2006 KTAI Trade Show – Day 5

Welcome to the last day of the 2006 KTAI trade show daily updates at Kitelife!  While I love doing this, it is tiring work and I found myself glad this was the last day when I woke up this morning… Starbucks was looking mighty good as we headed in for our final trip through the show.

Cruising the new kites today, I remembered that I hadn’t gotten into a couple of other exhibitors… One of which was the GREAT mini “classic kites” available from Craig Wong and the Small World Kite Company… Roughly 1/6th reproductions of memorable sport kites from over the past 20 years, including the CA Wasp, Fire Bee and Fire Dart… He says many more are in the works and will become available in the near future.

As for Gomberg’s new offerings… It seemed that every time I went by their booth on previous days, they had retailers in there and I didn’t want to interrupt, you’ll now find them below.

The trade show floor was pretty quiet today, with a couple of exhibitors and quite a few of the retailers having gone home yesterday… The remaining exhibitors filed last minute orders, and prepared to break down their booths and product.

One other product that was overlooked yesterday is the BLK (Big Loud Kite, above/right) from New Tech.  A full size kite, it’s being released in the same price point as their Techno, most likely in the $100 retail range… This and a few of the kites from HQ were the only ones we didn’t get to test this week.

What an amazing day in Florida, with temperatures in the upper 60s and very smooth 3-4 mph winds coming right off the water.  I got a Deep Space in for review, and spent the day putting it through its paces along with a few other kites… Joining us on the beach were Dodd Gross and Jon Trennepohl.

Click here for footage of some sport kites we took out on the beach today, where I was literally jumping from one kite to the next with less than a minute in-between… It’s 22.8MB, so please be aware that the download might take a few minutes.

After flying from around 1pm until a little before 6pm, Rob and I headed back to the convention center for coffee and a soda while we waited for the cocktail reception to open at 6:30pm.

The pirate-theme reception and awards banquet was held this evening, closing out the week and giving attendees one last chance to socialize… Here’s how the awards came out:

Best New Kite
Nighthawk by Premier

Best New Product (not a kite)
Sunrise Hot Air Balloon by HQ Kites

Best Retail Promotional Effort

Best Manufacturer Promotional Effort
Premier Kites

Outstanding Kite Festival
Kite Party III

Best Booth (trade show)
Into the Breeze

Best New Product (trade show)
Premier Swimming Fish

Retailer of the Year
Sea Side Kites

Manufacturer of the Year
New Tech Kites

David Checkley Lifetime Achievement
Jay Knerr (from the Kite Loft)

The MC for the evening was Dave Shenkman, who did a solid job of entertaining… Even I got in on the fun with a pre-1990 sport kite trivia challenge along with Corey Jensen and Jon Trennepohl, which is pretty unusual for me!

It’s been an informative week here at the KTAI trade show, and I truly hope I’ve been able to “bring you along” for the ride in some fashion… It takes some pretty late nights to get this done, but it’s a service we’re particularly proud of.

My warmest thanks to Robert Randolph for his help at the show, for working on the videos, and providing me with lodging… Truly invaluable!

It’s time for a shower, packing and some much needed rest before my 8am flight back to the east coast… Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you on the field!

Good night, good flight.

John Barresi