Issue 75: Kites… Life.

In lieu of any pressing topics for my column this month, I’ve got a handful of news items and other recent projects which may be of interest…

Video sharing just for kite fliers

YouTube has definitely become the focal point for uploaded kite video online due to the fact it’s free to use, videos can be up to 15 minutes in length, high-definition, closed captioning, you name it… The only aspect that frustrates me with some regularity is actually finding kite videos, since many of them are either not titled or tagged in such a way that they could come up under the most common search terms that kitefliers might use.

A couple years ago I started to gather the concept of a similar, dedicated video sharing site that is tailored to the kiting community with categories, titles and tags that WE know and understand as kitefliers, as well as the ability to add existing embedded videos from YouTube and other video sharing web sites… Sadly we weren’t able to dedicate the time and resources to make it happen, UNTIL NOW!

We’ve just opened to the general public… There is no charge to register and use the site, and once you’ve done so, you’ll be able to not only add your favorite YouTube videos to the index with adjusted (relevent) titles, categories and tags, but you can also upload video files directly to the archive as well.

The video quality is still being improved for videos uploaded to the site, as well as refinements to the general layout and functionality, but we’ve already loaded over 700 videos to the archives, all categorized by everything from dual to quad, trick/freestyle to team, indoor to dogstake, kite making to kites on TV, kite surfing to tutorials, you name it, we’ve sampled nearly every aspect of modern kite making and attempted to lay it all out in such a way that our visitors will be able to access and enjoy it easily.

Please be sure to visit the kite stores and manufacturers who have been kind enough to sponsor Kitelife through the ads you’ll see posted both here and on KiteVids… We wouldn’t be able to continue projects like this without their support and that of our official subscribers.

New web site for the American Kitefliers Association

Indeed, the AKA opened their brand new web site just before the annual convention this past October, with an all new framework and look… I’m happy to say the days of drilling several layers into the site and losing your place simply by clicking the “back” button are gone.

If you haven’t been yet, I strongly encourage you to stop by and check it all out… They’re still adding content and fine tuning aspects of the site, but the work put in by John Gillespie and his fellow volunteers really shows!

Discussion on the AKA forum –

Kymera via Into The Wind

After a few years of focusing almost exclusively on Revs, I’m looking forward to balancing my time between quad and dual yet again as I’ve long been a lover of both!

In October of last year, I sat down with George Emmons of Into The Wind (ITW) at the AKA Grand Nationals in Rochester (MN) and proposed a joint dual line project…

Now roughly 14 months and several prototypes later, I’ve just received the first official sample of the Kymera and frankly, I’m having so much fun with it that I’m popping out of the office to fly at my local field as often as I can, held back only by the frequent rain we have in the Northwest this time of year… A lot of folks got a chance to fly the final prototype at the AKA Convention in Seaside (OR) this past October, response was very good.

As many of you know, I started flying in 1990 at a time when kites flew and nobody was doing slack line (freestyle tricks) so everything was about flight control and how the kite loaded up through precision flying… With the proliferation of tricks in the past decade, many of the kites available today have sacrificed some of their stability and feeling in order to be more trickable.

I designed the Kymera to provide a balance of both precision and trick ability for well under the $300 that so many boutique kites are selling for these days… An all-rounder at an affordable price, with parts that are readily accessible through most of your local and online kite shops.

Although ITW is perhaps best known as one of the longest running retailers out there, especially famous for their printed catalog, they also produce an entire line of single and dual line kites which can be ordered by your favorite kite store… Look for the Kymera to hit the ground runnng at the 2011 Kite Trade Show in Las Vegas this February and hopefully reaching your local shops sometime in March or April – no doubt pre-ordering will be available once the final pricing is announced.

Kites appear on Starbucks commercial

Just recently, Starbucks worked with two well known kitefliers to create a very unique holiday commercial message featuring custom crafted snowflake kites.

Conceived by BBDO North America advertising firm, it was filmed by EPOCH Films of New York, but it was the professional cooperation and creativity of of Dean Jordan, Blake Pelton, Craig Wilson, Tim Elverston and Ruth Whiting that made the kite display a reality, with some custom work from New Tech Kites.

Filmed in downtown Manhattan where flying is not always not an easy task, and in Liberty State Park, New Jersey, some special effects were applied to generate the finished product.

The making of the commercial was also recorded and posted on YouTube, making repeat viewings of the commerical even more interesting after you’ve seen the “making of” segment.

Our hats go off to the amazing kite people who were are a part of this project.

That’s all I’ve got for you from the Editor’s desk in this issue, but I hope you enjoy everything we put into #75 and the various projects we’ve been involved in… It’s our great pleasure to particpate in and share this amazing pastime.

See you in the skies,

John Barresi