Sunday, May 29, 2005

Kite Flyers Paradise

My family and I just returned from our family vacation in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I had told my wife that it would be a great place to relax, take in some sunshine while we sit on the beach and stick our toes in the surf. Secretly I had been planning the ultimate kite-enthusiast vacation! It was no mistake that the Wright Brothers chose the Outer Banks for the location of their historic first flight . . . steady winds and massive sand dunes lend themselves to all types of airborne activities from land-based kiting, to kite boarding, to hang gliding.

Partially out of vacation-induced laziness, and partially out of curiosity, I left our Big Sled kite tethered to our deck all night long. To my absolute delight, I awoke early the next morning to see the Big Sled still sailing proudly in the wind. We also performed several other experiments with the Big Sled including sending up "line laundry" and attaching other smaller parafoils to the same line.

By far my favorite kiting memory was my son and I flying dualing T-Foils on a large sand dune overlooking our home. If you ever have the opportunity to visit the Outer Banks, I highly recommend it. However, much of the same thrill and bonding can be accomplished much closer to home. So next time the wind is blowing, pack up your family and your favorite kites and make a memory right in your own neighborhood.