Wheeeeeeeeeeee! Going about our morning in the usual fashion, we headed straight for the field around 10am for the last day of demo flying on the beach… Winds were quite low for most of the fly, running in the 2-3 mph range and coming from inland over the hotels.
One the up side, it was significantly warmer than days previous, perhaps as high as 65 degrees… During my vigorous flying throughout the day, I invariably stripped off layers and ended up flying shirtless for a couple of hours… Now this is what I signed up for in a trip to Florida!
About 45 minutes before the close of demos on the beach at 1pm, winds turned around to come off the ocean at about 3-4 mph… Dang, had to leave just as things were “turning around”.
Realizing that I neglected to list the various exhibitors at this year’s trade show, so here it is as listed in the attendees program:
Carey Kite Winders
Flying Wings Kites
Go Fly A Kite
Gomberg Kite Productions
Great Winds Kite Co.
In The Breeze
Monkey Business Sports
New Tech Kites
Sky Burner Kites
Small World Kite Co.
William Mark Corp.
Granted, there may be one or two names that either did not attend or signed up after the programs were printed… Regardless, a solid variety of products.
I do want to offer my humble apologies, since we didn’t get into the single line or power kite groups at all… While there seemed to be the usual quantity of new introductions, there weren’t any truly unusual designs which caught our eye at this year’s show.
The largest range of products definitely came from HQ, most of which we did not get an opportunity to check out… Finally closing the books on the legendary Tramontana, they’ve evolved a new design from that line called the Gallego.
Among some of the highlights we focused on… Level One introduced the Jumping Jack Flash and Genesis Evo… Flying Wings brought out their brand new Acrobatix in the $80-$100 price range as well as some new graphics for the Beetle… Things Aloft had the Nebula and Constellation by Ron Phipps displayed in their booth and Benson Kites brought out their much anticipated Deep Space.
New Tech also had their new French Connection exhibited. Designed by Dodd Gross, Rob found it to be a fantastic and encompassing kite for it’s price range of $140-$150.
In our test flights on the beach, both Rob and I found four kites in common which we bonded with.
Taking into account that all of our opinions are based on personal flying styles, the Acrobatix from Flying Wings proved to be a wonderful trick kite with a solid amount of precision for the Intermediate level.
Most definitely my personal favorite, in my hands, the Deep Space outperformed every other kite in terms of trick ability… As the only kite which I flew with NO WEIGHTS at all, the Deep Space did every trick in the book including multiple roll ups without any modifications and didn’t seem to require any weights.
The Freestylist from Sky Burner had a solid hold on the wind (much like the iNak or Skydancer), offering excellent precision coupled with trick abilities.
The new offering in the Jack series, the Jumping Jack Flash, presented itself as a very trickable competition level kite in a wide range of wind conditions.
It’s reassuring to see that despite difficulties in the industry, there’s such a good variety of fun and worthwhile sport kites, particularly in the middle to high end ranges… Be sure to check with your local retailers and get in on these great new kites!
Another late evening, time to catch up on some sleep in preparation for our last day of updates… Tomorrow, we’ll be covering a few things we might have missed as well as the annual awards banquet.
Good night, good flight!