Kite Games and Competitions

The following are games and competitions you can play with your single line or stunt kites, which are relativally safe for both kites and flyers.

Mail Me if you have a suggested kite competition.


Single Line 'Static' Kite Games

Altitude Sprint
From: Mark de Roussier <> from news group rec.kites 30 September, 1996.

This contest is a rather inexact affair, definitely a 'fun' event rather than anything more 'sporting'.

You have a fixed length of time to let line out ( depending on the wind - usually between 30s and 2mins ), then you stop, and when the kites have reached their maximum height, the judges decide whose kite is highest.

The main factor is how fast you can let line out, *not* how fast the kite can actually climb. Also how much pull your kite generates at low angles and the static angle the kite makes at the end.

Note: Look in Kite Hints and Tips for fast ways of determining a kites height.

Highest Flying Angle

Flyers launch kites to whatever height they like, generally not to high (to stop line sag) but at least about 10 feet of line. The Judge can then use a protractor with weighted 'bob' to measure either, the angle of the kite line at the flyers hand, or by looking along the protractor toward the kite.

The measurement could also include the kites 'pull', as part of the result.

Rokakku (Kite) Battle [photo]
Basically, last kite flying, is the winner. The contestants are allowed to run around a fixed area, but not allowed to interfer physically with the flyers themselves. Kites can be removed from the sky by, tangling, knocking, stealling wind, line cutting, etc...

This competion is generaly performed with rokakakus, all of the same size, and string type but you could open this to ALL entrents.

I would make such a battle the last contest of the day, so kites can be entered in other competions before they are tangled or destroyed in this contest.

As a option you could also allow the teams to use water and flour bombs on each other. The result is a very chaotic, humourous, and interesting competition.

Messages into the Sky or Bringing the Kite Down [photo]
A kite is launched, "paper messengers" are sent up the kite line until the kite becomes too overloaded to fly and comes down. The messages consist of square or round sheet of paper with a hole in the center and a slit from an edge to the hole. The contest can be run in a number of ways...

Kids can each take a turns puttin their message on the kite line for the wind to sent up to the kite. The last message that finally brings the kite down, wins the contest!

Alturnativally a raffle like contest can be run to make money. People pay money to write thier name, and contact details on a specified message (each numbered). If their message brings the kite down (or the message closest to that one), they win. Note few will want to put their names on the low numbered messages, though the contest could be won by the very first message!

Miscellanous Contests
These are simple contests but may require more judging.
  • Best Home Made (Junior and senior catagories)
    Note: This can be difficult due to 'build a kite' books and kits. What is the border line and how to make that clear. A better idea would probably be...
  • Best Newspaper kite.
    This could be a specific newspaper for publicity reasons.
  • Most complex Box kite.
  • Most unusual kite which flys.
  • Highest flyer (not a good idea due to aircraft laws!)
  • Strongest pulling Kite. (a spring gauge may be needed for finalists)
  • Most kites on a single string (Only one line to ground - so includes trains but excludes normal arches).
  • Longest kite train or arch.
  • Best miniture flying kite (under say 12 inchs or 30 cm).
  • Most asymeterical kite (the kite itself, NOT its decoration).
    Note: this is not an easy task and could be quite a challenge to a kite builder. Of course the kite must actually fly for at least a few minutes without looping.
  • Best Sky Sculpture!
    This could be a kite, tail, suspended object, with or without substance (bubbles?), flying, blowing, growing, melting, etc., etc., etc.. The key here is ''Art''.
  • Best/Most {...} kite.
    This includes:
    • plastic, paper, sewn, glued,
    • flat/bowed, cellular, box, delta,
    • most colourful, with longest tail,
    • largest, smallest.
  • Best Banner, Flag or other ground display.


Stunt Kite Games

Freestyle Trick Competition
This is best described in a series of Rec.Kite news articals presented in the KiteLife EZine, July 1998 (now offline).

In summary, pairs of flyers alturnate flying every 30 seconds over a 3 minute period during some catchy music, performing the best tricks they can. The best trickster goes on to the next round.

Judging is informal and can involve fellow flyers, and audience participation.

Follow the Leader
[photo] [photo] Two, three and maybe four flyers try to follow each other in the sky. This is a free form game and can be lots of fun. Flyers do not need to fly the same kite, though the faster kite should probably be the leader.

Figure 8 Congo Line
This is like follow the leader but to a fixed figure 8 pattern. Each kite flyer approaches from the side and just joins the end of the line at the right moment when ready.

The record at the time of writing is I believe 28 kites (Early 2000) before the figure disintergrated.

Tip the bottle or Godzilla's Revenge
A 3 m long tail with a light plastic ball at the end is attached to a wing tip of the stunt kite. The goal was to tilt an empty plastic bottle as fast as you can. If two or more players are using the same target, the ribbon should be attached to the same tip on both and the flyers take turns. If on oppisite sides, you may tempt fate to set up that expensive 'head on'. For a harder game no ribbon is used.

A Variation is called "Godzilla's Revenge" where an apple is placed on the head of a inflatable godzilla and try to knock it off, preferably without godzilla grabbing your kite where appon it is deemed that the monster wins.

Dog Fighting

This I would consider dangerous to the hip pocket, and only suitable for 'expert' or 'foolish' flyers, you have been warned.

Thomas Dorf <> suggests attaching a 2-5 meter cheap plastic bag tail, and attempting to rip the opponents tail off. He quotes...

''Haven't tried it myself yet, but 'seen it. Looks funny!''.

I suggest something which will tear easily, so that your kites don't tangle into a huge mass when success is achieved. Paper steamers or crepe paper comes in mind. I also suggest a limit to area stunt pilots can run around in.

Balloon Pop

Josť Roberto F. de C. Clark, < presented this idea (paraphrased)...

Tie a Helium baloon to a stake or to your belt, on a length of light line about the same length as your kite lines. and affix a pin to the kites leading edge. Have a friend take the balloon to to the end of this line, downwind.

The game starts when the friend lets go of the balloon, the object is to burst the balloon in the shortest amount of time as the balloon rises on the end of its tether.

For advanced pilots start the balloon more to one side of the flying window so the balloon rises and curves around the flying window on its tether.

This game is almost alike the DogFight, but with a dumb opponent. Any questions, please, E-Mail me. <>

Relay Race
A number of teams of flyers are formed. A flyer from each team take turns passing the handles of an "in flight" kite to each other doing a quick figure eight, circle, or other fixed manover, before passing the handles on to the next member of the team. First team finished wins.

Kite Limbo
Kites take turns tring to fly under a low bar without touching either bar or the ground. This competation is very well suited to quad-line kites such as revolutions. One wrong move or wind gust can you can be out of the competition. You could make it 3 touch limit (like weight lifting) with flyer having to restart after a failed attempt, when a touch is declared.


Kite Related Non-Flying Games

Kite Parade
[photo] Kite parades are simple, colorful, and fun. The best part is that everyone participates and no one looses. Simply line everyone up, start the music, have everyone hold onto their kites (not flying them, but actually carrying them), and march the group around the kite field. Funny hats and costumes add to the atmosphere.

Running of the Bols
[photo] The concept was simple -- stand with a 10 foot bol at the downwind side of the field, and when the starting signal is given, race upwind. With a dozen bols on the field, it became a fun-filled, slow motion extravaganza.

Pulling a big bol upwind isn't as easy as it looks. And for some odd reason, the bigger guys seemed to do better. One winner said it was the first race he had won in years!

Created: 20 August 1996
Updated: 2 April 1998
Author: Anthony Thyssen, <>