Getting a kite in the air—and keeping it there—can be harder than it looks, especially for little kids. Improve your luck with these tips, courtesy of Mike Rose, owner of the Great Canadian Kite Company.
Choose the right kite. Elaborate 3-D kites look cool, but beginners should opt for a triangle-shaped “delta” kite. They’re easy to assemble—just attach the line and place the pole across the back—and they’re more stable once in the air. You can get a decent one for $20.
Assess the wind. Wind is good. Gale-force wind is bad. Flags on masts (say, at your local school or fire station) should be extended straight out. If they’re rippling or snapping, it’s likely too windy. Never fly a kite in a thunderstorm.
Look for a wide-open space. A beach or farmer’s field is the ideal spot. Avoid power lines and nearby trees.
Launch it right. To get your kite in the air, simply hold the line in one hand, hold the kite up in the other, let the wind catch the kite, and then let go. With the right kite and the right wind, you shouldn’t have to run.
A version of this article appeared in our July/August 2015 issue with the headline “Go fly a kite,” p. 95.