pull, so there's little exercise involved. Most stunt/sport kites including competition models require push-turning skill, also little exercise involved. With most sport kites and power kites, the pull drops when you turn, which drops the exercise value, too.
In rip-your-arms-off bulldoze-the-earth-with-your-heels get-yanked-off-the-ground power flying, dual-line or quad, it's poor exercise because you're not moving your arms and body much. Try this: anchor your power-flying strap handles 10 feet off the ground, put your hands into them, kick the ladder out from under you, and hang there. Does it feel like good exercise?
To prevent that strain and pain, some power flyers wear a flying harness to which they anchor the two flying lines with a pulley system. While turning they feel little to no pull with their arms, and they get very little exercise. It's mainly isometric exercise for the leaned-back lower body as it functions as an anchor post.
WindDancing exercise is the opposite in all those respects. With a WindDance, you go for pull and mostly use pull-turning skill. Because the pull RISES every time you turn due to its engineered-in "increasing-resistance" steering & turning feel, a WindDance feels more like an airborne exercise machine than a typical stunt kite. It feels like the poling action while cross-country skiing. And you move around a lot, too, as you create speed & tight turns and respond to the wind -- and as you respond to your partner's WindDance (see below). Wonderful full-body exercise, that's often aerobic. The speed-&-turning fun makes you do it!
No. Slow, leisurely WindDancing is a wonderful way to relax. It's easy in light winds. In heavier winds, slow it way down with long & colorful tails, and push-turn to slow down the turns and to reduce the pull while turning. You can stand, sit, or lie in one spot and fly with little arm movement and effort. WindDances are so smooth and graceful in the air. "Looks like good therapy," remarked a passerby. Exactly.
WindDances are virtually indestructible. If you have difficulty with ground-avoidance as a new flyer, no problem. A new flyer and a new WindDance break in together. They bounce. Loudly. Be careful, though: the loud impact concussions can startle bystanders.
What if it doesn't bounce and keep flying when you crash? With a little help from the wind, jiggle it into shape with your flying lines and self-relaunch immediately, with nearly 100% success in stronger winds.
When not successful in lighter winds, walking to your crumpled WindDance to set it up for self-launching and walking back to your control handles -- 150-200 ft per round trip -- is good exercise, one of the benefits of outdoor recreation.
Trick and competition flyers call that the "Walk of Shame." Recreational fun flyers, however, see no shame in walking for exercise.
Only one wing-attachment loop per cell and only two rows of bridle lines, fewer than other dual-line parafoils. Two simple bridle adjusters, that you periodically use to maintain peak tuning. The WindDance bridle is extremely simple. Tangling? Simply not a problem. You keep the two ends of the bridle connector loops attached to their mooring loops when your WindDance is not flying -- see illustration -- which makes tangling impossible. Flyers have accidentally crashed and thrashed their WindDances in ocean surf, encountered no tangling, emptied out the water & sand, and relaunched. When tangling does occur, it's easy to undo because the simple instructions in the user's manual work. What if it gets really tangled? We quickly send instructions and diagrams on how to reassemble the bridle. If you prefer, we can untangle it for you. It usually takes Sue about 5 to 30 seconds. Your cost = cost of insured return shipping ($6 for Priority Mail if you live in the USA). Strong bridle lines. What if some do break? You get new ones -- free -- from Seattle AirGear.
Like all other dual-line sport kites, there are two bridle adjusters. But unlike all the others, only ONE peak-tuned setting is good for ALL wind strengths. You may have to make adjustments for the roughness/smoothness of the wind and your skill, and to tame the pull in strong winds. What could be simpler.
In the illustration, see how it works? The adjuster line is attached to the ends of the B-lines. When you increase the bridle-setting (that measurement distance described in the user's manual) from the pre-set "First-flight" setting, the B-lines shorten which increases the WindDance Wing's angle-of-attack which reduces speed. See where the adjuster line hits the connector loop? It attaches to the connector loop with a "sheetbend hitch" (it's not even a knot); it "catches" on a "stop" sewn into the connector loop.
To increase the bridle setting, do this: Land or crash your WindDance (landing and crashing are the same thing) and secure your control handles to your ground stake. The wind against the kite's underside pulls all the bridle lines straight. Using your thumbnail, slide the adjuster line's "sheetbend hitch" away from the "stop" by 1 mm or so toward the kite-line end of the connector loop, then pull on the loose end of the adjuster line to tighten. Measure the new setting with the tuning ruler. Tweak if necessary. Incredibly easy!
Begin from the "First-flight" setting, which provides pretty good performance. If it collapses due to rough wind and rough skill, increase the bridle setting 1 mm at a time until it stops (perhaps as much as 7 mm higher than the "First-flight" setting). For smooth wind and smooth skill, reduce the setting in 1 mm increments until you experience the maximum speed the WindDance is capable of delivering (perhaps as much as 3 mm lower than the "First-flight" setting). That one best bridle setting provides top speed & fastest turning for all wind speeds for the same quality of wind and skill.
It's like tuning in a radio station with a radio that has a tuning knob rather than digital buttons: you turn the knob until it comes in loud and clear. Like when tuning a radio, when tuning a WindDance you go slightly past the best-tuned point to make sure, and then tune back a little to the point of maximum speed (many WindDance owners don't do this, and miss out on loads of Pure Fun because of it). Your WindDance's speed, pull -- and high-speed sound -- definitely tell you when you're there!
After flying the same WindDance2000 1, 2, & 3 since September-1999, the cumulative stress and wear-and-tear of flying and crashing has caused the fabric to change shape very slightly. The stretch is so subtle you can't even see or measure it. But to compensate, we've had to reduce the bridle setting from our "favorite" setting by 5 mm, in 1 mm increments, over the years. That is, our "favorite" bridle setting -- a setting slightly less than the maximum speed setting, which gives hot speed with less pull -- has slowly drifted downward by 5 mm in 2+ years. For example, for the WD2 our "favorite" setting was 23 mm for a new kite (3 mm less than the "First-flight" setting of 26 mm) and now it is 18mm (8 mm less than the "First-flight" setting). That's 1/4th the drift of the original WindDances! Due to this simple tuning, our old beat-up WD2 with frayed & dirty bridle lines still flies like a rocket on steroids! And in bumpy wind it still feels as lively and solid as if it's made out of thin sheet aluminum!
When we go WindDancing, here are the adjustments we make. We fly with 100 lb, 75 ft lines and switch to 135 lb or 150 lb in stronger winds. Almost always, we fly at our "favorite" setting (see above paragraph). For wind that's extremely turbulent, we add "bumpy-wind adapters" to prevent collapsing and to smooth out the jolty ride which makes it easier on the body; the adapters boost speed & pull also, and they make rough wind seem smooth! In very strong wind we add a pair of tails to reduce the speed which subdues the pull; sometimes, to reduce pull without sacrificing much speed, we reduce the bridle setting by 1-2 mm. Very occasionally, for difficult gnarly wind, we fly at a setting that's 1 mm higher than our "favorite" setting. Very occasionally, when our kites are wet and sandy, we fly at a setting that's 1-2 mm lower (and then after they dry out and after we shake off the sand, we go back to the normal "dry & clean" setting). Almost always, in all kinds of winds, we fly at our "favorite" setting -- to cope with different conditions, fiddling with the bridle is rarely necessary. Simple.
Compared to delta 'performance' kites
HOTTER than deltas in acceleration, speed, tracking, turning speed, turning power, speed response to the wind, speed-&-turning response to pull-on-your-kite-line skills, aerobatic agility, wind range, and ability to fly with hot performance in winds that fluctuate between light & strong!
EASIER to learn on, fly & maneuver, set up, take down, and transport than deltas!
STRONGER than deltas during gusts, heavy winds, crashes, and midair collisions!
Compared to parafoil 'power' & 'traction' kites
More exciting than 'power kites:" Higher speed! Faster & tighter turning! Livelier pull! The pulses of pull when passing through the power zone or encountering gusts are stronger and more solid! And the pull rises when you turn -- in strong wind you can get yanked downwind every time turn anywhere near the power zone!
Better exercise than 'power flying:' When playing tug-of-war-with-the-wind with a 'power kite,' the exercise is merely from hanging on, arms pulled straight and unable to bend or move them much. Strenuous, but poor exercise. Good exercise comes from force with movement. With a WindDance, when you do high-speed tight-turning aerobatics, the exercise quality is far higher. Solid pull that RISES when you turn -- with lots of arm and body motion -- provides a great workout! Each turn is a rep of "pumping air!" Do many and your body burns! It can be aerobic, too, even in light winds! In stronger wind, the smaller WindDances work best!
WindDance side-by-side with a friend, two WindDances zipping around in the same airspace! What if they collide in midair? No problem. Instantly recover and keep flying. Play airgames such as "follow the leader" or "try to catch me!" Invent your own games on the fly! In medium to strong winds, picture this: two WindDance 1s darting & shrieking through the air, high-speed close & tight maneuvering, 100+ mph relative approach-&-pullaway speeds with many near misses! Exciting and spectacular? Intensely so! And it's all purely recreational! The only rule is to have fun!
Yes. For two reasons.
They use inappropriate slacken-your-kite-line skill and/or rough & jerky technique rather than the basic pull-on-your-kite-line skill and smooth technique that have always been needed to FLY a kite well.
They don't read and heed the user's manual. The manual and its update explain how to maximize your fun: how to think and do basic skill, how to tune, many fun things to practice to develop your skills, how to prevent and solve problems, how we guarantee each WindDance to fly as advertised, and how we supply replacement bridle parts for free. Because they don't read the user's manual, their WindDances don't come close the speed, turning, and power they are capable of. Nor will they last as long as they should. They don't know that they can call Seattle AirGear if they have trouble. There might be something wrong with their WindDance, and we would be glad to immediately repair or replace it, but they don't know about our guarantee. They don't know about the free replacement bridle lines either. By not reading and heeding their user's manual, they get only a fraction of their WindDance's speed and pull potential, they miss out on loads of pure fun, and they don't come close to getting their money's worth. They lose. And we lose, too, because it's negative advertising for WindDances.
For the usual things, to FLY as advertised, and to be reasonably strong & durable: crashing is OK as long as the impacts are under 60 mph (100 km/h), are not habitual, and are onto kite-friendly ground.
In the event of accidental bridle damage, you get free bridle-repair replacement materials & parts with instructions from Seattle AirGear -- for the life of your WindDance.
As they undergo wear-&-tear over a long period of time, and as you periodically adjust the peak-tuned bridle setting downward slightly by about 0.5 mm per year to compensate for that wear-&-tear, your WindDance's speed and power suffer little and stability, forgiveness, and turning performance keep getting better!
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 Jan-5-2002