Building Your Show

The secret to a great kite show is really no secret at all. But it does require a bit of advanced planning.

Here are a few ideas to keep in mind as you build your kite ‘arsenal’ and develop your own kite identity

Long Term

Think Long Term: Occasionally I get emails from people concerned that they can’t afford to build a first class kite show. My answer is that the key to creating a show is not spending a lot of money, but rather, not wasting a lot of money.

Some kites have a limited life span. Some are faddish. Some are useful only in very limited flying conditions. And some, quite candidly, aren’t made well enough to last long.

If you are building a show, build it with pieces that will last and that you enjoy flying.

Coordinate: You can fly kites, or you can fly a “show”. The difference is that in a show, the pieces all fit together into a harmonized program.

Perhaps the kites have a common color. Perhaps they have similar shapes. Or maybe they have a cohesive theme – fish, aquatics, patriotic, movement or multiples of the same piece.

If the pieces you buy fit together in the sky, you can more easily maximize your investment. And a coordinated show looks bigger than several independent pieces.


Dependable Lifters
Invest in Dependable Lifters: Almost any good show will need sky anchors. They support larger show kites or carry laundry. So make sure you have a kite you can depend on. And when you are ready, add another.

Get the largest you are comfortable flying (and paying for). Make it a similar color but a different size. That way, you are staying flexible.

Stay Flexible: The wind doesn’t blow the same each day. And you don’t always fly on the same field. So when you start building a program, design it to work in a variety of conditions.

If you stick with a common color theme, you can easily mix, match, or substitute pieces as conditions change. Add laundry to the line when the wind comes up, or anchor several lifters with different pieces in lighter breezes.



Build a line art program with a variety of complimentary shapes and sizes. Make some rotate while other fly static.

The point is to fly a show that you can vary. Start with one or two fun pieces and add to the collection.

Also remember that sets of three always look good together -- and are often sold at a discount!

Also be prepared for different fields.

A Sutton 252 with a 100 foot streamer looks great on a big beach. But on a smaller field bordered with trees or fences, that tail is an accident looking to happen. So pack a drogue as well. That way you can still put your kite in the air when there isn’t room for longer tubes and streamers.


Ground Show

Don’t Forget the Ground Show: A fully integrated show includes lifters up high, ‘liftees’ lower on the line, laundry, and an integrated ground program.

Your ground show can include any of the “Three B’s” -- bols, bouncers, or banners.

Even when the wind is light, a banner show still delights. And socks or streamers on a pole are just as much fun as those hanging from a kite.

Some kiters focus on banners and pole-supported décor. Just remember to coordinate colors and sizes, and you can keep adding to the collection little-by-little until one day you discover you have an enormous show.

Fly With Friends: The biggest and best shows evolve when friends get together to combine resources. You don’t need to spend a huge amount to be a part of a great performance.

Fly with Friends

So rather than trying to out-do the local kiters, think about working together. Developing a coordinated theme with your kite pals helps. You’ll have more fun, learn from each other, and have help packing up at the end of the day.

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