Attempted Kite Murder and how to Correctly Clean up the Crime Scene.
Up until I started kiting I was blissfully ignorant of the dark side of my husband’s kiting personality. As a frugal shopper who bought used kites and an ardent subscriber to the “braver than smart” life theory he has had lots of issues with maintaining kite health. My husband may even deserve the nick-name I teasingly call him: “Kite Beater”, he has ripped, torn, had bridles pop off, run over lines with skis, cars, bikes, had dogs pounce, wrestled with cactus… (I think you get the picture).
So here is where things got a little tricky, I was the possessor of the nicest kite in our quiver and my husband couldn’t help himself, he “borrowed” the kite as soon as my back was turned and things didn’t go well on his three hour tour. The following is an approximation of an emotional conversation that took place, off and on, over several days as a result of borrowing the kite:
Husband: I used your kite today and when I landed it, it got a small tear. It is NO BIG DEAL.
Me: Oh, can I see it?
Husband: No, I already mailed it to Airtime to get fixed, I didn’t want you to miss any days when we are in Hood River next week. It is NO BIG DEAL.
Me: Oh, thanks for taking care of the problem.
Little Birdie (a wife of one of our kite friends who was at the scene of the crime): Oh my GAAWD, are you so bummed or what!? I can’t believe what your husband did to your kite.
Me: Really Little Birdie, it is NO BIG DEAL, it has already been mailed to Oregon for repair and I will not miss any kite days while we are there.
Me: Honey, why is Little Birdie telling me you ruined my kite?
Husband: It is NO BIG DEAL; the kite will be fine
Me (when I take the kite out of its bag in Hood River after picking it up from Airtime. You are free to imagine Hiroshima at this point): NO F@%$! BIG DEAL!?
The kite did fly pretty well considering it had open-heart surgery. Two days latter, however, the kite blew up again (not related to the 1st repair) when my husband was el captain again.. On this second “NO BIG DEAL” there was a bit of poetic justice involved in the form of a swim across the Columbia River and a two-mile barefoot walk back to the van (I couldn’t find the key, really!), tail tucked and ego checked.
Back to Airtime the yellow kite went. If this story read like a Visa add it would go like this:
Kite: Free1st kite repair: $150
Husband fibbing about kite damage: 1lb. of flesh
The look on Airtime’s sewer’s face when the kite is returned for more repairs: priceless
Ultimately the point of this whole sordid story is; yes, damaging your kite is a huge bummer but there are some amazing services to help with the big “NO BIG DEALS” and some field 1st aid that you can do that can save the life of the kite in a pinch.
Help with the big “NO BIG DEALS”:
Airtime, an Oregon based one stop kite and sail repair biz in Hood River, Oregon. They have all sorts of goodies such as bladders and sail tape.
Windfire Designs out of Florida, looks like they do amazing repair work. Windfire also builds art kites, which are very fun to look at too..
Kitefix is a great site to help any kilter put together their kite 1st aide kit .
Kite Gear Box also has sail tape in many colors sold by the foot and tonics and ointments to extend your kite’s life.