Back in October of this year I came across an article from Gringoes.com talking about kite fighting. In the article the author, Laurie, stated the following.
“As I have never seen kite fighting in the United States, I am wondering if this is a phenomenon unique to Brazil? Perhaps a “Gringoes” reader will know the answer to this!”
Of course after reading this I quickly fired up my email client and sent off an email with some information about the North American Fighter Kite Association (NAFKA) and some of the differences between North American kite fighting and those used in the Gringoes.com article. Here is the short note I sent off…
Kite fighting does happen in the US and Canada. The North American Kite Fighting style uses smaller kites (usually) and without the glass coated line. It’s “touch” kite fighting. i.e. you have to try and attack your opponent either from below or above (decided at the beginning of the fight). Once you make contact with the line or kite from the prescribed direction you receive a point. A match consists of 3 fights.
One thing that is truly great about the way we publish information on the internet is that people are usually only too glad to hear from readers, it’s much more personal which is more or less the opposite of what a lot of people thought would happen. This kind of communication is great for me since one of the goals of this website is to help spread the word about all things related to kites.
Once I found this article on Gringoes.com I started digging a little further to see what other information I could find about kites. A few more articles popped up that talk about kites and kite flying in Brazil.
Mary Poppins would be very impressed with Brazilians due to their love of kite flying. It’s not unusual to see anyone from the age of 5 to 95 hogging a small patch of green somewhere here in Sao Paulo, even surrounded by 5 lane highways with trucks thundering by. Yet the kite flyer is blissfully unaware and often flying a small homemade kite.
Meet Jessie Simon, who is from the USA, and came to Brazil with her fiance to start a kiteboarding company. Read the following interview where she tells us about her most memorable experiences from Brazil and gives some useful advice to newcomers.
And from the gringoes forums I found this…
I grew up in middle-class areas of SÃ£o Paulo and when kite-flying season came around we kids on the street whittled long delicate bamboo rods which we tied with “linha dez”, traipsed to the papelaria with whatever coins we managed to scrimp and bought ourselves colored sheets of “papel de seda”. The whole enchantment of it was to make beautiful colored patterns and luschious kite tails (strips of “seda” tied with thread), but of course it all had to fly well.
I hope you enjoy poking around gringoes.com it’s a very cool site and there seems to be a lot of references to kites and kite surfing.