Best Kites, Intriguing Fliers

Ben Ruhe
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Browsing Drachen Foundation kite journals, past or present, the reader cannot help but notice that some kites lead the pack, either for size, looks, age, background, or use, and that some of the personalities flying them are particularly unusual. Herewith are some nominees for most notable kites and a glance at some of the people involved in the sport.

Most Emotive: Anna Rubin

Top left. A student in Vienna, Austria, Anna Rubin received an assignment to create an original kite, build it, and fly it. She did so. Her second effort, also very imaginative, made the cover of a kite magazine. She was launched. Anna’s kites, constructions of strip bamboo and paper, are a rarity because they convey emotion, sometimes a strong one. In their own way, they are sculptures. An example is “The Kiss.” Two circular bamboo forms merge in the center, a point marked by red splotches – lipstick. “One woman seeing it,” recalls Anna,” burst into tears.” The kite flies well, by the way.

Most Revolutionary: The Revolution Kite

Bottom left. An inventor by profession and a kiteflier by avocation, Joe Hadzicki of San Diego went to bed one night, dreamed of a radical kite, woke up, went to his shop, made the thing, took it out, tested it, and it flew very well. The speedy two-liner went exactly to the right and then to the left, and straight up. Best of all, it could be brought down in a screaming dive, stopped abruptly a foot from the grass, and flown straight back up. All of this was accompanied by an attention-getting ripping sound. The Revolution – Rev for short – was born. Joe and his partner brothers marketed the kite and did well, but then found the design was being ripped off. They won infringement suits, but were unable to collect when the shifty copiers retreated into bankruptcy. “We should never have bothered suing in the first place,” older and wiser Joe concludes.

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