I just wanted to thank you guys for getting this incredible sport
off the ground.
I cannot imagine how fun, nor imagine the frustrations competing,
designing and producing endless prototypes. When I was a kid I was
always obssesed with the wind. Why could you not have invented this
when I was playing with garbage bags? Any
time it was blowing we
would head to the park and run after these plastic bags like morons.
One day I was mesmerized when my friend brought out the first big
orange garbage bag I ever saw. I think I said "Where did you get
that?" Years after my disturbed childhood my first design project in
University was a kite. You were judged on how "original" (basically
how stupid you could make it look), but if it didn't fly you failed.
I got lucky with my winged mylar stick job and passed with my 20
second flight. Later in life I recieved a HIS and HERS orange
garbage bags as a wedding gift...I split a gut but my wife gave me
the "what the hell is that?" look.
I was pretty hooked on the whole windsurf thing for years. It is
still a great sport, but the winters sucked. What do you do? I was
trying to rig my windsurf sail to a whole pile of crappy protoytpes -
metal monsters, skate blade boards, ski contraptions, wheel barrow
wheel boards and plywood pieces of junk.
Then I tired a kite. The first time I tried a real kite was on the
snow with a kiwi snowboard buddy. We stacked three 10' Flexifoils.
We didn't get too far with them as we were on pure mountain ice and
couldn't hold an edge. I will never forget the pull of this first
kite - I was sold. It felt like I hooked a train. I then tried a C-
Quad, Gun, Wipica, Naish, Cabrina, Best and probably missed a few.
I've had countless stupid incidents, and potential hospital visits
with some of these early kites. At first, I thought you get going by
taking out your biggest two line foil out and hot launch it straight
down wind. That was interesting.
Not too far back I remember the safe spot to put your kite was at
the "Zenith" straight over head. I think I broke my foot that day.
Then I remember the fail-proof snap shackle that doesn't like to
open when you kind of wish you didn't have
a kite attached to you. I
think I got a concussion that day. The sad fact is I met a guy
months BEFORE that had a YKK zipper from his forehead to the back of
his neck after checking into the fourth floor of a hotel. Same
shackle. Or how about the wrist leash and the board leash. Those
were fine inventions. I remember being hog tied and pulling a little
red ball with my only two available Houdini fingers.
We live in Western Canada (Saskatchewan) , and now have about 12 guys
that routinely go out on the snow at night with miner's lights in
the winter when we run out of daylight. It is a surreal feeling
snow boarding in a blizzard at night, through the hills of powder.
Summers are even better. It still makes me laugh when I overhear
someone complain about the wind...
I now change kites like I change shoes these days. The new kites are
just incredible and every time I think they have perfected it, they
up with some smalll thing that changes the rules. Kites just
keep getting better every year and all with big leaps in safety,
comfort, performance, range and relaunchablility. What's next? I
can't wait to find out. If all sports are a church, kiteboarding is
the alter; a living obsession with thousands of people world wide.
Here is to those early industrious few that helped perfect the
orange garbage bag