The power kite buggy is a vehicle powered by a kite and built specifically for this purpose. It can seat a single individual and has a steerable front wheel and two fixed rear wheels. The steering maneuvers and flying maneuvers have to be coordinated to adjust speed of the vehicle. Speed up to 110km/hr can be achieved by skilled drivers.
The seat of the buggy is ‘bucket style’ giving adequate side and back support which is quite essential since the driver transfers the force of the traction kite used to the buggy. The kite is usually attached to the pilot by a harness and a strop line. The breaking and acceleration functions are all assisted by the kite.
In power kite buggy, a four line power kite is used as an engine to generate power and also a forward motion. First of all, you need to control and be comfortable with the power your buggy is generating. Check the speed of the wind before you decide on the kite size. Following the kite launch you need to slide forward and not brace yourself against the pull, until the kite reaches its zenith.
Travel directly across the wind in a straight line to get familiar with this ‘parakarting activity’. Make sure that the kite is at least 10-20 feet above the ground when kite buggying.
Some buggies provide scope for attaching a second one using specialized trailer coupling. Only a single kite is necessary to keep them moving which has to be controlled by the pilot in the first buggy. Two kites can also be used with both the drivers controlling one each.
Buggies are available in different forms. The traditional buggy comes with 3 wheels but now with various advancements there are more sophisticated 4 wheel buggies not to forget2 wheeled ones.
Some buggies are designed to be used on snow with ice skating blades replacing wheels.
One exciting stunt which can be pulled by buggies is jumps for which the pilot is attached to the vehicle with a lap belt. Also bigger kites have to be used to give more power. The pilot first generates maximum power with the overhead flying kite which results in him being lifted along with the buggy to a number of feet up in the air. Some skilled pilots are known to perform aerial stunts, spins, pendulum swings, side winders etc.
Kite buggying is a sport meant strictly for experienced people. The main source of power is wind which is so unpredictable. The pilot has a responsibility to protect himself, the environment and the surrounding population. Helmets are of course a must as well as a protective body suit. In fact pilots are often encouraged to get a third party liability insurance for fear of possible harm to bystanders or other kite buggy pilots.
Above all a high degree of self confidence is required to carry out this sport. In case the power or speed of a kite scares you, reduce the size of the kite to be more comfortable only to try out a bigger one later.