What a Blast !!!

This article is in response to a post by John Mitchell on the group “ Revolution Kite History”. Rarely do I fly a dual line kite. I will be putting a link on the group timeline. This is part of my “history” with Revolution kites.

I had been exposed to dual line kites for some time when the occasion came to attend the Zilker kite festival in Austin, TX. While cruising the field and watching numerous demos being flown I saw two guys flying these really strange “bowtie” shaped kites and they had FOUR LINES!! They were doing these amazing spins, dives,, and then stopping in mid dive and just “hanging” there!! Unheard of in any kite flying I had seen thus far. Well, those two guys were none other than Tye Harrison of Austin and Troy Gunn of Wichita Falls, TX. I walked over to Tye and humbly asked to interrupt him a minute, asking how? Where? And how much? Next paycheck I was the proud owner of a brand new Revolution EXP!! Well, that was it!!

As many Rev kiters know, it becomes a bit of an addiction and my “bag” grew over the months to follow. John was looking for more content about “speed” and Power” Revs so let’s skip forward a bit. My tastes in kiting had graduated to buggy and ATB riding so when the Blast was presented by Revolution I burned up the phone line to Lolly in California and received one of the first to go out. I received it just in time for my annual trek to Dead Bird Buggy Bash on Galveston over the Thanksgiving season. What a great tool for the ATB [all terrain boards] and I demonstrated the Blast as Joe had asked me to. Later in the spring I took the still relatively new Blast to Zilker to again show it off to the kite community and the public. We had formed an impromptu quad line flying team as the festival and called it “Quadzilla”. The morning of the festival was very cold, and winds were gusty, rough, and quite strong. As they say, the show must go on, so undaunted I set up the Blast and began to fly it about getting the feel of the wind before mounting my ATB for some demo runs. About the third pass through the center of the “window” there was a very loud “crack” sound like a pistol shot and I watched in horror as my favorite new Rev fluttered to the ground in front of almost 10 thousand spectators!! The leading edge spar was in several pieces, totally decimated. I, of course, was done for the day at this point. Next day I call out to Poway, Ca and speak to Joe about the failure of the new kite. He then asked me what conditions were like and I replied, “a bit gusty, about 27 at ground level”, at which Joe exclaimed, “Well geez Dano, the high end rating is about 15 on that kite!” 

But I am a member of the Coastal Bend Skypirates, live on the Gulf where a late afternoon breeze is usually 20ish, it was just another day playing with kites to me.

Joe was kind enough to send me a replacement leading edge kit for my Blast, and I have been very conscious of wind conditions heretofore when playing with my Blast. Most of my fellow kite club members who have flown the Blast still think I’m nuts!! But once a power kiter…..yeah!!

Sunset Fun Fly

The Texas summer sun can be brutal, so the Coastal Bend Skypirates tend to be slack about monthly fun flys. This month it was decided to go late  in the day and avoid a little of the heat.

We had a small group of brave souls including some regular members and new folks just awakening to the pleasures of kiting. One little newcomer wasn’t yet 3 yrs old!! But boy did he enjoy his first kite!

Tom had just acquired this power sled and line laundry at the anniversary party/sale at Fly It Port A kite shop and was eager to try it out.  It flew rock solid all evening. 

This sweet little girl was reluctant to have her new bird kite ground staked and stayed on the field for a couple hours holding the line winder. 

We were joined by visitors/tourists who brought their kids and kites, even a couple that had married the day before!!

Next month will again be hot, but we will find a cool evening breeze somewhere in our region to air out our “toys” and share a good time with each other. 

Find our group on Facebook @Coastal Bend Skypirates. and request to join the group.  All fly’s, events, items of interest and just “stuff” about kites, will be posted on our page. 

Going, going, gone!!

National Kite Month is almost to the end.  Many events, displays, workshops and fun Fly’s have been going on all month.   We had a combination fun fly and kids kite making here on our local festival grounds early in the month.

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But in reality that’s only the tip of what NKM should be.  A person was just posting how they were frustrated trying to promote kiting. It does seem difficult at times, competing with ipads, you tube, and inimitable “games”. So what to do? Include if you will a personal dedication to get out and fly a kite (or two) and spread the joy of flying to as many folks as you can.

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The last few days and Saturday are opportunities to “just do it!”.  The Nike theory of promoting the sport.

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See ya with a line (lineset) in your hand!!!

Here Wind, Here Wind, Here Wind…..

Sometimes it comes down to that, “calling wind”.  As teens sailing and kiting in the West Indies my pal Jeffery and I would often get caught in the “doldrums”, he taught me to “whistle for the wind”. 

That’s how it started out last Sunday at our kite club’s National Kite Month Fun Fly event, no good breezes.  When our winds are shifting directions it’s really very errant.  Here’s what folks had to say …..

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KAREN HAMBY wrote:

Was a wonderful day Sunday flying kites to support the Fine Art Center as the kids drew and flew kites in the afternoon as the wind picked up   The Coastal Bend Sky Pirates along with Port Aransas  Flt it kite shop and friends from all over reaching as Far as Iowa and Minnesota supporting and doing what we do best Flying kites!

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DAVID SCOTT had this to say:

The aerial display at the Rockport, Tx kite festival got off to a slow start due to low winds but by 2:30 the blow was going strong enough to lift even some of the most elaborate displays of poetry in motion… I wish you could have been there Dano Wright!!!

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MISSY KENDALL-HOLDEFER posted:

After returning to Rockport after a short weekend get away we were able to spend a couple of hours with some of our family watching the kites being flown near the Rockport Beach. My husband and I walked a bit closer. As this gentleman was trying to get a kite in the air he started talking to us. We were thanking him for spending such a beautiful day flying these kites as not only did our grandchildren really enjoyed it but we did too. He asked that we spread the word and that there had been very little advwrtising for the event. He told us they have been wanting to make it a 2 day event but are unable to get it approved by the City of Rockport. He also stated that they were supposed to start bringing the kites down at 4 pm yet they were not even able to fly the larger ones until 2pm due to little wind. My question is why are they not able to get it approved for a 2 day event?? We heard this gentleman’s side of it just wanting to hear the community’s opinion. I also want to thank those who took the time to spend this gorgeous day bringing smiles to many people.

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I explained to Missy it was always a one day affair, someone had erroneous info….
The point was to get kids to start making kites,  and apparently it worked…..
Missy said this was her bunch the next day. 

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Winter is Over, Well, Almost

With temps getting in the eighties a few times, and generally strong spring winds, we are encouraged to ” get some”.  Flight time that is…..well leave the other kind to the spring breakers!!

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The folks up north are finally able to see grass again!  But down here in “Tejas” the tomatoes are setting fruit already, and the famous bluebonnets are in full glory.

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The Coastal Bend Skypirates helped out at Malaquite Beach celebrating the birthday of the National Parks system with a kite fly.  Then the next day and following weekends Paul, myself, and others made good use of sunny breezy days at the Rockport Harbor.

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Not to be ignored, old man winter came huffing and puffing yesterday in the wee hours of the morning. He brought the thunder, lightning, some hail, winds and torrents of rain for a couple hours. Power outages were widespread for several hours . But as is the norm, on Monday and all week it will be premium kite weather! Of course!!
Ok, who’s playing hooky?? Actually with govt supplied “extra daylight”, we can get some air time in the evenings !!

Next month is National Kite Month,  And the club is hosting a fun fly in conjunction with a free kite kit for kids at the Center for the Arts.   Ought to be a good time to air out some nice pieces….

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Just a few that are itching for airtime!!

Yaay for spring!!  Let’s go fly some kites

Malaquite Beach Sprouts Kites

The beach just erupted with dozens and dozens of kites, spread out for half a mile.   There was everything there, tubes, bols, spinners,

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birds, fish, frogs, dogs, flags, all done in nylon material and glorifying in the sunshine and nice gentle winds.About 500 was the count. It was literally a “prescription” day for windjunkies.

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The event is held each year, hosted by the Rangers at Padre Island National Seashore.  They have volunteers manning “make a kite” tables for the youngsters or adults who haven’t brought a kite,  and the hand decorated sleds were evident everywhere, little guy about 2 year old,  and even saw a grampa with his new creation!

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Kite fliers from points throughout the area and from all over the country come together to help the Parks people make it a spectators dream.  Several kite folks are winter visitors who look forward to joining again with local kite clubs in a time of “fellowship” and time sharing the passion of kite flying. 

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Rumors are adrift that next year there will be a beach campfire and dinner in conjunction with a “night fly” featuring lighted kites!!

For more about this day and many more images go to one of two Facebook pages, the Corpus area kite club, Coastal Bend Skypirates, or the Malaquite Beach page, Padre Island National Seashore.