Step 2: Single Line Kites: Essential Equipment.
To Start With the Obvious:
Some flying line.
A handle or reel to wind the line onto.
You would be surprised by how many people buy a kite and open the packet on the beach, only to find one of those three things missing.
After that, things get a little more complicated, depending on the sort of kite you are flying. If you are flying a fairly small or simple single-line kite, usually all you need is somewhere to fasten your kite.
Some Choices for Securing:
Bits of the scenery, such as handy rocks or small bushes.
Furniture, such as beach-shelters, deck chairs and the like.
A bag of sand or gravel. This is quite convenient, since all you need to do is have a carrier bag in your pocket.
A ground stake. This is a spike that you hammer or screw into the ground, with a loop at the top to fasten your kite onto. A good style looks like a corkscrew and can be bought from pet shops, intended to fasten dogs to.
A carabiner (climber's "crab") is also useful, as it can quickly clip your kite to a handy object (beware, though, that cheap key-ring crabs are not strong enough for large kites). Never fasten a large kite to a pushchair, especially if it holds a small child! Of course, you could always be boring and hold the handle in your hand.
If you are flying larger one-liners, or it is windy, gloves are essential. A taut kite-line can cut to the bone, and at least one person has got the line tangled around their ankle. Several people are killed every year by kites, mainly from line-related injuries. Ordinary gardening gloves are good, and cheap enough to leave in your kite bag. A good rule of thumb is to never pull or hold your line with a bare hand, just to avoid falling into bad habits.
Spare tails are useful if wind conditions are variable, or if the tail of your kite is long and liable to get caught and torn. It is also useful to bring along something to wind your tails onto, such a pieces of heavy card, hardboard or thin plywood. This is particularly useful for the easy storage of dragon kites.
Stuff to Have in Case of Emergency:
It is useful to have an emergency repair kit, even for a kite you only paid 99p for.
Scissors: pick a sharp pair, small enough to be convenient to carry, yet tough enough to cut through several thicknesses of line and sail material.
Tape: Sticky tape is useful for fixing small cuts or tears, especially in plastic kites, but if a rip is large enough to need gaffa ('duck' or 'duct') tape, then it is large enough to warrant packing up and going home to fix it properly.
Glue and paper: paper kites sometimes come unstuck at the seams, so a glue stick will help to attach a small patch. Rips in paper can get worse quickly, so gluing small patches over rips helps to greatly extend the life of a kite.