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You just missed the Lincoln City kite fest last weekend. It was a great time and I got to fly team quads with some fellow kitelifers. I have a kymerra with an ultra lite frame in it, if you want to try it. I think thier still 50% off at Into the Wind? Or if you really want to start spending money there's always quads.
There are two basic styles. You described the second.
The first style is called stacked kites. Here are some YouTube videos. Basically a bunch of similar kites are tied together in a stack. They can be single line, or multiple line if the pilot wants to control them. My current profile picture to the left is two kites stacked together, then flown as one. These kites can have tremendous pull even in light winds. Sometimes pilots have multiple people helping them, ready to grab hold and keep the pilot from lifting to the air or from dragging across the field.
The other style is called line laundry. Here are some YouTube videos. This starts with a strong, powerfully lifting kite like a sled or parafoil. Smaller items are attached to the line, such as spinners, streamers, climbers, smaller kites, and they are lifted with the kite. Large show kites can have tremendous pull, capable of lifting several hundred pounds, so they need to be securely anchored.
They can be beautiful, and are common at kite festivals. If you're interested, find a kite show and chat with the people involved.
The can be fun, but needs caution and experience. The bigger and more elements you add, the more dangerous it becomes.
In both styles there is risk involved because of the high strengths and tensions involved. People are sometimes injured or maimed. The two biggest risks are being pulled into the air and having your fingers or hands twisted in the lines due to a gust. I have met people who have suffered both kinds of injuries (two people with missing fingertips, one man whose legs and ankles were completely rebuilt after being thrown into the air and blowing out his knees and ankles on a hard landing) and read many tales of people who suffered such injuries.
Even when you're prepared and experienced, accidents happen. I know of a man, Dean Jordan, was in charge of kite field operations for various AKA events, owned a kite manufacturing company, and was experienced with that style of high pull and man-lifting kites. At an event where he was surrounded with experienced people, after a few hours of enjoying high power man-lifting kites and properly wearing assorted safety gear, he made a small mistake that nearly cost his life, shattering his pelvis and breaking assorted bones, landing him in the hospital for an extended time.
Given your location in Oregon, you're able to make a day trip to try out several options with other people's kites. That's the cheapest and easiest way to try them all.
It would be a full day, but I'm certain there are plenty of people willing if you're able to make the drive. There are plenty of worse things then spending a Saturday at Lincoln City or Long Beach or Ocean City.
You only need the two spreaders for 7 kites. One lead kite and one half way through. If the lead kite pops out the nose piece, try using 4-5 of them. Rainbow made a heavy duty set for more than 6 at a time.
Good luck. Happy flying. I’ve been flying them for years.
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