What makes a stunt kite different from a standard kite? First and foremost, a stunt kite has two strings leading all the way back to the kite flyer. The importance of this is that the strings are connected to the kite in a way that make the kite maneuverable.
The strings are usually attached on either side of a sail so that a slight pull one way or the other will cause the sail to push the kite in the direction that is pulled. Most stunt kites come in the form of a swept wing delta, but they do not have to be. Even a diamond can be made into a stunt kite.
The advantage of a stunt kite is, of course, the fun of being able to move the kite about in a very interactive manner. But because the strings must be substantially the same length, there is usually not much leeway in how far the kite can be let out.
Stunt kites are generally larger than the average, so straps are often used by the kite flyer to facilitate handling. The spars and rigging of a swept-wing delta will be mainly on the side of the kite facing the flyer. Most stunt kites are made from ripstop nylon and the spars made of lightweight carbon-fiber rods. It also has some unusual parts like the "stand off", also called a sail stretcher, which pushes the sail back from the bottom spreader and gives the swept-wing delta its distinct appearance.
This is considered an "advanced" kite for many reasons. First, the stunt-kite takes some experience to fly well. Although a novice can usually pick up the general ideas fairly quickly, stunt kites are expensive enough that the average owner will not necessarily want to risk his or her investment with an inexperienced kite flyer. Second, this is not a kite that can be easily assembled from household materials. Third, the speeds at which a stunt kite flies and its usual proximity to the ground can actually make it dangerous for observers who might get in the way of a quick moving string or even the sturdy kite itself.
Because of the likelihood of a stunt kite being flown into the ground, even by an experienced kite flyer, it is designed to be very sturdy. Most come with reinforced leading edges, the string is usually of a different type called spectra, and the spars are made from durable lightweight materials. (The spectra kite string is tightly woven to reduce drag and for a stunt kite of average size. 150 lb test is not too much for kite with an 8-foot span.)
Can children fly these kites? Yes, the smaller stunt kites can be flown by children eight years and up, but it is advisable that they try one or two other type kites first and that at least the first time or two they have adult supervision.
The Story of Richard Babley
How to Make Your Own Diamond
Us Flying a Diamond
Delta Kite Design
Delta Kite Test Flight
Box Kite Design
Box Kite Test Flight
How to Fly a Kite
KiteFlyerInfo.com was created primarily to highlight some original kite designs using basic materials such as newspapers, dowels, and packing tape. But it has also become a repository of other useful information about kite flying. Use the navigation links at the top of the page to find out about some of the many different kinds of kites. Just above are links to some of our kite designs as well as some interesting info we have gathered.