Fly'n a Kite

Has anyone tried using a kite to do some down wind sailing? I just bought a 2.5meter parafoil and wondered if anyone had any pointers or insight. I’ve seen that WindPaddle sail and that looks pretty good as well. Albeit a little pricey I thought I’d try the kite first before sinking the dough on the WindPaddle. Thanks!

Let us know
Since you already have the kayak and kite, why don’t you give it a try and let us know what you discover. Many of us that only have one or the other are wondering the same thing. Thanks.

Good luck
I had a small parafoil I tried to fly from my canoe a few weeks ago.

I didn’t have much luck keeping it up. Even the one time I got it 20 or so feet off the water it dived as soon as I turned my back.

I’m guessing that the boat being blown down wind made it that much harder to keep it aloft. Its a pain to recover and relaunch once it hits the water.

I’ve heard of folks using traction kites. Don’t know how easy that is.

Kite or sail, I’d be looking for something that would leave my hands free for the most part. That way I could use a paddle to steer.


great for down wind runs…
the biggest thing is to remember to carry a blade of some sort to be able to cut that kite line if you need to…

this is my choice:

designed for kayaking by an Oz paddler…


(a kayak AND kite guy)

I have witnessed
Brian Schulz use one in Manzanita. He had some kind of cam cleat on his fore deck so he could release the kite when things started to go south.

Why not?
I’ve seen beach skate boards and wake boarders use kites in all directions, not just down wind, and way faster than I’d want to go in a kayak! If you had some way to sink a dagger board, use your rudder, and guide the kite all at the same time, you could move along at a pretty good clip.

Our old Grumman canoe had a dagger board attachment the affixed to the gunnel’s. A SOT with a slot for a board and a rudder should sail about like a Sunfish only using a kite instead of a sail.

Kite Update
Well it worked!! The lake that I went to try the kite out didn’t have a very long run-out but I got the kite up and was able to sail about a 1/4 mile before running out of water. The key to launching I found was using a sea anchor. It held me solid till I was able to get the kite up and flying properly. Hey, corgimas!! that is the kite that I bought. Got it at a website called I did make quite a few fumbled attempts that sent the kite tumbling into the water. Nice thing about this kite is the material it’s made from doesn’t waterlog very easy. It goes into the water, you pull it back in, shake it out and your flying (sorta) again. Next time out I’ll try it on West Grand Traverse Bay where I have plenty of room to let it run. The main downfall I found with the kite and sea anchor is you have a very busy deck and tangling lines is very easy. Make sure you have a paddle leash. I’ll try to get some pictures posted on a blog of mine so you all can see a little bit of the success.

That sounds so cool! I was actually thinking of buying a kite and board to go kite surfing. I never thought of attaching a kite to my kayak! I can’t wait to see the pics. Put them up soon! :smiley:

wind speed threshold
In light winds, you obviously would not try the kite, and in heavier winds the kite flies fine. But there is a window between teh two where the kite launces fine, then collapses as you build up speed and the realtive wind slacks off. It gets pretty frustrating with the constatn cycle of collapsing and filling until you figure out you need a bit more wind to fly a kite from a moving object than a staionary. one.

For example,if your kite rewuires 8 knots of wind to deploy, and you have ten knots, it will collapse as soon as you get up to 2 knots of boat speed.

Yeah I found that out…Many Times! :slight_smile:

Got some pictures here!!
Check’em out here.

Awesome pics. That looks like a lot of fun. Where are you from?.. I wanna take a ride too :wink: JK Thanks for the cool pics!!

PS. Is the kite expensive?

Wasn’t to bad
I paid just little under $80 for it, shipped. That includes the kite, sea anchor and the line and winder. The website said instructions included. That’s kinda funny because I didn’t get them with my kite.

when things go south

You need to do this when it is 25 -30 kts …

Stunt Kite?
I found another kite that I was given a while back.

This one is also a parafoil but it’s wider than it is deep, has no tail, and it has 2 lines, one left and one right.

Is it a “stunt kite”? Are there on line resources that I could use to learn how to fly it?

With only two hands and no rudder could such a kite be used to “sail” a boat?