People seem to think that kite flying is only for the month of March or for the beach, but I’m here to tell you that I fly year-round. When I wake up in the morning, I check the weather. Many of you do that as well; but I look specifically to see what the winds will be that day. How strong will the winds be, from which direction will they blow, when will the winds peak during the day. From this information, I can determine where the best place will be for me to fly kites. For example, what are my errands for the day, where will I be in town, what kite fields will be close to where I will be? In addition to winds for the day, I also check for weather, i.e. will it be rainy, cloudy, sunny, or cold.
Cold weather flying is really not as bad as you might think. It is all about dressing properly. A good windbreaker is helpful, but layering is important too. While flying, remember your back will be to the wind, so the wind won’t be on your face that much. By dressing warmly and covering your torso with a wind breaker or rain coat or a good polar fleece, you’ll make it easier to stay warm. Keep your legs warm too. It may be necessary to wear tights or long johns. A neck scarf could come in handy too. And what about the fingers?
Keeping your hands warm is a necessity. Cold hands and fingers will move you back indoors quickly, so have a pair of gloves that you keep warm in your jacket before you get outside and need them. Once you move outside, you will need them. Gloves with fingers will allow you to hold your kite handles or straps when flying stunt kites, but I find that fingerless gloves work well especially when you need to tie knots or attach flying lines to kite bridles.
So, don’t let colder weather keep you indoors. Get out and fly! Have fun, wear the proper clothes to stay warm and dry. Don’t forget your gloves. I’ve flown in snow storms, rain, blowing sand, and after dark.
But remember to watch out for electrical storms. Get in quick if you hear thunder or if thunderstorms are predicted. In the summertime, thunderstorms get energized by pulling in warmer air, thus creating wind. But lightening can strike up to 10 miles away from thunderheads. a thunderstorm happening “way over there” may be close enough to zap you! Watch out.
If the weather really keeps you inside, why not try “indoor kite flying?” Look for a coming blog on indoor kite flying.