Issue 81: Launches and Landings

Events and news from South Central

Summers in the south central US are often times not kind to kitefliers, and this summer was no exception. We had record dry weather and record hot days, mostly with little wind or with raging fires driven by strong hot winds, depends where you were located at the time. We sure are appreciating the cooling days of fall as it descends upon us.

Not to be shut out however, those hardier souls still managed to get some flying in.

Local clubs tried to keep monthly Fun Flys going, though at times it seemed a moot point. The following are some highlights of the summer season.

We have a new AKA Regional Director, wish to thank Dr Gayle for her many years on the sometimes thankless job and welcome Rick Hawkins to the post. Am sure we will be hearing from him via official avenues.

One event that struck a hard cord throughout the region was the loss of Charles “AJ” Jackson, he was universally liked and a great ambassador for traction kite sports. AJ was known for going all out, and he relished life. He touched many lives, and is sorely missed in our kite community. Click here to read the special piece on AJ in this issue of Kitelife.

South Houston Area Recreational Kiters – [ SHARK ] —

This very active club had a tough Fun Fly for Sept. with some kites breaking away. Again in October a night fun fly complete with a cook out, held at Galveston Island’s Stewart Beach, called Sonny’s Burger Burn, 13 members report the event as a rounding success. They had a couple of newbie’s on board and are sure that much education was emulated. This past month, SHARK again volunteered to assist in the annual two day Children’s Festival at the Cynthia Woods Pavilion at The Woodlands. They provided over 1400 kites for kids to make, fly, and take with them; and put on bols races for the kids to participate in. Kite flying is very challenging in this venue due to the proximity of many trees.

South Padre Island Kite Enthusiasts- [ SPIKE ] –

Lots of their members escape to northern climes during the hot weather most of the summer!! Nevertheless, the TEAM SPI does do regular practices, and occasionally just go out and fly together. In October they were all celebrating Brian and Sis’s birthdays with a cake, on the 29th Guy Blatnik and Windchasers Kite shop held a Kites, Kids, and Candy event with guess what ?? lots of candy drops, what a way to do a Halloween theme and get community involvement!!

Coastal Bend Skypirates–

The late summer temps are still tough in September but we went to Roberts Point in Port Aransas for our Fun Fly, wind was a scarce commodity, [image that on the coast??] – But several sport kites were flown by TC, Revolution was represented by Dano and single liners were hard pressed to stay aloft. It was however a beautiful day and any day flying kites beats a day at work, right??

October Fun Fly was basically a running event, run launch a kite, wait four minutes for it t to loose wind, run go launch it again when a puff was felt!! Finally a 9foot delta was put up and it managed to hold the breeze for a good couple of hours. TC got lots of practice with his Ultra lite sport kites!!

November the winds were a little light but Tom called to say he was taking his grandkids to the Beach Park Circle [ on] to fly some sport kites and would anyone care to join him. What developed was a great impromptu fly with numerous folks in attendance. There were classic Team Hawaiian kites, old school WASP kites, single liners of course, and even a buggy rider struggling for enough power. Ended up being a very good afternoon.

The monthly Fun Fly was a week later and it was a Veterans Tribute with military and red/white/blue being the theme. Winds were strong and steady, lunch was light and healthy thanks to Nancy, the group broke a little early as the afternoon started cooling off rapidly.


At press deadline there was not any information forwarded to the author about other events and happenings, hopefully we can gather more data for next issue from more of the other clubs and groups throughout the area.

Click here for event information for the Great Texas Kite Club Fun Fly on Dec 3rd, 2011.

Dano Wright