Issue 1: Kites… Life.

WELCOME to the first issue of Kitelife! We hope you enjoy it; we have had a lot of fun putting it together. If we have done our jobs, this will be a lasting resource for all kiters, and for those who are curious about kiting.

When I bought my first kites in ’91 (a 4′ delta and a Trlby, by the way) I had no idea that kiting would turn out to be such a life-changing experience for me. The friendships that have been formed, the things that I have learned, the great places I have been able to travel to were all things that I didn’t expect when I gave “Klig’s Kites” in Myrtle Beach $28.00 for those two kites. Maybe, just maybe, this ‘zine will help get a newcomer into the sport, or increase your interest in the sport.

I would like to publicly thank our staff for all of their efforts in putting this first issue together. They bought in to the idea of putting out a monthly ‘zine, with very tight deadlines, and for no pay. If you enjoy their efforts, take a second and click on their e-mail link to let them know. Even better, give them a pat on the back the next time you see any of them on a flying field. I am delighted with the talented group that we have assembled here.

Wonder how we arrived at the idea of doing a monthly kiting ‘zine? I have always been a “magazine guy”. My mailbox has at least one mag in it almost every day. I really enjoy “American Kite”, “Kite Lines”, “Kite Passion”, etc., but they have built-in drawbacks. The print format requires a long lead time, for writing, editing, layout, printing, and mailing. These factors also add to the cost.

The growth of the World Wide Web has led to a much quicker transfer of information than print allows, as well as greatly reduced costs compared to print. It seemed logical to us to take the format and schedule of a print magazine, and apply it to the Internet, giving readers more immediate coverage, at no cost. Will each article be worthy of the Pulitzer Prize for journalism? An emphatic NO! Will every picture be a museum piece? Likewise.

BUT you can be assured that this is a ‘zine BY and FOR kiters, with no secret agendas or axes to grind. We all simply like kiting, and kitefliers, and hope to transmit some of our knowledge and enthusiasm to our audience. If you would like to submit an article or pictures to the ‘zine, send us an email or post online.

I will admit to having some holes in our coverage. At this point, the ‘zine has a strong bias toward sport kiting, with articles about single-line and traction kiting being limited. This can be corrected if we recruit people to fill these gaps! If you have writing skills and practice either of these disciplines, please let us know. Also, we always have a need for event coverage, and news items about kites, kiters, and events.

Each issue of Kitelife will be posted on the first of the month. We have committed to a monthly schedule through the heart of the season. Depending on reader interest and willing writers, we may or may not go to a bi-monthly schedule for October through March. In a large part, it is up to you.

One last idea – if each of us made an effort, every time we fly, to put a kite in a non-flier’s hands, would that be a good thing?

Thanks for your time, hope to see you in the sky.

Mike Gillard

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Author:Mike Gillard (RIP)

A lover of all things kiting, Mike Gillard saw extensive time in team sport kite competition, judging, organization, publishing and more... Utilizing his collective experiences from the kiting community, he created Kitelife Magazine in April of 1998 and eventually went on to become the Editor of the AKA's Kiting magazine before his passing in February of 2006.

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