Issue 4: Buggy Newz


So… You want to go buggy, huh? It sure does look like a lot of fun… But (I hear you say) is it dangerous? Buggies are a really fun way to sail on the land, powered by kites. The danger is only when a rider gets into situations beyond their skill level or knowledge. I am here to help you… Let’s start at the beginning…

Corey’s First Rule of Buggy Sailing: Begin the learning process in medium winds (8-18 mph) and use the smallest kite that will work. Quads are the easiest to learn and the most controllable for beginners. Don’t let anybody (or yourself) talk you into more than you can handle. Smaller kites require the pilot to work for speed. Move the kite up and down to gain power and learn to steer the buggy to turn the power into speed. Slowing is as simple as putting the kite overhead. Bigger kites can get the new pilot into trouble very quickly.

Corey’s Second Buggy Rule: Get comfortable with the kite before setting out on the buggy. While learning to buggy and the kite crashes… Get off and reposition the buggy to point slightly downwind and then relaunch the kite.

Trying to relaunch from the seat, without pointing the buggy downwind can pop you out sideways. Learn the procedures in easy steps… Don’t try to do everything at once.

Corey’s Third Buggy Rule: Start with the kite overhead and drop it into the power gradually in the direction you want to go. Remember that the bottom lines on a quad only brake the kite… Not the buggy. To slow the buggy, steer upwind with the kite overhead. The quickest way to stop is to put the kite overhead, kick the front wheel in a sharp turn and let the buggy spin 180o.

This technique works great on grass, sand and hardpack but should not be used on pavement. Putting the kite behind the direction of travel also slows the buggy, but the kite must be raised to overhead immediately or the pilot may be pulled out backwards (Not good).

Corey’s Fourth Buggy Rule: The surface you are on makes a difference. So does the amount of room you have. The more room you have (especially downwind) the easier it will be. Sandy hardpack beaches and grass fields require a bit more power than dry lakes and pavement. No space is too big.

Corey’s Fifth Buggy Rule: Buggy sailing is what makes us human. Monkeys must wait for someone to bring them a beer. Buggy pilots can sail upwind to the beer cooler whenever they are thirsty. Learning to sail upwind and crosswind is crucial to learning the buggy. Just letting the kite pull you downwind is not sailing… It is merely traction. Running downwind, beware the buggy does not overrun the kite, resulting in the flying lines going slack and wrapping around the front axle. This is known as the “Bryan Brake” after the guy who wrapped my lines three times on his first buggy day.

So… Take it easy. Buggy with a friend and have a ton of fun!


Colors of the Wind – A Guide to Modern Kiting

Provides entry-level introductory and how-to articles on many aspects of the modern kite game, from single-line stable kites to dual-line sport kites…

From playing with kites & kids to kite aerial photography…

From the quad-line Revolution to the ancient art of fighter kites…

And much, much more…

Autographed copies of Colors are available for $6.


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