Have you ever felt like getting closer to nature ? feeling the power of mother earth ? but just were too much of a chicken for hang-gliding/parachuting etc and preferred to keep both feet on the ground (mostly). If this is the case then power kiting is just the job for you. Serious Power kiting however is not something you should jump into (literally) if you have no experience of kiting. You need to be sure how to control a kite before you go for something towards the serious pulling end of the spectrum. That's not to say that you can't start with a smallish power kite to get you started. Power kites are not cheap the entry-level kite is typically around the £100 mark and the skies the limit (literally) for the upper level ? well over £500. A newer range of kites has superceded the Quadrifoil 3sqm quad line kite but the design is similar (Q2000) and the comments should still stand. When you first unpack the kite you will notice that it has four control lines two upper and two lower. The lower lines control the angle of attack to the wind and are brake lines (this is rather fortunate as quite often you will be needing the brakes). The control lines must be attached to four (sleeved at the end to protect the line) lines to the control handles. Each control handle has an upper and lower point to attach the line two. Care must be taken to ensure that the lines are pre-stretched and of exactly equal length. Power kites are always flown on the 'full line' so if the lines are not the same length you will not be able to control it. To the Skies -=-=-=-=-=-= The Kite itself is very easy to launch - especially if you have some wind. Stand with your back to the wind and the kite directly in front of you (typically 150ft away - on 150ft lines). Ensure that the kite is on its back with the bridles running towards you and the open cells furthest away from you. Take a step back and pull on t
he uppe r lines. If all went well the kite should soar directly upwards. The kite will then probably veer to the left or right - correct this by gently pulling the right handle back if its going to the left or vice versa if its going to the right. Four lines -=-=-=-=-= Four lines does not make the kite harder to fly - it makes it easier. If the kite is pulling too hard point the handles horizontal and this will put more stress on the brakes lines and cause the kite to collapse in the sky. Onward and Upward -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- Once you have mastered the basics of steering you can progress to more challenging situation. By more challenging I mean higher wind conditions. If you feel like a bit of a thrill try flying on a wide-open beach in a 15-20 mph wind. The pull you will get is quite shocking at first so make sure you've mastered the brakes before you try this. I have gouged a four inch track two hundred yards down a beach in Donegal (Ireland) and boy was it exhilarating. Quadrifoil make kites up to 9sqm - God knows how you are supposed to tame that sort of power even on a calm wind. Stuff it in your suitcase -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= The great thing about power kites is that they are very portable. The quadrifoil packs neatly into a bag the size of a small cushion - perfect for travelling. Built to Last -=-=-=-=-=-= I've had my quadrifoil for six years now and its still going fine. Keep it dry and clean is all that required for years of enjoyment.