With an interesting and fun extreme outdoor activity such as power kiting, maintaining the kite and putting it away properly is the key to a long and successful kite life.
Kite flying has become an extremely popular hobby and sport over the past ten years with power kites in an array of different sizes and shapes, each for a different use and experience. You can use power kites for surfing, bugging, snowboarding, boarding, or even just flying and learning how to kite jump in a wide open space.
Getting a tangled kite out of your bag when you come to use it is frustrating when all you want to do is start flying your kite. Usually you can find the instructions for putting your kite away in the instruction manual, but when you don’t have one, use my top tips to pack your kite away with ease. Using this method you should be able to get your kite out every time without the lines being tangled and it be ready to fly straight away.
Step 1: Landing Your Kite in the Right Place
It makes it so much easier to pack your power kite if you do not have to fight the wind to put it away. When you land your kite you should bring it to the outskirts of the wind window where there is less wind and gently set it down.
You want to make sure the kite is fully on the floor and not likely to take off again before you begin to pack away your kite. In strong and windy conditions, it might be useful for another person to hold down the kite at the other end whilst you continue with step two.
Top Tip: Make sure your lines are not tangled before you begin packing up. If your lines are straight when you pack them, they will be straight when you take them out again. If your kite is already tangled, you may consider laying it out in your garden or in a low wind area so you can pack it up ready to be used for your next adventure.
I am using a Rush Pro Power Kite with a handle bar within this example however, this method should work for most types and make of power kite.
Step 2: Winding the Lines
Keep the safety strap on your wrist for this step so that the kite doesn’t lift off unexpectedly and fly away.
Bring the three lines together and pull the safety line in to the handle bar. If you don’t have a handle bar, bring the two handles together and use a winder for the lines. Decide whether you want to wind the string clockwise around the handle bar/winder or in a figure of eight. Both work so long as you keep the string taught the whole time you wind the lines round. Go right up until the bridle where all the lines meet. Place the bar/handles on the floor with the safety strap still loose, not tied up.
Top Tip: One thing to remember is that if you wind with your right hand while holding the winder in your left, you should un-wind the same way, unwinding with your right hand and holding with your left. This also makes sure that twists are not put in the lines during the winding-unwinding process.
Step 3: Folding the Power Kite
In order for you to pack away your kite you will need to fold it in a way that will ensure it doesn’t get ripped. Folding it in the following way will also make it easier to get out when you next go to use your power kite.
1. Fold the kite wings in to half way down the middle on the kite.
2. Repeat for the other side. (See images below)
3. Then fold the kite in half from right to left.
4. Then fold the kite in half again from left to right.
You should now have a kite folded about the width of your handle bar.
Top tip: If your kite is extremely large, you may need to fold it more times. Please refer to your instruction manual for kites over 6 meters.
Step 4: Gather the Lines and Place the Handle Bar/Handles at the End of the Kite
If you are able to gather the lines and wrap them around the handle bars a bit more so there are less lines hanging out, do so. Again you need to leave the safety strap out of the equation for now and not tie it up just yet. This will be used later on to hold the folded kite together.
Top Tip: Place the handle bar on the bottom of the kite. This is where all of your lines should be coming out. This will help the kite not to get ripped by pulling the lines in a different direction.
Step 5: Roll the Kite With the Handle Bar.
Begin to roll your kite around your handle bars. Keep the roll tight, but not too tight. This will enable it to be kept quite small and will ensure you can put it into your bag easily enough without a struggle. Now you can wrap the safety line around the rolled kite to keep it in place.
Top Tip: When rolling power kites, bring the safety line to either the left or right hand side of the handle bar. This way the safety line will not get caught up in the rolled kite enabling you to wrap it round the rolled kite.
Step 6: Put Your Power Kite in a Bag
In order to keep your power kite clean and safe from damage, I would highly recommend you buy a bag. Putting your power kite away in a bag will also make sure that the colours of the kite do not fade and the kite material doesn’t snag or get caught on anything whilst in storage.
Top Tip: Put it in a plastic bag first before putting it into a carry bag. If it is wet, this will ensure your bag stays in a good condition.
Step 7: Conclusion: More Top Tips for Kite Maintenance
• Got your kite wet? Always clean the kite as much as you can before packing it up. It is integral to dry your kite well prior to packing it. If you need to pack them wet, be sure to take it out again as soon as you can to properly dry and clean it before packing it away again. Packing down a wet kite can cause mildew and smelly odours, and in some cases even cause the colours to run.
• Flying near the sea? Keep your lines knot free, and wash your bar in fresh water after each session. A knot in a line weakens the line by more than 50% and puts you at risk for a line break. Washing your bar in fresh water prevents the salt water from eroding your lines.
• Kite Surfing? If you drop your kite in the waves, let go of your kite. If you don't the waves can stretch your material and even tear your kite. Go swimming for it instead!
• Using the kite on the beach? Another factor which is really dangerous for kites is sand. Before packing down your kite, be sure to wipe off all the sand from your kite. Sand causes abrasive wear on kite materials and can result in worn through kite cloth.
Thanks for reading. I'd love to know what you think so make sure that you comment below. If you liked this piece then why not check out the rest of my work on Instructables? I would especially recommend "Some Kiting Basics" if you are a beginner starting out.
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