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!

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:

A Great 2015-A Better 2016 on Tap

Scene from 2015 Hang Gliding Spectacular.

Scene from 2015 Hang Gliding Spectacular.

2015 was an amazing year on the Outer Banks and for Kitty Hawk Kites. We can’t thank all the wonderful customers who stopped by our stores and made it one of the best years we’ve ever had.

We’ve been adding new experiences—one of our favorites is the replica of the Wright Brothers 1902 glider that is available for flight. Pilots—check this one out. A living history adventure, we’re proud to offer this truly unique flight opportunity.

More new things we started dong this past year—Kitty Hawk Kites sponsored our first ever BrewTag, proving conclusively that beer kegs can fly . . . albeit not well. We are reserving judgment on how well beer can fly, though. After looking over the technical backgrounds of the entrants in the initial competition, there may be room for improvement over the current world BrewTag flight distance of 20’9”.

With Easter coming so early this year—March 27—our first big event is even earlier than usual. Our “Fly into Spring & Easter Eggstravaganza” is that weekend so be sure to check out all the fun.

We’re still finalizing some of the details on our event calendar, but here’s a good start on some of the amazing things we have scheduled for 2016.

Fly into Spring & Easter Eggstravaganza

KHKebunny

Mar 25, 2016 – Mar 26, 2016

Kitty Hawk Kites will be starting off the 2014 season with the annual “Fly into Spring & Easter Eggstravaganza!” Come join the Kitty Hawk Kites crew at Jockey’s Ridge Crossing to celebrate the start of a new season on the Outer Banks.

 

44th Annual Hang Gliding Spectacular

Coming in for a landing at the 2014 Hang Gliding Spectacular

May 13, 2016 – May 16, 2016

Kitty Hawk Kites is proud to announce the 2016 Hang Gliding Spectacular and Air Show! Join professional hang gliders, fans, and families at Jockey’s Ridge State Park for this Outer Banks tradition. This event is the longest running hang gliding competition in the world!

 

Rogallo Kite Festival

Life-sized blue whale kite in flight.

Jun 10, 2016 – Jun 12, 2016

Francis Rogallo was a NASA scientists and inventor of the flexible wing. His inventions started the sport of hang gliding and his designs have carried over into the stunt kites, power kites, and hang gliders that are flown today. We invite you to join us and raise a kite at the 33rd Annual Rogallo Kite Festival!

Outer Banks Pirate Festival

Slash, jab, parry. Instructions in pirate sword techniques.

Aug 10, 2016 – Aug 11, 2016

Get ready for a swashbucklin’ good time as Kitty Hawk Kites hosts the Outer Banks Pirate Festival. Pirates of the Outer Banks and their friends will be camped out at Jockey’s Ridge Crossing. Learn the vast history of pirates on the OBX, and participate in Scalawag school for the little ones to see if they have what it take to be a part of Blackbeards’ Crew!

BrewTag

First BrewTag launch of the day. The Kitty Hawk Kites glider established a new BrewTag world record of 20', soon to be shattered by Loonies on Tab.

October 22

Kegs will fly and everyone will have a great time. Enter your team early for the best chance to win. Or just spend the day hanging out and sampling some of the finest beer around and listening to great music.

Hangin’ With Santa/Kites With Lights

Santa Claus greeting a family at Kitty Hawk Kites.

November 25, 26

Look for Santa to stop by on Friday and Saturday with Kites with Lights filling the evening sky over Jockey’s Ridge State Park after sunset on Saturday. This is one of our oldest events and we really look forward to it every year.

A couple more events that we’re still putting the final touches on. We’ll keep you posted.

The Wright Kite Festival-Held every year at the Wright Brothers Memorial in July

Outer Banks Watermelon Festival-Games, music, food, and LOTS of watermelon. Tons of watermelon competitions including seed spitting. An August Event.

31st Annual Outer Banks Stunt Kite Competition-A regional kite flying competition, organized by the Eastern League Sport Kite Association, features some of the top competitive kite fliers in the nation, as well as a massive display of show kites, stunt and power kite demonstrations and lessons, kite making activities for the kids. Usually in September

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.

Rogallo Kite Festival

Francis Rogallo posing with his Rogallo Wing beside a NASA reentry capsule.

Francis Rogallo posing with his Rogallo Wing beside a NASA reentry capsule.

The 33rd Annual Kitty Hawk Kites Rogallo Kite Festival is coming up this weekend, June 5-7, at Jockey’s Ridge State Park. It looks as though there’s going to be some good winds for kite flying, the early forecast calls for a chance for rain but it stays below 50%, so it should be a great time on the dunes.

The festival is a fantastic at way to remember a wonderful and amazing man.

Francis Rogallo, who died at age 97 in 2009, was the father of hang gliding. A NASA scientist, in 1948 he and his wife, Gertrude, sitting around the kitchen table invented a steerable, flexible wing that did not require a frame. The significance of his patent, which he gave to the government of the United States at no charge, is apparent everywhere.

Every time a hang glider is seen, or a stunt kite, a paraglider or a modern parachute, that aircraft is a direct descendant of the work Mr. Rogallo did.

His deployable flexible wing was almost used instead of a parachute to bring early space capsules back to earth, but concerns about how to store the wing and how it would be rigged made the simpler basic parachute the better option.

As a person, Mr. Rogallo was one of the nicest people you could ever meet. A kind, very patient man, he genuinely seemed to enjoy talking to people about almost any subject. Although he is best known for inventing the Rogallo Wing, that was not his only significant contribution to flight. He also holds patents in the lateral control of aircraft and jet aircraft design.

Showing faith in his invention, Mr. Rogallo flew hang gliders until he was 80.