When you have miles of drivable coastline, a wonderful breeze blowing in, and all the amenities to be a family friendly destination, of course, Ocean Shores is the place to go fly a kite!
Did You Know?
Did you know that kite flying has its own month! That’s right. And that month perfectly coincides with windier conditions in Ocean Shores, so start planning your trip to fly a kite in April. But if you’re looking for a the chances of even better weather, hold off into the earlier parts of summer for the Gray’s Harbor County Festival of Colors. This event is held annually at the Ocean Shores Convention Center, so check out their page for dates for this fun, family friendly festival filled with arts, crafts, and kite flying for every level of experience.
But whenever you come, here are some kite flying tips for your visit to the Shores:
More Than You Imagined
All kites are not created equal. In fact, there may be too many kinds of kites to list here. But if you have been to a kite festival, you have likely seen inflatables. These clever crafts are usually made of multiple patches of nylon stitched together to form an animal or character of some sort. It may look like a float in your favorite holiday parade, but these inflatable creations do qualify as a kite. And since we are already pointing out one less obvious kiting exhibition, lets go ahead and address kitesurfing. This water sport utilizes a larger traction kite, and pulls the surfer along with the wind and the waves. The trick here is to make sure you don’t get carried away, literally and figuratively, as you are operating a kite and surfing at the same time. So start your kite surfing journey with a smaller kite, that will make your experience a bit more manageable. And maybe take a lesson or two
But even among more standard kites, the options are wide open. For the sake of simplicity, we will try to help you navigate single-line kites today. That means diamonds, deltas, some parafoils, rokkakus (roks), cellulars, sleds, and a whole host of novelty and traditional styles. All of these single line kites are generally used for fun or display in some parading or kite festival format. Once you move into dual and quad line varieties, the flying gets much more complicated, and the uses vary to things like stunts and competitions. Yes, kite battles are a thing, just not a thing we are covering today. What we are looking to help you with is creating the perfect opportunity to fly your kites in Ocean Shores this year.
Wherever The Wind Takes You
As you might imagine, a lot of kite flying has to do with the wind. With an annual wind speed of roughly 9.5 miles per hour last year, Ocean Shores is the perfect place to fly a single line kite at any skill level. With winds holding at 6-15 mph, feel free to break out your diamonds, deltas, and dragon kites. On our more gusty days, those are perfect conditions for parafoils, roks, and box kites. A good rule of thumb is that the weather for kite flying is good when the trees and bushes are moving consistently in the wind. But once the wind gets upwards of 25 mph, it would be wise to get indoors, let alone set your kite down.
Give It Time
Unless you are absolutely certain that ideal weather conditions will be met for your day trip, we suggest coming to Ocean Shores for a few days, and waiting on ideal conditions. You never want to fly a kite in a storm or during rain. Electricity is attracted to nylon kite strings. That story about Ben Franklin is no myth!
Take Some Space
Thank goodness we have such wide open spaces for flying, because kite flying just isn’t the safest activity with a lot of people around. So either make sure the people around you are aware of your high-flying goals, or find a place that’s clear of trees and powerlines, and then lift off!
Besties and Positioning
If you’re trying to fly a kite in medium wind conditions, the lower end winds require some assistance. So grab your best friend or an unsuspecting family member, and have them grab the kite, walking it out in the position it would be flying high in. Once they are a fair distance away, down wind from you, have them let the kite go while you begin pulling the line in hand over hand.
And we mentioned that partner being downwind, right? It’s safe to say that your back should always be to the breeze for optimal lift off. So show the wind your back, send your friend or family down the line, and then pull your kite up to the sky. Once it’s up, you can judge how much farther to let it out, or reel it back in.