Issue 35: Call for Literate Kiters

Well, shucks, folks. John (your Kitelife publisher) is apparently a little too proper to scream “HELP!!!” or something! Well, nobody’s ever accused me of being too shy – at least not when it comes to the printed page.

So – WE NEED YOU!!! Yup, there’re open slots right here at Kitelife for people just like you to write some good kiting stories and articles.

Nope – you don’t have to uproot your family and move to Portland. Kitelife’s ‘World Headquarters” is right there on John’s computer – and YOUR “Writer’s Desk” can be right there on your computer, too!

There’s no special equipment required either, other than:

  1. Your computer and ability to send an email once in a while.
  2. Your good common sense that you use in talking every day.
  3. Your ability to get or “stay” involved with kiting in some way.
  4. And it’d sure be nice if you also had a digital camera, or can borrow one!

And. By the way. I should warn you about this bit up front – the pay isn’t even worth talking about. Nope – no pay – zippo, nada, NOTHING!


We’re principally interested in two kinds of stories – Event Reports, and Feature articles.

IF – you travel to kiting events more than a couple of times a year, we need some folks to write up event reports for Kitelife so the rest of the kiting fraternity knows what’s going on. Nothing more complex than that, really.

Use your own writing / speaking style. Yep – just like you’re writing me an email. Tell us all what occurred from YOUR point of view – including whatever strikes your fancy about the event. Decent weather? Throw in a weather report. Good hot-dogs at the concession stand? Put it in. Awesome Single-Line-Kite displays? Get some photos to go with your written comments. Parking problems? Throw those in too. HOT Competitions? So, tell us about them! Kids building and flying home-made kites over in the corner? By all means – get some photos, get some names, and write it up! Meet some special individuals? Sure – we’d love to hear about it. Daughter gets the nicest animal in the “Teddy Bear Drop?” We want to see the smile on her face.and the one on the bear’s, too!


IF – you have specific interests in some “part” of kiting or have some expertise in some area, we also need those “features” articles. We’re looking for folks who can give out good information on (a.) specific “parts” of kiting such as Fighters, or Kite-Surfing, or Build-It-Yourself, or Competition Judging; or (b.) even the little stuff in the sport such as how to repair Kite Aerial Photography (KAP) set-ups, or tuning a the Bridle on a specific kind of kite, or the caring and storage of power-kites, or performing on-the-field / beach repairs and what spare parts and equipment to carry.

If you can think of a kite-related “subject” – the chances are, we’re probably more than a little interested! Fair enough?


For Event Report – we’re pretty flush with folks from the Pacific Northwest here in the USA , and also have some decent coverage down on the Texas Gulf-Coast. And Publisher – John also travels a little (as do I, occasionally), but there are sure a ton of events we can’t possibly attend.

So what’re we missing? How about some help in:

  • Deep-South and Florida Gulf Coasts?
  • Eastern Seaboard, or parts thereof?
  • Midwest – say Great Lakes and surrounds?
  • The Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, and Big Tom valleys?
  • Great Plains, or portions again?
  • The entire California Coast?
  • The whole Southwest?
  • Alaska ? Hawaii ? Puerto Rico? Guam ?


  • Anybody interested in reporting on European kiting?
  • Someone flying kites down in South or Latin America ?
  • I hear they make, sell, and fly ’em in the Orient, too?
  • Do they have kites in Africa ? Russia ? Bora-Bora?

Let me trot out a few examples, here.

  • We know Spring Break Buggy Blast happens every year. So who’s writing about it and shooting pictures for Kitelife – MAYBE THIS YEAR?
  • We know kiting’s World Championships is about to kick off over on the coast of France in a few days. And we have nobody who’s going tell us about it! OH, PLEASE?
  • We know they’ll be flying kites and competing again at Wildwood this year (and Newport , and Grand Haven, and.), but we don’t have anyone to shoot/write for us there! HELP!

Hey, folks. Kitelife is SUPPOSED to be for EVERY kiter.. At least that’s what we’d sure like “your magazine” to be!

Kitelife would really like YOUR help – whenever and wherever you could help.

And for Feature Articles, we literally need folks to shoot/write/tell about EVERY phase of kiting. Nope – You DON’T have to be the “guru” on the subject. Just have a clear idea of a good topic and a willingness to get it down in text format with a few jpegs (photos) and send it off to us. Got an idea you’re willing to share? Have a concept that needs “airing?” Maybe you’re the person who’s willing to clear up a few of the misconceptions that “newbies” get – to save them time, hassles, or some money. Whatever you can think of has a definite “need” in Kitelife Magazine!

What I’d (personally) like to see:

  • Could someone explain for those of us who’ve never even seen a Fighter duel, how the event is judged and scored? And how about judging and scoring kite construction, too? Yeah – I know there’re “official rules” but reading them just confuses me a whole bunch.
  • Is there an “engineer” out there who can explain what the terms camber and washout and aspect-ratio (and a whole bunch of other terms) mean in terms of sport kite design?
  • Please tell me who’s “the answer man” (or woman) when it comes to making your own kite from scratch. Where do you find designs? Where do you buy materials? What do you need in a sewing machine? Any other equipment necessary? How much sewing experience do I need?
  • Who can write the definitive article on “Choosing you first sport-kite?” What should the “newbie” be looking for – and what should they really avoid? Much debate on this subject, I’m afraid – but no clear, decisive answers seem clear.
  • Could you explain to me (and our readers) what “gets you off” about kite-surfing or buggying? I know there’re different disciplines involved in “Power Kiting” too. What are they, and how do they differ? And are you all one happy fraternity or are the disciplines as separate as say – dual line and quad folks?
  • Do you do anything special when you put your kites away for the winter? How about getting them out in the Spring? Do you do any periodic “maintenance” at other times? What – How – Why?
  • And. Would someone PLEASE write the definitive article on how to roll up, store, and then unroll my quad-line sets so I don’t have to spend whole “days” untangling them every single time?

Well, those are a few article ideas I can think of right off the top of my head. What subjects strike YOUR fancy?

If you’re an active kiter – somewhere in your past, someone took the time to help you find a few answers for your burning questions. PLEASE take the time to share your expertise with others! It can make all the difference.

OH – A COUPLE RESTRICTIONS: Oh, sure you say. He sucks me in with pretty promises, then “yanks the kite away” again! Nope – NOT so! Just a couple “common sense” restrictions.

  • You need to be able to write decent English. Yeah, “decent” is subjective, but you know what I mean. And if you don’t – then maybe you won’t.
  • You need to be willing to be broadminded and “fair” regarding all facets of the kiting world. Your opinions may differ with some others in the sport, but you have to be able to see – and allow – all sides. You can always have favorites, just be aware and use basic etiquette.
  • You need to be able to support kiting as a “family” sport. Adult-style writing, behavior, and four-letter words – won’t cut it.

See? All worried about nothing, weren’t you! Well, read on, then.


Hey – this is the EASY part.


  • Click the following link to send an email to John. Tell him what your idea is, and what you might be willing to do about it. Yeah, 100 words or less is fine, but feel free to use more, of course.  Email Kitelife!
  • John will get back to you with the rest. And that’s all there is to it!
  • See!!! Isn’t it easy?

Welcome aboard! We’ve been waiting for you!
Fair Wind and Good Friends –


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Author:Dave Shattuck

As one of our regular and most prolific contributors, Dave "Geezer" Shattuck is a driving force here at Kitelife and a regular at many NW events as well as other locations throughout the year.

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