5 Tips For Safe and Successful Kite Flying in the Grand Valley
April is National Kite Month, and if you want to have the most fun flying a kite, here are five tips for fun and successful kite flying in Grand Junction.
In case you hadn't noticed, we tend to get quite a few windy days here in Grand Valley, which isn't a bad thing if you enjoy kite flying. But, the fact is, flying a kite can be quite a frustrating experience. Just ask Charlie Brown.
So, if you don't want to end up like Charlie Brown and totally frustrated with your kite flying experience, take a look at these five tips for fun, safe, and successful kite flying.
Kite flying is not like a lot of activities in the Grand Valley that you can do practically anywhere. For example, not many people can fly a kite in their backyard.
The key is to find a large, wide open space free from trees and power lines. Canyon View Park is certainly one place that would fit that bill.
Matchett Park, off Patterson and 28 1/2 Road might be a decent option. It's undeveloped, but you have 205 acres of open area.
If you don't mind a short drive, the Rabbit Valley area west of Fruita is wide open and generally not crowded with people.
Of course, it depends, in part, on what kind of a kite you have, but, generally, a breeze of 4-10mph is sufficient to get your kite into the air. If you feel a breeze in your face, and see flags waving in the wind, it's probably a good day to go. Heavier kits require more wind, large kites that aren't especially heavy don't need as much wind to get airborne.
It certainly is possible to have too much wind. If the wind is blowing hard enough that those flags are whipping in the wind and you have a difficult time maintaining your balance, it's probably a good idea to save the kite flying for another day.
It doesn't take a lot of sense to know flying a kite in a storm or in wet weather is a bad idea. Yes, apparently it worked for Benjamin Franklin, but that doesn't mean it's a good idea.
Never fly a kite in the rain or when lightning is present. Just don't do it.
For a basic single line kite, stand with your back to the wind holding the kite up by the bridle point and let the line out. If there is enough wind, the kite should start to rise. If there's not a lot of wind you may need a helper to take the kite downwind, releasing the kite as you pull the line hand-over-hand.
If you are flying solo, prop the kite up against a bush or a post, let out enough line to let the kite gain altitude, and then pull the line gently as the kite begins to take off.
Bonus Tip: If the kite sinks tail first, it might be because there is not enough wind. On the other hand, if the kite spins or comes down head first, there could be too much wind.
Don't fly your kite near powerlines or the airport. You also don't want to be flying over roads. This could be a hazard to motorists if the kite should suddenly dive to the ground.
Fly your kite away from others, always considering what may happen if your kite suddenly loses altitude and comes crashing down.