W6SDO.COM SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA USA
My dad and his father flew their kites on the wind swept planes of South Dakota in the early 1920s.
Their kites were all large box kites that they built on bamboo frames that were covered with lightly
varnished cloth. These kites were very heavy but that was not a problem with the mighty South Dakota
winds. They flew their kites at the end of long lengths of binder twine. This was a heavy twine that was
typically used on the family farm to bind sheaves of grain to be stored for later feeding to their cattle.
Later, in the mid 40s my dad showed me, as a young boy, how to build box kites using wooden
dowels and paper covering. These kites were also heavy and were flown on binder twine line that we
borrowed from your hay bailer. The winds were usually not strong on our dairy farm in Grants Pass,
Oregon and it was usually a struggle to keep these box kites in the air. Later, my folks purchased a 640
acre ranch north of town. I was in the forth grade then and rode my horse every day to a two room
country school in Oak Grove, just north of Grants Pass. There we made our own diamond kites for
flying at recess. These kites were built using bamboo and newspaper. These kites were much more
successful due to their much lighter weight and the use of a lightweight flying line.
In the 70s I sometimes flew kites with my daughters and their friends when we were camping in the
Borrego Desert. However, most of our time there was spent camping, flying radio controlled model
airplanes, riding our dirt bikes and flying ultra-lights so we didn't do a lot of kite flying. We flew kites
much more during our annual week long camp out on Venice Beach just south of the Santa Monica
pier. There was sufficient wind at that beach to fly our stack of six diamond kites which we flew at the
end of very strong Kevlar lines. To fly these kites the kids had to bury themselves in the sand to keep
from being dragged off.
Now, almost 70 years has passed since I flew my first kite as a young boy and I am now flying kites
again. This is all due to meeting a neighbor who lives only a mile or so away from me, who is both an
amateur radio operator and an avid kite flyer. Since then I have done a bit of research on the wide
variety of kites that are now available and have acquired examples of some of the basic kite types to
try. My current favorites are shown and described in the MY FAVORITE KITES section. You can click
on that tab to see the kites that I consider my current favorites.
Please come back again to see what is new on these kite pages.
Welcome to my kite pages.
The following is a little bit of
history about my earlier kite
flying days before my recent
return to the hobby.
|Last modified January 16, 2016