We do not stop playing because we grow old,
We grow old because we stop playing
~ PKF 2012 News Page - Photos - Safety Rules - O.S.O.W. - Poole Kite Picnic - UK Festivals
~ UK Kite Clubs - UK Kite Teams - UK Kite People - UK Traders - Charities - Tourist Info
~ Kites Around the World - Weather Watch - Kite-Surfing - Paragliders - Useful Links
~ Lots of helpful stuff if you are new to kite flying + knots section + kite anatomy section
~ Index of all known UK kite clubs, shops & flying sites + Site Survey Form + Email
You Can Help
~ List all the best flying sites, clubs & traders in UK & help update the information.
~ Stress therapy - finest kind - flying with music…
Interested in kiting ? We can assist you in many ways. New to kiting ? We can give advice or help you set up a kite.
Check the local Weather ~ Local Forecast
PKF is not a formal club, we are friends who get together occasionally to fly Kites over Poole - you are welcome to join us. Just turn up at any of our informal Kite Flying sessions to get acquainted with the “old hands” and, subject to mutual approval, you are in - for life - or as long as you wish!
That’s it - no membership fees or formal meetings, just good old-fashioned friendship and a warm welcome to all comers, subject to accepted rules of kite etiquette, plain common sense and good manners. See our News Page for dates and location of our informal Fly-ins.
Want to try a kite ? We have a wide range of kites - single line, dual & quad - for stunts, tricks, ballet to music, power & buggy - just ask to “Have A Go”.
Newbies - An affectionate term for those who are “new” to kites. We have a range of kites suitable for beginners to “have a go”, and there is a Newbies web page full of useful stuff which may not be obvious to first-time Kiters.
Old Hands - We are pleased to team up, can help with spares & repairs, plus details of local suppliers & clubs, flying sites. We also have a photo gallery of friends & heroes.
PKF Gallery - Friends who do not wish their photograph or Email address to appear on the website, please state this when giving your contact details.
Poole Kite Fliers are asked to comply with a few simple rules, for the safety and consideration of all.
Public Liability Insurance (3rd party) - Some household insurances cover 3rd party liability. We strongly recommend you pay to join an additional kite club which offers this insurance, such as Midland Kite Fliers, Avon Kite Fliers, Solent Kite Fliers, or Brighton Kite Fliers.
Power Kiters and/or Buggy Pilots - You are very welcome to come to Baiter to “do your thing” and fix things with bricolage & sac a outils - it’s a great site for that - BUT - you MUST take care not to fly or drive in a manner likely to endanger or antagonize the public. If you come to Baiter to buggy, you MUST carry proof of proper 3rd party buggy insurance - Poole Park Rangers may ask to see this. We strongly recommend you join the local power kite club: Baiter Power Kites. Here is a map link for Kites at Baiter Park.
Poole Borough Council run Baiter Park - if ANY kite flyer behaves in a manner to upset them, we shall ALL pay the price by being banned from this great site.
Table of Contents
Kite Choices ~ Line Choices ~ Handles & Straps ~ Knots
Adjusting a 2 line kite ~ Air Turbulence ~ Wind Speed
Tails ~ Stakes ~ Safety & CAA Regs ~ Odds & ends
This is purely my opinion about choosing a kite. There are more opinions on this topic than any other! Feel free to disagree with everything that follows here!
Even if you have pots of money, it makes little sense to buy a top-of-the-range megabucks kite if you never flew one before.
Chances are you’ll crash it big time and break something.
So what? You can afford to buy another, and not even ask the price? (I wish)…
So you’re a zillionaire, right? Never learned to drive, and you want a Ferrari?
“Daddy, Daddy - I want a Ferrari - a nice fast, shiny red one!”
“OK, son - just give the Ferrari chappie a ring, and he’ll bring some along to try.”
(later) … “Daddy, I’ve had a bit of an accident - Ferrari’s a write-off and I’m in hospital … Daddy? … Daddy!”
HELLO - Wake up and smell the coffee! WORD IS - Learn to drive a Ford, then move up to a Ferrari (sob).
Seriously - do you see what I mean? There are plenty of kites out there, good enough to learn on. You may find you hate kites and kite flyers (a weird bunch, according to my wife - and she should know).
You may find a preference and aptitude for a particular type of kite - single line, two line, three line or four line… altitude, artistic, fighter (Indian, Japanese or Indonesian), trick, ballet or power…
There is a mind-blowing list to choose from - or you could design and make your own… There is a terrific on-line kite database by Peter Edwards HERE. Try a little on-line kite flying HERE (2 line) or HERE (4 line).
Or - you could try a bunch of different kites BEFORE you buy one! … How? - Easy - find out where your local kite nuts gather to fly (check my website for kite clubs and known kite-flying sites), and pay them a visit.
I am proud to belong to Poole Kite Fliers who are always friendly & helpful to Newbies & Oldies alike!
Most kite flyers are pretty friendly, and in spite of weird appearances (thanks, Darling) are usually pleased to show you what they fly, and if you ask nicely, will usually let you “have a go” - it’s as easy as that - and the same bunch of happy kiters will be there to offer help if you need it (and sometimes if you don’t), when you come to fly your own kite.
Also - this way, you will find out which kites are suitable for local conditions, which are available in local shops, AND what spares can be bought locally. Local knowledge can save you a load of grief (and money).
Also - from a safety angle…
Another topic about which a lot has been said and written - most of it very confusing to a Newbie.
Fact - All lines are not the same.
There are differences in many factors, such as:- Length, Strength, Stretch, Thickness & Durability
I will try not to over-burden you with technical stuff - you will pick that up as you go along.
Try not to let people confuse you with jargon and trade-names, like Dyneema, Spectra, Shanti, Kevlar.
If you want some techy stuff now, check out my website on the Climax Line System - here is some basic stuff.
Length (2-liners only) - Newbies should usually unwind their lines fully before launching.
There are several reasons for this:-
Then there are bound to be reasons not to use long lines…
You may see more experienced flyers doing tricks on extremely short lines, maybe 50 feet, or right down to 25 feet!
As a Newbie, please do not try this - you need lightning reflexes, and a lot of practice at the Newbie stuff first.
Tip Secure one end of the line set (with a ground spike) unwind them fully, and pull hard to take out any stretch & to make sure they are EXACTLY EQUAL IN LENGTH
Adjust line (shorten) at one handle/strap end if needed, and knot securely. Tip
Strength - Most good kite lines are marked with a strength in pounds (lbs) - there is also a metric system which uses the daN rating:- 1 daN = 1 Kilogram of pull (2.2lbs)
Lines which may not be marked with a Strength rating are usually “free” with a shop-bought kite.
Like the old saying goes “There is no such thing as a free lunch” - in other words, “You get what you pay for.”
Rough Guide - I don’t know a lot about single line kites, but here is what I have learned about 2-line delta wings:-
4ft wingspan - 50lbs lines in light wind, 90lbs in strong.
6ft wingspan - 50 - 90lbs in light wind, 90 - 150lbs in strong.
8ft wingspan - 90lbs in light wind, 150lbs in strong.
Stretch - Not usually marked on any lines, but can be very important.
Single liners - You don’t really care if the line is stretchy - it does not matter! (as far as I know)
Two liners - Now it matters - “free” lines (as before) may be very stretchy and seriously affect the amount of control you have.
The best idea is to borrow a set of good lines from a friendly kiter (ask first) and try them on your kite. Decent lines can transform the way that even a cheap kite flies.
You can measure the stretch of your lines - lay them out, pegged securely at one end, mark on the ground where the loose end of the line reaches, apply your usual amount of pull to the lines and mark the ground again.
Measure between the two marks. Measure the lines. The stretch is the first figure divided by the second.
Good quality lines should be from 4% to 7% stretch. You can get better, but they are very expensive.
Thickness - also known as Cross-Section or Diameter - The thicker your lines, the more wind resistance or drag they will cause. This can be a serious problem if the wind is very light, when you will see most kiters changing to their thinnest lines.
Thickness is proportional to strength - you cannot avoid that - but high quality lines will be much thinner for a given strength.
Your “free” lines will probably be stretchy and pretty thick, but now you know there is a choice!
Durability (not the same as Strength) - This refers to the line’s ability to withstand friction or abrasion.
Sad Fact - most cheaper lines are made of materials which can easily cut through better (expensive) ones.
The most lethal kite I’ve ever seen (in this respect) is a “UFO Sam” which has a rough nylon line, and flies with a constant “jigsaw” action, which will cut most others in a jiffy.
Most decent lines (thin + low stretch) need to be protected with Dacron sleeving, where the ends are knotted into loops.
This also protects the line from chafing with flying handles, or wrist-straps.
With 2 line, and 4 line kites, whenever the lines are crossed there will be friction between the lines at the point of crossover.
For this reason 2 and 4 line flyers tend toward the better quality lines, with some in-built resistance to abrasion.
The new Climax lines are great in this respect, I have managed to do 8 Axels in a row, all in the same direction, without the lines binding together. In fact, I have only managed to do the famous “Axel” since switching to Climax lines!
Tip Remember to change your 2-line or 4-line sets “end-for-end” occasionally.
The crossover point where they chafe is not in the middle of the lines.
Moving your handles/straps to the other end will move the crossover point
& prolong the life of your lines. Tip
A Word About Kevlar… There are doubless good reasons for some people to use Kevlar flying lines, but for “normal” kite flying they are not necessary - worse than that, they can be anti-social and DANGEROUS.
If you see anybody using lines with an unusual orange colour, then go and ask if they are Kevlar (Climax Protec lines are orange, and quite safe).
If they are Kevlar, then either wait until that person has packed up, or else fly your kite as far away from them as possible. If they touch your lines or skin, while under tension, they can cut like a hacksaw blade.
The only good reason to use them is for extremely large or powerful kites, but the user is under an extreme “duty of care” and had better have the very best liability insurance.
There are other things about lines which worry advanced flyers, such as UV-protection, water absorption and shape of cross-section, but like they say, “Life’s too short to stuff a mushroom.”
I suppose there has been a great deal written about this as well, but I’ve not seen it myself!
Most Newbie kites come with the sort of handle where the line is wound around the handle when not in use - (small picture)
The worst are nothing more than a glorified line winder, and so flimsy they bend or break under load.
These handles can vary enormously in strength and quality. The best ones are well made in heavy-duty nylon(?) and are comfortable under heavy load. They are called “Peter Powell” or “Stronghold” type handles - (small pic)
So you want to get serious about your handles? Let’s take a look at your options -
NOTE - Using straps also means you MUST use the whole length of the lines. With handles, you have the option to use partial length if you need to (just watch out for line chafe). So, if you are a “strapper” you may end up with several sets of lines, of different lengths and strengths (I have about 6 sets) - with thanks to Manni Kluge (Kites & More)
Also, using any sort of flying straps will mean you need something to wind your lines onto, when not in use. There are many types of simple (and cheap) flat winder (small pic) for short lines (or make one), but you may need a halo or yoyo reel for long lines (small pic)
The only advice I can give is to think about the knot best suited for what you are trying to do. Every knot has factors for and against it. Some are very secure, but difficult to undo for adjustments. Others are easy to undo, but less secure.
You must also think about how the knot will affect the strength of the line. Many lines are of soft material which can be damaged if the knot cuts into itself under strain.
For this reason, I cannot recommend a bowline knot for making loops in the ends of flying lines. I have tried it, and seen for myself how the sleeving can be nearly cut through (at the knot) after a year’s heavy flying.
The two favourite knots for this are the overhand knot, and the figure of eight knot.
If you prefer the overhand knot, then I recommend allowing enough sleeving and line to permit two knots for extra security, as a sleeved single overhand knot can slip under heavy load.
Alternatively, you can use a double overhand knot.
The figure of eight knot has the same grip as 2 overhand knots, or one double-overhand.
There are some excellent websites with pictures of all these knots, which help to understand all the above verbiage.
Simo Salanne, Knot Gallery + 42nd Brighton (Saltdean) Scouts + Crest Capital + Dan Leigh
If you bought your kite from a shop, you may not have been shown how to adjust it. This can cause a load of grief - you may think your kite is rubbish, or that you are super clumsy or stupid or both!
Fear not - nearly every kite can be made to fly!
If you are unsure of the anatomy of a 2-line kite & the names of its parts, check out this drawing
Look closely at one side of your bridle, where the line from the end of the top spreader comes down to a small metal ring or swivel (usually) - this same line usually forms a larks-head knot at the ring, then continues on to the end of the lower spreader.
Go back to the metal ring - look at the larks-head knot formed by the line I just described - this is what you need to loosen, in order to adjust your bridle - it may be waxed, to help it “stick”.
NOTE - if the bridle line is knotted onto the ring and cannot be moved,
or there is NO RING OR SWIVEL, try Plan B - click here
There is usually a mark on the bridle line, close to the larks-head knot - and a similar mark on the other side of the bridle.
This mark is very important - if it fades or rubs off use a “paint pen” (xylene free) to restore it.
Always check that the position of each mark is the same (relative to the metal ring) on each of the two bridle lines - otherwise the kite will be unbalanced. Measure carefully first if unsure.
In normal winds, the mark is usually close to (sometimes in the middle of) the larks-head knot.
If the kite launches easily, and turns smartly then do not adjust the bridle.
Shorten the top “leg” of the bridle line (lengthens the lower leg and pulls the nose down) only if :-
Shorten the lower “leg” of the bridle line (lengthens the top leg, raises the nose) only if:-
For kites with bridle that cannot be adjusted as detailed above, do not lose hope, there is still a way to go!
The principle is still the same as above - shorten the top lines of the bridle or the bottom lines as required
If you need help with knots, there are some useful pictures at The Virtual Kite Zoo and 42nd_Brighton_Scout_Group
Fact - you will find it hard (if not impossible) to fly a kite in turbulent airflow - also known as “dirty air”.
Fact - Dirty air is found down-wind of any obstruction to airflow - not to be confused with gusty wind.
Instead of moving horizontally across the ground, dirty air can be moving up or down, or even rolling.
You can prove this yourself by blowing smoke across the top of a vertical sheet of paper.
There is a simple rule which should allow you to find “clean air” or judge if a site is unflyable.
Clean Air Formula:- x = 5y
Where x = horizontal distance downwind from any obstruction (tree, building etc)
and y = vertical height of obstruction.
So - if something upwind is 30 feet high - your kite (not you) should be at least 150 feet away from it - OK?
There are purists who say your kite should be 7 times the height (or more) downwind! Try it and see!
Murphy’s Law 1:- Clean Air Formula says you need 150ft lines, and you only have 50ft.
Fact - if you try to fly your kite when there is not enough wind (or too much) you won’t enjoy it very much.
Fact - Small kites need more wind than big kites - unless they are very special.
Regular kiters soon become attuned to the wind - it can change speed and direction at any moment.
You should check wind speed & direction before getting your kite rigged - it may not be worth the effort!
“Green” Wind Gauge … (assuming you fly on grassland)
Pick a tuft of grass, stand with your back to the wind, hold the tuft over your head at arms length and let go.
If it lands on your head, go home (unless you brought a frisbee or boomerang)
If it lands a yard away, only ultralight, indoor or Indian fighters will get up.
If it lands 2 - 3 yards away, as above + ideal for tricks with lightweight kites.
4 - 5 yards, now we’re getting somewhere… it’s party time!
And so on up - BUT
If it blows out of your hand and out of sight, go home & check your roof tiles!
Even with the best sleeving and knots in the world, your kite line is only good for 80% of its rated strength AT BEST.
This only applies for the double overhand knot, or figure of 8 - see Website. If in doubt - use your strongest lines!
There are many wonderful gadgets to tell wind speed, hand-held anemometers and allsorts…
But the best idea is to become aware of the wind while your kite is out there - lulls & gusts, shifts of direction…
If you sense them & act on them, and the other guy doesn’t … you will stay in the air … Top Gun!
Tip Make your own wind gauge!
Click HERE for a drawing of it - print it, and fix it to a piece of stiff card.
Fix this to a 6ft x 1" x 1" wooden pole - insert pin at centre of scale,
attach a thread at least 12" long (not critical) with a pin-pong ball at the end. Tip
Tails are great if you need to stabilise a single line kite.
Tails are spectacular if you put them (50-100ft) on a 2 line kite.
Tails are what the 4-line SKYDANCER was made for - WOW - a real crowd-pleaser!
BUT - don’t put them on a stunt kite and expect to keep any degree of “trickability”.
If you want a tail, short & thick DOES NOT DO THE TRICK… LOOOOONG tails work best.
Flat material tails are OK - Flat tails with material tied in cross-wise (increase drag) are better.
What I like best are TUBULAR tails - can be made multi-coloured and SOOO LOOOONG - Wow!
PS - Are you old enough to remember making kite tails out of string and bits of newspaper? I am :-(
Now that I have taken up the noble sport of parachuting teddy-bears, I have had to take a fresh look at some of my kiting equipment. When there is no reliable, steady wind for a “sky hook” (very large SL kite) then I use a 30 foot high tubular steel “jump tower”. For safety’s sake, this needs serious guy ropes and ground stakes, as well as the help of 2 or 3 adults to get it up or down.
Up to very recently I was happy to use the giant steel corkscrews available from pet shops, described as “dog stakes”. I had a nasty shock when two of these sheared off when I was trying to get them into some hard ground. It was probably all my fault, as the ground was bone dry, hard-packed (school playing field) and full of stones - and I was using a very large lever…
But it left me wondering about things like metal fatigue - I had used those same dog stakes a number of times, and I have no way of knowing if they had been weakened at all.
Safety & CAA Regs
Kite Safety Website:- Midlands Kite Fliers
CAA Regs Website:- Midlands Kite Fliers
Where to start? … There is so much stuff I could put here …
The kite, the lines, the handles or straps (plus any spares you may have).
Cheap flat-bladed screwdriver with about 6 inch shank & brightly coloured handle, for a ground stake.
(You can buy a posh one, (small pic) but they are likely to get lost or pinched).
Baseball cap and wrap-around shades (even if it’s not sunny)
Sun screen and/or insect repellant (unless you’re one tough babe - or its Winter & you’re in England)
If you’re a newbie - be smart - take a friend … preferably one who can fly - or deal with dogs!
First Aid Kit (for the kite) - Superglue, scissors, lighter, insulating tape, sleeving kit.
If it’s a single line kite, remember a ground anchor (serious dogstake) and gloves.
Velcro - There are loads of useful things you can do with Velcro…
Now - Go Fly A Kite!
UK Clubs, Traders & 210 Flying Sites listed by county
Avon - Ashton_Court, Clifton_Downs, Lansdown_Fields
Beds - Dunstable_Downs, Priory_Pk
Berks - Ashenbury, Bulmershe Field, Calcot, Henwick, Hungerford, Pinkney_Green, Ridgeway, Stanlake_Meadow, Tilehurst, Windsor_Gt_Pk
Bucks - Burt Hill (High Wycombe)
Cambs - Grafham_Water, Ferry_Meadows_(Nene_Park), Gogmagog_Downs
Channel Isles - Gorey_Bay, L’Ancresse_Bay, L’Ancresse_Common, Le_Braye, Vazon_Bay
Cheshire - Brabyns_Park, Waterside_Farm
Cornwall - Bude_North, Bude_South, Gwithian, Liskeard, Marazion, Pentewan, Perranporth, Polzeath, St_Austell, Widemouth_Bay
Cumbria - Haverigg, Roanhead, Ulverston
Derby - Shipley_Co_Pk
Devon - Bantham_Beach, Saunton Sands, Tavistock, Woolacombe
Dorset - Badbury_Rings, Baiter_Pk, Ballard_Down, Bowleaze_Cove, Canford_Arena, Corfe_Common, Eggardon_Hill, Hartland_Moor, Hengistbury_Head, Knowle_Hill, Lyme_Regis, Maiden_Castle, Muscliff, Portland_Bill, St-Catherines_Hill, Steeple_1, Steeple_2, Studland_Bay, Swanage, Wareham_Rec., Weymouth_Beach
Durham - 0
Essex - Barleylands, Galleywood, Gt_Bentley, Harlow, Hylands, Leigh_Marshes, Mersea_Island, Shoebury_East_Beach, Southweald_Pk, Sweyne_Pk, Thorndon_Pk, Upminster_Common, Wickford_Mem_Pk,
G.B. - listing of National Groups etc
Glos - Beaufort_School, Crickly_Hill_Co_Pk, Minchinhampton_Common, Plock_Court, Tewkesbury_School
Hants - Beacon_Hill, Butser_Hill, Calshott, Hilton_Hotel, Farlington, Lepe_Co_Pk, Lordshill, Moonhills, Port_Solent, Southsea, Stoney_Cross, Watership_Down, Wilverley_Plain
Hereford - Bromyard_Downs, Hay_Bluff, Holmer_Road, Westhope_Common
Herts - Keen_Fields, Kings_Mead, Nomansland
IRELAND - 0
I.O.W. - Appley_Beach, Bembridge_Harbour, Chale_Green, Seaview, Yaverland
Kent - Broad_Down,_Wye, Capstone_Farm, The_Ridge,_Ashford, St_Mary’s_Bay, Tonbridge, Whitstable,
Lancs - Ainsdale_Beach, Formby_Pt, Jet_Amber_Fields, Knott_End_Beach, Lytham_St_Annes + Map, Moreton, Otterspool
Leics - Braunstone_Pk, Western_Pk
Lincs - Roses_Leisure_Gnd, Cleethorpes_Beach
London - Blackheath, Clapham_Common, Copthall, Hackney_Marshes, Horsenden_Hill, Kite_Hill, Richmond_Park, Streatham_Common, Wormwood_Scrubs
Manchester - Hough_End,
Mersey - Birkdale_Beach
Middlesex - Uxbridge_Showgrounds
Norfolk - Gt_Yarmouth, Norwich, Ketts_Park
Northants - Race_Course
Northumberland - Edlingham_Castle
Notts - Gedling, Lawn_Park
Oxford - Russelswater_Common, Whitenham_Clumps, White_Horse, Manoir_au_Quat’Saisons, Woodstock
Rutland - 0
SCOTLAND - Ben_Nevis, Inverness, Queen_Link, Silverknowes, St Andrews, Tiree, Uig Bay
Shropshire - Long_Mynd, Sundorne_Rec
Somerset - Brean_Sands, Crewkerne, Honeydown_Fm, Weston_Super_Mare, Yeovil
Staffs - 0
Suffolk - The_Grove(Felixstowe), Kessingland
Surrey - Epsom_Down, Runnymede_Park, Stoke_Pk
Sussex - Beachy_Hd, Camber_Beach, Devils_Dyke, Ditchling, Goring_Gap + Map, Hollingbury, Littlehampton, Stanmer_Pk, Telscombe_Tye
Tyne & Wear - The_Leas
W Midlands - Barr_Beacon, Cofton_Pk, Lickey_Hills, Sutton_Pk, Walsall_Airport
WALES - Barmouth_Beach, Caedelyn_Pk, Cowbridge_Com, Hay_Bluff (again), Langland_Bay, Margam_Pk, Ogmore_on_Sea, Porthcawl_1, Porthcawl_2, Rhossili_Bay, Swansea_Bay, Tenby, Ynyslas
Warks - Burton_Dasset, Kenilworth
Wilts - Barbury_Castle, Hudsons_Field (Salisbury), Westbury_White_Horse
Worcs - Browns_West_Head_Park, Malvern_Hills, Malvern_Common, Perdiswell_Leisure, Worcs_Co_Pk, eXtreme Kite Field
Yorks - Lodge_Moor, Malham_Tarn, York_Races, Baildon_Moor, McCaines_Sports_Field, Pontefract
Others - Ascension Island
(You Can Help)
Last Edited:- Mon, 14 Dec 2020 06:53:58 GMT
Our aim is to maintain an up-to-date, accurate & useful list of good
flying sites, for the benefit of kite-fliers visiting or on holiday in UK.
This would be impossible without your continuing help Sincere thanks all round.
Feel free to copy this info and share it with your fellow kite-nuts, there is no catch, no fee - the information is Public Domain. BUT - I cannot accept responsibility for errors and omissions - the info is offered “as found”. Please advise Dicky of any errors.
Legal Stuff… Everybody has the right to privacy - if anyone has details on this website which they would prefer to keep private, please let me know.
BIG HAIRY DEAL… The idea is very simple - every user contributes something in return for information. - NOT MONEY - I want MORE INFORMATION - Send me details of YOUR best flying sites, YOUR favourite dealer, YOUR club. If we all contribute, this can grow like crazy and be pretty dam’ useful. Or am I dreaming of another world ?
UK Summary is a listing of all the surveys I have done or scrounged off others, arranged by county, (or by country for Ireland, Scotland & Wales). The “County” files list all the kite traders & clubs for that area - updates always welcome & always publicly acknowledged.
NEW — Easy-Peasy Form Filler - this has been in use for some time now, just email dicky f you have any problem please?
~ Remember to add your name + optional Email address ~
That’s All Folks - Best Wishes and Fair Winds To All
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS… None of this would have been possible without the initial effort by the following people and organizations. They have been most encouraging, and kindly gave permission for me to reproduce their information. Sincere thanks to them all.
Kite Sites 1993 © Steve Gibson, Way On High Kites
KSGB Handbook 1996 - 2002 Kite Society of Great Britain (Jon & Gill Bloom)
The Kiteflier (KSGB quarterly mag) Kite Society of Great Britain (Jon & Gill Bloom)
OK - so I’m a blatant softie, but there’s not a lot I like better than jamming on the headphones, slipping in a cassette of smooth music, and flying a big, beautiful kite by the water’s edge, to wipe away the cares of the day. My favourite artist is Enya, favourite album is Watermark, closely followed by Shepherd Moon
I used to have a great bit of software - Midisoft Recording Session - back in the “old days” when I ran on Win 95, and then 98, with an 8-bit sound card, and I used to mess about with MIDI files, copying music scores into the PC, and enjoying the rather simple results. Now i’ve “moved on” (I hesitate to say “moved up”) to Win XP and a P3, I cannot run that old stuff any more. Anyway, what’s the point in trying to re-invent the wheel, when there is so much good music about?
Here is a link to something far better than I’ll ever aspire to - a poem called High_Flight - also known as"The Aviator’s Poem" - which I think is just as valid for kiters. It was written in haste by a young pilot in the Battle of Britain, when he was only 19 years old, full of the fierce joy of flying Spitfires, and did not expect to live much longer. Prophetic & moving.
Last Edited:- Mon, 14 Dec 2020 06:57:00 GMT
See our news page for details of the next Poole Kite Picnic
Reports from previous events
Sunday 28th May 2006
Not a great deal of wind but plenty of sunshine - Everyone enjoyed the day
Here are some pictures - click on the thumbnail to get a better view, then click Back to return to this page.
We were joined by members of Poole Radio Society.
They used Kites to lift their aerial and were able to make radio contact with the USA, The Azores, Sweden and Italy!
Members of The White Horse Kite Flyers attended.
They brought SpongeBob Squarepants and a rather large Dog with them!
Solent Kite Flyers were also represented
Harry & Rita and Friend (left)
“Professor” Nick Wadsworth (right) with his “Geometric Sphere” Kite
Lots of colourful giant bugs (left)
This little dog (right) attempted a parachute lift from the ground!
Sunday 11th May 2003
Weather conditions for the weekend were less than ideal - overcast and gusty,
as you can probably tell by the pictures below - the banners nearly blew away!
Here are some pictures - click on the thumbnail to get a better view, then click Back to return to this page.
This was a busy weekend for Poole Kite Fliers
Saturday May 10th we were invited to fly at a church fete.
Here is Roy showing the local clergy a bit of “Nearer my God to thee…”
Then the Sunday was our Poole Kite Picnic on Baiter Park.
More overcast and gusty conditions - never mind!
Roy Menage was in his element at both events,
showing members of the public the power of his Firecrest power kites
(designed and made by himself)
Avon Kite Fliers once again did us proud,
coming all the way from Bristol with their two new geckos and “Big Ted”
Thanks guys - your generosity is an example to us all.
One young man was “converted” to power kiting right away.
Let’s hope his young lady allows him “out to play” occasionally!
And here is “Our Harry” looking well, in case you wondered.
Sunday 19th May 2002
This was a big day for Harry - he was booked into Poole Hospital that afternoon,
for a gall bladder op - good news, it all went well and he is feeling much better now.
A fair old time was had by all, despite lowering clouds and on-off threats of rain.
Here are some pictures - click on the thumbnail to get a better view, then click Back to return to this page.
Albert Ross flying bravely at Baiter Park on a grey and blustery day
There are not many people in this shot, but we had enough visitors to make us feel wanted.
Avon Kite Fliers turned up in force - thanks guys and gals for making the trek from Bristol.
It means a lot to our little club, when the “Big Boys” come to play in our back yard.
With a sometimes tricky wind, it was “all hands on deck” to get Albert Ross airborne.
This brave Avon lad wanted to show us how tough he was…
Anybody brave enough to bring legs like that out in public, deserves respect!
[left] John and Jean Higgins came down from Sunbury and helped brighten the day.
[right] Two of our local members, always there come rain or shine.
(usually to be found on the beach at Swanage or Studland Bay)
The wind blew up from almost nothing to a respectable South-Wester…
so we were glad of our little cabanas!
Club banners flying bravely against a very dull background
One of my work-mates gave in to temptation and bought a small delta from James Hartley.
He is now seriously addicted, and has recently bought a Flexifoil Stacker as well!
Roy Menage did us proud with some great “teddy-bunging” though the fresh breeze
meant some of the “little darlings” had to run quite far to retrieve their fearless ursines.
This nice lady is actually my dentist, with her little boy!
By about 3.30pm most of us had had enough, the threat of rain seemed imminent
and Roy’s flagpoles were approaching the horizontal!
So we all went home for tea, except for some die-hards, who had a fine time with no rain after all.
Our thanks also go out to Nicolas & Eva Wadsworth, and Katie, Bill & Mike Barker who did their stuff, and helped spread the word on kiting to the surprising number of visitors on that grey day.
Nicolas was also approached by a member of the local Amateur Radio Society, to ask if he could give a talk on the history of kites as used to lift radio antennae.
A fairly quiet day, but pleasing all the same, and we made some new friends along the way, as well as letting quite a few complete beginners “have a go” with a Flexifoil Stacker, which they enjoyed very much.
Sunday 20th May 2001
Almost a repeat of last year’s idyllic scene - the wind was a little more fitful, the sun played hide-and-seek, sometimes behind cloud, sometimes blazing from a bright blue sky - I went home with various parts glowing pink, despite lashings of high factor sunscreen and large (very silly) straw hat!
We did not see anything of the “youth activities” this year - they seemed to be going on at the BMX track, and the newly built Skate Park, both out of sight of the flying area - but there seemed to be lots of young people with kites, so I think we benefited from tying our picnic to the Poole Youth Services event.
Perhaps the most wonderful part of the whole day was the sheer number of people who came to this “low-key” local event - some from a great distance. As a very small kite club, we feel a deep sense of gratitude to all kite fliers who made the journey to Poole. You know who you are - you have once again humbled us with your generosity, and brightened our lives with your good hearts.
With my appalling memory for names, there is no chance of a comprehensive list of all the lovely people who came and joined in the fun - please forgive me for that? There are a few whose names I am pretty sure of…
Pat & Ron Dell made the pilgrimage from Enfield, by way of Brighton where they picked up Simon Hennessy (happy birthday Simon), with his delightful wife and pair of rug-rats (why are little girls so bossy?) and some other nice people from Brighton, whose names I missed.
John & Jean Higgins from Sunbury on Thames, and so many familiar faces from Avon Kite Fliers that I completely lost count! Now, one thing about the Avon mob… it seems that wherever they go, they take some large kites… and other very large things that are not really kites as you or I know them…
It only takes one word to describe what they brought this time… Roly
Until you have helped launch and “fly” this behemoth of the deep (60 feet long and holding 2 tons of air), you have no idea of how majestic it is, when the wind is just right and there are enough people on the rope to hold it without fear of a disaster of Zeppelin-like proportions. I had seen Roly in action before, and helped with some of the AKF “baby whales”, but this was the first time I helped assemble the tail spar, turn the beast the right way up, and then hang on to that rope (I soon found that leather palmed gloves are not much flipping use, when the leather is shiny and slippery).
It was awesome, and Roly did his (or her?) bit perfectly - a real tribute to the careful design and many hours of construction that went into the making of this airborne king of the sea. Heartfelt congratulations to all at Avon Kite Fliers responsible for Roly and all the other fine (very large) kites they brought to Poole - I saw four large Pyros (converted from Paul Morgan mega deltas, I think I heard somebody say), a “top half” footballer and SCUBA diver, as well as a massive flowform with one of the longest tails ever seen at Baiter.
There seemed to be a good number of “foreign” fliers this time, an old-time flier from New Zealand, Robert Brasington (who used to live in Dorset, and helped found the Poole club) and a couple also from down under (I think) with a wonderful collection of large cellular kites - they must get around a bit, they joked that the sand on their kites was from Cervia (sp?) in Italy. We were also delighted to see Betty Sacree again, with her family.
As it was a fairly “low wind” sort of day, we ended up with a great many single-liners in the sky, which proves (even to me, as a confirmed two-line addict) that single-liners should be a welcome part of every kite event. There were a few large power kites (mostly 4-liners) but the buggy pilots kindly restrained themselves, which was just as well with all the visitors wandering around!
All the PKF regulars played their part as usual, “Thank You” all - Roy Menage for parachuting teddies, and bringing his giant 4-liners - Nicolas Wadsworth for his tumbling boxes and beautiful Codys in all sizes, the Barkers and all their kites, the Palmers with their roks & diamonds, Harry Douglas and his fighter kites - nobody will forget the sight of him trying to get one to fly up Roly’s “rear vent”!!!
James Hartley did very well, selling his own brand kites to the public, and we look forward to his donation of a stunt kite, to add to the club collection.
Thank you, thank you all from the bottom of my heart. You helped me out of a very gloomy period (I have been redundant since the end of March) and your kindness will stay with me forever. Thank you to all the lovely people (especially those in silly kite trousers, like mine) without whom this would have been a non-event - I wish I could remember all your names.
Please remember those who could not be there due to illness - especially Roy Stevens who is waiting to go back into hospital to have a knee joint replaced after a bodged operation - our thoughts are with you, and we look forward to seeing you and Daisy out and about again.
And finally… everybody seemed to have such a good time, they were saying “pity it’s only once a year…”
Well, if there is a convenient hole in the UK kite calendar (maybe due to a foot-and-mouth cancellation) then we can think about a second picnic - watch this space! (never happened - blame the Autumn weather)
Sunday 7th May 2000
Quite Amazing - the less effort we make to organize anything, the better it all goes, and the more fun everybody has! It could not have been more laid-back, went very smoothly, and even the weather smiled on us.
The day dawned grey, damp and windless, but by 10.30 we had blue skies, bright sunshine and a steady Southerly breeze about 10 - 15 mph.
This year, we shared Baiter Park with an event organised by Poole Youth Services. There were several bike interest groups represented, with lots of tight Lycra, and the mountain bike boys doing their stuff, riding over two wrecked cars and mountains of pallets.
As usual, we had no trade stalls, or formal timetable, and the Poole Council PA system spent most of the day commentating on the bike events, with occasional asides about the kites when I went and twisted his arm.
Car parking had been free, but typically the covers came off the ticket machines on 1st May, so most people parked in the road, which remains free so far!
I managed to trap quite a few non-flyers into having a go with a Flexifoil Stacker, and they all seemed to enjoy it, so we hope for a few new members out of that. We managed to get just two Flying Galleons in the air together, so the idea of a “Flying Fleet” came to nought, but they stirred up a lot of interest as usual.
We actually had no need of the arena ropes, in spite of the amazing number of people who strolled by for a better look at the kites and bikes - just “a flag at each corner” seemed to work fine, with no casualties, and very few “near misses”. Baiter is a great site for flying and relaxation, with clean air and plenty of room for all types of kite.
We saw a grand turnout of “old friends” from near and far, Pat & Ron Dell made the trek from darkest Enfield, Joe & Flo Barnes from Ormskirk, John & Jean Higgins from Sunbury on Thames, Mac Macleod & Ron Moody from Southampton way, and many more. Our old friends from Airstream Kites found time to come - nice to see you all! We were very glad to see many of the “old-timers” (Roy & Daisy Stevens + many others whose names I missed) from the early days of PKF, who put on a show with some pairs flying, thanks again.
Finally, to all the PKF regulars who played their part, a sincere and humble “Thank You” to you all - Roy Menage for parachuting teddy bears tirelessly and letting some brave souls have a go with one of his enormous 4-liners - Nicolas Wadsworth with his wonderful creations, Mike Barker with his trick flying, Eddie Palmer with his beautiful single-liners, Harry Douglas and his fighter kites.
Did I forget anyone? Probably! Seeing the effort you all made, that makes me very sure we made the right decision to fight to keep the club alive, when it could so easily have disappeared without trace.
I salute you all and look forward to the next gathering - see our News Page.
Look out for photos of PKF activities HERE
Best wishes from Poole Kite Fliers
Poole in Dorset, UK ~ It’s A Beautiful Place!