Hangin’ With Kites With Lights

Kites with Lights, 2014.

Kites with Lights, 2014.

With temperatures still in the 70s and bright sunshine, it seems like Christmas is a long way off, but here it is November, Thanksgiving is just two weeks away and it’s a sure bet Santa is gearing up for his annual flight.

The Christmas season with Kitty Hawk Kites is really something special. We always begin the official season over Thanksgiving Weekend, with our Hangin’ With Santa on Friday and Saturday with a visit from that “fat jolly old elf”. If it’s raining or snowing or just too cold, Santa will be hanging inside the Kite store where they’ll be hot cocoa and plenty of cookies.

Saturday evening make a point of checking out our Kites with Lights at Jockey’s Ridge State Park as we paint the sky with lights soaring into the night sky attached to kites. Be sure to dress for the weather. It can be cold and windy on Jockey’s Ridge.

The holiday season is a time for giving gifts and Kitty Hawk Kites has a great selection of kites, toys, games, clothing, footwear—just about anything needed for kids or someone special.

Of course there’s lot’s of other activities on the Outer Banks as well during the holiday season. One of our favorites is Winter Lights at Elizabethan Gardens on Roanoke Island. The Elizabethan Gardens is a wonderful 10 acre formal garden and during Winter Lights thousands of lights decorate the trees, plants and decorations. The Grand Illumination is Friday, November 27 and after that the Gardens are open Wednesday through Sunday to stroll along the pathways illuminated by the light of the decorations.

Kitty Hawk Kites Thanksgiving Weekend Schedule of Activities.

-FRIDAY-

Photos with Santa- Jockey’s Ridge Crossing

10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

-SATURDAY-

Photos with Santa- Jockey’s Ridge Crossing

1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Kites with Lights- Jockey’s Ridge State Park

4:00 PM – DARK

The World’s Largest Kite

At our half dozen or so kite festivals during the year on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and Destin, FL, we put a number of large, show kites in the air that can easily be spotted from miles away. Some of our favorites include the giant panda, octopus, fish and of course, the 100-foot long blue whale kite.

These gargantuan kites may be some of the largest in the United States, however they are not the largest on Earth. In fact, these kites pale in comparison to the world’s largest large kite, which is a 360-foot long, 49-foot wide black octopus kite requires 30 people to operate it!

With eight tentacles and two red eyes, the massive show kite weighs in at a whopping 440 pounds.

The ‘Mollusk Octopus’ kite was designed and created by the Heige Kite Team from Tianjin (located in central China) in 2013. Certainly this wouldn’t be a good kite for a first-time flyer or a child, but it would make a great gift for a avid kite enthusiast… Although I’m quite certain this is not a kite that’s available for purchase. (If it was, it’d probably cost more than most people’s cars!)

Below are some photos of the impressive kite on display at the Hohhot First Kite Festival in Xilamuren, China.

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Learn to Fly a Stunt Kite!

The Prism Quantum-our favorite entry level stunt kite.

The Prism Quantum-our favorite entry level stunt kite.

Flying a stunt kite on the Outer Banks—or anywhere—is a lot of fun and a great way to enjoy the outdoors.

It’s pretty windy on the Outer Banks right now, but when the winds do calm down—fall under 20 mph—that’s a great time to learn how to fly a two line kite and make it dance across the sky. At Kitty Hawk Kites, we specialize in kites, so of course, we have the best beginner stunt kites around.

Osprey, entry level stunt kite.
Seahawk, entry level stunt kite.

Seahawk and Osprey are our most basic stunt kites, both priced under $40. Featuring a tubular fiberglass frame, these are rugged kites ready to take the beating that is often a part of learning how to fly a stunt kite.

A mid-sized kite—it’s 54”—the pull on it is relatively light making it ideal for a younger flyer. Wind range is 5-18 mph, although at the lowest range you  may need to walk backwards to keep it in the air.

The Comet from HQ Kites.

The Comet from HQ Kites.

The Comet ($59.99) made for Kitty Hawk Kites by HQ Kites, is perfect for someone who is looking for a little bit better kite for their first experience. The frame is a combination fiberglass and carbon fiber, creating a lighter weight kite that is a little more responsive.

The kite comes with a blended line set of dacron and spectra. Not quite as good as 100% spectra which has not stretch, but a great compromise that keeps the price down a bit.

A 64” kite with a wind range of 4-24, the Comet is a great kite to take home to places with lighter winds than the Outer Banks.

Prism nexus.

Prism nexus.

The Prism Nexus ($65.99)is nimble and responsive enough that it can take beginning flyers into some intermediate stunts. The carbon frame cuts the weight down so it can handle lighter winds. The frame is also stiffer making the kite more responsive.

The wind range is 4-22 and the kite flies remarkably well thought the range. Spectra line comes with the kite, giving flyers a quick reaction when steering.

Prism Quantum.

Prism Quantum.

The Prism Quantum is the most expensive ($109.95) of our entry level kites, but Wow (!) what this kite can do.

Boasting a 7’ wingspan, spectra line, carbon fiber frame and ripstop nylon,/mylar laminate fabric, the kite is remarkably light in weight yet very strong with a wind range from 3-24 mph.. A nice feature for beginning flyers, there is a bungi cord at the base of the spine to absorb the shock of a nose first landing.

An exciting kite to fly, put this up in a 15 mph wind and hold on—it’s got some pull. However, that 7’ wingspan and lightweight materials also means it flies very well in light winds.

Add a tail to any kite and dress it up. For beginners it slows things down just a little bit, but mostly it dresses up the sky.

Steady Breeze-30th OBX Kite Competition

Poetry in motion. Kite flying during ballet competition.

Poetry in motion. Kite flying during ballet competition.

It was the steady winds that brought the Wright Brothers to the Outer Banks to learn how to fly and it’s those same breezes that bring kite flyers from all over the world to fly kites along these barrier islands.

With all that great wind it just seems natural that Kitty Hawk Kites would host a stunt Kite Competition, which they did this past weekend, September 12 and 13, and have been doing for the past 30 years.

The 30th Annual Outer Banks Stunt Kite Competition was a great example of why the Outer Banks is considered one of the best places in the world to fly a kite. Held at the Outer Banks Event Site in Nags Head, the winds held steady both days between 12-18 mph, which for some of the competitors was a real challenge—those are stronger winds than a lot of flyers are used to.

Nonetheless, the competitors put on a great show with the kite ballet Sunday afternoon an amazing display of how much control a flyer can have over a kite. Moves synchronized to music creates feast for the senses and to watch a kite dip, turn and stop in perfect time to the music is fascinating.

One of the great things about any kite event the Kitty Hawk Kites sponsors is everyone get to participate. Our kite buyer, Rachel Sanchez, was tireless in moving from one group of novices to another, showing everyone how to fly a stunt kite.

Decorating the sky with a giant panda and alligator.

Decorating the sky with a giant panda and alligator.

There was also a couple of power kites on the field to try. The HQ Kites Beamer 3 (meter—refers to size), was a blast to fly, but in those winds it was definitely a workout.

The Event Site in Nags Head is a nice wide open field with nothing to stop the wind, so it’s a great location for a competition. A lot of kites were filling the sky—the really big kites—and they were visible at least two miles from away.

Great day, great winds . . . a great time.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens Kites Available Online

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens may not be out in theaters until December 18th, but the new line of kites are available for pre-order beginning today on Force Friday (September 4th)!

Unlike previous Star Wars movies, The Force Awakens will be directed by rock star television and movie director J.J. Abrams instead of George Lucas. The Force Awakens is produced by Walt Disney Pictures, Lucasfilm, and Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions and will be distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is set approximately 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi, which was released way back in 1983. These new line of Star Wars kites are guaranteed to get you even more excited about the upcoming movie, and are a perfect gift for anyone who’s a fan of the series.

star-wars-bb-8-kiteStar Wars Deluxe Nylon Kites

Choose from RTD2, Millennium Falcon, BB-8, and X-Wing all made by X-Kites, one of the largest and most trusted kite makers in the United States.

These high-quality Star Wars kites are made out of nylon and are great for kite flyers of all skill levels including beginners. All four kites fly great within a wind range of 7 to 15 miles per hour.

Everyone will be jealous when they spot one of these four Star Wars kites dancing around in the sky.

Star Wars Pocket Sled Kites

star-wars-storm-trooper-kiteThe pocket sled kites are at a great price point (just $10) and are super easy to fly. These kites require a wind range of just 4 to 10 miles per hour which is ideal for anyone living somewhere where wind isn’t a constant.

Similar to the deluxe nylon kites, the sled kites are available in four different characters including Captain Phasma, the mysterious new chrome storm trooper, BB-8 the adorable new astrotech droid who is bound to steal all of our hearts, Kylo Ren the hilted lightsaber weilding Sith, and the beloved Chewbacca, Han Solo’s trusted companion.

star-wars-millennium-falcon-kiteStar Wars Micro Kites

Similar to the other two Star Wars kites mentioned above, this micro kite is perfect for kite enthusiasts of all skill levels. The Star Wars micro kite flys great within a wind range of just 4 to 10 miles per hour and is made from a fabric called mylar, which is highly-durable and flexible.

With it’s fiberglass frame and no assembly required, these kites are a great choice for kids as well. Comes ready to fly with handle and 40′ of line included.

This kite is available in 4 different characters: R2D2 the beeping stalwart companion of our heroes, BB-8 the adorable new astrotech droid who is bound to steal all of our hearts, The X-Wing the trusty starfighter, and the Millenium Falcon which made the Kessel Run in less then twelve parsecs!