One of life’s simple pleasures is watching a colorful kite soar through the bright blue sky. Since Grays Harbor is located on the coast of the state, breezy conditions are a common theme throughout the year. If you’ve never flown a kite before, or are looking to brush up on your skills, read on and plan a trip to Grays Harbor to fly a kite.

During the summer months, massive kites of all shapes and sizes can be seen during festivals or nice, slightly breezy days at the beach. Photo credit: Kelsey Norvell

Legend has it that the very first kites were invented by Chinese philosophers in the 5th century. Since this time, they’ve evolved from being used to as a rescue mission signal to a fun pastime activity. The original, handmade paper kites have been reimagined into thousands of different designs, shapes and colors. Modern technology gives eager kite flyers numerous options including box shaped kites, bi-planes, parafoils and many others. The new variety in kites has made the sport not only relaxing, but enjoyable to both take part in and watch.

Although the many different types of kinds may seem overwhelming to a beginner, remember to try and keep it simple to ensure a stress-free trip. The easiest, most family friendly kite to maneuver is a single line kite. To fly these, stand with your back to the wind, hold your kite up by the bridle point and let the line out. If there’s enough wind blowing, your kite will lift up into the sky. Allow the kite to fly away a bit, then pull in on the line as the kite points up encouraging it to climb higher into the sky. This method can be repeated until your kite climbs high enough to fly in a steady wind. You’re then good to go and can pass the kite off to kids and others hoping to get in on the fun.

Two-line or dual line kites are a bit trickier to fly, but allows the flyer to have a bit more freedom to maneuver around the sky. Try out loops and tricks as two-line stunt kites are specifically built for durability and speed. Begin this kite flying method by laying down the kite with the bottom side facing down or have a friend hold it. Start walking backwards while gently releasing the wire, wait for a nice breeze and have your friend release the kite or let it launch from the ground.  Since you have two lines to worry about, a little more attention is needed to ensure the lines don’t get tangled. Try not to make sudden movements but instead gently pull to the right or left to make loops. Various other kites can be picked up from Ocean Shores Kites or other shops near the beaches of Grays Harbor.

Head to the beach for the day and fly a kite in Grays Harbor. Photo credit: Kelsey Norvell

Where to Fly a Kite in Grays Harbor

Now that you have the basics down and have a kite in hand, plan out where you want to fly it while on your day trip to Grays Harbor. You’ll need to find a wide-open space, free of trees, houses, or telephone wires, with the best location being directly on the beach. Check out the Six Grays Harbor Beaches Perfect for Your Kite Flying Adventures article for ideas on which beaches to visit. Some are more popular and well known which may be fun if you’re hoping to launch your kite into the sky among others. These popular beaches such as Grayland Beach often host summer festivals that are fun, free and great opportunities for the whole family to get together. Other beaches may be more secluded, which is great for practicing new kite flying techniques.

Grays Harbor Kite Flying Tips

Join others who take a trip to the beaches of Washington and launch colorful kites into the air. Photo credit: Michelle Barre

Now that you have the ideal kite and location determined, there are a few pointers to keep in mind before you begin your day. Always check detailed weather conditions for the specific area that you’re visiting. The wind may be blowing at 10 mph in Aberdeen, but that could easily change to 25 mph or more at the beach. Certain kites can only handle lower wind speeds or they can get damaged, while the max for most kites is around 20 mph. Additionally, watch the forecast for signs that the weather may dramatically change. Rain and lightning are no friends to your kite as the electricity in clouds is attracted to damp kites—remember Benjamin Franklin!

There are also a few other important tips that can be applied to any kite flying day. For instance, if you only have a light wind, take a helper with you to stand downwind and hold the kite up for leverage. At the same time, have the helper release the kite while the flier pulls the line hand-over-hand. If you don’t have anyone to help launch your kite, find a bush or something to prop the kite on and release out line. Indicators that there is not enough wind to keep your kite afloat include it spinning or sailing down headfirst.

All in all, no matter what kite you choose, where you decide to fly it or how many people you have to come along and help, a day trip to Grays Harbor is the perfect place for kite flying fun.


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