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Article, "World Renowned Kite Artist"    Article, "To Fly A Kite"


Kites. They've been around for thousands of years.

The art of kite flying has become not only a hobby, but a challenging sport as well. A wide variety of kite kits and kite accessories are available at department, hobby, and toy stores. Many have taken on the challenge of designing and building their own kites.

When I was a child, I used to love to fly kites. I made my own diamond kites with sticks of wood, string and newspaper. I would notch the ends of the sticks and run string around the kite, then cut a piece of newspaper to fit and glue the ends. For a tail, I would take several old rags and tie them together. My string was rolled up on a short piece of a tree limb.


Sport/Stunt/Dual-line Kites


Robert flying his Skyburner Nik Nak with Gomberg skywriter tail.
Sport Kites present a whole range of different opportunities. By flying with two lines the 'pilot' can maneuver the kite left and right, up and down to perform however they please. The two flying lines are connected to handles or straps on one end and connected to the bridle of the kite on the opposite end of the line. The pilot controls the kite by pulling in one line to make it turn in that direction, if you pull the right hand line the kite will turn to the right. Sport kites are easy to learn how to fly but tough to master.

The Sport Kite was inspired by the very earliest of hang-glider designs. Just like the big man-carrying kite, a typical Delta stunt kite has a main spar and 2 leading edge spars with fabric stretched between them. One, two or even three horizontal spreaders are also used to keep the kite's shape. The shape is vaguely triangular, with some designs looking more bird-like with swept wings. The 2 lines allow the Delta to be steered left and right when up in the air.

That means, with practice and a bit of skill, you can make the kite fly just about any pattern you like. The more serious fliers like to use Spectra line for controlling these kites, due to the material's low stretch and high strength. In precision flying contests, many of the 'figures' consist of straight lines joined by sharp turns at the corners.


Robert teaching his son Wesley how to fly a diamond kite in 1988.

I'm told that a general rule for lineset length is: 10 times the wingspan for trick flying, 15 times the wingspan for precision flying. 90# is a common weight for lines. Although anything up to 200# can be used easily. One of my favorite lines to use is a Shanti Skybond set 100'/100#. Also known as dual-line or stunt kites, the sport kite is used in the following categories: Beginner Kites (Standard), Freestyle Kites, Ballet Kites, trick kites and Low Wind Kites which includes the Ultra Light kite (UL) and the Super Ultra Light kite (SUL).

I'm certainly not an expert pilot, but when learning to fly, it's important that control of your kite becomes the priority. When starting out, it's inevitable that you'll crash your kite a number of times. However, after gaining some flying experience, controlling your kite in flight and in landings should be your primary focus.

After that, it'll be up to you as to what type of flying you enjoy most... trick, precision, ballet or all of the above and even ones that haven't been mentioned.




What's In The Kite Bag?

Pictured below are the sport kites that I currently have in my kite bag. It's by no means complete, but it represents a number of different types of sport kites for various types of flying. I have kites that can fly in low winds (0-10mph) and kites that can fly well in medium to high winds (8-25mph).

My go-to kites for just about every outing are the Prism Quantum Pro and the Skyburner Nik Nak. But, the smaller, lighter kites take the show sometimes especially when I attach a tail or two.

I've also started to seriously collect Joel Scholz Sport Kites of which I have four so far in my collection. Also, feel free to view my kite gallery site which showcases various pictures of the kites that I have.

I also have numerous single-line kites that I will showcase here at a later date.


Prism Quantum Pro (Purple)
(Dated: 11/23/2004 Signed: JAE)
    
Specifications:
Status - In Production
Skill Level - Advanced - Competition
Sail - Ripstop Polyester, Mylar Laminate
Frame - SkyShark P200, 5PT Wrapped Carbon
Wing Span - 94"
Adjustable counterweight system included
Advertised Wind Range - 2 to 20 mph
Robert's Wind Range Experience - 8 to 25 mph
Made in the USA
Handbuilt by Justin Edwards, Chief Product Manager
for Prism Kites in Seattle on 11/23/2004

Prism Kites - Quantum Pro

Developed for world-renowned Team "Cutting Edge" and winner of the 2005 and 2006 world team championships, The Quantum Pro is the ultimate, state-of-the-art competition machine for serious pilots.

Fully tunable with an optional CNC machined weight system, the Pro delivers glued-to-the-sky precision in a wide wind range with all the latest freestyle acrobatics including yo-yos, cometes, and the entire competition trick repertoire.

Hand-wrapped, tapered carbon frame gives you instant response throughout the flight envelope, and a three-position bridle lets you configure precision and turn rate for individual, team, or pairs flying styles.

This kite replaces most everything in my collection. I purchased the weight system separately and use it with the kite.

 

Prism Zephyr (Eggplant)
    
Specifications:
Status - In Production
Skill Level - Intermediate to Expert
Sail - Ripstop Polyester & Mylar Laminate
Frame - Wrapped Graphite Carbon Fiber
Wing Span - 92.5" - 7' 7"
Bridle - 3 point
Advertised Wind Range - 3 to 15 mph
Robert's Wind Range Experience - 6 to 25 mph
Made in the USA

Prism Kites - Zephyr

The Zephyr is a first choice in kiting if a pilot appreciates the finesse of flying and the subtler finger and wrist control they'll crave as they begin to advance into the more radical freestyle maneuvers of sport kite flying.

While the Zephyr is not a "true" ultralight, the Zephyr is designed for those lighter, sweeter winds when a pilot learns to stall, slide, and control the kite gracefully at the edges of the envelope. The Zephyr is beautifully balanced and is as comfortable floating on its back as it is in a stall. The same hand-wrapped graphite spars used in Prism's other top-end competition kites give you a masterful touch and allows the Zephyr to perform nearly every new-school trick with ease and finesse.

The Prism Zephyr is highly maneuverable in all attitudes, so you can pull off the most challenging moves with utter control. Whether flying just for enjoyment or piloting for the tricks, the Zephyr is made for both with the utmost precision.




Mike Dennis did an excellent job building and adjusting my new TOTL Northshore Radical.



TOTL North Shore Radical (Black with Gold Strips)
(Sewn and built by Mike Dennis)
(This is one of only three of this type in the USA)
    
Specifications:
Status - Out of Production
Skill Level - Intermediate to Expert
Sail - PC31 Icarux fabric
Frame - Easton Aluminum/Carbon 4-49 tubing
Wing Span - 92.5"
Height - 45"
Weight - 13.0 oz
Bridle - Spectra 3 point
Advertised Wind Range - 5 to 15 mph
Robert's Wind Range Experience - 10 to 20 mph
Made in the USA

Top Of The Line - North Shore Radical

The TOTL NSR has long been established as the Rolls Royce for precision or kite teams. It starts with the shape and pattern of the sail which looks great from any distance, well colored and in proportion. The build is excellent, made with medium heavy wind in mind.

Radical was the first sport kite to incorporate outhaul bridle adjustment feature in addition the standard long leg adjust as on most kites. The Radical does give a very wide range of tunings but, most people seem to find their sweet spot and leave it there. If it's time to change the bridle, it's probably time to change kites. The range of tuning is clearly marked and explained.

The Radical is a heavy kite needing a firm hand to guide it and generally working you hard all around the window. It has one turn speed - slow - and medium forward speed. Once you find bridle setting it has the crispest of square corners and ultra reliable tracking. Spikes and slides are no problem but it is hard work to axle and as for flat spins... Leading edge and rollover stuff could not be easier. Considered to be the single most successful competition (team) sport kite in the world, it covers full wind range. Four versions were available.
 

Skyburner Nik Nak (Blue & Plum)
(Signed: John Trennepohl)
    
Specifications:
Status - In Production
Skill Level - Intermediate to Expert
Sail - Polycarbonate
Frame - 1570 Pultruded
Wing Span - 78"
Height - 36"
Weight - 4.4 oz
Bridle - Spectra 3 point
Advertised Wind Range - 0 to 10 mph
Robert's Wind Range Experience - 5 to 12 mph
Made in the USA

Skyburner Kites - Nik Nak

An outdoor, no-wind Sport Kite, the Nik Nak is considered to be one of those staple kites in every pilot's kite bag. It's tough enough to take a little abuse and is designed to do all the latest tricks.

It's easy to fly, from novice to expert. It has an extended wind window that gives you more room in less space. It has a lightweight performance design with the durability to last with molded connectors, kevlar reinforced nose, molded center T and aluminum ferrules.

The Nik Nak is designed by Jon Trennepohl and Wayne Brunjes. Sails sewn by Heads Up Kites, Pam Kirk and Mike Dennis. Color choices vary. The one I have is blue and plum. My experience with the Nik Nak is positive all the way around. This kite is one of my go-to kites everytime I go somewhere to fly. The flying characteristics of this kite are excellent. Tracks very well and is very responsive. I love flying this kite in winds of about 8-10 mph with a 100 ft. Gomberg tail. It's fast and responsive yet has very little pull.





My Joel Scholz Kestrel, flying with one 50' tail and two 25' tails.



Kestrel by Joel Scholz and Sky Delight Kites
(Dated: 1/25/2000 - Signed: Joel Scholz)
    
Specifications:
Status - Out of Production
Skill Level - Intermediate to Expert
Sail - .75 ounce Ripstop Nylon
Frame - 2400 Graphite or P2 SkyShark
Recommended line - 150# test
Dimensions - 90-3/4"W X 40-1/2"H
Weight - 11.6 ounces
Advertised Wind Range - 2 to 25 mph
Robert's Wind Range Experience - 10 to 28 mph
Made in the USA
Ray Bethell's Review on the Kestrel
KiteLines, Summer 1994, Article on Kestrel

Joel Scholz/Sky Delight Kites - Kestrel

The Kestrel eventually turned out to be part of a line of sport kites that Joel Scholz made from his own design. Out of this design, Joel also made the Jaws, Neptune and Hummingbird. I was lucky enough to find this Kestrel that had been in a gentleman's kite bag for a number of years and had never been flown. This Kestrel is signed and dated by Joel Scholz and was finished on January 25, 2000.

Joel Scholtz has been described in American Kite Magazine as "One of America's best kite designers, and in Kitelines Magazine as "On the forefront of the next generation of kite makers".

Joel's kites have won many awards, set world records and hang in museums through out the world. The kites Joel made from 1984 until 2001 are somewhat rare and highly prized. I've become a fan of anything made by Joel Scholz. In February of 2014, I watched a video on YouTube where a man was flying three sport kites simultaneously. That man was Ray Bethell, Multiple Kite World Champion. And the kite he was flying was the Kestrel, built by Joel Scholz.


 

Jaws by Joel Scholz and Sky Delight Kites
(Dated 12/1/1999 - Signed: Joel Scholz)
    
Specifications:
Status - Out of Production
Skill Level - Intermediate to Expert
Sail - .75 ounce Ripstop Nylon
Frame - 2400 Graphite or P2 SkyShark
Recommended line - 150# test
Dimensions - 90-3/4"W X 40-1/2"H
Weight - 11 ounces
Advertised Wind Range - 3 to 27 mph
Robert's Wind Range Experience - 10 to 28 mph
Made in the USA

Joel Scholz/Sky Delight Kites - Jaws

A long time ago, I started flying single line kites. Over the last couple of years, I've gravitated to dual line or sport kites. As I started delving into the world of sport kites, I always found one constant... a good pilot always had a Joel Scholz kite in his bag.

Joel Scholz doesn't make kites anymore and his company, Sky Delight Kites has gone out of business. In 2001, Joel licensed his kite creations to a company called Go Fly A Kite, (GFAK).

Now, GFAK is no longer in business also. In further researching "old school" kites, I find that the kites Joel Scholz made from 1984 until his merger with GFAK in 2001, are rare and highly prized so I've become a definate fan of anything made by Joel prior to 2001.

The Jaws kite is a variation of the same design that produced the Kestrel, Neptune and Hummingbird kites. My Jaws kite is signed and dated by Joel Scholz, but it's not numbered so I don't know how many were made.

The video entitled, "Romancing The Wind" (featured at the bottom of this page), gave me the inspiration to persue the art of sport kite flying. I immediately started looking to see if I could obtain a Kestrel. That proved to be somewhat difficult because Joel wasn't making the Kestrel anymore.




Flying the Kestrel is a dream come true for me. I love the old school sport kites from the 1980's, 90's and early 2000's.



Neptune by Joel Scholz and Sky Delight Kites
(#568 - Dated: 1/23/1992 - Signed: Joel Scholz)

Neptune by Joel Scholz and Sky Delight Kites
(#670 - Dated: 2/10/1992 - Signed: Joel Scholz)
    
Specifications:
Status - Out of Production
Skill Level - Intermediate to Expert
Sail - .75 ounce Ripstop Nylon
Frame - 2400 Graphite or P2 SkyShark
Recommended line - 150# test
Dimensions - 90-3/4"W X 40-1/2"H
Weight - 11 ounces
Advertised Wind Range - 3 to 27 mph
Robert's Wind Range Experience - 10 to 28 mph
Made in the USA

Joel Scholz/Sky Delight Kites - Neptune

The Neptune sport kite is a design by Joel Scholz, world renown for his single and dual kite designs. Joel is no longer making sport kites and his kites made under the banner of Sky Delights are somewhat rare and highly prized by old school pilots.

Joel has been described in American Kite Magazine as "One of America's best kite designers, and in Kitelines Magazine as "On the forefront of the next generation of kite makers". Joel's kites have won many awards, set world records and hang in museums through out the world.

The Neptune is a variation of the Kestrel, Jaws and Hummingbird kites. These Neptune kites are a matching pair and are signed, numbered and dated by Joel Scholz.
 

Prism 4-D (Cobalt)
    
Specifications:
Status - In Production
Skill Level - Intermediate to Expert
Wing Span - 58" (147 cm)
Speed - Fast
Pull - Light
Frame - .098 high modulus Microcarbon
Sail - Icarex Polyester, Mylar Laminate
Advertised Wind Range - 0 to 15 mph
Robert's Wind Range Experience - 3 to 10 mph
Made in China
4-D Manual

Prism Kites - 4-D

Just about anywhere... just about any time, the Prism 4-D makes stunt kiting a blast when nothing else will fly. Its 58" wingspan makes small spaces big so you can fly in tight quarters with ease.

At barely 2-1/2 ounces, its super-light weight gives it the buoyancy to stay aloft in swirling breezes and even indoors, where walking backwards with short lines provides enough lift for a huge range of graceful aerobatics.

The bridle is clean and simple with limit knots so you're always within the adjustment range. In the air, the 4-D has the precision and presence of a much larger kite.

The line feel is balanced and responsive without being twitchy like most small kites. Its light weight and buoyancy makes it forgiving in turbulence and gives you time to recover as the gust passes.







Prism Nexus (Spectrum)

    
Specifications:
Status - In Production
Skill Level - Beginner to Intermediate
Wing Span - 60" (152 cm)
Pull - Light - Medium
Frame - Pultruded Carbon, Fiberglass
Sail - Ripstop Nylon, Mylar Laminate
Advertised Wind Range - 4 to 22 mph
Robert's Wind Range Experience - 5 to 20 mph
Made in the China

Prism Kites - Nexus

Big enough for real-kite performance, small enough to pack in a suitcase, the Nexus is an adrenaline-filled intro to sport kiting.

Simple, rugged and affordable, the Nexus flies with the ease and control of a larger kite, with all the details that have made Prism one of the best sport kite designers.

The Nexus features a composite carbon/glass frame for instant response and great light-wind performance. The three-point Turbo Bridle offers easy adjustment for a wide range of wind: just tilt the nose forward for lighter winds or back for strong winds.

The Turbo Bridle comes with built in limiters so you’ll never overtune your kite out of flying range. Speedier and sportier than a full-size kite, the Nexus will still get you started on a range of stunts and introduce you to the world of trick flying.

Comes complete with low-stretch Spectra™ lines, winder, flight straps and a handy travel case that’s small enough to bring every time you head for the outdoors.
 

Prism Micron (Red & Purple)
    
Specifications:
Status - In Production
Skill Level - Intermediate to Advanced
Sail - Ripstop Nylon, Mylar Laminate
Frame - Pultruded Carbon
Wing Span - 39" (100 cm)
Advertised Wind Range - 5 to 25 mph
Robert's Wind Range Experience - 8 to 25 mph
Made in the China

Prism Kites - Micron

His teeth are bright in a silly grin. His head swivels endlessly, chasing his darting eyeballs. His arms are still but if you watch his fingertips, they’re twitching.

He’s the pilot of our world-famous Micron, the smallest, fastest little sport kite this side of the Milky Way. He’s got a lot of flying hours in his logbook before he masters this little rocketship. “Like a bumblebee on amphetamines!” one pilot wrote. Rookies need not apply.

Unbreakable Micro-carbon frame, complete with line, winder, finger straps and matching tail. This responsive little kite packs a lot of excitement for its size. Its screamingly-fast turns will put your reflexes to the test.

If you want more fun (or a slower pace), just stack 'em; you can add more as you want. Made of ripstop nylon with graphite spars. 3'-3 x 1'-6. 6.1-oz. 28 case and 17' polyethylene tail. Ready to Fly with 50' 50-lb. Spectra lines, straps and winder.


Skydog Kites Black Dog UL
    
Specifications:
Status - In Production
Skill Level - Intermediate to Expert
Sail - Ripstop Nylon
Frame - 4mm & 5mm Carbon Fiber
Dimensions - 77" x 28.5"
Tail weight system included
Advertised Wind Range - 2 to 10 mph
Robert's Wind Range Experience - 5 to 12 mph
Made in the USA

Skydog Kites - Black Dog UL

The Black Dog is a very unique sport kite. It's designed as a trainer and introduction for those pilots ready to move up to advanced slack line trick flying.

It also comes with factory installed features normally found on much more expensive sport kites. The Black Dog basically came from another one of Skydog's successful designs, the Thunderstruck.

They enlarged it, replaced the fiberglass frame with a durable high tech carbon frame, tweaked it out a bit, added a weight system, yo yo stoppers, covered the leading edge to avoid line catches, and basically gave it everything their higher end sport kites have for tricking.

Don't let it's 6 foot wingspan fool you, this kite is capable of all of the advanced big wing sport kite tricks. The smaller size allows the flier to learn these tricks without the pull associated with larger wingspan slack line sport kites.

Founded in 2008, the Skydog Kite team has over 100 years of experience in specialty kites. They've focused their passion and industry knowledge to help create the world's best flying, highest quality and affordable kites.
 

Premier Bullseye Stingray
(#P-66445)
    
Specifications:
Status - Out of Production
Skill Level - Beginner to Intermediate
Sail - Ripstop Nylon
Robert's Wind Range Experience - 5 to 12 mph

Premier Kites - Bullseye Stingray

This kite has always eluded me with any information. I bought this kite used off of Ebay and have never really regretted getting it.

It actually flies very well. It is perfect for a beginner (which is why I bought it for the grandkids to fly and train on). I know that it's a product from Premier Kites and was sold a number of years ago. This kite tracks very well and it rather light. That's why it can fly well even in 5 mph winds.

It's a normal sport kite in everyway except the standoffs attach in a different fashion than most sport kites. They attach in a backward, circular fashion instead of straight up from the sail. All-in-all, I have fun with this kite, it's somewhat fast and can take a beating.

















Kites On My Wishlist

I've always got my eye out for other kites to finish my collection. Below are some sport kites I hope someday to possibly own.


Hummingbird

The Hummingbird was made by Joel Scholz and Sky Delight Kites Vintage kite made during the late 1990's and early 2000's. This kite was part of a group of bird-designed kites which included the Kestrel, Jaws and Neptune.

Texas Wasp

The "original" WASP kite was built by Terry Crumpler during the late 80's and early 90's. The kite had solid tracking capabilities along with a smooth fluid flight that made it usable for ballet as well.



Tramontana HQ

The original HQ Tramontana Retro dual line stunt kite is one of the revolutionary innovations in the history of stunt kites. It first appeared in the kite shops in 1995. It tracks well and is used by various Kite Teams including Team TKO.



Kite Festival Pictures/Kite Links/Kite Videos/Kite Articles

Below are some kite festival links and pictures that we've attended as well as numerous kite-related links I have found to be helpful. At the end of this page are some articles I have written concerning a great kite maker and the state of kiting.

Also there are various videos including a video illustrating the multi-kite flying talent of Ray Bethell. Ray's an award-winning multi-kite champion. His video "Romancing The Wind" inspired me to start flying sport kites.



Kite Festivals and Pictures

2016

10th Annual Sertoma Kite Festival - Waco, Texas - May 7, 2016

2015

Note: Many Kite Festivals for Spring and Fall, 2015 were not attended due to cancellations or postponements.
Flight of the Monarch Festival - Grand Prairie, Texas - September 19, 2015

2014

Arlington Kite Festival - Arlington, Texas - April 5, 2014
Edmond Kite Festival - Edmond, Oklahoma - June 28, 2014
Bonham Kite Festival - Bonham, Texas - July 12, 2014
Plano Balloon Festival - Plano, Texas - September 20, 2014
Flight of the Monarch Festival - Grand Prairie, Texas - September 27, 2014



Kathy and I at the 10th Annual Sertoma Kite Festival in Waco, Texas - May 7, 2016.
 
Getting ready to fly my Kestrel with tails for the first time.



Kestrel flew beautifully. Winds were about 15mph.
 
She was a beautiful site with all three tails.



All good things must come to an end. Disconnecting lines for pack up.
 
Kathy got to fly her Martin Lester Baseball Legs kite.



The height of the day was getting to fly my newly acquired TOTL Northshore Radical.
 
Everyone looked to see what was causing all the noise. Love the way the NSR flies.



Man, kite and wind. Ready to launch again.
 
Purchased this NSR from Mike Dennis. One of only three of this type in the US. Mike did an excellent job adjusting the bridle. Didn't have to make any adjustments at all.



Flying the Prism Quantum Pro at the Flight of the Monarch Festival in September, 2015. My wife, Kathy took this shot while I flew the kite holding the strings together right above her camera. Nice effect with the strings.



As the wind supported it, I flew the Quantum Pro with two 50 ft. tails attached.


Another shot flying my Quantum Pro.
 
Enjoying the flying time.


I really enjoy kite flying. Sunny, windy days are the best. It's relaxing and gives me time to enjoy the outdoors.
 
While flying at the Flight of the Monarch festival, Chris Bangma, President of the Dallas Area Kitefliers Organization is helping me adjust my leach lines. Grand Prairie, Texas, September 19, 2015.


Flying my Prism Flashback. I read that this kite wasn't that exciting to fly. I found it to be responsive and tracked well. One man's trash is another man's treasure.


Putting together the Prism 4D in Grand Prairie, Texas at the Monarch Festival, 2014.
 
Flying the Prism 4D in Grand Prairie, Texas.
Very light winds. September, 2014.


Watching all of the kite activity in Grand Prairie, Texas. September, 2014.
 
Setting up Jaws to fly in Plano, Texas in 2014.


Flying the Skyburner Nik Nak in Plano, Texas, 2014.
 
Getting ready to fly the Nik Nak in Bonham, Texas, 2014.


Ready to go fly a Prism Quantum.

 
Four kites out of my bag. L-R: Blackdog UL, Jaws, Kestrel and Nik Nak.


Flying a Prism Quantum in Edmond, Oklahoma, 2014.


Flying the Skyburner Nik Nak with a Gomberg 100 ft. Skywriter tail.


    

Kite Search/Association/Historical/Misc

American Kitefliers Association (AKA) - World's biggest kite organization
Kite Event Calendar - American KiteFliers Association Calendar
KiteLife Magazine - Publication devoted to the sport of kite flying
National Kite Month - History of the kite and annual celebration
World Kite Museum - Also Washington State Kite Festivals

Kite Organization/Forum/Informative Documents

AKA Kite Event Organizer Manual - AKA version on PDF
AKA Region 8 Kite Events Calendar 2014 - For Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas
AKA Team Flying Manual - by Troy Gunn and Jerry Hershey
DAKO - Dallas Area Kitefliers Organization
GWTW Forum - Gone With The Wind Kite Forum
Ian Newham's Sport Kite/Kite Design Website - Everything you'd ever want to know about Sport Kites
John Chilese Website - Ace Kite Photographer
Ray Bethell Website - Multiple Kite World Champion
TKO Professional Sport Kite Team - Texas Kansas Oklahoma Professional Sport Kite Team - Facebook page
TKO Professional Sport Kite Team - Texas Kansas Oklahoma Professional Sport Kite Team - Website
International Sport Kite Compulsories Book - AKA Compulsories Book v2.2.1 All Teams from AKA Website
International Sport Kite Compulsories Book - All Teams on Reed Design Website
International Sport Kite Compulsories Book - Condensed for Single Dual-Line
Sport Kite Magic - Sport Kite Flying and Advanced Techniques by David Gomberg

Kite Online Retailers

Above It All Kites - Kite retailer - Long Beach, Washington
A Wind Of Change - Kite retailer and accessories - Salt Lake City, Utah
Big Mike's Kites - Kite retailer - Dallas, Texas
Chicago Kite - Kite retailer - Chicago, Illinois
Fun With Wind - Kite retailer - North Reading, Massachusetts
Gomberg Kite Productions - Show kites, inflatables, tails, line laundry, and banners - Neotsu, Oregon
Goodwinds - Kite accessories, rods and parts retailer - Mt. Vernon, Washington
Into The Wind - Kite retailer - Boulder, Colorado
Kites.com - Kite retailer - Edmond, Oklahoma
Kites and Fun Things - Kite retailer - Plymouth, Michigan
Kite Loft - Kite retailer - Ocean City, Maryland
Kite Stop - Kite retailer - Titusville, Florida
Kitty Hawk Kites - Kite retailer - Nags Head, North Carolina
Smooth Wind Kites - Kite retailer - Elk Grove Village, Illinois
Wind Dance Kites - Kite retailer - Charleston, South Carolina
World Wind Kites - Kite retailer - Austin, Texas

Kite Manufacturers

AirDynamics - Custom Kite manufacturer and retailer - Hereford, United Kingdom
Benson Kites - Kite manufacturer - Bradford, United Kingdom
HQ Kites and Designs USA - Kite manufacturer - Powells Point, North Carolina
New Tech Kites - Kite manufacturer - Austin, Texas
Premier Kites - Kite manufacturer - Hyattsville, Maryland
Prism Kites - Kite manufacturer - Seattle, Washington
SkyDog Kites - Kite manufacturer - Colchester, Connecticut
Sky Burner Kites and Sky Shark Competition Air Frames - Kite manufacturer - Plymouth, Michigan

Kite Designers and Builders

Lam Hoac
Joel Scholz
Jerimy Colbert
George Peters
Kisa Kites Designs
Kathy Goodwind
Martin Lester
Martin Blais
Robert Brasington
Tiger Li
Buteo Huang
Peter Lynn


Kite Videos


My latest video entitled "Higher Flying" where I utilized a friends drone for many of the shots. November, 2014



Had a windy Sunday afternoon and decided to fly a GFAK Blaster with a 50ft. red tail. November, 2014


My second video flying my Skyburner NikNak. I love the feel of this kite. Tracks very well. June, 2014

First video flying a Prism Quantum dual-line in wind that's non-existent. March, 2014

An excellent video entitled, "Romancing The Wind" by Ray Bethell. Ray flies three Kestrel sport kites at one time.
Ray Bethell's kite dance video in Vancouver, BC. This time the kite ballet to the music of Debussy. Video shot and edited by Robert Holbrook.
TKO Kite Team performing at the Plano, Texas Balloon Festival on September 20, 2014.

Good video of the legendary Top Of The Line Kite Team in 1990 from San Diego, CA.



World Renowned Kite Artist

by Robert Hilliard

If you asked Joel Keith Scholz if he truly felt he was a world renowned kite artist, his humbleness would probably urge him to answer in the negative. But deep, down inside there’s an artistic creativeness and drive that keeps reminding him of his kite designing accomplishments. And those accomplishments are very hard to ignore.

Scholz made his first kite at age 9 however, it was somewhere between being a graphic artist-cartographer, laboratory technician, x-ray technologist and art teacher that his kite designing talent really took off. And that newly-found career began in 1986 and lasted some 15 glorious years.

During that time, Joel racked up numerous awards and accolades. He quickly became world renowned for producing the most innovative and finest quality kites. Joel was described in American Kite Magazine as “One of America’s best kite designers”. In Kitelines Magazine he was hailed as being “On the forefront of the next generation of kite makers”. His kites set world records and ultimately found themselves hanging in museums throughout the world.

Not bad for a man that learned how to design kites from spending years on a sailboat in central Texas. With the love and support of Bonnie, his wife, Joel has taken his love and passion and made it into something that all of us can own and enjoy. His creations fueled a generation into kite flying. His love of design and artistry in the wind created numerous award winning kite pilots such as Ray Bethell, who flies three of Joel’s Kestrel sport kites simultaneously and holds the world record for non-stop, multi-kite flying for 12 hours and 12 minutes. That’s what makes a person like Joel Scholz happy. It’s the love of the wind and flight itself that has given Joel the incentive to design world famous, award winning kites.


In 2001 Joel moved on. He licensed his creations to other companies and concentrated his efforts on the design and manufacture of remote controlled craft. But to say that Joel Scholz made an indelible mark on the kite world is a total understatement. From 1986 until 2001, Joel made some of the world’s finest and best performing kites. Every kite, whether it be single line, dual line or quad contains his passion, his very essence. Every kite from the stitching right down to the bridle contains a piece of his soul that embodies who he has been and continues to be… a world-renowned kite artist.

The next time you're at a park on a windy day and kites are flying in the distance, ask those kite pilots who made the kites they're flying. A good pilot always has a Joel Scholz kite in his bag.




Additional articles written by Robert Hilliard




To Fly A Kite

by Robert Hilliard

Kiting has an interesting history in the USA. It seems to have experienced a 20+ year popularity streak from the 1980's up until the early 2000's. During that time a great number of kite manufacturers sprung up and offered all types of kites for the public. The economy was strong and our past time as Americans appeared to gravitate to activities outside the home.

Sport kites also appeared to come into vogue. Sport kite teams were created and numerous kite competitions and festivals were held to accommodate the growing number of people getting into kiting as a hobby. Kite stores were opening up as well as individual kite makers building and offering all types of single-line, dual-line and specialty kites.

All the world was grand with kiting until about 2008. The downturn in the American economy began to cause many kite stores and manufacturers to go out of business. Kites that were once made in America were being manufactured in China to help cut costs and increase profits. In the mid 2000's the popularity of kiting seemed to wane as technology got more involved in our past time. Children, who normally spent their time outside, started staying indoors with their cell phones, computers and gaming units. Adults were affected also finding very little time for leisurely activities and hobbies. Kiting, as we know it, took a big popularity hit.

Today, there are still kite manufacturers in the USA, but you can probably count them on one hand and the ones that actually make their kites here in the states are even more scarce. Brick and mortar kite stores have been replaced with mobile kite units. Many stores reside online only under the auspices of Ebay offering a limited line of kites. Due to this decline, many in the kite community have been asking questions such as, "Will kiting ever return to its former glory?" and "What will it take to make kiting a popular hobby once again?" Many think as long as the economy is in the dumps, so kiting will be also. That could very well be true, but I tend to feel that as Americans, we might need a change in our lifestyle.

In my opinion, our lives have become too cluttered. Taking the time to relax and fly a kite, go fishing or even read a book seems to be far down the priority list. Maybe it's time we break away from our technological strongholds and focus on relaxing activities outside the home... like kite flying. To fly a kite, all you need is some wind, space and of course, a kite. Kiting is an excellent way to relieve stress. Try to attend some kite festivals and any kite club flying days at a local park. The benefits to your health and mental well-being just might be immeasurable. Maybe that's why kiting has been around for thousands of years. Will our bad economy continue? A flip of a coin might answer that. Will the downturn in kite popularity continue? It will as long as we let it.


Additional articles written by Robert Hilliard