This past spring I listed 2 small kites, a 3.5m and 5m, on Ikitesurf.com. These kites were the Cabrinha Converts that my husband and I purchased and used to teach our children how to kite. When I listed them I got 2 types of inquires, the first were from men who thought they would like to have a tiny kite just in case a hurricane whipped thru their favorite spot and the other was well meaning parents eager to get Jr. kiting. I know it is not fair business practices but I quickly dismissed the over confident men with death wishes and responded to the parents, after all I have a soft spot in my heart for anyone who wants to share the stoke with their kids. I became an email “pal” with two different fathers, as not only were they interested in the tiny kites but also advice on how to teach their kids. Read more
POW= Pearls of Wisdom by Adrenajen
KITE POW 1: Leaky ValvesA common problem with inflateable kites is leaky valves.Nothing is more frustrating than pumping up your kite to full pressure and then finding it is soft at the end of your session. Or worse it falls out of the sky during your session. Before pulling out all your bladders to look for holes, Check the valves!!!This can be done easily by pumping up the kite and using a spray bottle with water and a little detergent to wet down around the valves. Read more
Will You Marry me? -The Fear/Lust Connection and why Dudley Do-Right has Better Odds With the Ladies.
Last spring I told my husband I wanted a divorce so I could marry Reo Stevens, if Reo would have me. Granted I said this after my husband sat on a picnic table at “Moke’s”, on the North Shore of Oahu, with a peanut gallery that included Filix Pivec (please go to his site, Jeff Pfeffer’s photos are worth the visit) and Top Hat and watched as I got drilled. You see, I got a little big for my britches and lined myself up on a large set wave, took the drop and purled. What happened next could be best described as a junk show with a joker (me) in its center.
Out of nowhere comes the cutest thing to plant his feet on a surfboard and grip a kite bar, Reo Stevens. Reo rescued my hind end from a serious reef rash (and maybe death) by rounding up my board, freeing my bridle line from the wingtip, untangling me from my lines and calmly explaining to me how to fly my kite wrong-side out, it was lust at first fright.
In a college psychology class I read about a study that a psychologist name Arthur Aron conducted. Arthur placed a beautiful woman at the end of a treacherous bridge spanning a very deep gorge. The woman gave her number to two different groups of men after having a short conversation with them, the first group didn’t cross the bridge and the second group had crossed the bridge. Here is where things got interesting, three times as many men who crossed the bridge called the beautiful woman back. The scientists scratched their heads and asked themselves, “Why did this happen?”
As it turns out the hormonal fear cocktail our bodies produce is pretty darn similar to the lusty one. So those bridge crossers rationalized that their shortness of breath, the racing heart rate, the sweaty palms and the upset stomach was lust for the woman, being scared silly had nothing to do with it (typical man).
This is great, I can’t be held responsible for wanting to marry Reo. Guys like Reo are great and a reason why I have come to lust kiting. Besides occasionally scaring myself I have never seen a nicer group of people in my life. Could you imagine a pro surfer rescuing some middle-aged haolie (freaking white lady) from getting drilled at Pipeline? No, neither can I. Kiter guys are nice, they are darn cute and it seems very charitable, all great reasons why more women should get into the sport. Just think about it, if you ask enough kiters to marry you, you may find the man of your dreams, or a least a decent backup plan.
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.
Before I kited I once asked my husband about his strings. The look of pure annoyance he shot me before he corrected me saying: “Lines, not stings.” was enough to tell me I had stumbled upon gold in my hag bag of tools for ribbing my husband. It was pure bliss every time I would say something like: “Oh honey, did you tangle your strings again?”
My overuse of the string thing turned it into a family joke; we declare that whenever our lines take more than 30 seconds to untangle they officially fall in the category of strings. If someone gaffes putting away their lines one of us will tease: “Is this your version of string theory?” or “Planning on knitting with this yarn?”