Fighter kites and a master fighter

Okay, so I’m posting things out of order – I haven’t written my post regarding the GREAT time I had at the Junction Kite Makers Retreat (I’ve already posted my American Airlines rant [they still have NOT responded to my complaint] and haven’t yet looked that the few photos I took – I’ve just been too worn out to do much since I got home). Even so, I’ve spent some time (while I wasn’t sleeping) looking up fighter kites on the Internet, which I was first introduced to at Junction. While we did not make them, I had a chance to fly one on my first day there. Fighters are very small (in fact, they’re surprisingly small) single line kites that are highly maneuverable. In addition to making more of the same of the goodies I created at Junction, I wanted to try and make my own fighters. Yesterday, I stopped by a few stores and purchased some Mylar, along with a few other supplies. Unfortunately, according the instructions I’ve found on the Internet, fighters are now usually made with carbon rods for durability.

What surprised me even more; however, is that I was just introduced (only a few weeks ago), to a man by the name of Vic who runs a well-known kite shop called “Kite Country” in San Diego. Little did I know at that time that Vic is considered to be quite famous in the fighter kite world as not only a champion fighter but also as a master fighter kite maker! His kite, “Vic’s Fighter” is still highly regarded by kiters (is that a real word?) around the world. So. . . I decided to take a quick jaunt down to his shop today (about 72 miles from home) to pick up some carbon rods and a few other goodies. Okay, I spent a bit too much (UGH)! Just the same, I got to pick Vic’s brain for quite a long time and learned a lot (the only problem is I probably won’t remember even half of what he told me).

Much of what Vic did have to say was quite fascinating! He told me stories about how he has chased everything from joggers to dogs on the beach (who hadn’t a clue that they were being followed by a kite) as well as having his kites “peer” into the windows of hotel visitors. While my experience with fighters is currently very limited (I got to fly one at Junction), these kites are, apparently, VERY maneuverable. Can’t wait to try some more!

In addition to four fighter kites (a Hoopty, a Fandango, and a Flick [all by esteemed kite maker, Jeff Howard], as well as an Indian made Mylar fighter with bamboo spars, I bought my son a Rev (so he will be able to fly his own, instead of mine)! I’ll have to post pictures of these kites later. I also purchased some carbon rods and other small hardware so I can try my hand at making my own – which is something that I would prefer to do, once I learn how, that is!