Kite Bag, Kite Festival, Kite Flying, Kiting

Showkiter to Gear Hound: Here are the Essentials, and More

Showkite? Check! Now it’s all about your gear!!!

You’ve made the leap! So, now what? With my first BIG kite, I quickly learned what gear to use and where to find it remained a mystery. Yes… it’s the secret handshake of big kiting. No worries, as it’s one anyone will gladly share, if asked.

To make it easy, it’s all laid out right here. And if you do have any questions, or would like more information, feel free to contact me or place a note in the comment section below.

Every kiter develops a preference for gear based on their experience and what suits their specific needs. Here’s a look at what works for me, from essentials to some handy items, and more:

Line

If your kite specifies line of 1,000lbs or more, Dacron, Dyeema and Spectra are excellent choices. I went with heavier Dacron for my first BIG kite, considering that Wings and Wheels offered 1,000ft of 1,500lb tow rope – three times as much line and at $60 less than the Dacron line listed with the kite. Half of the line is still on the spool for future use and makes for some great use in ice anchoring. For my largest showkites, I use 2,000lb and 4,000lb spectra from tug.com for all the reasons Andrew Beattie lists on his site. Make sure, too, that you invest in a pair of leather gloves. High tension line under the force of an active kite can burn and cut your skin quite easily. The scars behind my knees are proof, but that’s another story.

Anchors

Sand Anchor | KitesUp!

Safety is the highest priority. Sand anchors are essential when flying a large kite on a beach. In parks and fields, I have single, double, triple and quadruple staked kites. Forty-inch, double-headed commercial tent stakes from Shippers Supplies work well. I strap from the top of the load-bearing stakes to the bottom of the backup stakes. Here again, is a look at how to anchor your kite on an icy lake.  

Straps/Carabiners

There are a wide variety of tow and tie-down straps out there – looped at both ends and with different load-bearing ratings. Pull one end through the other, place over the stake and tighten.

Clip the appropriate size and load-bearing carabiner onto the loop at the other end and use a double lark’s head knot to secure the line to the carabiner. REI sells carabiners of varying sizes and load-bearing capacities.

Pulley Use | KitesUp!

To get a large kite down, you’re going to want an extra strap, carabiner and a metal pulley with a metal wheel. Plastic wheels will melt from the friction and could cut your line in the process.

Transport

With gear bags, kites, stakes, and a sledgehammer, I’ve taken to a 52” extended folding wagon. Everything fits in one trip from car to kite field, with the exception of some of the largest compression-packed kites, which at 35lbs-plus, are ideal for a wagon. A 60” or larger utility sled and ice cleats are a must for winter.

Carrying around four 10lb-plus stakes can be a chore, but I’ve found a handy carrier in the form of pipe insulation (available at most hardware stores). Simply fold over, duct tape, and slide in your stakes. It holds them securely.

Read My Review | Buy Here

Beyond the compression bags and sleeves showkites and traditional kites come in, I consolidate smaller flowform kites, large banner and tube tails, spinsocks and other “line laundry” into a few large 20” X 40” and 20” X 50” duffle bags. My framed kites are stored in 60″ and 72″ bags, and I’ve found this 72″ X 15″ bag, to be among the best around for capacity and durability.

Make My Favorite Kite Bag, and More, Your Own

3 thoughts on “Showkiter to Gear Hound: Here are the Essentials, and More”

      1. Always learning new things which is part of the fun. Will be trying out a new tether at Okoboji with an integral soft shackle on the end so I can eliminste the carbiner that I usually use to connect the friction device.

        Liked by 1 person

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