By Jim Misunas
LARNED — Becca Hiller is praying for a gentle breeze Saturday.
The Santa Fe Trail Center’s education director is coordinating a National Kite Fly is scheduled Saturday. Kiters are welcome on the grounds from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
A 10-to-15 mph wind is ideal. Winds less than 6 mph or higher than 30 mph create flight issues. Hiller is expecting more than two dozen youngsters who participated last year when winds surpassed 20 mph.
“Our first year, we didn’t know what to expect, but we’ve seen wonderful
feedback on Facebook,” Hiller said. “There is a lot of information that has been shared.”
Hiller said a kite event draws interest from participants and people who enjoy their hobby.
“It’s a wonderful family-friendly event with fathers helping their children fly a kite for the first time,” Hiller said. “It’s a nice colorful display when you see different shapes fly. Families are getting outdoors out of their homes and enjoying their time together.”
A free Kids Kite Kit will be given to 50 children from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Half-price admission to the museum and popcorn will also be available for the children.
Roger Kenkel, owner of Show Stopper Kites, will have kites available. Picket Fence Realty will provide prizes for trivia answers.
Some kites use materials that are more durable than others. Paper sails are inexpensive but fragile whereas sails made from ripstop nylon or ripstop polyester are much stronger and water-resistant. A frame of fiberglass rods or carbon tubes will outlast wood.
• Kites that are lightweight usually fly best. The relationship of size to weight is very important.
• The most affordable kites usually have a plastic sail and a framework made of wood or plastic. These materials are lightweight, but not as durable as nylon and fiberglass.
• Larger kites fly better than small ones, but they pull more and require a stronger kite line.
• The shape of the kite contributes to how well it flies. The kite should be balanced and withstand the force of the wind.
• Each kite will have a specific wind range in which it will fly best.
Lightweight kites fly best in light winds while stronger winds require strong sail material and strong kite line.
• A simple kite is better for a novice than a complicated kite. Nylon delta kites, Eddy kites and sled kites are easy to set up and fly.
• Adding a tail to your kite will help it stabilize in stronger wind and add a flair.