May 22
Great Winds at Great Lakes!

We came home from Grand Haven shivering cold, sunburned, and achy from wrestling with the wind all weekend. But we'd go back in a minute!

The Great Lakes Kite Festival has evolved from a high profile sport kite competition to a well-oiled demonstration machine. On the main field, Chicago Fire, Lee and Sue Sedgewick, Sam Ritter, Zach and Josh Gordon, Lam Hoac, and Ken Blain took turns impressing the big crowds.

Pod of Octopoda

Further down the beach, Al Sparling, Gary Mark, Susie and I lofted three giant Octopus into the brisk winds. Sand anchors were strained as the day got colder and the winds stronger. By the end of the afternoon, it was gusting to 25 and we needed six people to safely bring each piece down and return them to their compression bags.

Anchors Anchors Susie Takes a Break

Cold weather meant that the kite pavilion was packed! Mackinaw Kite Company brings a 5,000 square foot tent to the beach and for two days, has the largest kite store in the country -- complete with refreshments, workshops, and factory reps from Revolution, Prism, Naish Kiteboards, and New Tech. Maybe GKPI should have taken the hint and worked the tables inside!

Kite Pavilion

The diversity of the Festival Program included mass ascensions, fighter kite shows, and an excellent indoor flying presentation.

Kiteboarding

Out on the water, half a dozen boarders were grabbing "big air" as their sails lifted them forty feet above the waves.

Many of the "land kiters" were mesmerized by the big wings and their fliers decked out in dry suits and sun goggles. But when I asked one of them about sail loading and line weights, he replied that he was a boarder and not a kiter....

We enjoy Grand Haven because it offers a good opportunity to spend time with friends, meet new fliers, fill a big beach, and of course, be the center of attention. Even when it is cold, we're still having fun!

Meanwhile, check out the new addition to our web pages -- Tuning Parafoils and Flowforms. And let us know what you think.

Gotta go re-pack now. Tomorrow, I'm off to Wildwood. See you out there.

Remember the Weekly Specials?? They're back!!

Our ten foot Parachutes and Baskets make super ground displays and exciting Bol Races. The usual price is $220 to $250 each, but between now and June 5th, we'll take 20% off. That includes the pieces we have in stock for immediate shipment, and also any custom colors you may choose.

Ok, ok -- we'll extend the sale to the six foot baskets too....

Sawtooth Parachute Striped Parachute Basket

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