Sunday, January 23, 2011

Winter is a great time for flying!

Most people think that kite flying is a nice three season hobby. And they would be correct, I personally think it gets way to hot in the summer...

No really, I think kites are an awesome year round activity. It can provide good exercise, get's you outside or you can even fly inside.  There are also the kite building and collecting parts of the hobby that are definitely year round. Getting out and kite flying in the winter isn't different than going out to ski, skate, sled, fish. They are all great activities.

My favorite place to fly is a frozen lake. You have some extra precautions to take, like making sure the ice is thick enough and dress for the weather.  Couple tips, you can get those little hand warmer packets cheap at your local outdoors stores. Activate them about 1/2 hour before you go out and put a couple in your boots.  Keep one in your pocket for your fingers too.  Also, you can get ice cleats cheap to help you get some traction on the ice.  Then use common sense and dress in layers. Bring extra gloves with in case your hands get wet.

Most of my kites are single line, but I have started getting into some stunt kites. The lake provides a huge open space for all kinds of kiting.  If you have kites that need to be tied down, anchoring your kite can be done in several ways.
  1. If you drove onto the lake, you can attach to your vehicle.
  2. For really large kites, drill a hole through the ice, then shove a 2x4 through with a rope attached you can tie onto.
  3. I love the ice screws you can get from your climbing equipment store. They are expensive, but you usually don't need that many in your supplies.  I picked up a couple on eBay for $20 each.
  4. Sandbags can work good for you.
  5. You can tie off on yourself
Check out the MKS Past Events page and see pictures from our winter events.

Check out the MKS Event calendar to see our upcoming winter kite events. Earlier this month was the Lake Harriet kite fly. Had a great time.  Coming up on January 29th is the Frosty Fingers fly on Lake Phalen in St. Paul, MN as part of the St. Paul Winter Carnival.  In February is the Hudson Hot Air Affair and the 10th Annual Color the Wind Kite Festival in Clear Lake, IA. Color the Wind is a must go!  Join in the fun!

Here are some videos I found that are pretty cool.

Lake Harriet 2010

Some Kite Boarding videos. This looks like a lot of fun.

Here is a link to Kieron Jansch's videos. He has some great videos about kite boarding and kite making.