Issue 2: AKA Corner

I am constantly surprised by the number of “kiters”, whether fliers, builders, or just plain kite lovers, who have not gotten around to joining the AKA.  Considering the time and money many of us spend on our hobby, the $25 for a year’s membership seems to me to be a real bargain.  The magazine, insurance, store discounts, etc., are worth it alone.  Just joining to help support the largest non-profit kite promoting organization in the world is worth it alone.

But the best reason of all is the people!  You’re a member of a great club full of kite loving, fun loving people like yourself!  New members may order a free membership directory, either printed or electronic, (and updatable), with members listed both alphabetically and geographically.  Traveling somewhere?  You can look it up in the directory, find local members, and contact them to find out where the good places to fly are.  You may get an invitation to join them.  Want to know about the kite plans in Kiting, or a festival coming up?  Contact the author or the organizer through the directory.  Imagine!  A directory with thousands of other kite fanciers, not only across the U.S. but overseas as well!  We want you, and you deserve to be in the next one.   Join us today–quit putting it off.  You’ll be glad you did.

It’s a source of delight that Marti and I have, over 15 years, made hundreds of kiting friends in Oklahoma and  across the country.  And yet there are thousands more to meet! What a great bunch of people.  Get into this for the long haul–the longer you’re in AKA and meeting other members, the more fun it becomes.  Ask any of us “old timers”, (or even really old-timers like Hargus), and they’ll tell you the same thing–it gets more and more fun.

A few weeks ago, I met a relative newcomer to the AKA, Terry Sansom, in Texas .  He’s come up with a really great idea.  Have you heard of “The Arch Project” on rec.kites? Terry is soliciting donations of 20″ Eddy kite sails from as many kitemakers as possible with sewing skills.  These easy-to-sew sails will all be combined in a large arch which will be entered in the AKA Grand National Kite Building competition in October in the “cooperative” class for kites with two or more builders. (All will be flown, but only AKA members’ kites will be entered in the competition.)  This one is going to have hundreds!   It could win!  Think about it.  You could send in a kite sail, the arch could be a winner, and you could brag for years about having built part of a national champion!  Or better yet, you could own it!  The kites will be donated to the annual AKA Great Kite Auction after the competition.

How many kites do you think he’ll get?  My guess is 482, but I may be way low.  Terry says that field size and line strength may require that a humongous number be flown in multiple arches rather than a single.  For those who haven’t seen an “arch” of kites, the kites are built with only a center spine.  The sails are then sewn to the horizontal arch line, which replaces the normal cross spar.  Both ends of the arch line are tethered with the line at a right angle to the wind and the kites arch up while bowing concave.  This project is going to be SPECTACULAR.  And you can be a part of it.   For complete details and plans, check out Terry’s website at
I hope to report next month that the Arch Project is growing by leaps and bounds!

Good winds,
Richard Dermer