Good evening folks… Although the main portion of trade show came to a close last night with the awards banquet, a full day of product demonstrations was scheduled for those who wished to stay and try out some of the kites on display at this years trade show.
People gathered on the Fiesta Balloon field in Albuquerque starting around 10am, only to find the winds very light as they were on our first demo day… It’s safe to say that the majority of the products which were brought out weren’t able to stay up for long during the early part of the day, although there were a number of times where we’d have anywhere from 2-4 mph.
I am sorry to say that I didn’t get very many photos, as I found myself flying my Rev, talking to people about it and generally having a good time playing on some of the objects nearby with my kite… There was a semi trailer next to the field which offered some interesting surfaces to land on, and I also took advantage of nearby light poles and permanent shelter which resembled a small circus tent without walls, these were most excellent for some impromptu dogstaking!
I did get some video (6MB) today, but the occasional wind burst of wind always seem to find me headed back to my kite… To speak on a personal note, Revs are pretty cool and I’ve found that many people have not been shown the potential of these kites, so it was very important to me that I spend most of the time showing onlookers a little of what it could do… It’s awfully hard to shoot pictures or video when you’re flying.
However, I did get around a little bit… Dodd Gross allowed me to try his French Connection UL, the folks at HQ let me try a couple of their kites and I eventually ended up spending a fair amount of time with the Silver Fox 2.3 from Flying Wings, which might have been my personal favorite sport kite from the KTAI show, aside from a certain new Revolution.
Later in the afternoon, when everyone started to leave, it was just the Flying Wings group, a local flier by the name of Jeff and myself remaining on the field when the wind came up around 4-5mph for several minutes, then died for 10 minutes or so, then came up again, and down again… Well, you get the idea, it was a nice afternoon of flying all in all, but mostly low wind practice.
After catching a ride back to the hotel with Flying Wings, I checked email, had dinner downstairs, then stopped by the bar for one last bloody mary and a quick farewell to the guys from HQ and Into The Wind.
Now that I’m back in the room I find myself thinking back over the events of this past week, and I’m genuinely pleased with everything that I’ve seen… The seminars were great, the majority of the retailers, wholesalers and retailers who were in attendance seemed to be in very good spirits, and from what I can understand, business was pretty fair considering the low attendance at this years trade show.
I know I touched on this in last nights update, but I feel compelled to call on those retailers who aren’t members or who have left the KTAI after the last two years of what in my opinion, were not great shows on the whole, affirmed by discussion with a number of past participants. The organization has a new president, a new (returning) executive director, some excellent bylaw changes and most importantly, what felt to me like a much improved sense of community.
With that being said, I’m going to clock out and get some much needed rest before my flight back to Portland tomorrow… Thanks for reading, I appreciate your supporting Kitelife, and am looking forward to doing this again soon!