8 Types of Kites and How to Fly Them

Have you ever stood in a kite flying festival and have been left bewildered by the amazing shapes and sizes of the kites? For most of us, it is bound to happen. Man has always envied the bird for its ability to fly across the Sky. This made a lot of inventions like the airplane possible. Kite is another one.

You probably have flown kites or have seen children fly kites. It is a source of abundant joy. Almost in every household, the Delta shaped kite or the diamond-shaped kite is a staple. However, there are plenty of kites out there. Some huge, some tiny. Some rectangular, others cubical.

They are equally fun to fly, if not better. Kites so somehow used for a lot of purposes these days. They are no more a toy; they have certain uses in certain workplaces. For example, the stunt kite, sled kite, and traction kites are useful in lots of ways. In this article, we shall see 8 types of kites, how to fly them, and their uses.

Delta Kites

Delta Kites

One of the most common and widely used kites in the world dash is the Delta kite. It can fly in a very light breeze and it is easy to launch, this makes Delta’s kites the preferred choice for most beginners. Triangular, Delta’s kites have a keel to hold the spine straight and keep it rigid.

A spreader on the back of the kite helps to keep the triangular shape intact. Delta’s kites are available in a single line as well as dual lines. It depends upon your skillset and what exactly you are looking for. You may find certain Delta’s kites having tails attached at the back. This is to ensure that the kite keeps its shape and course against strong wind and rough weather.

The material used to manufacture Delta’s kites – they are often made from ripstop nylon. Some light wind special Delta kites are made of spinnaker fabric for proper streamlining.

Diamond Kites

Diamond Kites

Diamond kites are easily the most widely seen and recognize kites there are. They are the most popular and preferred ones and can be seen in almost every skyline. Not surprisingly enough, they are diamond-shaped in structure and are easy enough for you to make them on your own.

It is perfect for beginners and children who are learning how to fly kites and can impart an interest in the matter. Still, diamond kites can cause you some trouble while facing very steep angles. In such cases, they become difficult to handle. Otherwise, is built to last, and with proper materials, we can Dodge harsh weather with comfort.

Materials used to manufacture diamond kites- Traditionally, diamond kites were made of paper in the early stages. In today’s world, you can find them in a variety of ripstop nylon. Not only does the nylon make it more durable, but also resistant to harsh weather. They are so easy to make, you can build diamond kites from almost anything. From plastic sheets to freezer bags, People use everything to make diamond kites.

Parafoil Kites

Parafoil Kites

Sometimes called foil kites, better foil kites are mainly different from the above two kites in one sense – it does not have a frame. Not having a frame makes it less dangerous. On crashing against hard surfaces or the ground, Parafoil kites do not cause much damage, or even break for that matter. This makes them perfect for beginners.

Foil kites have an upper surface and a lower surface. Both the surfaces have vertical ribs dividing them further into smaller cells. During its flight, the air fills up these pockets and makes the kite semi-rigid and sturdy enough to fly. Some special kites have numerous such cells to helps them maintain the shape.

You do not need to read the history of kites to notice a resemblance of parafoil kites to parachutes. It is these kinds that have served as an inspiration to paragliders and parachutes. You can find them in single lines, dual lines, and even quad lines.

Materials parafoil kites are made of – like most other kites, parafoil kites too are made of rip-stop nylon. Usually, lightweight materials are used to make such kites. Sometimes you will find top-quality polyesters being used to make parafoil kites. This keeps the kite light as well as enhances its durability.

Cellular Kites

Cellular Kites

It is next to impossible to give an exact description of what cellular kites look like. These are three-dimensional in shape and come in a wide range of designs. Typically, box kites fall under the category of Cellular kites and possibly are the most common in the genre. Box kites usually have four lightweight rods forming a square with sails or ribbons wrapped around them giving it a box shape.

Sometimes you can find cellular kites being fancy and are accessorized with fins, vanes, or even wings. A common prototype of the category is the Cody kite. It is essentially, a full boxed kite with wings upside down. Another such example is the Hargrave. It is triangular in dimension and has wings on each side to complement it. Often you would notice cellular kites in the shapes of snowflakes and stars.

Due to the structure, these are heavy kites to deal with. Cellular kites need a string and consistent breeze to fly. They require a good blow to take off and even hover around. Cellular kites need special skills to keep them afloat.

Materials cellular kites are made of – Again, ripstop nylon. It is very popular and is commercially used for manufacturing such kites. You can still build them on your own using household items like newspaper or construction paper. If it is, lightweight, it can be used to make one.

Sled Kites

Sled Kites

Single surface kites with vertical spars on the side are called Sled Kites. The spars keep the kite in their shape as they fly. Earlier, spars were made of sturdy sticks. These days, they are made of inflatable spars. This enables the kites to withstand heavy collisions in case the event of a crash.

The inflatable spars give the kites portability. You can simply fold the kites in squash and store them in much smaller spaces. The kites are also very handy in size and this makes them ideal for kids.

Materials sled kites are made of – Sled kites are mostly made of lightweight plastic to lend it versatility. If you are using a DIY approach, use fabric or paper that is lightweight. However, plastic remains the safest option in such cases.

Stunt Kites

Stunt Kites

Also known as sport kites, stunt kites are popular for their ability to pull off splendid manoeuvres in the air. Once you get the hang of it, you can make it listen to yourself. It is perfect for kite tricks. There are a lot of shapes and sizes but the triangular, delta-shaped one is the most preferred one.

Dual-lined kites are much easier to control than single-lined ones. This is since Dual-lined kites offer much more control and helps to perform the tricks with more precision and ease. You can even find quad-lined stunt kites, which give you control over each corner of the kite.

If you are into kites and want to try your hand at performing spectacular stunts, this kite is for you. However, these often tend to get risky and there is danger looming around not very far off. Be sure that there are safety measures taken by the kite manufacturer as well as you when are up above the ground.

Materials stunt kites are made of – Sport kites are very prone to crashes. This makes it crucial that the kite is built to be light as a feather and durable. Other than ripstop nylon, polyester is also used to make stunt kites. These need precise measurement and accuracy and hence are very difficult to be built at home.



Rokkakus is a traditional kite originating from Japan. In recent times, they have become increasingly popular in the West. They have six sides and are fighter kites. They are of a figure like a vertically elongated hexagon and have a bridle with four points. In terms of looks, Rokkakus often depict mythology. They may resemble a character or its face through artwork done on the kite. The six sides impart great stability to the kites and far more reliable than any other kites, even the Delta.

The Rokkakus has a huge surface area, and this helps in two ways. Firstly, it makes it aerodynamic and streamlined for optimized flights. It can even stay afloat for a long time with no or minimal breeze. Secondly, the kite’s size is perfect for artwork. It is a tradition in Japan to paint Samurai faces or cows that symbolize wealth in the kite. Even in the west, the kite is often used to depict some form of art or exquisite craftsmanship. This makes sure they catch every eye when they fly.

Materials Rokkakus are made of – As per Japanese rituals, Rokkakus were made of a special kind of paper called the washi paper and bamboo fibers. That made it very lightweight but not much durable. In the modern west, ripstop nylon is paired with carbon fiber spars are used to increase durability. 

Traction Kites

Traction kites are huge kites that are used to furnish a lot of pull. They are also known as Power kites for their ability to impart drag. They are mainly used in traction sports and needs to be paired with vehicles. Kiteboards, snowboards, skis, and skates are often conjugated with traction kites.

Kite sports like kitesurfing, kite boating, and kite skating essentially use traction kites as their primary model. You can think of traction kites as a special type of foil kites with four lines for control. Another popular version of such a kite is the leading-edge inflatable kite. There are also kites that are not frequently used like the rigid-frame kites and the soft single skin kites.

Materials traction kites are made of – The ever-durable ripstop nylon is predominantly used to make traction kites. It is lightweight and can hold enormous air pressure.

How to Fly the Different Types of Kites?

The first and the most important part of flying a kite is the launching. The launching part is the same for all types of kites.  So, if you know how to launch a kite you would not have much trouble flying another type. Delta, diamonds, and parafoil kites have a launching process analogous to each other. However, keep the following points in mind before launching a kite on your own:

  • Free some feet the flying line and unroll it.
  • If you are flying a dual-line or a quad line, make sure all the lines are perfectly balanced.
  • Place the winder on the ground or one hand. On the other, hold the keel.
  • Until the kite catches the wind, keep rising it.
  • As soon as the wind lifts the kite, unroll the line quickly but steadily.

In case there is a light breeze, you will need some help from a friend. Here are some tips to help you fly a kite in low wind.

  • Unroll about 50 to 70 feet of the line before starting.
  • Ask your friend to hold the kite on one end while you stretch the line on the other.
  • As soon as they release the kite upwards give the line a steady pull, strong enough to lift it upwards.

The sled kite is the easiest to launch. One of the main advantages of the sled kite is that it takes no time to set up. It can fly very easily if you only unwrap and unroll the kite. Then all you must do is wait for the air to fill it up.

Traction kites however depend on which vehicle they are conjugated with or sport you are using it for. Still, some basic rules to follow are:

  • Make sure all the lines are equal in distance and symmetrical.
  • Tug the handles in the topmost parts to make sure the kite takes flight immediately.


Though we have discussed eight types of kites here there are numerous more. Kites have been a part of our culture for a long time. From Royal kites to traditional ones all of them are equally enjoyable.

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