Best Flying Kites for Beginners to the Sport
If you head down to almost any beach or park on a windy day, you're sure to see them: kite owners having a blast. There are tons of different types of kites out there, and they all have their advantages and disadvantages. But what's the best kite from a beginner perspective?
Obviously, you want something affordable, and something that flies well. You want the learning curve to be relatively manageable, and you want one that is durable enough to last.
There are further requirements which make finding the best kites for beginners a tricky task. There are a bunch of different styles, each one geared towards a different type of kiter. It's hard to make a good recommendation unless you're familiar with these different styles.
With that in mind, this article is written to take a look at a handful of different types of kites. We'll go over each one, giving the pros and cons and making specific recommendations. Ready to find the best kites for you? Keep on reading!
Where to Buy a Kite? Best Retailers:
Before we jump into the kite reviews, I wanted to talk about where to buy a kite. Essentially, you're given three options:
Big Box Stores:
My least favourite option, big box stores (typically toy or sporting goods) will usually carry a meagre selection of simple beginner kites. Sometimes they're pretty decent, but most of the time they're cheap and won't last or fly very well. For the best flying kites, you need to go to a specialist.
There are actually some kite specific stores, but they're rare. You're better off to investigate your local hobby shops. Even if they don't carry something, they can probably order it in upon request.
When I'm asked where to buy kites, I typically make this recommendation. Online shops offer a wide selection and tons of information. Most kits are pretty light in weight, so they're cheap to ship.
The Stowaway: One of the best diamond kites for beginners & intermediates
The diamond kite is the quintessential kite shape.
It's not as common anymore, but it's a classic and it really flies well. The concept is simple: create a diamond shape using rod connectors, and add a tail.
So what's so great about the Stowaway by Prism? The shape allows for easy breakdown, so it stows away very easily. The shape is basic, so assembly is really quick and easy to do. It folds up into such a small size that it's a breeze to bring to the beach or on a picnic.
It comes equipped with 100 feet of line, and a winder to make bringing it back to earth a lot easier.
I'd classify this as a kite for beginners, but it's enough fun to satisfy even a seasoned kiter. The nice thing about the diamond shape is the versatility. You can have it hang high in the sky for an hour, or you can make it dance and do tricks by tugging on the line.
It's one of the best kites for new flyers, especially children. They'll love the eyecatching fractal designs. If you want to see it in action, click through the above link and watch the video.
Box Kite: One of the top kite types for beginners
The box kite is another classic shape in the summer sky.
Prism Box Kite
It's a tried and true style that flies really well without needing a great deal of skill. They are beautiful, and they look amazing when flying.
This particular box kite is one of the best options in this type. It's sturdy, easy to use, and cheap to purchase.
It's 20 by 40 inches in size, and it is pretty easy to put together. When you're done flying it, just remove the braces, and roll up the fabric material. It's that simple.
It's hard to believe that something this shape will fly, but it actually performs better than some diamond styles! I think the odd shape is part of its appeal, and you'll get tons of curious comments and smiles. They fly really well also, so it's a good beginner kite because you'll look like a pro flying it!
It comes with 300 feet of line on a simple 'D' handle.
It's one of the best flying kites around, and well worth checking out.
Skyfoil: A frameless parafoil kite design, great for kids or adults
A big problem with beginner kite flying is the breakage factor: if you have a hard landing, you can end up breaking the frame.
Skyfoil Frameless Parafoil
Luckily, that's not a problem with parafoil kites! It's a kite design that makes use of fabric cells that inflate with the wind, which gives it structure. It's one of the best kites for children for that reason.
Did you know that many parachutes make use of a parafoil structure? It's true! They're one of the best kite designs because they are very steerable and easy to control, and they have excellent lift.
The Skyfoil is a design by X-Kites, and it features a ripstop nylon construction with dual tails. It can be packed up easily into a nylon carrying case.
It's one of the best flying kites around, very easy to get off the ground and keep up there. It's a fantastic beginner kite for kids because it is so easy to fly. The light weight makes it simple to get aloft.
It comes with 125 feet of line. These kites like to fly really high, so you might want to invest in a longer line too.
With no assembly required, this is an awesome and cheap kite for sale, perfect for you or your kids.
Mojo Volcano: A quad-line kite design, great for tricks
We're now getting into the fancier kites, and I wanted to feature a quad-line kite that has a pretty broad appeal. You'll notice it's a lot more expensive than the more basic items, but that's because we've now entered hobby level kite designs.
Mojo Volcano Quad Line
A quad-line kite is a sport kite with excellent maneuverability and control. You can probably guess its key feature: four lines instead of one or two.
Sport kites like this are used for more than just simple elevation. You can do tricks and spins. The Mojo Volcano can fly forwards and backwards, do spins in the air, even hover like a helicopter!
What I particularly like about the Mojo Volcano is its sturdy construction, wind brakes and stability when in the air. It's one of the best sport kites for beginners for that reason, and it's a good one to learn on.
Mojo Volcano Demo
You can remove the wind brakes once you're comfortable with it, and then the real fun begins!
It's a large kite at 87" wide, and it is constructed from ripstop and carbon fibre. It's flyable in wind speeds between 4 and 17 mph.
Check out the video to see it in action. This cheap, top quality sport kite is tons of fun, I'd definitely consider taking it for a spin!
Crackerjack: An all-around stunt / sport kite for tricks and competitions
If you're wanting the best sport kite for your money, consider the Crackerjack by HQ Kites and Designs. It's designed to be usable by beginners, yet fun for intermediate and advanced fliers too!
Crackerjack Stunt Trick & Sport Competition
This is a good kite for beginners who enjoy the challenge of a learning curve. Once you've mastered it, you'll enjoy seeing people watch your figure eights with awe.
It's a dual line sport kite, a great style for beginner flyers to get accustomed to. Those two lines give you a lot to work with for doing stunts, tricks and spins, not to mention pure control.
As kite designs go, this one is very elegant. It's a large one, around 94" across. Featuring an Icarex sail and carbon frame, it's durable enough to handle wind speeds from 4 to 19 mph.
I would recommend this as a good kite for children over the age of 14, just due to its impressive size. Adult flyers will love it too.
Tensor: Among the best power kites for beginner flyers
The power kite is the big kahuna in the flying world. They're huge and they collect a ton of wind. You know those guys catching air on the beach? They're all flying power kites!
Prism Tensor Power Kite
The power kite is one of the most intimidating kite designs around, but you really just have to dive in! You've got a lot more control than you think, and once you get into it you won't go back.
The Tensor is one of the best power kites for beginners and intermediates because its very forgiving, very controlled and very versatile.
It comes with a dual bar that can be converted into a quad handle style, depending on what you prefer.
I recommend this as one of the best kite designs for newbies to the power kite world because the acceleration is very easy to manage, so you feel in control. It also has a safety leash and a quick release just in case.
The Tensor is more than just a trainer kite though. It performs best in wind between 8 and 12 mph, and has smooth edge handling, so collapses are less likely. It comes in a duffel backpack with some extra room.
The Tensor is a top quality power kite, perfect for beginner adults. Ready to have some real fun? Invest in a power foil kite like this and you won't look back!
Where and When to Fly
If you're getting in kiting, be sure to be courteous and respectful.
High Flying Poll
Be sure to give other kiters a lot of room and space to do their thing. Want to chat? Be sure to wait until they're not distracted to say hello, or wait until they're finished. (Especially important with power kiters).
Be mindful of where you decide to fly your new toy. Smaller, hobby level kites like the diamond and box styles reviewed above are easier in a crowded space, but sport, stunt and power kites should be used only in locations where you have a lot of space. You don't want to knock anyone over!
I hope this article has helped you find the best kite for your needs. Thanks for reading!