Gather notes and questions about our lifters here -- types, tuning, pros and cons

Alternative to NZ fishing kite for strong wind conditions

edited February 11 in Kites

Wind conditions around here have not been productive for kite flying for a long time. At least for my 9ft Levitation Delta. Of course the Levitation Delta has a fairly wide wind range but even so, the wind is usually too light (or flat calm) or too strong.

Take today for example. It actually looked very promising for kite flying. After some preparations, I was going to take out the Delta for a flight. Though as I was just about to leave, the wind picked up. I headed off anyway but when I reached my destination, I figured the wind was likely too strong and abandoned my plans. It was a good thing I did because as I started walking back, the wind grew even stronger. It got pretty wild. I may have ruined my Levitation Delta if I had it up in the air. Earlier on, I was watching a windsurfer race across the surface of the sea at incredible speed.

Some time back, a family member was trying to order the Nighthawk fishing kite for me for my birthday from New Zealand. I was going to use this kite specifically for KAP in strong wind conditions. The online transaction went okay and I'm pretty sure that the cost included the item price as well as international postage to Australia etc. Then a little later, we receive an e-mail from the vendor saying that we have to pay an additional cost for the international delivery of the kite and it was an absolutely massive amount of money. It almost seemed like armed robbery. We weren't impressed and decided to cancel the order.

Could anyone recommend an alternative kite for KAP in strong wind conditions? I'm hoping that there is something else out that that performs just as well as the Nighthawk. And hopefully, there won't be killer postage costs.


  • WW, thank you for the recommendation. This is a kite that I have not heard of before. Looks very interesting! Out of curiosity, would it be able to lift a decent payload like a mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses or DSLR? That is the kind of camera equipment that I would like to use for KAP eventually.

  • Yes, in high wind you will have good lifting force. Not in light wind.


  • edited February 9

    Great to know. And I like the idea of the quick assembly from what I have read from the text. Very nice colour designs too.
    I could only find one video of this kite in action.

    I'm surprised it's moving around so much - turning left and right towards the end of the video (even with a tail.) I wonder if a fuzzy tail would tame it more.

  • Add long tail 30+ feet for more stability. I use this kite only in winds above 25 Knots (30-50 mph).
    In high winds like this with turbulent airflows.... I do not recommend flying very heavy DSLRs. Things can happen in very high winds.....

    Hat Tales - High Wind Over the Rockies
    Hat Tales - High Wind Over the Rockies

    See a few stories below....

    Very high wind >100 mph KAP.... not recommended!


  • For the gusty wind condition I have here, I did modified a ITW Alpine kite with a spring that change its angle of attack during high or gusting wind. I followed this article ( .
    I found the sping on Amazon, and built the preload carbon fiber tube with aluminium tips.
    The kite still pull somewhat hard on big gust (20 lbs), but it is a very stable.
    I use the rocommended preload on the spring (2 lbs) and it work great.

    Hope this help you.

  • edited February 11

    WW, interesting reading and good photos. I see that I'll need a super long tail. I was considering a fuzzy tail but I guess the type of tail doesn't matter? It's interesting that the hat at the end of the tail worked well at giving extra stability. Perhaps I could try something similar. Though a fuzzy tail could possibly work as a substitute maybe.

    Eventually, later down the track, the plan is to attach an M4/3 camera to the kite line which would be lighter than a DSLR. Hopefully, an M4/3 camera would be fine in high wind.

    I do note that there is a bit of line vibration from this kite. I guess I could use a faster shutter speed to compensate. Maybe 1/2000th.

  • Gilbert, that's interesting about the use of a spring. Clever idea from that article. Good to hear that it works well for that ITW Alpine kite.

  • Prism discontinued the Stowaway Delta, although there may well be some still available from a few retailers. It was a very bad flier unless fitted with a tail, preferably a fuzzy. I knew two people who each bought one and each was almost ready to throw it away until they tried a fuzzy tail and found it flew better. Prism replaced it with the Zenith 7, which also has the bungy cords in the spars and folds down for easy transport. It's a better kite than the Stowaway, although I seldom fly mine. There are two videos of it on my YouTube channel, easily found by searching for Zenith 7 kite. It's a bit bouncy in flight, from memory, but I found it better in higher wind than in a light breeze.

  • Ah I didn't realise that Prism discontinued the Stowaway Delta. NZFlier, I watched both of your videos on the Zenith 7. Yea it looked pretty bouncy in that first video with lighter wind. And I did see some improvement in the second video with stronger wind and a long tail attached. Though I noticed it still wasn't entirely stable but hopefully good enough for KAP in high wind. Once again, I might have to use extra fast shutter speeds on the camera to compensate. I wonder if it could lift a decent payload in high wind like it's predecessor - the Stowaway Delta. Hopefully, it could lift an M4/3 camera which weighs about 415 grams + a lens.

  • edited February 19

    The Zenith 5 (5 foot wing span) is about the same size as the Stowaway and should be able to lift 500 grams. My Stowaway delta lifted my auto KAP rig with the Sony A6000 in high winds. Still moved around a lot but less vibration than the nighthawk.

    Prism also makes a Zenith 7 (7 foot wing span) for more pull and lift. I have not flown either.... but expect the Zenith 5 would be better at the higher wind speeds (less sail area).

    By comparison the Levitation Delta kite has a 9 foot wing span. The dynamic spreader (DS) from Mike LeDuc expands the upper wind range of this kite.

    Note this post was edited (I originally listed the Zenith 7 as equivalent to the Stowaway delta, but it should be the smaller Zenith 5).


  • The ROKKER has good chances of versions also for strong wind.
    an example 1.5 x 1.8 m in perforated banner tissue offers good performances up to 60 - 70 km/h without pulling too much and flying at a reasonable angle 40 - 45 °
    The size of the kite offers stability and the type of sail reduces the pull

    SMAC from Italy

  • WW, thanks for the clarification about the Zenith 5. And it sounds like it's a decent lifter for payloads. And yea my preference would be the "5" for high winds.
    Smac, I did not consider the Rokker. I have noted that it seems to be a popular kite for light winds. And I have seen photographs of very large Rokkers for light wind conditions.

  • The standard ROKKER that in most standard size (1.65 x approx 2 m) covers well a range of wind speed from 4 to 40 km/h
    wider and light versions can further extend the use in light wind conditions
    a bit smaller size and if necessary with special tissue ... banner or else can cover very well strong winds showing stability and not excessive pull
    ROKKERs are flying WELL without tail ... if you achieve stability on a kite adding a long - long - long tail this simply means that the kite is NOT stable in those conditions and that you can hide the problem with a huge drag

    SMAC from Italy

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