What to Do

Enjoy Dan’s Kite Fly and More Sky-High Summer Fun

Take to the sky for the best of times.

With so much emphasis on shopping, eating, sun tanning and other things terrestrial, you may have overlooked the sky! But there’s just as much fun to be had there as there is down here.

To some, the phrase “go fly a kite” sounds hurtfully dismissive; to others, it sounds like fun. With so much open space on the East End—not to mention healthy ocean breezes—you might never find a better place to go fly a kite. There are a few things to keep in mind when taking part in this family-friendly pastime.

First, while you need wind to do so, flying a kite in high winds can be difficult and possibly even dangerous. You want wind at about 5–25 mph, the speed at which leaves might be on the move, but the wind isn’t howling.

Next, stay away from roads and power lines. You don’t want to be the cause of a traffic kerfuffle which backs the beast up to the middle of the island, or be the reason the East End is plunged into days of power-outage darkness. Open fields, parks and beaches are best.

Finally, remember what you learned in history class. While any mother would be proud to raise the next Benjamin Franklin, she’ll be much less impressed (as will we all) if you get struck by lightning flying a kite. Which is to say, never fly a kite during a storm. Not only do you risk a lightning strike, but high winds will make it impossible to control your kite. So put your back to the wind, and let’er rip. Once you’ve gotten all your kite-flying practice in, head to Sagg Main Beach in Sagaponack on Sunday, August 5 at 5:30 p.m. for the 46th annual Dan’s Kite Fly.

RELATED: Dan’s 45th Annual Kite Fly Photo Gallery

Widely regarded as a favorite family summer event, this free Hamptons tradition promises to entertain both the young and the young-at-heart. Families and kite flying enthusiasts can enjoy a beautiful summer evening on the beach with live music, face painting and more! Prizes will be awarded in several categories, including Most Colorful Kite, Highest Flying Kite, Best Nautical Kite, Oldest Kite Flyer, Youngest Kite Flyer, Best Homemade Kite and Most Beautiful Kite. Don’t forget to pack snacks, drinks, blankets, chairs and, of course, your kite!

quadcopter drone isolated on a white background.
See the Hamptons from a new perspective. Photo: Julia Hansen/123RF

Technological advances have made drones both more accessible and easier to use. But before you start piloting your own drone, there’s a lot you need to know. First, no drone is easy to fly at first. Practice makes perfect. As a general rule, the less expensive the drone, the more difficult it will be to fly. More expensive drones have more powerful computers with added sensors for better functionality. If you buy a cheap drone on clearance, you’ll need extra practice; and if you’re spending $700, you’ll probably still want some extra practice to protect your investment.

Make sure you practice somewhere safe, away from other people and valuable property. This is a good rule even after you’re more experienced. The safety of others should be your primary concern. Doing your research will save time and money and you’ll gain a lot of general knowledge, which could also save time and money when it comes to learning how to use the thing. And, of, course, there’s the law. Check the FAA website for a full list of rules and regulations—of which there are many.

Based on Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, humans—and every other land creature that has ever existed—evolved from the sea. It makes sense then that we seek out the water, either to live near, to relax by, or to play in. One thing humans have no evolutionary link to is birds. So why any person would want to jump out of a perfectly operational airplane is beyond the comprehension of this decidedly land-based writer. But, hey, do what you like.

Skydive Long Island (631-208-3900, skydivelongisland.com) and the Long Island Skydiving Center (631-351-5867, longislandskydiving.com), both based in Shirley—offering spectacular views of the Long Island Sound, Fire Island, the Atlantic Ocean, and, on a clear day, Montauk and New York City—provide first-time skydivers with first-class skydiving experiences that they’ll treasure for the rest of their lives. Both offer highly experienced, USPA-rated instructors, so you can rest assured that you’re in the best of hands as you experience that adrenaline-charged free fall after jumping out of a perfectly operational airplane.

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