Issue 57: Kite Chi with Corey Jensen – Living That Kite Life

Okay, I don’t know if you all know Corey Jensen. Oh, never mind some of that stuff you’re likely to hear, and yeah Corey isn’t exactly perfect… All that said however, we’ve always appreciated Corey’s unique viewpoints on the world, on all things in it – and especially on all things Kiting!

It came out in a casual conversation that Corey’s unique viewpoint was interested in finding an outlet at roughly the same time that Kitelife was looking for someone to pen another column for the mag. Funny how life works out that way sometimes, ain’t it?

Anyway, with one thing and another, “Mr. Quiet & Shy” there has agreed that he’d write if we’d publish… Seemed like a fair deal to us, so we shook hands on it like a couple of grown-ups. We sure hope you enjoy Corey’s way with words and the things that pertain to kiting that cross his mind from time to time. We certainly do.

As our new columnist, Corey has chosen to call his writings Kite Chi, which seems entirely appropriate to us.

Oh… And, if you disagree with what he says, please read his column again. Corey makes absolutely no claim to perpetual “rightness.” It’s probably why he chooses to end his column with:

Often Wrong – Never In Doubt

Welcome, Corey –

Dave “geezer” Shattuck
Assistant Editor

Living That Kite Life

I’ve been lucky. I’ve spent the past 30 years making a career and a living doing kites. I’ve been a manufacturer, a designer, an importer, a wholesaler, manufacturers rep, unpaid weekend kite shop help, retailer, owner, manager and flunky. On my days-off, I’m usually out flying kites and riding my buggy. My vacations are typically timed around a kite event. It has been an interesting life.

Not everybody gets to indulge themselves like that. Many of my kite friends have families, wives, husbands and children! Then there is “making a living” and “affording a place to live”. Let alone “What are we going to eat?” It’s not easy to just live a kite life. Reality intrudes.

It wasn’t always like this.

Back in the day, it began simply. Having a kite handy, no matter what we were doing. Trying to take advantage of every opportunity. Not many multi-line sport kites back then. But not just static single-line flyers either. We flew Fighters! We began using large foils to lift laundry back in the late 70’s and everywhere we traveled, we carried a kite show in the back.

We bagged flying spots the way a mountaineer bags high peaks. Haven’t found a scenic spot yet that wouldn’t be helped at least a little by putting a kite up.

Sometimes lots of kites.

Hearing of some celebrity in trouble usually sparks the thought that if they only flew kites, their life would become centered and their path would be revealed.

Have you felt that too?

We would dream of seeing kites amongst all the media images and becoming quite excited when we did.

Now scarcely a day goes by that kite images don’t pop out in front of me in one media format or another.

Kites are showing up in ads for everything from insurance to pharmaceuticals.

Acrobatics and kites have been with us for a while.

Dave Brittain on a unicycle flying a stack of Rev II’s is a great example.

How many remember Lee Sedgwick’s friend Gary Counts and his routine?

Or the famous Phil Castillo?

Rock bands (U2) has begun incorporating kites into their stage shows and I know at least a half-dozen ice skaters and gymnasts who have begun using kites in some of their choreographed routines.

Living the Kite Life isn’t about appearances at festivals or winning championships. It’s about everyday life with kites. It’s about kiting having opened doors in our minds that allows us to notice the natural world that surrounds our planet in ways not obvious to most. Noticing the subtle breezes, and being able to play with them.

Kites have become, in many ways, the excuse we have to get outdoors and play in nature.

There is a nice balance between the man-made, manufactured world we live and work in and the natural, elemental world we play in.

The Kite Life has provided, for some of us, a better, quicker and cheaper treatment than any 12-Step or Mental Health Program.

For some of us, we have found our lives.

When ever we fly in public we are keeping the Kite Life alive.

Whenever we share our passion for kiting, we are keeping the Kite Life alive.

You can trust me…

“Often wrong… Never in doubt”

The Coreylama