The hobby... kiting

For as long as I can remember kites and kiting have always interested me. Kiting is a fascinating hobby and an integral part of my live. I do not know how it started, but I do remember that my father told me engaging stories about huge kites he had build when he was a little boy.
Ever since I was born I have lived in the coastal region near and in IJmuiden. There is almost always enough wind for kiting.

  Photo probably made in 1958 (source family album) On the beach of IJmuiden near the zuidpier. Of course with a line in my hand and at the other end a kite. A plastic plane model with spinning wings. .

A tremendous hobby
Building kites your self with paper, plastic, tyvec and ribstop nylon. Kiting, a tremendous hobby, not only creative but also challenging, strenuous and relaxing. The thing I like the most about this hobby is designing the shape, building it and then get the kite in the air.
Also the improvement of existing models is a challenge. I get a big kick out of a new kite, which flies directly after sewing it with on the sewing machine.

Near the place where I live there is the recreation area Spaarnwoude and the beach of IJmuiden. These are both great places to kite. On almost every Whit-Sunday and Whit-Monday there is kite festival on the beach of IJmuiden. People from allover Europe come to IJmuiden to see this event. I go there to find things I've never seen before, to exchange knowledge and of course to kite.

Another way to get new ideas is to surf on the WWW.
Last year on a kite festival in IJmuiden there was somebody with scale model of a large kite. He told me it was a German kite. That same evening I search for information on the kite on the Internet and guess what? A Dutch man designed the kite!
The Internet is the solution for everybody who wants to start kiting or just want to now more about the hobby. You can spend hours on watching photos, blueprints and reading descriptions of kites.
Besides the Internet you can always pay your local library a visit.

1997 with a few of my kites

I prefer flying with single line kites. I have got some stunt kites with more than one line, but they don't interest me as much as single kites. So most of the time you can see me flying with single line kites instead of stunt kites.

A kick
There is a kite for every wind-force. I am always trying to get kites in the air with as little wind as possible. Usually I use a Genki, a kite that flies with little to no wind and a little bit of updraught. I have made kite in all shapes and sizes. When I am on vacation I prefer to make kites out of materials I have at hand.
When the kites flies stabile I can send thing to the kite with a home made messenger ore ferry. The messenger is like a piece of paper folded around the line of the kite. The piece of paper is blown to the kite by the wind. The messengers that I build are more complicated. They consist of a frame with wheels that can guide the messenger over the line. There is a sail of almost a square meter attached to the frame. The sail is released at a certain point on the line. At the same time the load of the messenger is released. In this way you can drop a cuddly toy with a parachute on his back to ensure a soft landing.
It's also lots of fun to drop a liter water and make a local rainsquall.
It's difficult to make such constructions but if they work it will give you a kick.

You have to keep in mind that there are some regulations in the Netherlands. The kite may never fly higher than 100 meters and the kite may never fly in the vicinity of power lines or pylons. Kiting in an approach path of an airport or kiting from dusk till dawn is also prohibited. But kiting in the evening twilight with burning lights attached to your kite is great, there is only one slight problem: You have to break the law to do it...

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© 2008 Leo Commandeur
bijgewerkt op 20-10-2008