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Heading to the beach isn’t just about swimming and sandcastles – flying a kite can add an extra layer of fun. This past month, I set out to find the best beach kites that could keep both kids and adults entertained. As you know, I spend a lot of time at Gulf Coast beaches, and sometimes you run out of ideas on how to entertain a group! I found kites to be a great option; they are small and lightweight, and most can fit easily into a beach bag.
After spending some time testing different models, I learned there’s a lot to consider when choosing the right kite. I’ve tested a range of kites on the beach, and I want to share the insights I’ve gained to help you avoid disappointment. I’ll be sharing a guide to picking out a kite that meets your needs, along with a few personal recommendations based on performance, to ensure you don’t waste your money. Let’s find you a kite that will make your next beach visit a memorable one.
What to Consider Before Buying a Kite
There are a few factors to consider before buying a kite. If you’re simply looking for a quick and easy experience, you won’t need a kite that only an aerospace engineer could operate. You also won’t want to buy something made of ultra-cheap materials and regret the purchase when it nose dives into a parking lot (and its doom). Here’s a few considerations that are worth noting so you purchase the best beach kite for you.
Materials Do Matter
When I’m in the market for a new kite, I first check out what people say about the seller and their kites. Good reviews give me a baseline, but I look at the bad reviews first.
If you’re looking for durability, then you’ll want to look into ripstop nylon kites. Standard polyester will suffice if you don’t need anything more than an entry-level kite. Rods tend to be made of fiberglass and will be sturdier than a frameless kite made entirely of fabric.
Accessories also matter if you plan to use your kite a lot. A good winder has saved me more time untangling lines than I can count, and a decent storage bag means I can chuck the kite in the back of the car without worrying about it getting damaged.
Types of Kites = Type of Experience
Until I started my quest for kites, I didn’t realize how many types of kites are on the market. For example, there are lots of options like delta, diamond, Rokkaku, traction, and parafoil kites, just to name a few.
I’m not much for technical jargon, but in terms of performance, if it flies well and doesn’t dive like a falcon every time the wind changes, that’s a win in my book. Easy to fly is key. Delta kites and diamond kites tend to be great for beginners due to their ease of flight. Parafoil kites also are soft and inflatable so they are good if you don’t want to worry about sharp edges with kids. If you want to impress, you can always go for the dual-line or stunt kites for expert-level maneuverability. There are other niche ones, but these are less common on Amazon or big box retailers.
Product descriptions from manufacturers usually indicate the appropriate age and expertise level, aiding in the selection of a suitable kite. Having a child, I empathize with the concern over inadvertently choosing something that might not be child-friendly.
Before deciding on a kite, I consider the flyer’s age and skill. It’s impractical to opt for an advanced stunt kite for a novice or a child. The ideal kite is one that launches effortlessly and can handle variable winds without difficulty.
Size and Assembly
The size of the kite will determine how difficult it will be to handle. The complexity of the kite and how many components you’ll need to put it together should also be considered. The more of these things there are, the harder it will be to fly it.
For the more pricey kites, I’ve learned to check if I can get replacement parts. I’m not planning on breaking it, but if it happens, I want to know if I can fix it without too much hassle.
Best Kites For The Beach
The premier place for flying a kite, the beach is perfect because of its open spaces, beautiful breeze off the ocean or lake, and amazing backdrop for watching your kite soar. The kite also contributes to the amazing scene at the beach, and it won’t just be your kids who are entertained! Here are a few of the best beach kites:
This is your standard triangle kite without any unnecessary bells and whistles, which only makes it easier to fly! The price is pretty much as low as you’ll ever find. Surprising, given the quality. It boasts a 60” x 30” span and two ribbons, so it’s excellent to watch while it flies.
This Mint’s Kite comes in multiple colors, so you can pick what suits your family the best.
- Comes with a 300-foot kite string and intuitive handle.
- Larger than most kites at the price point
- It was too big for my child to fly.
- The nylon construction is less durable.
If you want vibrant colors and a large wingspan soaring over you and your kids at the beach, opt for this delta kite. Its rainbow design and simple design make it ideal for kids of all ages.
While I like this one, I tend to prefer Mint’s Delta due to its simplicity. However, this one is far more colorful.
- Partially assembled, just a few line clips
- 300 feet long is for the beach or other open spaces.
- Attractive design, eye-catching
- Large surface area makes it difficult to assemble in winds
- Needs a lot of wind to get going.
There’s something about aquatic animal designs that work so well in kites. This manta ray will swim and soar through the air, which makes it ideal for bringing it to the beach, and the manta ray design certainly suits a day at the beach! It will also hold up to any spills it takes into the water, which makes it one of the best beach kites available.
- Ripstop Nylon makes it lighter but considerably stronger.
- Very inexpensive for the quality
- Beautiful colors
- Simple design
- This kite can be slightly difficult to control for the little ones.
- It takes “nose dives” in certain winds
Unique Kites For Adults
Let’s say you had a great time flying a kite at the beach with the kids, but the entry-level models seem too basic. There are a few kites that will test your skills a bit while providing an approachable experience. These might be too big or too advanced for the young ones, but they are fun to get everyone engaged.
One of the coolest and most realistic-looking kites is this F16 Thunderbird from Premier Kites. This jet will be soaring through the air with its 20-foot streamer and can fly at certain angles for supremely cool appearances.
With a fiberglass frame and Ripstop nylon, this kite can withstand a few crashes here and there. It’s an ideal kite for dads looking for an exciting way to hang with the kids, and no kite will look more patriotic at a July 4th beach party. My father was a military pilot, so this one he would have loved.
- Very durable
- One of the best kites for adults
- Heavier line makes it easier to handle.
- Aerodynamic, so it flies better.
- Difficult to store and put away.
- Not especially kid-friendly and needs a stronger wind.
The cobra design of this kite is as striking as you’ll get. Kids, like my son, will get a kick out of how it looks while it’s snaking its way through the air. The kite has an incredibly long tail, which only makes it resemble a cobra even more!
While the tail is a lot of fun, it also caused us some challenges since it’s easy to get it wrapped up. But for a older child or adult, it’s definitely more unique that your standard looking diamond kite.
- Impressive design details
- Simple string and handle
- Not very durable.
- Kite appearance can frighten small children
The Best Beach Kites for Advanced “Pilots”
These are a few of the best beach kites for anyone who’s tried a beginner model, enjoyed it, but wants to upgrade. Inexpensive kites are a great low-stakes way to see how much you enjoy it. The following models are great choices if you want to take the next step without investing a lot.
This dual-line kite looks like it’s used strictly by professionals, so you’ll be the most impressive parent at the beach with this high-tech kite gliding through the air. It’s great for spins, dives, and even figure-eight maneuvers, and its responsive but simple controls make it easy for intermediate users.
Prism is a well-recognized brand in the kite industry. So, if this one looks too basic, they have some other incredible designs.
- Great for travel
- Easy to learn maneuvers
- Good price point a quality beach kite
- Hard to control in high winds.
- The line can tangle
The Best Kites For Kids
These are entry-level models with a capital “E.” They are easy to set up, difficult to break, and relatively easy to store (provided your child doesn’t simply walk away from the kite once they’re done).
This pair of simple and fun octopus-shaped kites are perfect for kids of all ages. These are as easy to control as possible, with a simple string system that kids of all ages can figure out, which is great for their self-confidence.
- Comes with 2 kites
- No set-up and very little instruction is needed.
- They come in different colors
- No metal rods for kids to get hurt
- The string can be too long, and it can unravel.
- The lighter material might not hold up to strong gusts of wind.
Final Thoughts on Best Beach Kites
There are many considerations for which kite to buy, but it’s a fairly simple process. Most manufacturers (especially the ones listed above) stick the landing on material quality and functionality. If you’re unsure, maybe start basic and upgrade later!
Either way, you’ll have plenty of fun outside, whether it’s at the beach or with the kids in the backyard.