Soft single skin kite

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Soft single skin kites are the least complex of all the power kites.

The best known design is the NASA Parawing or NPW. For more, see rogallo wing. This is a very simple kite with mixed performance. It has excellent pull, but is slow to maneuver and suffers from a limited wind window. Its simple construction and forgiving design make it very popular among hobbyists and some traction enthusiasts, especially ski- and sledge-borne expeditions across both Arctic and Antarctic lands, but its drawbacks make it unsuitable for high efficiency and many water-borne sports.

The most popular commercial NASA style kites were made by Born Kite in Germany and for 2015 single skin powerkites has been announced by multiple vendors like Peter Lynn Kites Uniq, Urban Kites Cruiser and Wolkenstürmer Mono. And the Flysurfer Peak is in its 2nd generation.

Advantages of single skin kites is that they have very low pack volume, larger pull per area, they work well in the lower end of the wind scale, don't collect as much snow and dirt, and no cells that can be blown on impact. And most of the early models are cheaper than equivalent foils due to the reduced amount of materials used.

There are also soft single skin kites designed to be used on sailing ships as a free flying spinnaker substitute. There are significant advantages to having the spinnaker catching wind further above the surface of the water than is normal. This design was tested in the 2002 Louis Vuitton Regatta by the Oracle Americas Cup team.