We are a company fully behind our motto of “teaching the World to fly”. It’s our passion. This means that nothing can feel as gratifying as seeing the faces of those who we have shared this passion with. Flying is an experience, an emotion, and often times a smile. Every time someone flies with us it’s an adventure, here are their stories! Be sure to check in for weekly updates on who flew with us this week and some more interesting personal stories from them.
“We had such an amazing time hang gliding with Kitty Hawk Kites. It was a present for our daughter’s 10th birthday. Camden had such a blast that my 5 year old can’t wait to try it and now wants us to take her hang gliding for her birthday next year. Kitty Hawk Kites has quickly become our new birthday tradition! The instructors were awesome and amazing. Thanks again!”
~ Shannon Hoover, Virginia Beach, VA
Payton & Connor
“The Noyes family definitely brought their competitive juices with them from Virginia Beach to Jockey’s Ridge State Park as their enjoyed their beginner dune hang gliding lessons. “Hang gliding with Kitty Hawk Kites at Jockey’s Ridge is such a freeing experience and we highly recommend it! Our kids got an extra kick out of it since we had a little distance competition. Even though my husband was a natural, my youngest left all of us in the dust.”
~ Suzy Noyes, Virginia Beach, VA
Teresa Greene has watched people hang glide off of Grandfather Mountain. She has wanted to fly with us for over 30 years. To celebrate Valentine’s Day on the OBX this year, that dream became reality.
“It was the best part of my vacation!”
We were please and privileged to have 67-year old Jerry Fletcher from Henderson, NC take a beginner dune hang gliding lesson with us during his OBX family beach gathering! While Jerry flew, his wife, Brenda, and three relatives (Raleigh Askew, Madelaine Parker, and Herbert Kenney) watched in awe. What we learned about Mr. Kenney (Brenda’s father) left us in awe! A veteran of three wars, he fought in the South Pacific in WWII where he was shot in the shoulder as he stormed a beach, earning a Purple Heart for his service. He then went on to serve the United States in the Korean and Vietnam wars. Wow … what an honor to meet such a hero! You never know who you’ll cross paths with at the Kitty Hawk Kites Flight School at Jockey’s Ridge State Park.
This excerpt is from a piece on Jockey’s Ridge by Sarah Perry from Our State Magazine. Her full article with more history on Jockey’s Ridge can be found here: https://www.ourstate.com/jockeys-ridge/
Thank you Sarah for detailing this story so well, and keeping the legend of Carolista Baum alive!
“On a sticky summer morning in 1973, three kids belonging to Carolista Fletcher Baum raced across South Virginia Dare Trail toward Jockey’s Ridge. Their feet sank as they barreled up the hill, and they knelt to catch their breath at the top. They saw Albemarle Sound. They saw Bodie Island Lighthouse, the Atlantic Ocean, and the mainland. They also saw a yellow bulldozer scooping the sand below them into its clutches.
After they ran down the hill and returned home, they told their mother what they’d seen. Baum marched across the street, and the three children watched their mother stomp up to the bulldozer. Baum stood tall, shoulders back, her wild hair straying in the wind from her bun — the chestnut bun that people knew her by, wrapped loosely around a bandana, that she’d burrow pens, pencils, and sunglasses inside of. Ann-Cabell Baum Andersen, the oldest daughter, doesn’t recall now what her mother said. She just remembers the driver shut down the engine. And later, when Baum was certain the driver had retreated on foot, she snuck back and twisted off the bulldozer’s distributor cap so the engine couldn’t start back up the next day.
Baum was a statuesque woman known for her beauty, charm, and flair, with a raspy voice and warm, brown eyes. “My mom was hot pink, fuchsia, purple, bright blue,” Ann-Cabell says. “Not white.”
The morning after standing in front of the bulldozer, Baum paraded around Nags Head and began gathering signatures to save Jockey’s Ridge. Store owners set out collection jars to buy property. Baum formed a nonprofit, The People to Preserve Jockey’s Ridge, which mailed more than 10,000 letters.
Baum walked every day to her store, Carolista’s Jewelry, and painted signs that said “Save our Dunes” with faint sand hills in the background. She stacked pamphlets and bumper stickers in her shop for customers. When people called her disorganized, she said, “Everything’s organized in my mind.”
She installed a telephone next to the counter to call legislators and raise funds while she worked. When frustrated, she coiled its cord around her fingers until her arm was a lump of wire.
She painted a small shack watermelon pink and sat it on the dunes. Ann-Cabell, her sister Inglis, and brother Gibbs stood in the hut and sold bumper stickers, notepads, kites, stationery, and square feet of the dunes for $5 each. The three kids got no sweet tea until they were finished at the hut.
When Baum severed her right two middle fingers making jewelry, she taught herself to write letters left-handed. When Ann-Cabell developed pneumonia, Baum’s phone calls and letters continued from her daughter’s bedside.
Jockey’s Ridge had consumed her life.
Her magnetism wasn’t lost on reporters. News stories bordered on outright admiration. “Carolista Baum must surely be the reincarnation of an Olympian Fury,” wrote journalist Alan Murray. The Chapel Hill Newspaper wrote: “She has built a state-wide reputation for bothering people until they do what she wants.” Others noted her energy and “worldly” methods, and called her a “formidable crusader.”
For three weeks, Baum drove daily to Raleigh to pester politicians. She persuaded songwriters to sing about Jockey’s Ridge and invited filmmakers to the dunes. Her efforts even motivated poet Carl Sandburg. “Save the dunes,” he said. “They belong to the people. They represent the signature of time and eternity. Their loss would be irrevocable.”
Eventually in 1975, North Carolina listened and declared Jockey’s Ridge a state park.
That summer Ann-Cabell, Inglis, and Gibbs walked triumphantly to the ridge before sunrise. They tromped around the highest slope, dragging their feet through the sand in organized lines. When they returned to the house, they woke their mother. Baum walked to the door and saw a message drawn in the dunes that she’d saved. “Happy Birthday, Mom.”’
This Valentine’s Day we wanted to change things up! We decided instead of telling you about a bunch of products that are red and have hearts, we would tell you all about the kites that we LOVE. These kites have genuinely brought some happiness to our lives, whether through family time or just simple serenity. Take a moment to check out some of our favorite kites and the fun ways that we get out to use them.
Rachel, KHK Head Kite Buyer • “After years of flying all kinds of kites, the triangle-shaped Festive Sky Delta package has become my all-time favorite kite to fly. It has tails that you can add to it, or just fly it by itself in almost any wind. My kids love the moving tail and play games trying to catch it!”
Check out this kite HERE!
Kirsten, KHK Store Manager • “I’ve flown hundreds of kites, and the Killip Foil 90 is such a show in its own that is will grab attention for miles – hands down my favorite! It’s soft so there’s no assembly, it flies surprisingly well in a low 6mph wind and with a higher wind you can attach all kinds of fun flair to it, like flags, spinners, streamers, and even large inflatable kites like you see at kite festivals! But don’t let its size intimidate you – that’s the best part! Just make sure it’s always anchored off before you launch and that you have a helping hand for takeoff and landing.”
Check out this kite HERE!
Brett, KHK Digital Marketing • “I love taking my box kite with me to the beach. It’s a good kite for a variety of winds which is perfect on the Outer Banks. The single line design makes it very easy to control. And you can’t beat the design, it will always draw some attention. Overall just a very cool kite, that is tons of fun to watch fly!”
Check out this kite HERE!
Heather, KHK Store Manager • “I absolutely love our Nexus Special edition. Not only is a great stunt kite to learn and grow, it’s a great value with all the extra bells and whistles. You get the line and winders, repair kit, tail and a full size extra nylon case. The case is perfect for people like me who don’t want to disassemble their kite all the way. It’s great to have options! It flies like a champ and has a wide wind range. It’s very responsive and has a fantastic wind range. The hardest part of this kite is choosing the color you want.”
This is a special KHK exclusive kite! Check out this kite HERE!
Stephen, Graphic Designer • “Ever since the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens came out, my daughter can’t get enough. This kite became the perfect way for us to go out and have fun… and to help bridge her into the Star Wars world! It flies extremely well and is easy to control even for my young daughter. To be honest, it’s just fun to feel like I’m finally flying the Millenium Falcon.”
Check out this kite here!
Thank you for the recent feature, Sara Kendall, of the Epicurean! “Spanning over 200 miles in a string of narrow barrier islands, the Outer Banks is an ocean haven anytime of the year. The locals refer to them as OBX, and millions of people make these islands their vacation destination. Looking to book a winter retreat or plan next summer’s getaway? The Outer Banks is a fabulous choice no matter the time of year you decide to venture to the ocean breezes.” http://www.epicureancharlotte.com/travel/
This Article from the Charlotte Epicurean on just a few of the reasons why the OBX is so special hit the nail on the head! We have so much to do here and a ton of great dining options! What are you going to choose to do today?