Are GFK Kites a toy or a hobby?

GFK kites may look like a toy but they are better described as a hobby. While everyone is amazed watching them fly seemingly effortlessly, know that the hobby does require a commitment as with any hobby. The commitment includes learning on a simulator, then learning to fly the actual kite, repairing the kite (because you will crash), and purchasing the necessary accessories and parts as you get better and as you decide to begin customizing your kite. Know also that repairing and customizing your kite is actually half the fun.

How old do I need to be?

While the hobby is completely new to North America, in Singapore where the hobby has been around for over a decade, flyers are as young as 6 and as old as people in senior years. Young ones learn from a seemingly natural dexterity while seniors require a bit more patience. Perhaps one of the greatest features about the kite experience is that the whole family can get involved and enjoy the hobby as a family.

What is the demographic for this hobby?

The demographic is wide and includes guys and girls from kids to seniors and everyone in between. PC gamers for example will love the hobby because it’s like transporting a computer game into real life. Others will love it because of the calming serenity it provides (that is, once you learn to fly). RC’ers will be fascinated with the hobby as well because it can be enjoyed at night in the dark when all other RC products get tucked away. Regardless of your background or motivation, once you have learned to fly, you will be amazed at the tranquility of this fascinating new hobby.

Where can I buy a GFK Kite?

You can purchase a GFK kite two ways – either on line on this website (www.fireflyentertainment.com) or at Cellar Dweller at 1560 Main Street in Winnipeg. The kite sold at Cellar Dweller include Ready To Fly (RTF) and Plug ‘n Play (PNP) sets while FireFly Entertainment’s online store provides access to all products including kite sets, kits, accessories and parts.

How easy is it to learn to fly?

The more time you spend on the simulator, the easier it will be to learn to fly. It is recommended that you log at least 10 – 12 hours on the simulator before trying to fly for the first time. Provided you use the simulator, you can learn to fly simple manoeuvres the first time out. This includes taking off, turning in both directions, and bringing the kite in for a landing close by. It may take a bit longer to catch the kite as you bring it in, which is the preferred way to ‘land’, but that will come with practice.

Can I fly like the pros and how long will it take?

The pros that you see flying in the videos on this site are very experienced and have been flying for at least a few years. However, skill level is directly proportional to how often you practice. The more you fly and the more skills you learn, the better you’ll get. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you’ll learn new skills once you get the basics down. Be prepared to fly for a good 1 to 2 years to get really good if you have never flown before. If you are experienced with RC planes, the learning curve can be much shorter because your skills are completely transferable.

Can the kite handle crashing?

GFK kites are surprisingly resilient and are designed to survive even the most serious of crashes. Manufactured from carbon fibre rods and parachute material, the kites are easily repaired. One of our kites suffered a serious crash – a direct hit onto pavement and then run over by both wheels of an SUV. The kite was flying within about 3 hours and still flies today with no effects from the crash.

What is the proper way to land a GFK kite ?

The best way to land a kite is to bring it in at a slow speed and then land it slowly and softly on the ground next to you – the operative words here being ‘slowly’ and ‘softly’. Make sure you choose a proper terrain when learning – grass is best, concrete not so much. You’ll want to bring it in slow and low to the ground and then cut the throttle allowing it to ‘float’ to the ground from a foot or two up. Once you become more experienced and confident, you can learn to catch it out of mid-air. This takes quite a bit of practice and patience and is done by flying the kite towards you close to the ground and then when it gets close, manoeuvre it into a climb directly in front of you as you cut the throttle. Essentially what you are trying to do is to ‘stall’ the kite directly in front of you and you simply grab it out of mid-air. Make sure you watch out for the prop – this is where the care and patience come in.

What will my new hobby cost me?

The initial investment of your first kite is very reasonable and is the only significant cost. Ongoing expenses are minimal and include parts and accessories. And, your first kite will need to be an RTF set if you’ve never flown before. Additional kites can be purchased as ‘Plug ‘n Play’ sets which do not include the radio, battery, charger or receiver, and as such are available at lower cost.

What are the on-going expenses?

On going expenses are quite minimal. As you learn to fly, you’ll go through props and front protection bars, so you should consider purchasing such consumables. As you improve, you’ll want to purchase extra batteries and LED lights so you can begin to customize your kite. All of our prices are listed in the store section of this site. For your convenience, you can purchase all parts and accessories online.

Are there different kite models?

GoFlyKite in Singapore maintains production of several models of kites. Currently FireFly Entertainment carries 2 models including Ice Baby and SB42. We will begin to increase our inventory of other models in the very near future as the market for this hobby begins to grow in North America.

How do I add LED lights?

Adding lights is not complicated but it does require a bit of care, patience and a steady hand. We will be posting some helpful tips and tricks soon. In the mean time, we will provide such support on-hand at locations where we practice.