When I was a kid I flew my share of kites. More often then not however I spent a lot of time running up and down the field trying to get the kite up in the air. When it did get airborne, there was a really good chance it would quickly come crashing back to the ground destroying the kite. Although I loved the idea of kites, they proved less than entertaining in practice.
Fast forward, lets just say a LOT of years and leave it there. I had no real interest in kites, especially since I can’t run nearly like I could when I was a sprinter in school. The idea of doing that again is not even remotely interesting. I did, however, find myself in a kite store on Galveston Island in Texas one day looking at the kites they had for sale.
Kites Unlimited in Galveston is one of those really unique places. I had never even heard of a store that sold primarily kites. Sure, department stores carry kites as do most toy stores, but a store where more than half their business is kites? It is also unique because I would have never known they were there, or ever thought of going in, except they fly some beautiful kites above their store any time there is some wind. They also have a huge colorful windsock spinning in the breeze from a flagpole out front (huge as in the size of my wife’s MINI Cooper convertible).
When I went in I saw some absolutely stunning kites. Not the old diamond shaped kites with little bows on a ribbon for a tail that I saw and flew as a kid, but really big awesome looking kites that you could steer and do tricks with! This was amazing!
Of course I left the store with a kite, of course I flew the heck out of it and then went back and bought another, and another, and another. Now I have specific kites for specific wind conditions and flying types and am looking at buying more. I stand out on the beach in 50F weather with 20-30MPH winds (can you say frickin cold?!) leaning back at 40 degrees to offset the pull of the kite, digging in my heals, wondering how bad the wrist straps will bruise my wrists. Smiling all the time.
The other thing I have found out about flying kites is that it is not only a whole lot of fun, but amazingly relaxing. While steering the kite and fighting the wind you have no time to think about work, wonder about politics, or plan your chores for the weekend. You fly, you smile, and when you are done even if you hurt from the strain, you feel great. What else do you want out of life?
I am putting together a few pages on my adventures with kites starting with reviews on the kites and accessories I have. I hope some of this is useful, or at the very least, entertaining. Maybe I will see you at a kite festival!
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