August 11
Liberty Kite Fest

Gary Engvall summed up the flying on the single-line fields. "It's a whole lotta work for 30 seconds of good wind", he said on the first afternoon. And Gary was right. But it was also a whole lotta fun for two days of kiting. When you're on an open field on a sunny day with good friends, life doesn't get better. And if you can get a kite in the air occasionally too, that's just 'bonus smiles'.

Sport Kite Field

This was my first trip to Liberty State Park. I've read about the event and wanted to go. But the September schedule never worked for me. This year the organizers shifted to August and I slotted the trip in.

Now imagine for a moment you are on a large flat grassy plain stretching out to the edge of the water. Sun glints off the small waveletts. To your left is the massive New York skyline. In front of you is historic Ellis Island. Just to the right, the Statue of Liberty reaches up into the sky. And further east is the Verrazano Bridge - larger than the Golden Gate.

Big Kite Field Big Kite Field Big Kite Field Big Kite Field

Sport kite fliers are on one field, adjusting to constantly changing breezes. Between heats, Charles Stewart pours fresh smoothies for the fliers. Vendors offer kites, candles and massages. Kids line up for the learn-to-fly session.

Big Kite Field Big Kite Field

On another field, fighters dance between gusts and maneuver for position and points. Rokkakus engage. Tim and Sue Boyle grace the entrance with large red/white/blue displays.

And in the center field, larger showpieces go up and down. Pete Dolpin's Manta is named best sky show. NYKE gets best ground display. And I get humiliated in the rok fight.

Giant Rok Giant Rok Giant Rok Giant Rok

Kaziah Hall launches a huge rokkaku. It is 22 by 17 feet and framed with spars as thick as a stick-ball bat. Throughout the festival, it rises and then drifts back to earth, until finally a gust shatters the center spine and the kite goes home for repairs.

Aerial Acoustics played a live set at the field. Dorothy Wagner and Dennis Smith are accomplished fliers, but also wonderful musicians. We've worn out their CDs here at home and buy them in bulk for gifts. Check them out at

I also enjoyed eavesdropping on Ginny Hansens's seminar for "Kite Widows". Riffling through three bags of paraphernalia she drags on her trips, Ginny detailed the unexpected joys of international kite travel and a list of essential equipment from personal hygiene accessories to duct tape.

 Aerial Acoustics

Kite Widows

Every trip has a down side. For this one, it was navigating through and around Newark Airport. I've been to Xian China, Ahmenabad India, and Lankawi Malaysia. Each of them could suggest improvements to Newark which I'm sure was designed to actually discourage visitors. Why list different levels on the outside of the elevator in alphabetical order (baggage, hotel shuttles, parking, ticketing) but only put floor numbers on the inside?? I had to exit each floor with my bags to see if I was in the right place yet! And when driving to our airport hotel, we made four different attempts to choose the correct exit, but always, always found ourselves a median divider away from our destination....

Sunday night I commuted to Philadelphia for a good visit with AKA Secretary Betty Hirschman who is fighting some health challenges. Then it was back to the airport and the flight home Monday. Thursday we are off again for a small show and big fun in Rehoboth Delaware. Then we are home two days and off to Long Beach. Why am I tired all the time??

Please remember that we have a three-week trip to France and South Africa scheduled in September. GKPI offices will be closed. If you need something, help us by planning ahead. And wherever you are in this wonderful kiting world, chances are we'll see you soon.

Eagle Rokkaku

Gom-Kaku: Here's a kick-butt cool rokkaku that is perfect for fighting or for fun.

The bold image may look familiar. And we'd be proud to have you fly it.

The "Gom-Kaku" is fully appliquéd, six feet tall, and light framed so it will stay in the sky when the opposition is struggling to stay aloft. All corners are encased to minimize tipping points. And our unique o-ring tensioners keep the spine secure and make sure the sections don't get lost when you fold it up.

We normally sell our limited-edition appliquéd roks for $175. Even the stock designs from other folks go for $90. But we're offering this extraordinary kite at an extraordinary price -- just $80 to Update readers!! So give us a call and we'll put our colors in your sky.

*Back to the Update Index
*Back to Gomberg Kite Productions International
BULLET Phone: 541-996-3083 (Pacific)

* Tell a friend about this page: