Kiting is the Core

Students are always surprised to find that the flying is the easy part, and it is the ground handling (kiting) that has the steepest learning curve. True mastery of the sport starts with learning to control the wing on the ground. Unlike with a rigid wing aircraft, before we can begin to even think about taking off, our wing must first be “built” and placed overhead in just the right position. While many aspects of flying might come natural to new pilots, kiting is a skill that has no real comparison to anything we learn at a young age (even flying a regular kite). So new muscle memories must be developed from the ground up.

We do our kiting training at a beach location which provides laminar winds (smooth and consistent both in velocity and direction) to give students the maximum progression in the shortest amount of time. By the end of this first day, students have the basics down to safely move on to flying. But by no means does kiting practice end here. True kiting mastery is a lifelong pursuit, and the best pilots view kiting as an art and continue to work toward perfection. 

These are the ground handling exercises that you will dive into right away:

  • Gear inspection, prep and layout
  • Pre-inflation body position
  • Forward inflation
  • Light wind “taxiing”
  • Reverse wall building
  • Reverse inflation
  • Reverse kiting
  • Forward kiting
  • Wing shut down
  • Emergency procedures

Be prepared to get a great workout!  You will be using muscles you didn’t even know you had, and you will end this first day with a terrific sense of accomplishment.

Now it’s time to fly!

Day 2: Getting Airborne