5 Best Foil Kites to Take to the Beach This Summer10 min read

Foil Kites

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.

What 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.

5 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 summer.

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.

What We Like

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.

Other Considerations

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.

Pros

  • High precision steering with high-aspect ratio wings
  • Fast and agile
  • Stable enough for beginners
  • Easy to set up
  • Strong pull to challenge serious pilots
  • Three different size options

Cons

  • Lines tangle up easily
  • Difficult to launch without assistance in low wind
  • Not safe for smaller pilots due to strong pull

Available on Amazon

2. Prism Bora Single-Line Parafoil Kite

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.

What We Like

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.

Other Considerations

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.

Pros

  • Easy to launch and fly
  • Three size options
  • Significant pull to challenge professionals
  • Easy setup
  • Tangle-resistant braided polyester flying line

Cons

  • Difficult to launch in low wind
  • Stability issue in low wind
  • Tail frays easily

Available on Amazon

3. IMAGE 3D Dolphin Kite

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.

What We Like

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.

Other Considerations

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.

Pros

  • Easy to fly and launch
  • Relaunches on its own
  • Fun design and vibrant colors
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Poor string quality
  • Tangles and snaps easily
  • Needs a bit of wind to stay up
  • Does not come with instructions

Available on Amazon

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.

What We Like

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.

Other Considerations

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.

Pros

  • Easy to fly and control
  • Easy to launch in decent breeze
  • Durable material
  • Fun design
  • Folds down into a compact pouch

Cons

  • The strings get tangled easily
  • The knot is prone to coming loose
  • No instructions

Available on Amazon

5. Amazona’s Presentz 5M Octopus Parafoil Kite

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.

What We Like

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.

Other Considerations

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.

Pros

  • Vibrant and fun design
  • Affordable
  • Durable material
  • Flies well in medium wind speed
  • Folds down to a compact pouch

Cons

  • The strings get tangled easily
  • The knot is prone to coming loose
  • Does not come with instructions
  • Difficult to fly in low winds

Available on Amazon

Bottom Line

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.

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