Father’s Day turned out to be a beautiful day to fly kites on the beach. The temperature was lower than the past days. The humidity dropped markedly and the winds were perfect. Well, actually they were a little higher than predicted but still perfect for the new and larger kites we planned to fly.
We brought one of the two kites my husband received for Father’s Day. He had said weeks before that he liked a butterfly kite. So today he flew his own blue butterfly kite.
The slightly higher winds were perfect for the two larger kites we wanted to fly. The first was the large skeleton kite that is a new release by Premier Kites this year. They have three styles of skeleton kites in two sizes. While I don’t normally go for big kites, on a whim, I did get the larger of the skeleton kites. After seeing it in the sky, I’m glad I did. The other kite was a one that has been in our bag for two years without being flown. It is a square-headed dragon kite with a lion motif. It is a beautiful kite made by Go Fly A Kite, a company no longer in business.
Don Dixon of Kites Unlimited just happened to bring along the black skeleton in the smaller size. It took a little maneuvering but we got both skeletons to fly next to one another without tangling. They looked pretty good together.
All the single line kites were flying so well, I took the opportunity to get my full-vent Kites Unlimited Rev out and get some much-needed practice. And someone else took advantage of the fact I put the camera down. I’ll have to be more careful where I leave it next time.
Tropical Storm Bonnie played havoc with any kiting plans this weekend. Not because of high winds nor lots of rain but because the rain came in irregular squalls That made us very reluctant to take our kites out to the beach. The weather predictions said rain all day, all weekend. The actual weather was warm and sunny with unexpected showers that would drench anyone and anything and then blow through, leaving more sunshine in its wake. It was aggravating to see all that sunshine and know that as soon as you walked from the car to the beach, it would start to rain again. So there was no kite flying on the holiday.
What was scheduled was a talk for an OLLI group (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) from Duke University at the Trinity Center in Pine Knoll Shores, NC. This is a group of retired individuals living around Durham, NC who do not believe that retirement means you sit at home watching television for the rest of your days. The institute coordinates continuing education classes at the university and group trips to visit new places and gain new experiences. As part of this trip, the group was learning about kites and kite flying. Don Dixon of Kites Unlimited gave the presentation and my husband helped by bringing kites to show and talk about what we like to fly. My part of the program was to show the kites I had made. As there were quilt makers in the group, this brought up discussions about the techniques used to make the kites. The group was small but they all were interested and a few came to the kite shop the next day and bought kites to take home.
The weather cleared up the day after Memorial Day. Most of the weekend visitors had left the beach so we went out for a short afternoon fly. I really needed some practice with a quad line kite so the only one I carried was the Shook Mesh Revolution. The Shook Mesh is only made by Elliot Shook of Flying Smiles Kite Shop in Corolla, NC. However, they are available from our local kite shop, Kites Unlimited in Atlantic Beach, NC. It was the perfect kite for the winds that day and we had a wonderful couple of hours on a relatively empty beach.
A person couldn’t ask for a more beautiful morning. The temperature was mild, the sun was out and the winds were light, in the 5-7 mph range. The clouds moved in not too much later but the beach was still the place to be. This was the day for the first flight of my new light wind kite, the Laima. It looks like a bird soaring high in the sky and floats on the lightest of winds.
There was quite a variety of kites in the air along with my Laima; a white Ghost delta kite with a jellyfish on the line, the low-wind Skate, a Triangulation and a smaller power sled.
This was also a good day to do some test flying of new kites. Two of Skydog Kites new offerings flew very well in the light winds and you couldn’t help but smile when looking at them. One was a parrot and the other was a butterfly. Perfect kites for families on vacation.
I took advantage of the morning to fly my little Wisp. It is such a great low wind dual line stunt kite but oh, so sensitive to the inputs. It took me a couple of launches to get used to it again. Then the fun began. Loops and dives and tight little spins.
Before leaving, I took some time to try out the Reflex from Revolution kites, their latest model quad line. The early descriptions have it as a low wind kite for the beginner quad line flyer. So this was the perfect day to give it a trial.
To me it appeared to be a slower flyer but easy to handle. At times it seemed to drift in the wind and feel soft on the handles. I wasn’t using the light-weight handles that come with but had it on my regular no-snag handles. I had an easier time with an inverse hover which I’ve never been able to do well. This trial was an easy fly, no hard “spanking” or tricks. Mostly smooth moves and slow lazy turns and loops. Just want a beginning flyer would try to do. I didn’t try the launch from a flat position nor the classic “dive-stop”. I did like the Reflex more than I thought I would. So there you have it.
Wind was strong this past kite club fly day and the sun was out. Woohoo! However, it was chilly and the last day that the grandkids were down for a visit. So there was no kite flying for us this weekend.
There was kiting activity of another sort in our house recently. I have added two new Revolution kites to the kite bag. The first is a kite I saw in a photograph from the KTAI (Kite Trade Association International) convention. Only a small segment of it was visible but it was enough for me to want to see the whole thing and maybe see if I could get one like it. As it turns out, our local kite shop owners came home with it and I got to see it close up. Than only made me want one even more. A quick phone call was all it took. I am now the proud owner of the red geisha Revolution. The kite skin was designed and printed by Los Hermanos Gonzalez in Spain. Then it went to Revolution Kites in California to be bridled and framed. And finally to me in NC.
The second Revolution kite is really a piece of history. The first Revolution kites were called the Neos Omega. It was only after a law suit regarding the use of the name that Revolution Kites became as we know it today. There weren’t too many kites made before the name change. One of those originals is now mine. Because of the size of a reinforcement in the center “V” of the kite, it has been identified as one of the first 80 kites made. The first 20 kites had no reinforcement at all so that makes this kite one of only 60. And it comes to me new and un-flown.
I have been asked of I will fly the Neos Omega. The answer is yes but only for special exhibition purposes. I have plenty of others to fly day-to-day.