How to do everything better: fly a stunt kite
George Emmons and Dave Morley are world champions of stunt kiting. Here they show you how to get up in the air, pull a trick or two and come safely back to earth again.
GATHER YOUR GEAR
Start with a basic two-line stunt kite, which costs from R300 up. It’s shaped like a stealth bomber and is the easiest type to control. Go with Dacron line, not Spectra line (it’ll say on the packaging). Dacron stretches, giving you extra room for error as you pilot the kite.
Put your back to the wind and have a buddy hold the kite up. Walk away until you reel out all the line. With both lines taut, have your friend toss the kite straight up. Walk backwards until the kite catches the wind. Keep your forearms parallel to the ground for better control.
TRICK 1: 360
It’s the easiest trick to start with. Just pull on one line and keep pulling as the kite makes a complete circle. Bring your hands level to each other to stop the 360.
TRICK 2: SNAP STALL
This trick makes a kite hover in midair. As your kite flies from left to right, jab your right hand forwards as if you were delivering a kidney punch. Quickly take a big step towards the kite and push your left hand forwards to match the extension of your right arm. This movement helps create that freeze-action look.
Don’t start pulling the line in as if you’re landing a fish. The kite will fight back and could take a sudden nosedive. To bring it in gracefully, guide the kite down by flying it either to the left or right, and parallel to the ground. The kite will gradually descend until it reaches terra firma. Then go introduce yourself to the hordes of applauding onlookers who’ve gathered around you.