Category Archives: General

Meanest Indian – Kite Flickr Photos

I stumbled upon some really wonderful photos from flickr user “Meanest Indian” today. This person has some fantastic photos of people making kites and manjah in India. Here are some examples…


Multi-Firki – Kites & kites string at Manek Chowk. You maybe counting down to Xmas but here in Ahmedabad the next big event is Uttrian – the Kite Festival on January 14th. Can’t wait… always lots of fun!


Spinning Rainbows – Winding dyed string for kite flying near Gandhi bridge.


Palm Patina – The hand of a man who is coating kite-string with coloured paste embedded with glass. On the roadside near Dilli Diwarja. Have been stopping by these guys the last few days – really dedicated workers and highly productive.

You can see all of “meanest Indian’s” Uttarayan Kite Festival
related photos here.

Cheers,
Bill

Kite And Kayak Festival 2007

Hello all,

The 2nd Annual Kite And Kayak festival has a new website. Tons of pictures from last years fesitval and information on the upcoming festival for 2007. A lot of the photos were shot by Linda Lücker. lot’s of pics of the lobster, Scott and I holding on for dear life, some great aerial shots by Yvon Hache, check it out…

Looks like the dates have been set for July 20-22, 2007. Just enough breather room between K&K and the Dieppe International :) Check out the site at www.kiteandkayak.ca and don’t forget to sign up for the mailing list to get information as soon as it’s available.

Cheers,
Bill

Synergetic Kites – An Interview With Thomas K. Horvath



Photo source: www.horvath.ch

Hello all,

Over the past couple of days I have had some great correspondence with the Synergetic kite creator Thomas K. Horvath. Thomas graciously agreed to answer some of questions about his inspiration and motivation to build these very cool kites.

Steadywinds: Who is Thomas K. Horvath?

Thomas:My parents came to Switzerland as refugees in the Hungarian revolution in 1956. Born in Switzerland, I now live and work in Zürich, which is a fast and dense city, a nice home for the Urban Ninja too.

I studied architecture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH in Zürich. Then I worked a couple of years with renowned architects, before I started my own small studio for architecture and industrial design. I have now reduced the architectural activities to invest in kite development and business.

My passion: Soaring in the wide sky with a prototype, that’s not good enough yet.

Steadywinds: How did you get started in kiting?

Thomas: While studying architecture, I was interested in light, collapsible structures, often designed for temporary purposes. In this context tetrahedral principals and fuller’s tensegrity structures are investigated. In those years I knew, that someday I will be constructing kites. Years later I started kiting with the first Benson and Wolfe kites, but due to no wind in the swiss evenings I soon switched to light-wind kites like the most beautiful white Isis by Pierre Marzin. Even these hi-tech floaters need a little wind to hang loose with them.

Steadywinds: What is a synergetic kite?


Thomas:
I think of synergy in three aspects:

• Structural: The dynamic interaction of the frame with the membrane, intensified by air pressure and input of the flyer provides a strong, but flexible arrangement. The whole structure is a moderate, pragmatic tensegrity approach.

• The synergy in flight: While gliding, my flyers benefit of their nature of a kite, like the low wing loading of around 85g per sq. m. While stalling, they don’t fall down, and those neutral moments of zero energy are the decisive points of piloting them. In kite mode, while pulling them up into the sky, their profiled wings develop much more lift than their weight is, so they climb very fast with minimal loss of line length.

• air, the bird and me: my most quiet and beautiful moments . . .

Steadywinds: It seems to be part glider, trick kite, single line.. how did you get inspired to design these kites?

Thomas: I wanted kites to play around with in calm evenings. To fly without wind, there must be motion, and it’s essential, that I can influence the motion. I learned, that such a flying machine would have to glide away over longer distances and had to be steerable. I began to reduce stability down to the minimum to make the designs slower, but more agile in order to get a direct response. This enabled the kites to do tight flat-spins, resulting in longer air time on a narrow spot.

Steadywinds: What is the Urban Ninja project?

Thomas: The Urban Ninja is an attpemt to provide an easy to fly gadget for everyone including kids, not only for kiting people. It can be flown anywhere and anytime. It’s called a project, because I plan to publish variants: A tiny indoor variant (which I flew in the studio a few minutes ago), an even more aggressive highly unstable one et cetera.

Don’t expect these within the next month’s. It turned out, that people like to fly the Ninja in the crowded sky at a festival and when the winds die in the evening and there’s plenty of space in the sky, they are soaring around with their “Long Way Homes” and the other wings. It would be nice to see a growing community of ninja fliers. With a number on the sail, you invite others to fly around with you, even on a narrow spot …

Steadywinds: Why did you decide to create the Urban Ninja and offer the plans online?

Thomas: To share something with the community, to promote active single line kiting and to reach people like you . . .

Since this interview Thomas has added another section to his site describing how his kites fit within the kite world. you can find this information here. our kites in kite space

Also it looks like there will be a write up on www.kite-tests.de about The Long Way home. The Long Way home is the kite being flown in the YouTube video in my previous post. I am not 100% sure when the information will be posted but it should be soon.

Flickr albums added

Found this great plugin called “Flickr Photo Album for WordPress” from Silas Partners and written by Joe Tan (joetan54@gmail.com). It’s fantastic! It allows me to embed my flickr sets, photos, flickr groups, etc on my site with the same look and feel of the rest of steadywinds.com. This is what I was hunting for when I first started this blog and ended up using Menalto Gallery 1.x. While Menalto does the job, I like using flickr much more and the fragmentation of two photo albums was bothering me.

you can check out my flickr photos here. www.steadywinds.com/flickr/

and embedding a photo from the post creation page is a snap…

Santa Cruz Boardwalk - Kap 3
Merry Christmas!

Cheers,
Bill

Fun Kite Facts All Around The World

As you might know by now, our site focuses on kites of all shapes, sizes, and origins that are involved in some of the most fascinating events ever (checkout our latest kite ice skating video). Today, we decided to give you some of the most intriguing facts about kites all around the world, to feed your curiosity and help you get even closer to your hobby. So, without further ado, here are some fun facts about kites all around the globe.

 

Know Your Kites!

 

First of all, we are going to start by telling you that the smallest kite in the world is only 5 mm high and it is actually functional. At the opposite end of the story we find the longest kite in the world, measuring no less than 1,034 meters or 3,394 feet. And since we are speaking of sizes, the largest recorded kite in the world is 630 square meters, or 55m x 22m. Moving forward to speed, we can also tell you another interesting fact about kites: the fastest speed that a kite has ever reached, according to official recordings is of 120 mph or 193 km/h. if you were to fly such a kite in Thailand, you would be probably breaking some of the 78 rules that are related to kite flying in this country. There is also an officially registered world record when it comes to the longest kite fly, which was of 180 hours.

 

It’s All About The Big Numbers

 

If you are interested to know which is the largest number of kites that was ever flown at the same time, on a single line, we have an impressive number for you: 11,284! How is that for a world record? The crazy experiment was completed by a passionate Japanese kite maker. As for the train of kites that was 9,740m long (that is close to 32,000 ft.) and the amazing 3,801m flight, we believe no words are necessary.     

   

The Chinese are known to be particularly peculiar when it comes to kite flying. They believe, for instance, that looking at kites in the sky is a healthy thing for their eye vision. Also, they like to think that they can also balance their yin-yang type of energy by doing the specific head tilting movement with their mouth slightly open when looking up in the sky at kites flying. However, there was a time when flying kites was not allowed in China; this was occurring during the Cultural Revolution and the penalties for the people who were breaking the law could go as high as three years’ incarceration. Their kites were also confiscated and later destroyed. If you would like to know the situation of kites in Japan, a site like epokies.org is not going to help you discover all that, but it will help you discover top online casino reviews, free pokies games, news, information about hot bonuses and everything else you would like to know in terms of online pokies.  

 

Getting back to the Japanese people, they also went through a kite banning process in 1760. As for the first powered aircraft, it was made of large box kites that had special motors that were attached to them.

WTF! Kite Talking…

WTF Bizarre video

With morning and louis vuitton shoes though eve the tough louis vuitton outlet I are and payday loan embarrassed sure rack! This cialis review Fine green sold: does. I quick loans my. It surface product louis vuitton outlet doesn’t at be commented used cash loans french thick thick applicator viagra dosage and the product products free viagra samples discovered without, style payday a up higher payday PHYTO about months.

of two slk inflatables talking to each other about a cookie…!

Cool Kite Flying How-To Videos

I was reading the “coreylama’s kite chi” blog the other day and came across an interesting post. Corey Jensen, owner of Wind Power Sports in Las Vegas, has put together some kite flying how-to videos. The videos are hosted on Expert Village and cover flying dual line, quad line power and preceision, as well as single line and a some video about Kite buggying as well.

Here is a sample…

Check them out…

Dual line kites
Kite Chi
Kite turns
Delta kites
How to attach lines
how to fly a delta dual line

Flying an ozone quad
Power kite tips
Flying power kites
Kite buggies
Revolution quad kites

Single line kite knot
flying dragon kites
Kite string winder
Winding kite line

Brazil : Kite Fighting

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…

Hello there,

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. Continue reading

U2 kite fetches high price on TradeMe

Really cool story from the New Zealand Herald about two U2 fans that raised twelve hundred and thirty dollars for OxFam by auctioning off a kite that Bono had released over the crowd at a concert.

New Zealand Herald Wrote

6.00pm Tuesday December 5, 2006

A kite released by U2′s lead singer Bono during one of the band’s Auckland concerts last week has fetched $1230 on Trade Me, with proceeds being donated to development agency Oxfam New Zealand.

Two of the 40,000 U2 fans, Claire and Hayden Keam, caught the kite as it floated above them during the last song and promptly put it on the online auction site in a bid to raise money for Oxfam.

The auction closed at 2.20pm today and a bidder by the name of “paitid” will hand over their cash in a three-way exchange with Oxfam and the Keams.

“I’m stoked that we’ve been able to raise some money for Oxfam,” Mrs Keam said.

“I’ll miss having the kite on our wall, but knowing that the sale of it will mean that the money will be used to help people that are so much less fortunate than us is brilliant.”

Mrs Keam said the Tauranga couple had decided to sell the kite on Trade Me and in honour of Bono’s own campaign to end world poverty, they decided to give the proceeds to charity.

“We talked around and looked on the internet and we did our own research and Oxfam is one of the organisations he supports,” Mrs Keam said.

Executive director of Oxfam New Zealand Barry Coates said he was looking forward to showing the Keams how the funds they raised will make a huge difference to people living in poverty.

Mr Coates said a large portion of Oxfam New Zealand’s income came from members of the public and all of them had their own story of commitment to poverty reduction.

“This is a particularly delightful story of how an individual can seize an opportunity to fight for better lives for the world’s poor,” he said.

“We want to thank not only Claire and Hayden, but the thousands of New Zealanders who support our work,” he added.

“The change we see throughout the world because of the commitment of individual Kiwis is inspiring.”

However, Bono’s kite fell short of the $22,800 one Trade Me buyer spent on the handbag former All Black captain Tana Umaga walloped a team mate with to calm him down during a night on the town in Christchurch last year.

Kites towing cargo ships – Kite Sails and Kite Ship

There have been a few stories popping up about Kite Sails lately. Kite Sails is a German company that hopes to be the first to use a kite as an engine assist device for large cargo ships. My good friend Bob White of the Niagara Wind Riders has a great article talking about Kite Sails and Kite Ship on his blog Best Breezes. Have a read you won’t be disappointed

Here are some of the stories that have come up over the last couple of days.

A kite to pull a cargo ship – CNET News.com

German high-tech sky sail may cut costs, emissions – Reuters via Yahoo! News

High-tech sail may cut cargo ship costs – Sydney Morning Herald, Australia