The History of Kites

Did you know that kites were once used during battle? In the 1300’s soldiers would fly kites carrying bombs high over the walls of an enemy castle. It was one of the many ways to fight from outside the steep castle walls. When you think of a kite, you probably just think of it as just a toy. Actually, kites have been around for many centuries. They were not used as a child’s toy until the 1600’s.

Kites have a long and exciting history. The Japanese referred to kites as “paper hawks” and were used in many ceremonies. The people of Japan believed that the paper hawks could bring them good luck and keep evil spirits away. Fishermen in the South Seas flew kites close to the water with bait attached to the tails to catch fish.

In 1752 Benjamin Franklin flew a kite during a rainstorm and proved lightning was electricity. His kite was attached to a long silk ribbon and a metal key.

The earliest form of a flying machine was the kite. Wilbur and Orville Wright studied kite flying for many years. In 1903 their kite flying led to the remarkable invention of the first airplane in Kitty Hawk, NC.

Kite flying is a fun and exciting hobby. To get started the first thing you need to do is buy a kite. Do not spend a lot of money on your first kite. It will get lots of rips and tears as you practice flying it the first few times. You can buy repair kits to patch your kite up until you get more experienced and buy one that is more expensive.

Kites without a center spine are crash resistant and more durable, a good choice for your first kite. Smaller kites fly well, but if you are looking for both fun and a lot of noise, purchase a bigger kite. If you need to slow your kite down and make it easier to fly, just add a tail. Remember to control how far and how high you fly it, just pull and let out your string. The more you practice the easier it gets.

If you choose to make your own kite, never use wire or nails. Always stay away from power lines, and fly your kite in an open area. Only fly your kite on sunny days. If you fly it on a rainy day and it strikes a power line, you could get zapped.

The kite has a long and interesting history. Not only is it a fascinating toy for both kids and adults, it was once used as a battle weapon, helped in the discovery of electricity and was the first flying machine. And you thought it was just a child’s toy!

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