Kites We Love!

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's Kite

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!

North Carolina’s Outer Banks: A Destination Any Time of Year

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?

A day in the life: The 34th Annual Rogallo Kite Festival

Written by: Emma Turnbull- 2016 Marketing Intern

It was a beautiful weekend for the 34th Annual Rogallo Kite Festival! Typical with any kite festival, the wind was not completely cooperative (too light on Friday and too strong on Saturday and Sunday), but it was good enough to get the kites up and give everybody an awesome scene to admire atop Jockey’s Ridge.

dunkin

Rogallo Fest ran on Dunkin’


This was my first kite festival as a Kitty Hawk Kites marketing intern, and I’ll admit I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when the weekend began. I obviously knew we’d be flying some kites, but I didn’t realize just how massive and impressive they’d be. For instance, our octopus, affectionately dubbed Squiggs, is 100 feet long! As you can imagine, trying to launch and take down Squiggs in strong wind was a bit of a challenge. There were even a couple times it took 5 people to wrangle him. Once he got under control though, he was quite a sight to see, with his huge yellow body and his tentacles flapping around in the clear blue sky. A couple other personal favorites of mine were our giant purple eel and the rainbow koi fish, which both slithered around in the air to the point where they looked like they were swimming against the blue sky. It’s amazing how much of a show can be put on by a bit of cloth, so strong line, and a few poles.

Squiggs

Squiggs, the 100ft Octopus- a personal favorite.


Now, I’m by no means an expert yet, but this weekend taught me a lot and gave me a sneak peek into the world of kite flying. There’s a lot that goes into flying such huge kites. You don’t just need the kite and a line; you need the kite, bridle, line set, carabiner, and sand anchor, and a bit of expert know-how. I learned about the safety when flying large kites, how to tie a larks head, and daisy chain just to name a few of my new skills. Basically, there’s a lot more that goes into flying show kites than I could have ever imagined.

allkites

Not a bad view


As an event crew member, my weekend consisted of a combination of physical labor, interacting with children, and teaching people about kites. To be fair, I didn’t shoulder a huge portion of the physical labor given my small size and utter lack of muscles, but that’s not to say I didn’t pitch in whenever and however I could. One of the highlights for me was set up Saturday morning, when I was helping John Harris, owner and founder of Kitty Hawk Kites, prepare and launch numerous large kites. It was surreal to be able to learn so much from a man who is such an expert in the field.

RevSpinIn addition to the eye catching show kites, visible from across the sound in Manteo, the Rogallo Kite Festival included free stunt kite lessons, and a Revolution Kite Competition. I spent much of my time tending to the larger kites and unfortunately didn’t get to take a lesson, but I did get to talk to many stunt kite flyers, from visitors trying it out for the first time to experienced flyers who travel the country showing of their skills. Watching the performances from afar, the twirls, spins, dives, and other tricks executed but the Revolutions and other stunt kites were every bit as impressive and transfixing as Squiggs’ tentacles in their own way. I look forward to trying it out for myself at the next festival in July!

RevWinners

Revolution Invitation Winners with Rev Rep, Lolly Hadziki, and John Harris


Between digging holes for anchors, talking to curious vacationers on Jockey’s Ridge, and relaunching kites that the wind took down, the days actually sped by. There’s no denying it was hard work, and being out in the sun for 3 full days certainly took its toll. (I have the awkward suntan/burn lines to prove it). There were moments I just wanted to stop what I was doing, lie down, and fall asleep on the spot. But for every funk, there was also a moment equally as funny or inspiring or beautiful to break me out of it. Like the moment a huge kite would get launched and I would just watch it float upward so peacefully into the bright blue sky. Or seeing a kid’s face light up as they watched the koi fish “swimming” through the air. Or honestly just taking a step back and taking in the whole panorama: a beautiful sunny day on the sand dunes with a bunch of colorful kites floating overhead and the ocean in the distance. I now understand peoples’ fascination with kites a whole lot better.

If you missed the Rogallo Festival, don’t fret… The Wright Kite Festival hosted at The Wright Brothers’ National Memorial July 16-17 will feature many of the same show kites (possibly even a few more), free stunt kite lessons, and kite making workshops for the kids. You may also check out this awesome Rogallo Festival recap video below:

Sandboarding Fun at Jockey’s Ridge State Park

sandboarding-jockeys-ridge-state-parkA lesser-known activity that’s available at Jockey’s Ridge State Park during certain times of the year is sandboarding. The dunes are recognized as being one of the best spots to fly a kite on North Carolina’s Outer Banks and considered by many to be the number one place to learn how to dune hang glide in the country.

Although the Wright brothers chose to fly their homemade gliders off Kill Devil Hill to the north, Jockey’s Ridge’s soft sand and smooth winds make the dune system a premier location for aviation recreation.

Apart from the incredibly ideal kite flying and hang gliding conditions, Jockey’s Ridge State Park is considered to be the very best spot for sandboarding on the East Coast – a designation that is rarely touted by the park. The area doesn’t receive much snow – maybe 1 to 2 inches a year – so board riding locals have gravitated to the dune for sandboarding fun for decades.

jockeys-ridge-state-park

Sandboarding is essentially the same thing as snowboarding, except you’re riding on sand instead of snow. One of the best advantages of choosing sandboarding is that all you need is a good board and enough endurance to scale up and down the dunes after riding down because unlike snowboarding, there are no ski lifts!

In addition to sandboarding, the younger audience typically enjoys sand dune sledding, which is a casual affair here on the Outer Banks… which fits into the laid-back lifestyle you’ll find elsewhere on the thin strip of barrier islands. On any given day, you’ll be able to easily spot kids of all ages sliding down the dunes on cardboard boxes and body boards. Sand sledding does not require a permit, however sandboarding does and is only permitted on the dunes from October through March.

Permits must be obtained from the park office and parents will be required to sign for anyone under 18. Please visit Jockey’s Ridge State Park’s website for additional information about the park and other recreational activities available.

Consider Renting a Sandboard

We do rent sandboards out of the Kitty Hawk Kites Hang Gliding School, located at 302 Carolista Drive in Nags Head, NC. The cost is $20 for four hours, and $40 for the entire day. You will not need a permit if you rent a sandboard from Kitty Hawk Kites, however you will be required to sign a waiver.

If you have any questions regarding our sandboard rentals, please contact our Hang Gliding School directly at (252) 441-2426.

A Great Day for Rogallo Festival

Flying a nine-stack of stunt kites at the 33rd Annual Rogallo Kite Festival.

Flying a nine-stack of stunt kites at the 33rd Annual Rogallo Kite Festival.

Friday was the first day of the 33rd Annual Francis Rogallo Kite Festival and the weather was a little bit iffy. Gusty winds, a little bit over cast . . . kite were still flying above the dunes, but the stunt kite demos from Prism Kites and the quad line flying were put on hold.

Then came Saturday and all was right in the world again. With sunshine and temperatures in the mid 70s it was comfortable on the Jockey’s Ridge State Park dunes, and a nice 8-10 mph north wind created just about perfect flying conditions for the stunt kites.

Life-sized blue whale kite in flight.

Life-sized blue whale kite in flight.

The sky was filled with every imaginable kite, and it looked as though the flyers from Kitty Hawk Kites emptied the storage room, bringing out kites that boggled the imagination in size and shape. The most spectacular had to be the full-sized blue whale that stretched for 70’ or 80’ along the dune’s ridge.

Prism Quantum in flight with long, long tail.

Prism Quantum in flight with long, long tail.

The stunt kite flying was superb. Prism Kites was flying their Quantum with what looked to be a 100’ tail. Easy to fly, responsive, it would be a great kite for a beginner right on to more experienced flyers.

Bob Lauder from Wings Over Washington (DC) was on hand with the quad line kites he makes himself. Excellent instruction. Patient and thorough, for anyone who has ever wondered what flying a kite with four lines would be like, he’s the guy to see.

Sunday will wrap up the festival and the weather is looking pretty good for Sunday as well.

A great day on the dunes of Jockey’s Ridge and something to put on the to do list for next year.