Issue 1: Doin’ It Indoors

So few activities in life give us as individuals an opportunity to express ourselves, to gesture from the heart. Dance and song have been with mankind since the beginning of time. In recent years, it has become increasingly popular to take cloth, stretch it over a frame, attach two or more lines and make it dance in the whispers of air around us. And it wasn’t until very recently that this same experience was taken indoors, away from the variables of nature’s fickleness.

Indoor kiting has been said to be “pure” flight. It is individual fliers and their machines.

Growing up I was never one to partake in sports. I was the kid who went through the huge growth spurts, leaving me lanky and uncoordinated. Combine that with being restricted to non contact sports; I was not a popular pick when it came to choosing sides. So sports, whether watching or participating have never been my cup of tea.

Not being out there enjoying sports as a kid left me with a bit of free time, time I usually spent day dreaming. If you’ve ever seen the documentaries on folks like the Wright brothers, or Jack Northrup, you’ve seen the hero of the story in his early years looking up at the birds, wondering and wishing. Suppose you would have to start my story out the same way. With heroes like Sky King, the Blue Angels and astronauts from the early years of the space program, I guess I was destined to fly.

Having pretty much resigned myself from ever becoming an astronaut or even a pilot, I had to satisfy myself with dreams of flight and wishing for wings.

That is until my wife Dianne and I were vacationing in Wildwood back in 1996, when we just happened to be there at the same time as “some kite festival thing” going on. After looking at the big kites filling the sky, we decided to walk among the folks who were making them fly.

Then I saw it. Someone was making something that had wings land on its tip. And just stay there for seconds and then was aloft again, flying, being controlled. That was it for me. I could feel the wings of my soul spreading. At last, I could fly.

One day while in the kites chat channel on the Internet, I heard mention of indoor flying. Indoor flying? What do you use to keep the kite up? Fans? Honest, I really had the same thought that everyone else does the first time they hear the words, “indoor kite flying”. With just about six months of flying experience, I purchased my first indoor kite, drove 3 1/2 hours to Boston and mostly watched as about 20 people made their kites dance in zero wind.

Since that time I have spent way more time in the gym then I probably ever will outdoors flying kites. For the first time in my life, I have people stopping and watching me. I bring my boom box to the gym and dance with my kites. When people come up to me and say, “Wow. That’s really cool!” I couldn’t feel any better then if I had scored the winning run in the last game of the World Series or threw a touch down pass in the Super Bowl.

If you have flown a kite outdoors, feeling the exhilaration of harnessing the wind, then you have taken the first steps in flight. Go further. Go indoors. Let the kite, that piece of fabric stretched over a frame, become you. Feel the music of your soul flow through your hands, into the kite. Dance with it. Make it your song, your music.

In the coming months I hope to be able to tell you more about this crazy idea of flying kites indoors. From basic tips and kite reviews to the possibility of the formation of an indoor league.

Indoor kiting is in its infancy. It will continue to grow. The possibilities are exciting and limitless. So grab those lines and come along for what could be the best ride of your life.

Mike Reagan

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Author:Mike Reagan

One of the original contributing authors at Kitelife, Mike Reagan was an avid indoor and outdoor dual and quad line sport kite flier.

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