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.
The WindDance story
- "If you want the best flying performance, you need a delta."
- "Parafoils cannot fly as well as deltas."
- "No way can a recreational kite outfly a hot competition kite."
- WindDance parafoils, besides outperforming other parafoils both sparred & sparless, outFLY deltas in several exciting ways!
- Deltas excel at tricks -- which are un-flying & non-flying stunts. WindDances excel at FLYING!
- Purely-recreational WindDances have far superior acceleration & speed, and turn faster & more-powerfully, than competition kites!
Performance-&-handling hallmarks? Features? Comparisons with other kites? How WindDances are the state-of-the-art in several exciting ways? How much fun they are? How you really get your money's worth? READ THIS!
Don't even think of WindDances as stereotype "parafoils," "power kites," or "traction kites."See them as what they are:
Superior-FLYING-performance alternatives to "delta sport kites!"
More speed-&-turning excitement -- and better for working out -- than "power kites!"
Efficient engines for high-speed beam-reach kite sailing!
Outstanding speed & turning and exceptional dual-line-kite exercise
from the wind
and the sport's simplest & easiest skills!
- Skillful & passionate aeronautical engineering. Engineering is mostly using common sense (engineering without using common sense produces garbage). See our credentials, other accomplishments, and how WindDances began.
- We followed the spirit of traditional kiting rather than sport-kiting's new flow.
We focused on the traditional way to fly a kite: pull on your kite lines to make it FLY.
We applied traditional common-sense about using kite lines: the only possible way to generate straight-line speed and turning speed in your kite is to pull on your kite lines.
Pull on both lines to keep it airborne, and to make it GO. Pull on one line to make it TURN & SPIN. The more strongly you pull, the faster it goes and the faster it turns & spins. The farther you pull, the longer the accelerations and spins.
Pull-on-your-kite-line skills -- when used with dual-line kites engineered for FLYING, that is, with kites engineered to respond with strong acceleration when you pull hard on both lines, and to respond with fast, tight, powerful turns & spins when you pull hard on one line -- generate the sport's highest levels of speed & turning performance! And it gives you great full-body exercise, too!
Keep this in mind: the sport's oldest, simplest, and easiest skills -- pull-on-your-kite-line skills -- provide these wonderful benefits!
As even children well know, doing the opposite -- suddenly forcing your kite lines to go slack -- eliminates your kite's pull, speed, and FLYING.
In the past, slackening your kite lines on purpose wasn't done all that much because it reduces your speed-&-turning excitement and the exercise you get.
But during this decade, the sport-kiting world concentrated on developing punch-&-jerk slacken-your-kite-line skills for punch-turning (a sharp but slow way of turning during which half the kite flies backwards), un-flying, and doing non-flying tricks. And on developing sport kites that respond in certain turning, un-flying, and non-flying ways to those speed-&-power-eliminating skills. For competition, the sport developed kites with low edge to power-zone acceleration and low responsiveness to the wind in order to get the required steady speed across the flight envelope. Not surprisingly, such sport kites turn out to have compromised FLYING performance. As reported in kite magazines, how well a sport-kite tumbles on the ground is more important than how well it FLIES in the three fundamental ways. At kite festivals, in kite magazines, and in kite shops, that low-performance way to fly is promoted as the highest-performance, highest-tech, and most-prestigious form of sport-kiting that flyers should aspire to.
Does it strongly appeal to the mainstream public? No. Only to relatively small numbers of trick & competition flyers.
How does the public see this new way of flying? Realistically.
How did this happen to sport-kiting? It's so simple to understand: where competition went, the rest of the sport followed. Competition drives other sports, too. Competition is about doing something difficult better than other competitors. In most sports, competitive endeavor raises performance levels. For example, competition elevated speed & turning in windsurfing as well as the speed & turning performance of windsurfing gear. But the effect of competition on sport-kiting is different. For starters, stunt competition requires kites that distort and lose performance to achieve steady speed, as well as kites that partially fly backwards when performing sharp corners. Shortly after stand-offs (tiny spars that tighten the sail) were added to dual-line delta kites around 1990, trick flying began. Ever-increasing difficulty in the form of un-flying and non-flying stunting -- trick flying -- became integral to competition. But kites bred for low acceleration and low responsiveness to the wind, and for superb un-flying and non-flying performance including ground-tumbling excellence, don't FLY all that well. Punch-&-jerk slacken-your-kite-line punch-turning and trick-flying skills do the opposite of what smooth pull-on-your-kite-line FLYING skills do. Pull-on-your-kite-line skills are barely used, so good FLYING response to those skills, to pull-on-one-line skill especially, was bred out of trick & competition kites. Because the sport followed competition's lead, most sport kites sold today -- including beginner kites -- are competition and trick style kites and the sport & trade push competition and trick flying, even onto people who would prefer the traditional FLYING way of sport-kiting. The consequence? In startling contrast to the rest of the sport and recreation world, competition brought performance levels down. A possible message? Perhaps something as enjoyable and back-to-nature as kite flying is not meant to be serious and competitive.
While modern sport-kiting developed and enjoyed slack-line flying -- including the slack speed-&-turning performance, the low exercise value, and the high difficulty -- we at Seattle AirGear did the opposite. We aeronautically-engineered WindDances to respond to simple & easy pull-on-your-kite-line skills -- and to the wind -- with exhilarating speed & turning & power! And to feel like airborne exercise machines!
This wonderful WindDance performance, as well as how easy it is, is shown in our video! We sent a copy to every kite retailer in the USA and Canada!
As modern sport-kiting veered away from traditional flying, Seattle AirGear improved upon it -- in ease, performance, and exercise benefit -- and came up with "WindDancing!"
- We followed the public mainstream.
We applied mainstream wisdom in several ways. Here is one.
With other dual-line kites -- sport kites and power kites -- the pull typically drops when you turn. It feels vague & dull & unnatural, makes it difficult for beginners to learn how to fly, and reduces the exercise value.
Rather than engineering WindDances to feel like other dual-line kites, we engineered them to feel like the other vehicles and gear and activities we all have in our lives.
An "increasing-resistance" steering & turning feel is engineered into virtually everything that moves, including all cars and bicycles. Everybody knows that feel. Whenever you turn while driving, cycling, surfing, skiing, and skating, you feel the force rise. No matter what the activity (the only exception is dual-line kiting) you feel the force RISE when you turn. It's universal. So we engineered that feel into WindDances. It provides positive & accurate control because you feel every turn and correction you make, it enables fast learning because it feels so familiar and natural, and it feels so lively and exciting!
It also provides wonderful exercise: as you swing your arms from front to back while doing pull-turns, it feels like the poling action while cross-country skiing! A WindDance feels like an airborne exercise machine! That accidental full-body exercise -- the fun makes you do it -- is the "WindDancing Workout!"
- To offer a type of dual-line kiting that's more like mainstream recreation & mainstream gear.
WindDancing is based on natural apply-power skills like in normal sport & recreation -- apply power to your bicycle pedals, paddle shaft, skis, poles, skates, etc. -- rather than on unnatural cut-power skills like in trick & competition sport-kiting.
Sport-kiting is like driving. Pulling on your line(s) is like stomping on the gas. Slackening your line(s) is like taking your foot off the gas. With sport kites or sports cars, which of these two skills gives the most performance and fun?
With a good sports car, and with a WindDance, you can stomp on the gas while turning hard. But with most sport kites, you can't pull hard on one line in order to turn hard because it causes the kite to turn poorly or break or fall out of the sky, serious design/engineering defect.
WindDancing provides good full-body exercise, one of the benefits of mainstream recreation. You pull on your line(s) by swinging your arms like when walking, and the pull RISES when you turn. The speed & turning fun makes you do it! More exercise than trick & competition flying, where you go for zero pull by slackening your lines, where the pull drops when you turn. Better exercise than power flying, where the exercise is from hanging on with your arms stretched, where the pull drops when you turn.
Like good windsurfing gear, and like high-performance ice boats, WindDances respond to the wind with strong acceleration and rising speed that you see and feel. With other dual-line kites, competition & trick kites especially, edge to power-zone acceleration and acceleration due to rising wind are considerably less.
Like all kinds of vehicles here on Planet Earth, WindDances have a nice user-friendly increasing-resistance steering-&-turning feel. And like all activities that people enjoy all over the world (the lone exception being dual-line kiting), when WindDancing the force RISES when you turn. Other dual-line kites have the opposite feel which makes them more difficult and less fun.
We also applied mainstream wisdom to dual-line control handles: design them so flyers can sensitively feel the wind and their kite, so flyers can use natural swing-your-arm pull-on-your-kite-line skill, and make them comfortable. The popular strap-loop/wrist-strap handles, good for trick-flying because they encourage you to slacken your lines, are not suitable for FLYING sport kites because they prevent good feel of the wind & your kite, and because they cause discomfort and sometimes pain when you pull. The first stunt-kite book we ever read taught us how they can seriously injure hands. No other sports use strap-loop/wrist-strap handles. The mainstream knows better. The other types of handles available cause discomfort while using natural swing-your-arm pulling skill and/or prevent you from using natural swing-your-arm skill. See BASIC INFO links below.
After experiencing all these problems, we came up with common-sense FLYING handles in 1989. We hope some enterprise begins mass-producing something like them soon. Handles ideal for FLYING dual-line kites are not yet available at kite retailers. Currently you have to make your own, easily done by converting wrist-straps into superb FLYING handles.
Besides looking at dual-line kiting's tiny picture, we looked at the big picture. When we applied the above trends established by mainstream recreation & mainstream gear -- big universal trends outside of kiting -- we came up with a new form of sport-kiting that's easier, higher performance, and better for your body! "WindDancing!"
- To offer a type of dual-line kiting that's more in line with what the public wants.
The two choices offered by the sport?
Trick & competition flying. It features relatively low speed-&-turning FLYING performance using difficult cut-power skills with the major focus on un-flying your kite and doing non-flying tricks such as flipping it like a coin and tumbling it on the ground. This type of flying is showcased at kite festivals, in kite magazines, and in most kite videos. All these kites are dual-line deltas that do not FLY all that well in the three fundamental ways because they're made to respond well to punch-&-jerk slacken-your-kite-line-skill rather than pull-your-kite-line-skill, because they're made to respond poorly to the wind to enable steady speed over the flight envelope, and because they're optimized for the un-flying and non-flying types of flying including to handle superbly on the ground. Most inexpensive deltas also have "trick-&-competition" appearance and performance. The exercise-quality is low: you mainly slacken your lines, and the pull drops when you turn.
Power flying. It features strong but rather steady pull that stretches your arms, drags you, and lifts you off the ground. Some retailers don't dare show power-flying videos for fear of scaring away customers. Most of these kites are parafoils. The exercise is largely isometric and the overall quality is low: the exercise is from hanging on, like when playing tug-of-war, and the pull drops when you turn.
These two choices -- created by the kiting community for the kiting community -- simply are not what most people in the general public want.
If you want a dual-line kite with hot FLYING performance, or if you want good exercise, you're usually sold something else.
Unfortunately for consumers, besides severely limiting the choices, the sport & trade also make it difficult to choose wisely. Kites and their performance are presented using inaccurate stereotypes. The common-sense truth about control handles is kept quiet or flatly denied. The story about skills is not correctly presented either: the sport & trade teach that pull-on-your-kite-line skills are for beginners and low performance, and that slacken-your-kite-line skills are for high performance and are necessary to be a good flyer. You encounter this misinformation at kite festivals, in kite magazines, in kite shops, and on kite web sites.
It is easy to develop delta and parafoil sport kites that respond with wonderful FLYING qualities to pull-on-your-kite-line skills that are similar to children's single-line skills. We have, both parafoil and delta sport kites. And it is easy to teach these simple skills. But the sport-kiting community as a whole doesn't seem to want kites or skills like that -- or to make them available to the public.
Look inside the sport & trade. And at how the sport & trade could easily make more flyers happy and foster growth of the sport and prosperity for the trade.
For many in the sport -- and for the millions of potential new sport-kite flyers in the general public -- actually FLYING a kite using simple apply-power skills to keep it flying with nice speed & turning, is the whole point of kite flying! Although many flyers and most people simply don't care for "trick flying" or "competition flying" -- preferring sport-kite FLYING instead -- the sport barely promotes sport-kite FLYING anymore. We do! "WindDancing!" See our video!
For many in the sport -- and for the millions of potential new dual-line flyers in the general public -- exciting safe-&-sane flying with high-quality full-body exercise would be preferred over "power flying." Good exercise comes from exertion with movement, like when running or weight-training. With a good dual-line kite, you get this exercise as you swing your arms and move your body to accelerate and turn -- especially if your kite has increasing-resistance steering-&-turning and very exciting speed-&-turning! The sport does not offer such a combination. We do! "WindDancing!" See our video!
As Hollywood and Madison Avenue well know, people in the mainstream like speed & turning thrill! Especially when they can participate in and feel the power of that speed & turning! Since other dual-line kites typically do not respond well to pull-on-your-kite-line skills or to the wind, and since they typically lose power when you turn them, the sport doesn't offer a form of sport-kiting that features speed & turning thrill including the awesome feel of turning power. We do! "WindDancing!" See our video!
You don't have to worry much about damaging your WindDance during high-speed crashes! Or during midair collisions while WindDancing side-by-side with a friend!
To get the most out of some dual-line kites, you need a $100 set of instructional videos, which are mostly about how to cut pull, speed, and FLYING in many different ways.To get the most out of a WindDance, all you need is to build upon your childhood single-line kite flying skills:
What's really amazing is that this simplest & easiest way has always been the hottest way to FLY a dual-line kite!
- Internalize basic kite FLYING theory -- pull = speed = FLYING.
- Learn how to pull on your kite lines -- swing your arm(s) from front to back as you step back.
- As you fly, feel for pull, maintain at least a few ounces of pull to keep it flying, and go for pull to get highest speed, hottest turning, and the most exercise!
Compared to other dual-line kites, WindDances offer this: More speed-&-turning performance from less skill! Fun-induced full-body exercise! All with a versatile and virtually-indestructible kite! No spars or hardware, therefore a safer kite, too! Compact! A rolled-up WindDance 1 & bag will fit into a large coffee cup!
To most people, this kind of sport-kiting -- which is never promoted in kite shops or on kite web sites, or featured at kite festivals -- makes more sense! And sounds like more fun!
"WindDancing!" Easy, fun-recreational, high-performance, sport-kite FLYING!
WindDance dual-line parafoil stunt kites/sport kites are developed, sold, and backed by Seattle AirGear.
WindDance, WindDancing, Seattle AirGear, and AirGear are trademarks of Seattle AirGear.
Copyright © 1995-2017 Seattle AirGear.
This page last revised Sep-15-1998