If you’re planning to introduce your kids
to kiting, you’re probably looking for foil kites that are easy to fly and do
not break easily. While you’ve chosen the perfect type of kites for beginners, the
purchase process may not be so easy because there are so many options. This
post will give you some insight into the best parafoil kites in the market,
which brands to consider, and how to make the right choice.
is a Foil Kite? – A Brief Overview
Before we can go into detail with reviews
of the best parafoil kites, let’s first take a closer look at foil kites in
general. The biggest difference between a parafoil kite and a regular diamond or delta
kite is that it does not have a frame. It becomes semi-rigid when air fills
up the pockets between different levels of the kite.
Foil kites sometimes have several bridle lines that help them maintain their shape. The best part about these kites is since there are no frames that can break or bend, they tend to be a lot more durable.
Although they’re easy to fly for beginners, they can also develop significant pull to challenge more serious pilots. Some larger foil kites can even have enough pull to lift heavy objects, making them a popular choice for traction sports. In fact, parafoil kites were the inspiration for parachutes and paragliders.
You can find three different kinds of foil
kite controls – single-line, dual-line, and quad-line. As with other types of
kites, single-line foil kites are the easiest to fly for beginners as it
involves focusing on only one line. However, there are some limitations in
performing tricks and maneuvers as single-line kites are less responsive.
Dual-line kites are the best for performing
kite tricks, as they tend to be extremely fast and responsive. That said, they
lack the kind of control that a quad-line kite offers. Quad-line kites are much
more stable, although they’re a bit slower. The ability to control speed using
two extra brake lines makes them perfect for traction sports.
Best Parafoil Kites to Get This Summer
Now that you understand the different types
of foil kites available, you’ll have an easier time narrowing down on your
options. So let’s take a look at the five best parafoil kites you can get this
1. Prism Synapse Dual-Line Parafoil Kite
This is the best all-round parafoil kite that meets the needs of both beginners and serious pilots. The fact that it comes from one of the top kite brands is a big plus. It even made it to our previous list of the top Prism kites.
It comes in three sizes with the smallest
one at 4.5 feet and the largest one at 6.5 feet. The mid-sized kite measures 5.5
feet. You can choose one based on your requirements and skill level, with the smallest
size being the best for beginners since it will have the least amount of pull.
Speed and agility are the defining factors
of this foil kite. You can steer the high-aspect ratio wings with high
precision, making it a great choice for professionals who want to perform
kite tricks. At the same time, it’s very stable so beginners can have a
smooth transition into dual-line controls.
Setup is a breeze with this kite, since
there’s no frame or other elements that need putting together. Portability is
another big plus as you can fold this Prism kite into a compact bag, with the
largest one folding down to 10 inches.
While the attached flying lines make setup
easy, they also tangle up very easily and can be a pain to unravel. Besides
this, you might find it challenging to launch this kite in light wind unless
you have someone helping you.
The strong pull of the Prism Synapse can be
very thrilling for serious pilots, but it may be a little overwhelming for
smaller kids. Even with teenagers, you’ll need low to medium wind and strict
adult supervision just to be on the safer side.
High precision steering with
high-aspect ratio wings
Fast and agile
Stable enough for beginners
Easy to set up
Strong pull to challenge
Three different size options
Lines tangle up easily
Difficult to launch without
assistance in low wind
Another Prism kite to make it to the list, the Prism Bora is a single-line kite and is very easy to fly even for an inexperienced child. It comes in three sizes – 2 square feet, 5 square feet, and 7 square feet. You can choose the larger option if you want a stronger pull, but the smallest one is perfect for kids who are just learning to fly kites.
The Prism Bora is very easy to control, which makes it perfect for kids and beginners alike. Launching the kite is fairly easy as well if you have a little bit of wind. Setup isn’t complicated either and can be completed in just a few steps. So if easy flying, launching, and setup are your main concerns, this kite is the perfect choice for you.
It uses a braided polyester flying line
that doesn’t tangle up like the first kite on the list. This significantly
improves the flying quality. It also comes with a long tail to improve stability.
In addition, this kite is lightweight without sacrificing on pull. It can even
lift small objects such as a GoPro camera.
While an experienced pilot can easily
launch this kite even in low wind, beginners might find this a bit challenging.
The kite struggles to remain stable when there isn’t enough wind to keep it
afloat. The material is also slightly flimsy and the tail is prone to fraying
after some use.
One of the most affordable options on the
list, this 3D dolphin kite from IMAGE is an excellent pick for kids due to its
vibrant color and fun shape. At 6.29 feet, it’s large enough to provide
significant pull and keep you on your toes. You can also choose from four
different color options – blue, black, red, and orange.
It’s fairly easy to get this kite up in the
air when there’s decent breeze. Although it needs a bit of wind to stay up, it
relaunches quickly even after it falls down. So there’s not much interference
when flying this kite.
It is quite easy to operate as well, which
makes it perfect for beginners and kids who are just getting acquainted with
kiting. It comes with a separate tail that you can attach or remove to improve
the flying quality based on the weather conditions.
One of the major concerns with this kite is
the less than ideal string quality, especially since it’s a bigger kite. There
have been several complaints about the string snapping shortly after use. Some
owners recommend getting a separate string that’s more durable, if you want a
seamless flying experience.
In addition, the string also tangles up very easily and can be very frustrating to untangle. The fact that it needs a bit of wind to stay up in the air is also something to take into consideration. It does not come with instructions either, so you might have some trouble setting it up.
4. Amazona’s Presentz Black 3D Octopus Paul Parafoil Kite
At 24 feet long, the Octopus Paul parafoil
kite from Amazona’s Presentz is the longest kite on this list. It also has a
fun design that would thrill your kids. So if you’re looking for something that’s
prominently visible while you fly it, this is an excellent option.
This kite is very easy to fly and control,
and in the words of some owners it “pretty much flies itself.” You won’t have
much trouble launching it when there’s decent breeze, as it can become airborne
even without a bit of traction.
The durable material is another big plus if
beginners and kids are going to fly the kite. It is made of nylon, so it doesn’t
tear easily even if you get it tangled between tree branches. The kite comes
with a matching pouch, so you can fold it up and take it with you to the beach
or to the park.
One of the biggest concerns with this kite
is that it comes with several lines to hold up the shape at the kite end. These
lines can get tangled very easily. Sometimes, the knot may unravel and make it
extremely difficult to keep your kite airborne. Some owners recommend using a fishing
swivel to fasten this knot and keep the strings from coming loose.
It doesn’t come with any instructions on
how to set it up either, which can be a bit problematic for beginners.
If you want a more colorful alternative to
the previous kite, you can also go for the 5M octopus parafoil kite. It comes in
a vibrant purple color and is a bit smaller than the previous option at approximately
16.5 feet long. The best part is that it’s much cheaper than any of the other
kites on the list. So if you’re looking for an affordable option for beginners,
this is your best bet.
The vibrant color and fun design look
striking when you get the kite up in the air. It flies quite well in medium
wind speeds of about 15 mph, and is fairly easy to control even for kids. Durability
is another plus point with this kite. It is made of nylon and does not rip
easily even when it gets caught between branches.
It comes with a matching kite bag, where
you can fold it down to a compact shape and take it with you whenever you go to
the beach or to the park. So portability is a major plus point with this kite.
Like the previous kite, this too comes with
multiple strings to hold up the 3D octopus shape. These strings, although
durable, can get tangled up very easily unless you knot them up properly and
ensure that they’re all of the same length.
Another concern is that it’s a bit
difficult to get it up in the air when there’s low wind. You need a decent
breeze to unlock this kite’s full potential.
As you can see, there are quite a few
options of parafoil kites in different sizes, shapes, performance levels, and
price ranges. You can start by assessing how you’re going to use the kite and
who is going to fly it. You will then be able to make the right choice based on
those factors and the points we’ve listed here.
Jacqueline Zote is a professional content writer with a focus area on lifestyle, recreational games, and all things fun. In her free time, she likes to go on food adventures and explore new recreational activities in the city.