This week I am missing the Carolina Kite Club fly. But I had just finished the pigtails and train lines for a Revolution kite stack and really wanted to get out and try it. Yes, lately it seems I’ve been “stack” crazy. I stacked my Dream On and my Little Dreamer and added to my stack of Goblins. Now, I’m stacking quad line kites. I had seen stacks of Revolutions on photos from some of the large kite festivals. They looked like fun and a challenge.
Not being an expert flyer, I decided to start with a small stack. I have two kites that have the same sail pattern, the Kites Unlimited Custom Revolutions. One is a full sail and the other is a vented sail. So I went out one evening when the wind was about 10 mph and the temperature had gone down to something bearable. My mind was picturing tangled lines and ugly crashes. instead I had a wonderful time. The two kites flew as one with just a slight pull on the lines. The only time things got wobbly was close to the ground where the wind got a little light. And, even then, it was controllable. I’m looking forward to taking these out again. And again and again.
Used to be that we would stay on the flying field long after everyone else had gone for the day. Not so lately. It was hot and humid for our regular Carolina Kite Club fly. Thankfully, the wind was good and the skies cloudy, which keeps the temperature down to a tolerable level. There were several visitors joining in this time. A family had bought kites for their children and brought them out to the fly. The kids did really well with their sled kites and had a good time.
A family from Memphis brought their wonderful vintage kites. They flew two of them on the beach; a Sutton 16 flowform and an original Hawaiian Team Kite. This kite dates back to 1987 and was signed by the Top of the Line performance team headed up by Don Tabor. Don invented the Hawaiian Team kite, which was the first of the “big wing” stunt kites. This kite started a revolution in the design of the delta stunt kite.
Other club members put a variety of kites in the air. These included a RWB Delta, a Laima, a Tribal Shield, a Sky Skimmer and various Critter Kites by Skydog Kites. It’s an interesting mix of kites. The Laima is considered a low wind glider kite. This kite is even recommended for no-wind indoor flight. Yet it flew very well in the winds this day. I was really pleased to get the Tribal Shield in the air. It has been a couple of years since this kite has left the kite bag. The Tribal Shield and the Delta are the type of stable kites that are easy to fly in most winds. I call them the “automatic” kites. They go up and they stay up as long as the winds blow. The same is true of the Sky Skimmer. This kite is only available at the Kites Unlimited kite shop in Atlantic Beach, NC. The Critter kites are great for family fun and are easy fliers. They include a penguin, a bumble bee, a monkey, a panda, a tiger and an elephant.
Once the single line kites were in the air, I went on to play with another set of kites I hadn’t flown in quite a while – a three stack of Goblins. The Goblin is a smaller dual line stunt kite that is practically indestructible. A great inexpensive kite for a beginner flyer. The center diamond-shaped panel is made of Prizmatex. It looks transparent until the sun hits it from just the right angle. Then it glitters with all the colors of the rainbow. Unfortunately, the effect is hard to photograph so you’ll just have to take my word for it. They are fun to fly alone or in a stack. And, after flying the three-stack for a while, I decided it was time for an expansion. I now have a five-stack of Goblins. The saying “More is better” definitely applies to kites.
This was one of the better kite flying days we’ve had in a quite a while. Here’s hoping it’s a sign of more good things to come; more good wind days, more flyers, more kites and more fun.
It’s been well over a year since I saw the Little Dreamer and the Dream On, dual line stunt kites by Skydog, flown as a stack. That stack was made up of the black versions of those kites. I knew that sometime in the future, I would have a stack like that, only with the white versions. Well, the future is here. Two weeks ago I purchased the Little Dreamer at our local kite store and obtained the proper train lines and pigtails. This past Sunday at the weekly Carolina Kite Club fly, I put the white stack in the air.
The wind was around 10-12 mph and the temperatures had decreased to a tolerable level. The sun peeked out from behind the clouds at random intervals. In other words, a perfect day to fly. The best word I can think of to describe the flight of my little stack is “SWEET”. The two kites flew as one with hardly any pull to speak of. Loops, dives, figure eights, low-level flight and high; it was almost euphoric. And the rainbow colors stood out against the light gray clouds and the patches of blue sky. I may never fly those kites singly again.
I was lucky in that there were friends of mine there that were more experienced flyers and could handle my stack while I took the images seen here. The one problem with flying a stack is that the flyer doesn’t get to really see what the stack looks like. He only sees the kite closest to him, not the ones behind. Only by having someone available to fly your stack for you can you really appreciate the spectacle it provides. So I was doubly lucky. I not only got to fly the stack, I got to see the entire stack in flight.
The morning was even better in that there were quite a few kite flyers on the field with me. The weekly fly brought out people of all ages and experience. Early on it was mostly dual line stunt kites but later arrivals brought more single line kites to put in the air. There was quite a show on the beach this day.