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Issue 11 (Sep/Oct 1999): Reader Feedback

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#1 Mike Gillard (RIP)

Mike Gillard (RIP)


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Posted 01 October 1999 - 04:00 AM

Info Needed

Greetings! Just found your site, and I am looking forward to exploring it! I am new to the sport of flying kites......and I am particularly interested in box kites. I have been looking around for information about the worlds largest flying box kite. I have information about box kite trains......and altitude records for kites, but none concerning size of the the box kite. I have been to some festivals, and I have seen some really big kites out there.......but I would love to satisfy the question...How big is the worlds largest flying box kite? :ani_wallbash: If you know where I can find this information, I would appreciate any clue!

Thank you,
Your kite flying friend,

Can anybody help Christine?

AKA Convention Registratrion?

I've been in (the) AKA for about 3-5 years. During that time my wife and I have been to a few conventions and festivals, but only as spectators which I greatly enjoy, I like the atmosphere, colors and people , but I'm the backwards type. There is really no one around in my area that I can talk to and ask questions. My question, in order to participate in the activities, like the kite sewing, how to do this or that, I read about in Kitelife, for the Muncie, Ind. or for that matter any festival, do I just sit in or is there a fee. I've got the flyers for Sunfest and Muncie I know there is a fee for the competitions but is there a separate fee for the activities. I'm getting to want to try something now. Thanks.

For the AKA convention, a quite reasonable fee covers all activities, and many meals, during the week, or you can buy single-day registrations. For full info, check http://www.aka.kite.org

Great report, Elain. This laidback fly is one of my favorites, and I recommend it highly for anyone in the Northwest. The dates varies from year to year, being either Memorial Day (US) weekend, or Victoria Day (Canada) weekend, depending on which has the preferable tides.

Steve Millspaugh

Help Wanted


I guess this should go to Al Hargus, but I will gladly take any advice that anyone has. Have you painted or printed onto ripstop? I am playing with a kite and I want to put black paint on a brown kite and have it stick, I used some spray ( design master ) my screen wasn't made well enough so it smeared, but it took several coats to get good coverage, I also painted with latex paint, some brands stick but others tend to peel off. Is printers ink easy to work with, does it need to be sprayed, can you paint with it? Can you print onto kite cloth like you do with paper ? My kite is 18 x 36 so it is too big for my computer to print onto if that would even work, Have you done anything similar ? Any suggestions, or other persons to contact for info?

Thank You

Anyone willing to help, reach Debbie here.


I have just finished the July/August edition of Kitelife - it seems to get better with each issue.

The Phil Broder section was particularly good, as was IMHO (I can't wait to see what he's going to say in the next issue!). Kites...life, Dave's World, and Tangents and Trivia are always worth reading. The Departments section has alot of good stuff.

The Internet Portal idea is one that I feel works well.

regards, Dave.

Thanks, Dave, Glad you enjoy KiteLife.

Grand Haven Feedback

This was our first visit to the magazine, and reading your opinion
column was enlightening, to say the least.

Hearing about the "death" of Grand Haven was very disappointing mainly because that was OUR very first exposure to organized kite competition. We went in 1996 and had our mouths hanging open nearly the whole weekend!

It's hard to believe that, according to what you stated, the event had already started to decline at that point. The saddest part of its disappearance, for us, isn't so much sentimental as it is practical. We don't fly for our travels so having a major sport kite competition located relatively close to us makes our enjoyment of the sport so much more "tangible." We found the drive to Grand Haven to be an easy one that didn't take up too much time. (try DRIVING from Indianapolis to Key West sometime...!) While we hope to be able to see either Wildwood or Ocean Shores sometime in the future, we are trying to be content with what we can find here in the Midwest. So we're hoping with all our hearts that someone involved in the Grand Haven experience will think about what you said and put some ideas into play to make the event more "competitor friendly."

We look forward to more visits here as well as this year's convention in Muncie!

Clark Shute & Angie Chau,
alias: Smile Hi Club

Thanks for writing. There are a number of great kiting events in the Midwest, hope to see you at some of them!


I just got into stunt kites last year but have jumped in with both feet. I'm in Moncton, NB, Canada and other then myself, and a couple of friends, we rarely see more then one or two others flying stunt kites at the nearby beaches.

My friend and I have kites from Premier and Azur and Prism (actually a pretty good collection for 1 year old novices) and right now I am in the process of building a kite buggy to try out on the sand bars of those nearby beaches. I have gathered all my kites and kite info from the internet so finding you guys will be a great source of knowledge for me I think. I have attached a picture of me flying my T&T at Peggy's Cove, NS when I was there last year.

Smooth winds.
Chris Bordage

PS I'm A novice at web page building too but I started one a couple of weeks ago to try and attract Atlantic Canadians to the beauty and fun of kite flying. It isn't much so far but check out the link page.

Attached File  TTpegs.jpg   3.34KB   6 downloads

Hi Chris! Welcome to sportkiting. Sounds like you are off to a great start. Best of luck!


I really am glad I can read your magazine. Really good stuff. Your articles stimulate thinking about kiting and its future.

I want to thank you for the nice words about Team Wind Dancer. We are working very hard and hoping for more success this year. Of course, it doesn't hurt we train on the same beach with VI and Swarm. They can lead and maybe we'll follow the way to the promised land.

I also appreciate your positive comments about the kiting community in the northwest. I guess we're pretty lucky. I think we need to work hard for the future though!

Still Flyin'

Randy McKiernan

Hi Randy, was great meeting you and the crew at Ocean Shores. Best of luck, and hope to see you soon.


While living in Taiwan, I saw the grandest kite ever in my life. It was a dragon kite. Since then I looked the world over for plans of that kite to build it myself, or maybe buy it.

It is like a centipede or series of kites with the head of a dragon. Do you know where I can obtain the plans or the kite itself.

Rich Graham

The kite you refer to sounds like a traditional Chinese dragon. Several variations are made throughout China, although the most popular are from Weifang City in Shandung Province.

There may be a plan in the book on Chinese Kites sold by Kite Lines Magazine. You can see more details in the Kite Lines Bookstore at GombergKites.com/books. I suggest you email KiteLines and ask if the dragon plan is in the book before you purchase it.

There are also several other Chinese books with dragon plans, but I'm not sure where you can purchase them.
I hope that helps. Good luck!

David Gomberg


Kitelife and I hope Phil,

Right on! The points you covered match my concerns exactly about the future of sport kiting. I've been concerned for a few years now. However, being the wuss I am I haven't done anything about it.

I'm tired of kiting events directed at the participants. They should be directed at the audience. After all, we're putting on a show. Most of it pretty damn interesting to people not familiar with kiting. We want to impact positively the family that walks up on the beach not knowing what's going on. It should be easy for spectators to see the main fields and we should make it clear to them what is going on.

Too many times I have seen fields laid out on various Pacific Ocean beaches that were too far down the beach for Mr. and Mrs. Public to access. They see something exciting down the beach and maybe get started down there, but give up before they get there. We're missing those people and just possibly there may be future competitors that are walking away because they can't figure out what is going on.

It's far too easy for me to be negative. I haven't done anything to discuss my concerns with organizers. It's been too easy to be a competitor and not an activist. I have to temper my statements with the fact I appreciate deeply all of the people who organize sport kiting events in my area or anywhere. Without them, this would have folded a long time ago. So I am not condemning anyone. I am just really concerned about the near term for
sport kiting. I think what happens in the next few years is critical.

By the way Phil, if I would have known that was you on the beach last year at Rockaway, Oregon I would have thrown sand in your face. Your big chance on the beach and you break something, oh well! Look forward to flying against you again sometime.

Keep the faith with your column. I like your style. We need somebody to stick it to us! Complacency gets you nowhere.

Still Flyin'

Randy McKiernan

More Help Needed

Enjoyed your website and the story about different machines you have used in making kites. I'm a new sewer with a Singer 201 and want to do a little more. Do you know of an equivalent machine, but with zig-zag feature?

Thanks, Bill B

Any Ideas?
Mike Gillard

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