Category Archives: General

TheStar.com – Kite tubes pulled from market

Here is the latest article from the Canadian Press about the kite tube and the recall. TheStar.com – Kite tubes pulled from market

There are some important things to note for Canadian kite tube owners.
1) SportsStuff has confirmed that the recall affects Canada and 2) Transport Canada is investigating the kite tube.

A spokesman for Sportsstuff confirmed the recall includes Canada.

A spokeswoman for Transport Canada’s Marine Safety division said the tubes just came on the regulatory body’s radar last week.

“It’s a safety concern for us,” said Kristen Goodnough.

“But given that it’s just recently come to our attention, we’re reviewing the activity to see if our regulations apply.”

Goodnough said Transport Canada is expecting a decision sometime next week.

Even this blog gets some play (even if it’s not by name :) )

The founder of a Canadian weblog about kites said he takes issue with the suggestion that users can control the kite tubes.

“From a kite flier’s standpoint, someone who actually builds kites and understands the multitudes of variables that go on there, it’s not going to happen,” said Bill Wilson, 32, a Halifax software development manager.

He found the discussion forums on his website inundated with comments about kite tubing after he made a post in February.

“The majority of people perceive a level of safety that’s not there. Whether you can control it a little bit or not the problem is, all it takes is a wind gust, and you’re (seven to nine metres) in the air,” Wilson said.

Cheers,
Bill

Sportsstuff Wego Kite Tubes Withdrawn from Market after Reports of Deaths and Injuries

Sportsstuff Wego Kite Tubes Withdrawn from Market after Reports of Deaths and Injuries

WASHINGTON,

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D.C. – In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Sportsstuff, Inc., of Omaha, Nebraska is voluntarily recalling about 19,000 Wego Kite Tubes.

CPSC staff is aware of 39 injury incidents with 29 of those resulting in medical treatment. Those injuries include a broken neck, punctured lung, chest and back injuries and facial injuries. Sportsstuff has received reports of two deaths in the United States and a variety of serious injuries. Sportsstuff has been unable to determine the cause of the incidents. Nevertheless, the company has withdrawn the kite tube from the market and is undertaking this voluntary recall out of an abundance of caution.

The Sportsstuff Wego Kite Tube is a 10-foot-wide, circular, yellow inflatable watercraft designed to be towed behind a power boat. A rider in the tube becomes airborne by pulling on handles attached to the floor of the tube. Model 53-5000 is printed on the tube near the product valve. The floor of the tube has black caution warning stripes. The cover for the product bears a skull and crossbones and the statement “Never Kite higher than you are willing to fall.” The tubes were imported and sold through marine distributors, mail order catalogs, and various retailers from approximately October 1, 2005 to July 11, 2006 for about $500 to $600.

Consumers should immediately stop using the kite tubes and contact Sportsstuff at (866) 831-5524 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CST Monday through Friday to learn how to obtain free replacement products. Consumers can also visit the firm’s Web site at www.sportsstuff.com for more information.

DeseretNews.com – Kite-tubing dangers face probe

Looks like the Wego Kite Tube is under investigation by the US Consumer Product Saftey!! BOOO-YA!!!

Finally someone is sitting up and taking notice that this thing has some serious saftety issues.

Deseretnews.com writes – Read the original
here

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission opened preliminary investigations into kite tubes last week after park rangers banned the water toy at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

The commission received a safety alert from Glen Canyon two weeks ago regarding four serious kite tube-related injuries and they are assessing the accidents, as well as the tube’s safety features. Scott Wolfson, spokesman for the commission, said the accidents at the park are not exclusive to the area.

“There are numerous incidents across the nation,” he said.
Glen Canyon National Recreation Superintendent Kitty Roberts said the park’s administrators banned the activity to ensure the safety of park visitors.

“Kite tubing has proven itself to be extremely dangerous,” she said. “There are many other, far safer ways to enjoy Glen Canyon — from water skiing, to fishing, to exploring narrow side canyons.”

Continue reading

3rd Annual Halifax Citadel Fun Fly

Join us for single, dual and quad lined kites; inflatable creatures; giant kites; traction demonstrations and so much more!

Halifax Area Recreational Kiters (HARK) will be hosting their 3rd Annual Fun Fly at Citadel Hill in Halifax, NS on Saturday June 3, 2006. Bring your family, friends, neighbors, kites and a picnic and enjoy Halifax’s premier kite event of the season!

The Dieppe, NB Skylines Kite Club and kiters from around the Maritimes have been invited to fill the sky with color! Gary Mark of the Toronto Kite Fliers is scheduled to make a guest appearance with his giant kites and this year’s ground display of wind-filled creatures is sure to be a hit with children and adults alike!

Members of Atlantic Winds Adventure will be on site giving power kiting demonstrations throughout the day for those who enjoy the added thrill of traction kiting.

Come join the fun!

There’s something for everyone!

This event is free to all who wear a smile!

For pictures of previous events at Citadel Hill visit: http://www.steadywinds.com/gal/festivals

For more information contact Bill Wilson, bwilson@steadywinds.com

Kite Tube!?

Just reading the Toronto Kite Fliers mailing list today and someone posted a link to a bizarre “kite” that is towed behind a boat. It’s called the WEGO KITE TUBE produced by SPORTSSTUFF.

So the idea is basically you convince some fearless individual to climb on top of this inflated disk, tear down the lake at top speed and with some “control” the rider can launch the kite tube in the air and remain air borne. As long as you have enough speed, and you keep the right angle of attack you should be ok. (mildly insane but ok)

Personally I don’t think I would do it… there are a few spills in that video that look like they could have been a lot worse… you can check out the video here: Kite Tube Video.

HQ Multiple Kite System



MKS-KiteSystem 001

Originally uploaded by wdrwilson.

Recently Steve Ferrel at the Kite Studio added Auctions to the Kitebuilder.com forums. The original idea came from some posts about Dave Ellis and his attempts to auction kites for charity on eBay. I think there were some issues surrounding eBay’s policies dealing with charities. So Steve worked very hard over the next few months to bring auctions to all members of the forum and so far it seems it’s a success.

Dave aka KiteGuy was one of the first to get in on the fun by adding some kites, line laundry and an interesting kite kit called the Multiple Kite System from HQ. If I recall correctly this was a kit that Dave won at a kite making retreat and it looked suprising similar to the Thames & Kosmos Kite Dynamics kit, which I had just recently found online. So what the heck, I bid on it, not thinking I would ever win with such a low bid of 10 dollars. Much to my surprise the auction ended a few days later and I was the winner. Woo hoo!

Dave sent the parcel this week and it arrived today, now that’s fast considering it had to come from the U.S.A. As usual when I open up a kite from HQ I am pleasently surprised by the attention to detail and the quality of the parts. This kite was no exception, The kite comes with decent manual, a nice bag for the skins, a separate bag for the connectors and my favourite wrapped fiberglass rods. I started with the simplest of the designs (the one suggested by the manual) and here are the results.

MKS-KiteSystem 009
MKS-KiteSystem 001
MKS-KiteSystem 002
MKS-KiteSystem 008

So far so good… I went back to my original post about the Thames & Kosmos Kite Dynamics kit and examined the photos on their site. It appears to be an updated version of the HQ MKS kit. The connectors look identical and even the way it’s packaged and displayed looks the same. In conversation with Dave about the kit he mentioned that the designer was looking for a less expensive way to produce the kit. Looks like he found it.

Thanks Dave for the great buy, this kite will likely never see the skys but it will be hanging in my office very soon. :)

Cheers,
Bill

Peter Lynn Kites – Red Letter Day

Just finished reading Peter Lynn’s latest installment of his new letter. He alludes to some exciting changes coming for traction kites of all styles. Something truly new perhaps? Something that will revolutionize traction kiting? Perhaps, but according to Peter’s letter it will be some time before we see all these new innovations hit the market.

And now to the main event: **

Here at the kite development front, we’re hyperactive; sleepless nights, no time for patience, pleasantries or distractions. Chris has even taken to staying over in boring Ashburton- something he probably swore he’d never do again after moving up to the beach place.

We’re testing out the relevance of the belatedly recognised new understanding (that I alluded to last month) on various styles of traction kite, a sort of scoping exercise.

It’s either a tool box of techniques or a set of underlying principles, or just stuff we already knew but hadn’t quite connected – depending on the point of view.

In it’s ultimate expression, it provides total luff and overflying resistance and near enough to 100% de-power.

You can read more on Peter Lynn’s site

Kite flying : day of the dead

In parts of South America and Mexico November 1st is celebrated as the Day of the Dead. This festival celebrates death by honoring the dead with flowers, food, and kites as well as celebrating life and vitality through children. The celebration originally took place at the beginning of the summer but with the arrival of Spanish Christian priests during the Spanish Conquest the holiday was moved to the fall and is now celebrated during the first two days of November.

In Santiago Sacatepequez, Guatemala they have a huge kite festival. This festival is part of the tradition of “Dia de los Muertos” and symbolizes the connection people still have with their past relatives and ancestors. Some say that it also helps the soul ascend to the after life. People fly their beautiful graceful kites from graveyards that have been decorated with flowers, food and other items. The kites used in the celebration are circular and are made from bamboo, colorful paper, string, and wire. These are not small kites; some of the biggest kites are up-wards of 30 feet across! Groups of men get together many weeks before the festival to start preparing their wonderful tethered creations. Continue reading

Kitebuilder.com forums Online kite project 3.0

I have been a member of the kitebuilder.com forums for almost 2 years and have met some great people and learned a lot. Over the last 2 years forum members have hosted a few on-line kite building workshops. The latest installment is the Lil’ Genki by Dave Ellis (kiteguy) from Kansas. The Lil’ Genki is Dave’s take on the migenk kite plan by Fred Broadhead. Dave has simplified the construction and has made it a real light wind performer.

The format of the workshops is usually about 4-5 weeks with the next stage being posted each Friday. There is a discussion thread set up for each stage to give people the opportunity to share their designs, ask questions and have a bit of fun. I have been truly impressed with how many people sign up for these classes and the wonderful kites that are produced at the end. I find I always learn something and really enjoy the staged progress. It holds you back, sometimes you can’t help it and you have to surge ahead and keep going with or with out instruction. But it doesn’t matter as you can always make another one :D (or two.. or three) Continue reading