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JPG of Pensacola BeachHere on the Emerald Coast of Florida, we have a fantastic venue for kite flying! The warm green waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the sugar white sand of our beaches, and the incredible blue skies form a perfect background for kiting acrobatics.

My First Kite

GIF of JD with Sophwith Camel Kite Here I am a couple of years ago with my first kite, a Sophwith Camel, a two-string spruce and paper kite with plastic and velcro fittings built from a kit (still available from Stratton at most kite and hobby shops). A great low wind kite, it looks spectacular in the air, always a head-turner. It survived many a crash and burn, but not, unfortunately, having a lawn chair stacked on top of it while stored in a car trunk. I enjoyed this kite for its aesthetics and ease of flying. The Sophwith Camel provided a gentle introduction to the world of two-string kites. Actually, the Sophwith was my first kite; I'd never flown one-string kites prior to building the Sophwith Camel--and I still haven't! One day I'll build the Fokker tri-plane kite as the bookend to the Sophwith experience.

Derring-Do: Stunt Kites

GIF of JD's Kites Today, I'm more into plastic and tyvex than balsa and tissue. I have several medium and high wind two-string stunt kites. I really enjoy fighting the wind and getting dragged along. Another joy is night kiting. We hang some cheap-o glow-in-the-dark sticks from the guidelines and send them up. (A tip--hang a different color from each side so you can tell what direction your kite is facing!)

Charlie Brown & Me Have Something in Common:
My Experience with 4-String Kites Thus Far

GIF of JD's crashed 4-string kite Last year I bought a four-string, the Revolution. (ARGH!) I just can't get the hang of the four-string! Here is a picture of my Revolution in its typical state as flown by me. :S The longest I've managed to keep it in the air is less than 5 minutes! I think a guideline needs to be adjusted since it has a definite bias to one side. (Yeah, Jamey, blame the strings, not the pilot.) ::grin:: I haven't really had the time to put in this past year to master this particular monster--but I will!!!

Kiting Links

The Kite Web -- Lots of good info