May 30, 2008
Wide Awake in Wildwood

I never sleep well in Wildwood.

It isn’t that I’m up partying all night -- although there is a rumor I closed the Oceanic bar on Saturday night. But between the hot, claustrophobic rooms, the sound of squealing tires and oversized car stereos, the music in the bar thirty feet away, and the noise from the room three doors down, I find it hard to relax.

WW Kites

It’s probably all my own fault. I’m no longer an urban guy. I live in the country and can’t see the neighbor’s house. If a chipmunk passes gas fifty feet away in the middle of the night, the sound wakes me up.

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Susie doesn’t come to Wildwood anymore. But she is a veteran of the Rio where the noise and smells were even worse. One year, my roommate and I got into a fight over who was stinking up the room. Then we came back from the field together and discovered the room smelled like that without us.

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The first time I went to China, I sent a postcard home. “It’s hot, dirty, dusty, smelly and the food tastes bad. You can’t drink the water and no one speaks English. It’s pretty much like Wildwood….”

And yet, for roughly 20 years, I’ve spent every Memorial Weekend in New Jersey. The beach is enormous, the kitefliers are friendly, and the flying is great.

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This year we enjoyed some of the best flying weather in recent memory. We didn’t loft the coordinated giant kite program that was a centerpiece last year. But we got plenty of fabric in the sky anyway and offered a fine show.

There have been ongoing problems with smaller kites and even a banner display infringing on the large kite arena. That creates serious safety issues. Next year, we’ve requested a designated large kite field. There shouldn’t be a problem given the large amount of space. And if we get our own arena, we can put together an amazing program!



If our giant Octopus were the highlight last year, the Rev show was the center of attention this time. IQuad flew constantly and at one point, the Rev-Line had 33 kites in the sky. Everyone, I mean everyone had a four-line kite up.

Mermaid - Day 1
Mermaid - Day 2

Phil McConnachie was having fun with his Mermaid and Neptune kites.

Topless tanning apparently isn’t allowed in Wildwood so she covered up the second day.

Winds were ideal on Saturday and Sunday, but bumped up to 20 plus on Monday. There was no crowd, no PA, and most of the fliers were gone. So we packed our bags and went to lunch. Nearly got hit by a tram car too! Guess I wasn’t watching!

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By the end of the weekend, I was tired. It’s not that I’m getting too old for the parties. And most of the fliers really enjoy them!! But having one next week, and the week after, and the week after that wears you out! Early Tuesday, I slid into my seat for the flight home and fell fast asleep.

May has an extra weekend this year so the Gombergs will be home a few days. Then we are off to Ocean Shores, followed by Saint-Honoré dans l'Vent in Quebec. At the end of June, we’ll be doing a big Octopus Show here in Lincoln City. With luck, we’ll have 21 in the sky!

20/20 Sale!: Twenty years in Wildwood is a long time!!! And seeing so much of our stuff in the sky made us feel really good. So let’s celebrate with a 20% sale on kites we saw people fly there.

  • Cat Kite – ten foot – normally $400 – now $320
  • Owl Kite – ten foot – normally $500 – now $400
  • Spikey Fish – twelve foot -- normally $500 – now $400
  • Manta Ray – forty-eight feet – normally $1400 now $1150
  • Giant Crown – twenty-eight feet -- normally $1100 now $900

Prices are good through June 10. Production takes about three weeks.

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