Box kites are a popular kite constructed of paper or plastic attached to lightweight supports made of wood. Called box kites because of their shape and appearance in the sky, these kites are more difficult to make than regular surface kites, but the reward of flying them is greater. Invented by Lawrence Hargrane in the 1890s, these kites are relatively easy to fly, but do require adequate space and moderate winds.
- Skill level:
Choose a day when there are moderate winds. Wind speeds of 8 to 25 miles per hour are ideal for box kites. Lighter winds will not provide the lift your kite needs, and stronger winds will make it difficult to control the kite. As a general rule, rustling leaves indicate winds of 4 to 7 miles per hour. Small twigs and branches sway in winds 8 to 18 miles per hour. Small trees begin to sway in winds between 18 and 24 miles per hour.
Select an open area away from trees, power lines and buildings. Open fields or the beach are great locations for kite flying.
Stand with your back to the wind and lift the kite in the air with one hand while holding the string with the other. Gradually let out more line as the wind catches and lifts the kite into the air.
Pump the string to get your kite to climb. Pull the string towards you and then let the string out slowly as it climbs with each pump of the string.
Bring your kite down by slowly winding the string on the spool. It may resist at first and try to rise with more force. Give it a little play in the string and then gradually bring it down.
Tips and warnings
- Never fly kites near electric lines.
- Avoid flying kites over a roadway.
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