I haven’t always been a “wind enthusiast.” In fact, I only began flying kites a few years ago. I visited the Outer Banks with family on vacation. My then soon-to-be-mother-in-law mentioned she was heading to Kitty Hawk Kites to purchase a t-shirt and some toys for the kids in our group. I had only seen stunt kites in action a few times before. But considering the windy conditions of the OBX in late summer, picking up a dual-line kite seemed an excellent idea for an activity I could enjoy the whole week.
I can remember the feeling when the kite first caught a strong gust of wind that sent it streaming skyward. It was exciting to discover how to maneuver and fly the kite in the air. First from side to side, then dipping it toward the ground and turning it back toward the sky. I eventually graduated to executing barrel rolls and soft landings.
I settled on a Prism Nexus—a red, orange, and yellow stunner, which is ideally suited for beginner to intermediate flying and is optimally-sized for travel. The perfect kite for me! The wind was blowing out of the east, so I headed straight to the beach and was flying in no-time.
The following week, my fiancée and I traveled to Dingle in western Ireland for a friend’s wedding. And we brought our new stunt kite along for the ride. The coastal conditions were similar to those of the Outer Banks. And we had a blast flying our kite on a different continent.
Flying with Kitty Hawk Kites
We have since married and relocated to the Outer Banks, where I now work for Kitty Hawk Kites. John Harris founded the company in 1974. First as a hang gliding school and shop that sold and repaired hang gliders. Over the past 46 years, the company has grown. It now includes more than 25 retail locations along the East Coast of the US, offering kites, toys, games, apparel, footwear, and more.
The mission from the very beginning was simple and clear. “To teach the world to fly.” That mission remains our driving force today. Kitty Hawk Kites either operates, sponsors, or participates in ten or more kite festivals every year offering giant inflatable kites coloring the sky, including a giant panda, cow, octopus, cat, dog and two giant fish; free stunt kite lessons and demonstrations; free kite building lessons for the kids; and more, making them fun events for the entire family. Leonardo Da Vinci said,
“For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.”
Leonardo Da Vinci
I can say from personal experience that I will never forget the first time I set a kite into the wind, and it has deeply impacted the course of my life. If flying a kite is something you have always wanted to do (or even if you haven’t considered it until just now) there has never been a better time to fly a kite! Check out our kite flying guide to get started.
By Ben Saltzman, Marketing Director, Kitty Hawk Kites