Knowing full well that things would be slow with all of the late night socials last night, we slept in and arrived at the show around 10am… This gave me an opportunity to speak to a few of the exhibitors I missed over the last few days.
Flexifoil International has four brand new traction kites for 2005… The Sabre, Buzz, Sting and Bullet. While I’m not a power kiter, it looks like they’re keeping up with a full range of kites for that market.
Finally, a free moment with the staff at Prism! While Mark Reed was busy working with vendors, Sandy was kind enough to go over their new products with me… On the full size sport kite end, they’re offering the Mirage which they describe as a balance between the Quantum and E2 Pro, still ideal for slack line flying. As for the smaller entry-level range, you’ll soon find the Catalyst in your local kite shops.
To address the difficulty some retailers have had getting the Quantum Pro during the last year, Prism says that they should be caught up and shipping these kites with more consistancy starting in May.
In our efforts to get the inside scoop, Stephen Versteegh from Holland was kind enough to share with us his new design scheduled for release through Avia in 2006. He’s been doing R&D on the new Define in a number of European competitions over the last year, and reinforced all the crucial sail areas to handle even the most advanced slack line manuevers.
The only kite manufacturer/distributor that I didn’t get a chance to speak with as I wandered through their booth was HQ… Aside from the quad line pig which I covered on day one, they do have three new dual line kites coming out this year which you’ll have to keep an eye out for.
As always, Go Fly a Kite was a major presence at this year’s KTAI show… While their products aren’t in the category of “pro gear”, certainly kite stores nationwide are relying heavily on them for inexpensive single line kites which appeal to the average “pass-through” customer and they’ve been very supportive of KTAI on the whole.
As the day came to a close and exhibitors tore down their booths, my friends from The Kite Shoppe and I wandered back out onto the rear parking lot to find Jeff Howard flying one of his own 2005 designs, the Phase… While the winds were a bit too light, he managed to show the trick range of his latest entry into the sport kite offerings that shops will be adding this year.
As the sun goes down, the Nevada desert cools off real fast… Packing up in the shadow of the hotel, we decided to head back in for a bit of fun in the casino and then made our way over to the banquet where trade show awards were handed out in the following categories:
– David Checkley Lifetime Acheivment –
– Best Retail Promotional Effort –
Into The Wind
– Best Manufacturer Promotional Effort –
– Retailer of the Year –
– Manufacturer of the Year –
New Tech Kites
– Best Booth –
New Tech Kites
– Best Kite Festival –
Kites on Ice
– Best New Kite –
Last but CERTAINLY NOT LEAST, Corey Jensen and Billy Jones presented an open and intriguing challenge to all fliers, retailers and manufacturers around the country:
National Kite Month
They are soliciting a large number of manufacturers and distributors for a whole BUNCH of really cool and valuable products which from what I understand, will be put into a single prize along with $100 in cash which Billy donated personally… The challenge, to track down your local Mayor and propose that they declare National Kite Month in your whole city!
All of the information and contacts you’ll need to get a proposition together can be found here:
Apparently this is not an unusual type of thing to request, and is quite accessible even to a “regular joe” citizen. Along with local recognition of such a holiday (which has already been done in other cities), there is a great deal of free press and attention from the media which is sorely needed by our industry at the moment… At some point later in the year, one name will be drawn to receive this incredible treasure trove!
Now here’s the real prize… If we can get National Kite Month established in say, three dozen cities across the country, then we can take it to a true national level with some weight behind us. It may sound like a serious proposition, but the step that you as a local flier would take is actually very simple… And can give us SO MUCH, for relatively little work.
It’s up to us as kite people to put kiting on the map, and this is a feasible way to do it… They’re counting on your help!
This brings the 2005 Kite Trade Association trade show daily updates to a close… Thank you very much for stopping by, and I hope that you found everything to be of great interest!
See you on the field,