The 31st Carolina Kite Festival

This past weekend was the 31st Carolina Kite Festival at the Sands Villa Resort in Atlantic Beach, NC.  This festival is sponsored by my local kite shop, Kites Unlimited & Bird Stuff, Etc., also found in Atlantic Beach, NC.  We had no idea how this one would be attended as Hurricane Florence hit us hard and many people are out of work and out of their homes.  Also, many of the hotels and condo units were damaged which made accommodations in the area harder to find.  But it didn’t deter most of our regular out-of-town flyers.
















The weekend started with very high winds and chilly temperatures.  It rained the Friday before and was cloudy most of the day Saturday.  The winds kept a lot of the attendees from flying their single line kites as no one wanted to have a broken kite.  Luckily, the winds were blowing steady down the beach which made it much better for the large kites to fly.  And there was a grand show of large kites.












The weatherman was both right and wrong about the weather on Sunday.  The sky cleared and the sun came out which warmed up the afternoon.  But the winds never let up, came across the buildings along the beach and became more turbulent.  Fewer big kites were flown.  But there were more people with their single line kites out on the field.

A couple of our special guests this year were Ray Wong and Randy Tom.  Both are makers of art kites and hail from California.  And both brought kites to be sold at the kite shop..  Photos of their kites are on the Kites Unlimited & Bird Stuff, Etc. Facebook page.

The Bay Area Sundowners Kite Team came from San Fransisco to perform both days.  They are always a joy to watch.  They perform routines flying stacks of thirteen hyperkites in red, white and blue.  Many spectators come year after year to see them perform.  Saturday’s wind was a little too high but they gave it a try anyway and did a good job.  The slighter winds on Sunday were better and the team flew a couple different routines throughout the day.

On the third kite field, the stunt kites were flown.  Dual line and quad line stunt kites were in the air as the wind and the whim of the flyers allowed.  Along with all the flying, there was a kids’ kite building table for children to decorate and assemble a small sled kite and a candy drop from a high-flying delta kite.  A few brave souls even went out on the beach Saturday night to fly their kites with lights on them.  I emphasize “brave” as it was very cold after the sun went down.

Although it seems that I spent most of my time running around with my camera photographing the event, I did get to fly a couple of my single line kites, a friend’s quad line kite and visit with kite flyers I hadn’t seen in quite some time.  The festival was deemed a success and plans are already in the works for next year’s event.  For more pictures and some video from the festival, check out the Kites Unlimited & Bird Stuff, Etc. Facebook page (Kites Unlimited & Bird Stuff, Etc.).

Fair Winds All

A Hot Independence Day Weekend

The Independence Day weekend was hot and crowded.  As this holiday was on a Monday, we had the red/white/blue fly on our usual club fly day, Sunday.  This also kept us out of the insane traffic a second time.  And it was so hot, a second trip to the beach was not desirable.  Okay, maybe it was desirable for those who don’t live here and only have a chance to get to the beach on holidays.


While there were only a few flyers in attendance, there was a large variety of kites in the air.  All but two red, white and blue.  They included four deltas, a flowform, a powersled, two Joel Scholz eagles, a parafoil and a sky skimmer.  The blue delta had the space shuttle on it which made it patriotic enough for the holiday.  The other non-RWB kite was the black skeleton, being flown by special request.

Small Joel Scholz Eagle kite and two custom kites – Eagle Parafoil and Space Shuttle Delta
Patriotic Delta by Premier, a Flowform and a Double Box Delta
Sky Skimmer by Kites Unlimited
Powersled 24 by Premier













Large Joel Scholz Eagle kite      

After the single line kites were up and anchored, the stunt kites came out to play.  Not a large number of kites but a sampling of the different types, from dual line to quad line to a stack of Hyperkites.  Two of the stunt kites were vintage, a Star Dart and a Spirit Quad.

Star Dart by Action Kites and Hyperkites stack
Spirit Quad by New Tech Kites

To complete the show for this Independence Day, there were a couple of banners placed on the beach.  Actually one was a banner and the other was a Masterpiece Rev that was created by Randy Tom.  One by one the flyers had enough of the heat and packed up and headed for the air conditioning.  There was satisfaction in that we had put on an appropriate display for this Independence Day.













Fair Winds All.

The Problem With ‘Hanging Out’ At The Kite Shop

It seems we just can’t catch a break.  After a few days of cold temperatures, it warmed somewhat but the warmer air brought rain the for the weekly club fly.  The morning broke with gray skies, an ugly misty rain and little to no wind.  By the time we got to the beach, the winds had come up strong.  Or as is said around here, “blowin’ a gale”.  And there was standing water on the sand.  I did have my Flexifoil with me and could have flown it in those winds but I don’t particularly like putting my bags or kites down on wet sand.  So we headed to the kite shop to spend some time and chat.

The problem with hanging out at the kite shop is that you are on site when boxes of kites are opened for inspection.  In this case, a shipment of long-awaited Hyperkites arrived.  I currently have three stacks of Hyperkites.  A vintage stack of six in rainbow colors with the original wooden dowel frames.  I have never flown this set and I know it is going to need some work before it is flyable.  The second one is a nine stack made up of berry, wine and slate colored kites.  The third is a six stack of gold, green and blue.  I have been toying with the idea of enlarging the last two stacks but the colors have not always been available.  And that was a good excuse not to.  However, when this box was opened, there were the colors I was looking for.  I made a quick decision to enlarge both stacks while I could as you never know when another shipment would come in.

Nine Stack of Hyperkites Guarded by The House Supervisor
Six Stack of Hyperkites
Six Stack of Hyperkites

So I ended up buying six new Hyperkites, tails and necessary train lines to add them to my stacks.  Now I have to remove the bridals from the new kites and add them to my current stacks with the new train lines.  Not a hard task but tedious.  I may end up taking the old stacks apart in order to update the order of the colors to accommodate the new kites.  We shall see.

So the problem with “hangin’ out” at the kite shop is it costs money and gives me another task to do in my “free time”.  Oh well, maybe the weather will be cold and wet a little longer so I am forced to stay  indoors and catch up on all those little kite tasks I’ve been putting off and the new ones I’ve just gained.

Fair Winds All