Issue 39: ProFile: Dodd Gross

Back when I started flying in the early 90s, Dodd Gross already had a couple of competition seasons under his belt… Coming up through Experienced Class together in 1992, Dodd was one of those guys who I really enjoyed flying against. He was right in the middle of the sport’s evolution into tricks and slack line at the time.  He has since taken that experience and gone on to introduce a number of successful kite designs, traveled the world with his well known Flight School workshops and exposed literally thousands of people worldwide to a whole new school of flying.

As one of the most appreciated and most discussed designers on the scene, we wanted to sit down with him to gain some insight into his history, and get inside the head of one of the most prominent figures in kiting today with roughly 18 years under his belt as a competitor, kite shop owner, designer and distributor… We were pleased to be able to catch up with him in Taiwan this past September and share an interview with our readers.

When did you start flying and what initiated it?

Since I was a child, I always went on vacations with my family and then later on with my wife to Cape May NJ. On our third vacation as a married couple, we were spending the day on the beach basking in the sun and reading books.

Then one day there was a guy near us flying a stack of 12 Trlbys. I couldn’t take my eyes off of them. Eventually, I walked over and stood almost right next to him, watching his hand movements very closely and then looking at the looping kites. Every time he would dive his stack, he would have to lean back to balance the force and pull. It was amazing to me.

After a few minutes he asked me if I wanted to try flying them, so without hesitation, I grabbed the straps and with a few simple instructions, I was doing loops and dives. A few minutes more and I was able to do ground passes and I still remember how happy that made me feel and I wanted more.

I don’t know who this guy was, but I wish I did. He said he flew all of the time in NY by a bridge in the city, but whoever he was, he is the one who got me hooked because we traded off his 12 stack every 10 minutes or so and he kept telling me how I was a natural and should start flying. At the end of this wonderful day, he hooked up a 6′ Flexifoil and fly bar. Now this had power in those stronger winds and was so fast. Now I was really hooked!

So the next day, I went to the only store that sold stunt kites. I stood there looking at the color choices of the Trlbys and couldn’t decide. I didn’t want to buy a yellow or red one because to me it wasn’t very “manly” so I went with the black one.

This was our last day of vacation and I only had like $50 left, and the kite was so expensive, $30, but I wanted one!

But flying one Trlby without pull compared to the day before was boring. We went back to the same spot, and this guy was there again. He understood what I was going through, so he took two kites off of his stack so I would have a 3 pack to fly all day, and I had a fantastic time flying, meeting other fliers and teaching my wife how to fly a little. I will never forget those first two days of kiting.

Where do you hail from originally?

I was born and raised in York, PA and still live here today.

Who or what inspired you to begin competing?

My first days of flying happened in the summer of 1986. By the next year I had my own 12 pack of Trlbys, but I had a lot of problems flying them at my local park, so I started going to the Kite Loft in Inner Harbor ( Baltimore) and eventually became friends with the manager there. I bought a Spinoff and then met three others at my local park who also just bought Spinoffs. Whenever the winds were good, no matter what time of year for the next couple of years, we would always meet there and fly together. We began flying “follow the leader” but we had no idea that was pair and team flying, but we did it. Then of course we watched videos at the shop, and even bought some to learn more. I bought more kites and used to go flying with the store manager from the Kite Loft.

Soon my friends and I were well equipped with Spinoffs, Hawaiian team kites, Flexifoils and more…. Then one day in early 1990, my friend told me about a sport kite competition to be held in Ocean City MD with a funny name, MASKC. This was the very first Mid-Atlantic Sport Kite Championships. He told me that because he was the expert, the salesman, he had to enter in “Experienced Class” and only Novice and Experienced were offered. He also told me that because my skills were already higher than his, I had to compete in Experienced Class.

Up to this point in my life, I had not been very competitive in nature, I was in my early 30’s and it was time to try something new. So I went down to the competition, signed up, received my 3 figures to fly with1 hour to practice.

I was the last of like 12 people to compete and I remember being very nervous. I flew my figures with my team kite pretty well I thought, and then during my freestyle I remember missing my spin landing (believe it or not, the spin landing was considered a hard trick at the time) and ending up on one wing tip so I held it there and flew to the other side, again hit the tip by accident, held it there and continued.

I was so relieved when it was over. So I took my brand new Revolution down to the waters edge and got lost in it for about an hour. When I walked up to see how awful I did in the standings, I noticed everyone was looking at me funny and then they began to come over to me and shake my hand. I had won.

After having had a number of successful seasons, why did you stop competing?

I had quit my job of 10 years to open a kite shop in ‘91 so the whole competition thing for me was a way of giving validity to myself and to my new kite shop, DJ Sport Kites. My first year I only competed once, my second year I competed the entire season and although I started off terrible with a second to last place in Ballet at the second year of MASKC, I understood what I did wrong, changed my music and ended up in the Finals at Wildwood. By the end of the season, I was at the top of Experienced Class. The next year I moved up to Masters. My goal was to be first in both Precision and Ballet. I missed one of them by a few points at the end, so I had to compete one more season. That last one did it.

I really didn’t like to compete too much because I had to win and my stomach was always in knots… That attitude probably is what made me do well, but the politics of the competition circuit were wearing on me. I would win when I didn’t deserve it and not win when I did. To me it was a hit or miss thing.

Judging always upset me, so I became a judge and that also helped me win. In my mind, I was learning what the judges were looking for, and I thought of myself as a fair judge with experience, contributing to the sport.

In the end, when I received my master titles for ballet and precision, I had reached my goals and it was time to start promoting my new video training series and also to move from kite retail into design, promotion, and importing products, I was now a wholesaler in kiting and didn’t have time for competition anymore.

What other performers (past and present) have been a major inspiration, and why?

Anyone who was on videos from competitions which included, Sue and Lee Sedgwick, Ron Reich and of course, my good friend Brian “Sliceman” Vanderslice.

Ron Reich’s teaching and dedication combined with the videos from Rev by the Hadzicki brothers is the reason I made the first dual line training videos. Of course during my competition days, I met a lot of wonderful fliers who I learned from. Mike Simmons was designer of the Tracer, the kite I was sponsored with, and he inspired me more than about anyone else. Because of him I became a designer, a better flier.

Others also stand out. At the time, Bob Hanson could not be beat. I watched his smooth and exact flying style for a few seasons. He influenced my technique greatly. My first year in Masters, I couldn’t beat him. Then finally, one day, on his home turf in Sandy Hook, NJ, I did. That was the last day he ever competed and I knew I was going to meet my goals at the point.

Barresi was a young kid back then, and inspired me greatly to keep me up on my game because I didn’t want to get beat by a little kid!  Eventually, John and I became good friends and helped each other out with our flying although we were competitors. He taught me a few cool tricks that he had learned and I then went on to put them on video for the world to learn…

Thanks John.

What do you try to incorporate when designing a new kite?

For me it has always been about coming up with the ultimate all-purpose kite. My first commercial design, the Jam Session was well thought out. I wanted the best performance kite I could come up with, combined with the lowest price possible without sacrificing quality. And in Poland, we could do that. I was well aware of the market since I had 4 years kite retail experience and one year wholesale already, and I knew what price-point would sell, and I knew that the kite needed a video and line set, and this was before anyone did any of this, but I knew what it took and it worked.

Since then, the market has changed drastically but I still strive for the best possible kite for its intended end user, and price point. Since I have been with New Tech Kites as their exclusive sport kite designer, I now have the luxury of designing complete series of kites which covers the entire gambit from the low priced small entry level kite all the way through to the most advanced. This is very satisfying for me, to be able to come up with specific designs for specific usages and markets.

How much R&D goes into testing new designs?

Depends really, sometimes a design just comes together. Many of my designs flew well without even a bridle adjustment and that is they way they stayed. Others ended up in my prototype closet. I realize that there are many different styles of flying out there, so for the upper end kites, I get as many fliers to fly them as I can before they go into production.

For the lower end kites, as long as they can take the different wind conditions, hold the edges well, survive crashes, and not have over-steer, they pass pretty quickly. For that reason we have a reputation on the lower end of having the best flying and best value sport kites.

As Mike Simmons used to always tell me, these kites do not have to be so expensive and they shouldn’t be. Also that it is just as easy to produce a good flying well made sport kite as it is to produce one that isn’t. So with that in mind, I set out to produce the best flying beginner sport kites I could.

I have had kites take 3 hours to design, and 3 years… My latest kite, the Big Bang actually started out as merely an update of the Seduction, but it went through about 6 different prototypes and almost 2 years before it was ready.

One of my new kites for next year really only took one day from the table to the air, and then another week of testing without changes, so you never really know. But no matter how long it takes to R&D they don’t go into production until they pass my testing.

What are some of the biggest challenges you face in presenting new designs to the public?

The biggest one for me is seemingly false perception that the kite shops and the public have of the companies I have been associated with over the years.

When HQ asked me to design a sport kite for them in ‘94, they were unknown in the US, but had a reputation in Europe as a low end sport kite and single line kite company. They had never had a successful sport kite product like the Jam Session before.

I was the designer and the US importer. I had already a reputation as a Master class national champion and I was known for my Flight School training video. This gave us a fresh start in the US market. Subsequent designs by HQ that I influenced and brought into the US under my company’s name were well accepted by the shops and fliers. Many of those HQ designs are still around today. They appeared in my videos and I promoted them heavily by traveling around the US and Europe teaching.

Then I had a disagreement with the owners of HQ. For some reason I believe they didn’t want me to become too strong in the market, so they began to limit my designs. As the designer, it was important to me that I remain the sole distributor, and despite this they started their own distributorship in the US even though we had just had our best year in sales in the US. This was incredible to me. I was selling a lot of kites for them and I had done a lot of work to establish their products, my reputation, and theirs around the world. I said to myself, how could they do this? But it happened, so I had to make the decision to move on.

I was later approached by Eolo-Gayla from Spain. If you were ever in a supermarket or flew a cheap kite as a kid, it probably came from Eolo-Gayla in Mexico, so right away I had a strike against me as a designer and had to fight this reputation of single line kites and cheaper quality although the quality in reality was about the same as we had seen from HQ’s sub-contracted factory in Poland. So I went to their factory in Spain, spent a lot of time training their factory staff, learning about production, coming up with new quality control methods and seeing them implemented, including some cool pneumatic framing machines and cutting machines that I helped design with one of their very crafty employees.

As a distributor in the US, I soon found there was some snobbery from shops and fliers against the products we were producing even though the quality and performance was in line with my competitors, just because of our name and reputation. What saved my own distribution company at the time was the fact that I was also importing Benson kites, Elliot kites (including the Ekko series of power foils), L’Atelier from France, and Spirit of air from the UK.

But then, another surprise… The owner for Eolo-Gayla in Spain switched to China for production and also decided since the products were doing so well in the US that they could do better so I again had a disagreement about distributorship, and I decided to quit – get out of kiting altogether. I couldn’t believe how I was treated by this company that I felt I did so much for, and it happened again! So I felt I could never trust any company in kiting. But, I always tried to be fair and honest, so I began calling around to find someone to take over the US distribution for me. No one wanted them. But, New Tech Kites was looking for a viable kite designer. So the need to be an importer faded away. I finally closed my own business and began to only design and promote for New Tech.

New Tech also had developed a reputation for single line and did not previously had successful sport kites. This was a challenge, but I had been through this before. Now, four years later, we are still working fervently to get over this untrue perception of being a company that produces cheap kites in China. We do produce in China, but now almost everyone does, and we are producing quality as good if not better than everyone else. Plus my designs are at the top end of performance no matter the size or price, so we are making progress in this area.

Another problem area is that these days, the true performance of a kite has nothing to do with how well it does with the shops. In my experience, it’s often about what goes on secretly behind the scenes between a manufacturer and the shops. If you give kites every year to a shop’s staff and give special discounts, you will probably do well with that shop. If you convince them that your product is the best and they don’t need others, and get them to dedicate their spending dollars to you, this effectively cuts out the competition. Problem is, I didn’t do this, and it only applies to the larger shops so you alienate the smaller ones. And that goes against my principles. As a former small shop owner and wholesaler for four years, I made my living helping out the small shops. The large ones were already locked into one or two other manufacturers who spent a lot of time caressing those accounts. To this day, my sport kites are not in many of the larger shops.

As far as new designs go, this is also very difficult because there are only so many ways to cut a triangle. Only so many things you can do that haven’t been done before. But this is the challenge that I enjoy. I have come up with graphics and then sometimes seen them later on a competitor’s kite. I must make the decision to stick with my guns and follow through or, change. Often I stick with my original thoughts and designs, and I have been accused of copying when in fact, I went out of my way not to.

Some kites companies copy kites. That’s what they do. This way they don’t have to make an investment in a designer as NTK and other companies have. They just take a design, change it a bit and they have a new kite. They give it a low price and try to sell it. But it’s not easy for them to do this and it doesn’t always work out because it takes a lot more than just a low price to sell a product. But what this really does IMO, is flood the small kiting industry with confusing similar designs, and it really takes away from the true innovations of real designers.

Are there other designers who have had a strong influence on your approach to kite making?

As I mentioned earlier, Mike Simmons influenced me greatly. But other than him, not really…

Mike’s approach to kite making was simple. He would take the best qualities from existing popular designs and keep them in the back of his mind. Start from scratch by using cardboard and a pen, and trace out what came from his extensive knowledge and experience. For example, he learned early on the effects of leading edge camber and how and where to use it. He learned the effects of certain types of bridles and where the sweet spot was on the kite.

I think what I learned the most from him though was to take your main sport kite, the one that you have put the most into, and use that one as your “flagship” kite. Resize it a couple of times and create a complete series as he did most notably with the Tracer, Tracker and Trixster. These are lessons I have never forgotten and have been following them since the beginning.

Another trick I learned from him was to design kites around the frame and to learn what sizes of framing are best for which sizes and aspects ratios of kites. So to sum it up, I learned a lot from him.

I do look at and fly other designs, but mostly, just like I did as a kite retailer picking new kites to sell, I simply find what I don’t like about them, identify what that is, and stay from those characteristics.

What do you enjoy the most about designing sport kites?

Seeing them being flown and appreciated, hearing about them and receiving emails from fliers who are not influenced one bit by the industry, by what they are supposed to like, but what they really like, my kites… This makes it all worth it in the end.

From a personal side, when I conceive a design, lay it out, frame it up, bridle it, take it to the beach and fly it the first time and it flies well – what usually happens is that I begin to feel something deep inside me that just wants to burst out and normally this is expressed by my yelling and screaming with joy and jumping up and down. Yelling at my friends saying, “Did you see that? Man, I got a winner here!” That is a joy that is hard to express, but I know that I love it, it’s a feeling of accomplishment. Hey, I designed that kite. Just a couple of hours ago it was only a concept and idea, and now, its flying as well as anything available on the market! That’s a great feeling.

With so many companies outsourcing these days, do you feel has this affected the industry?

Of course it has, both positively and negatively.

On the positive side, it makes kites more accessible and affordable to the general public. Even companies who prided themselves on being “Made in the USA” are now producing off shore, China to be exact. We are almost all over there. Since we have been there for over 12 years, this is an advantage for New Tech Kites.

I have been there for four years, working a couple of months a year until this year when I became the Production Manager for New Tech. Now I am at the factory in China six months out of the year.

The reason NTK hired me for this job is, number one, my experience in this area and not too many people in the world have this type of experience. Sure, manufacturing is manufacturing, but as we have seen many times, if you are not an experienced kite flier, there are things you will just plain miss. If you don’t know what happens to a kite when it hits the ground hard, you wouldn’t know what type of reinforcement is needed, etc.

I spend a lot of time just walking around the factory once we are in production… But before that, there are countless training sessions, as well as meetings with specific staff and workers. I also get a chance to design a lot and work on new projects for the future.

But its not just about sport kites, I am involved with all of the NTK projects, so as a result I am becoming more of a rounded kite flier like I used to be, flying single line, fighters, sport and power kites.

We may be in China, but this is no excuse for sub-par quality. We have a factory, we have structure, and our goal is to produce the best product we can. So IMO, it doesn’t matter where the kites are made, it’s about how they are made and who is ensuring that the quality and consistency is at the highest level.

Since we have been there for many years already, this gives us a clear advantage over the newbies who have just recently gone there for production. It’s difficult to get things done. I think those companies are finding that out now and they may be in for some troubling times in the near future. For us, we improve all of the time and this is very exciting for our company and for me personally. We have had our share of challenges and part of the excitement about all of this is to meet those challenges such as the language and cultural differences head on.

On the negative side, IMO, it has caused the kite shops to suffer the most when it comes to sport kite profit. Some manufacturers will consider and actually already have gone mass market which makes business sense in a way, but will destroy many of the kite shops that have been supporting them and giving them exclusive business for many years.

Since I was a small kite shop, and small kite shops kept my previous small wholesale business alive for many years, it is important not to forget them. Going mass market will kill them in the end.

When you started flying, did you ever imagine that you would be producing kites for the global market?

Definitely not, but when I began working with manufacturers it certainly was my goal.

Do you see any differences in the way festivals are done in the USA, compared to other countries?

As you know there are many cultural differences. Attendance at a bad-weather festival in the UK , Germany or Taiwan compared to one in the states is incredible! In the US, no one shows up when the weather channel predicts anything less than perfect weather.

Another is at least in the past, and I am talking about East Coast Festivals, they appear to me that they are done with the intention of profit for the promoter or promoters. I personally spent a lot of my own money over the years as a sponsor of many US festivals and always felt that our sponsorship money, time and dedication went unappreciated by the organizers. They were not interested in benefiting the sponsors and giving something back for the money and time they spent as much as they were worried about making profit for themselves. That’s why many kite industry people just gave up on providing money for sponsorship.

Many European festivals, and even most recently the Taipei International Kite Festival in Taiwan, seems to be all about promoting kiting, and benefiting the sponsors of the event through increased tourism and promotion. They seem to have no problem getting corporate sponsorship. And that is vital.

Do you have any comments for someone who is getting into kite making?

This is an extremely niche market. Very few of us have been able to make a living from kite making/designing. If you have dreams of becoming successful at designing, I encourage you to follow your dreams, but be aware of companies that do not always have your best interest at heart. They can take your designs without thinking twice about it, so a visit to a lawyer should definitely be high on your “to do list”.

Many people choose to make kites in their basement. Even if you become good at sewing, you will not be able to produce enough kites to make a decent living. If it’s your side hobby and you have another job, do it for as long as it still gives you pleasure. If you are thinking about selling your design to a company, keep in mind that the perceived market for high end sport kites is much higher than it actually is, and again do everything you can to protect your intellectual property You must protect it. Even the nicest guys can’t be trusted. One day when I am out of kiting I will write a book about the experiences I’ve had, and you just won’t believe what sometimes goes on behind the scenes in our little industry.

Do you feel the kiting scene will ever become mainstream, and how might we go about making it happen?

No I don’t. When you are flying kites at your favorite flying field, look to see who is looking and noticing. A very small percentage will take notice and even smaller will get hooked and make it their hobby. But IMO, this is what is great about kiting. I don’t want everyone to be into it. I don’t care if it doesn’t become mainstream. We feel special when we fly. We can’t understand why something so wonderful doesn’t appeal to the mass market, but we also enjoy are exclusivity with the sport and this makes us want to strive to turn more onto it and we do. I’ve made my career in kiting all about turning on new fliers. But will it ever be mainstream? I doubt it.

Kite surfing has definitely made Kiting more visible to the mass market public. Almost everyone I know and meet all around the world has at least seen some video images of Kite surfing. John Kerry may not be president today, but I think he did a lot for kiting when the news media showed pictures of him kite surfing and mentioned it in articles.

I am sure that this has led to a few more kite fliers added to our base, but there are still cultural and geographical limitations when it comes to flying kites.

Not everyone has a place to go. As a lot of you know, the place you fly if its inland will have inconsistent winds and it can be very frustrating. Cold weather is another one. Personally, I love the beach. I am fortunate enough to be able to fly on beaches and in warm weather often because of my travel. But not every one is as fortunate, so you must make your opportunities to go out flying.

Since pioneering the now famous “Flight School” DVD series and holding trick workshops worldwide, how do you feel it has influenced the sport?

I don’t know. I am a kite flier who loves kites, loves to teach.

When I had my kite shop, I taught every customer how to fly the new kite they just bought from me. When I began mail order I felt guilty for selling a kite to someone without training so I made a cheap video to send a long with the kites and it just kind of took off from there.

I know that my videos over the past 10 years have helped many. My workshops I conducted around the world also helped thousands, but I am not sure who received more pleasure from that, them or me!

I do get frustrated sometimes though. I begin to feel a little unappreciated and then, someone comes up to me while I am flying or sends a beautiful email and tells me how greatly I influenced not only their flying, but their life! And then any self-pity or feelings of being unappreciated rapidly disappear.

These days everyone is making videos, everyone on newsgroups is an expert despite what their true flying or even teaching abilities may be. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that fliers have improved over the years, since that was my intention with my Flight School series. My goal was always to get fliers to fly better than me. This is why, unlike some others, I never held anything back. I would always show my complete hand. This was taught to me by Ron Reich, who also gave everything he had to promote and advance kiting. He has been forgotten, as I am sure I will be someday.

About my videos, it was also a way to promote my products in addition to teaching my method of learning, and it lead the way for a few other companies to come out with their own versions of my flight school. This has resulted in many more fliers learning and improving around the world and continues today. If I had anything to do with that at all, that makes me very proud.

Sometimes people don’t know the true history, some think that another company was the one who started dual line training video videos, but that happens often in kiting. People forget who the true innovators are and because of that, we have lost many over the years and it has hurt the advancement of kiting.

Is there anything you haven’t done in kiting that you would like to become involved in?

I’ve been involved with power and buggying for over 12 years as a hobby. Recently I became a kite surfer and certified kite surf instructor. Probably next, I would like to be a snow kite board instructor just to do it. I used to kite ski over 10 years ago.

The only other thing I can think of is to just do what I do, better. And I am working on that.

As I mentioned, I am also becoming more and more involved with single line kites and I would like to start designing those along with getting back into indoor flying now that I have a new place to fly indoors near my house. So there is a lot to do.

What thoughts do you have on kiting’s influence on global culture?

The only thing that comes to mind is global friendship. I personally have friends in many states in the US, many different countries from Columbia, to Taiwan and China, and all throughout Europe… All from flying a kite!

Hopefully, more contact with fliers from different countries and cultures will open our eyes and make us a better people, more tolerant and understanding of the human race because of it.

What is it about kiting that most appeals to you now and keeps you involved?

Over the years, just like a kite, my career has been up and down. I happen to be in a climbing pattern since I became part of the New Tech team and I have no reason to think it will not continue.

I am fortunate enough to working along side an old friend who was in kiting for a long time. I used to compete with him years ago. When I joined New Tech, I made it my mission to get him on board with us. I am talking about our General Manager and my good friend Chris Shultz who brings a lot to the New Tech team. He is a former Masters Class competitor, a buggier, and just loves kites in general. The owners of New Tech also fly kites, single line, power, quad and dual, so it’s nice to be with a company finally where most of us are real kite fliers. With other companies I have worked with, I was lucky if any one there at all flew a kite.

As I mentioned before, if it wasn’t for Michael Lin, our owner, I would not be in kiting today, so I owe him a lot.

The people I work with are great. The people that I come into contact with in my flight schools and just in general, fellow kite fliers around the world, have been warm and wonderful to me for the most part and I have had to learn how to separate my bad past business experiences from wonderful personal experiences over the years, which I have been able to do, and that has kept me going as well.

I know that I am visible out there because of my videos, but I had to learn that most people out there do not really know me so they may think, or say things about me that couldn’t be further from the truth, but they don’t know. They only know what others may have said about me based on something I wrote on a newsgroup trying to defend my reputation or something like that.

I do care what others think about me and it really bothers me when they get it wrong, but I am beginning to understand that more and more and learning how to cope with it.

My wife Jenny has been always there for me over the years as my biggest fan. She has put up with my quirks, constant traveling, shared in my successes and was there for my crash landings… I would never have stayed in kiting if it wasn’t for her total support.

As I mentioned before, the appreciation from a flier via an email or most recently at the AKA convention when a couple of nervous fliers came up to me to tell me how much I have influenced them is just something wonderful. I get a lump in my throat and remember how I felt the first time I met Ron, or the Sliceman. How they inspired me to make kiting my life.

I’ve been in the business of kiting for over 14 years now. But, I am just a flier. Just a guy who loves to fly kites and I was somehow able to create a new life for myself in kiting, a new career that many are unable to do, and it has shown me the world, and has given me wonderful life experiences that I can never repay, but I will keep trying.

Well Dodd, it was a pleasure competing with you so many years ago and we’re glad to see you still involved in the sport… Thank you very much for sharing with us, and please keep up the hard work.

Thank you John, I will always remember what a pleasure it was to compete with you. We had a wonderful time. I remember being interviewed on a local TV station and they asked me if I was the champion in sport kiting. I told them I would be if I could beat this young kid that I had to fly against all of time and that I wasn’t going to let a kid beat me!

I am happy to see you back in kiting and contributing again, so good luck with your ventures and I will see and fly with you, and hopefully all of the readers very soon.

To find out more about Dodd and his various
kite designs, visit his web site!

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Author:John Barresi

Involved in the greater kiting community since 1990, John is an avid kite flier in several disciplines, has served as President of the American Kitefliers Association, and is co-founder of the Revolution sport kite team iQuad. View John Barresi's Profile →

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