In the far flung land of China an idea was born. Some say it was born 2,800 years ago by two great philosophers. Some suggest it's even older.
I say it doesn't matter, because it is still awesome.
I love kites and you should too. But, DrZiplock, once you grow out of being an awkward young child, kites aren't good for anything and are stupid.
It is you who are stupid.
I've been flying for awhile, but got really into it when I worked at The Kite Loft in Ocean City, MD for a few summers with some of my best friends. If you ever make it down to OC, be sure to check the place out.
There are many different kinds of kites, so we'll cover the basics first.
Single line kites.
These are the kites that you had as a kid. Often they come in a variety of different shapes and are only made up of a few spars. Easy to put up, easy to take down. These are generally used as decorative kites. Some examples:
That's a big damned delta. 60 feet from tip to tip. I've only ever flown a 20'.
Other examples of one lines are box kites and novelty kites. However you can also find giant foils on one line kites which are like parachutes.
Some people even fly things off of the line of these very stable kites:
Things like this 90' long spin sock. This thing is so much fun to launch.
There are also people who fight with one line kites. Powdered resin is added to the line and then crushed glass is added to the line. The goal is to cut the line of your opponents kites.
Don't have your music on for the video. Just...don't.
You have 2 line delta stunt kites, which are great for fast turns, spins, flips and formation flying:
Four line stunt kites, which are harder to learn but more awesome than delta stunt kites. These things are all about control. If you held out your hand, I can land mine in the palm of it.:
These things are the shit. I've been powerkiting for the last 6 or so years. They come in a variety of flavors as well. There are two line foils which pull like a truck and there are four line foils which have more control. Depending on the particular style of the kite it can drag you down the beach or launch you 20+ feet into the air. We used to jump lifeguard towers on the beach.
Then we figured we should put a board on our feet and head out into the water. That's when we first learned to kiteboard:
These guys are professionals, but most people can learn to kiteboard with about a week of instruction. I don't recommend learning on your own. Besides, the gear isn't cheap.
So what are you all doing this weekend? Going out and flying a kite!
edit: holy shit, long OP.