A hobby and sport in the West and a religious celebration in the East, kiting became international in the last two decades through increased global travel and because the internet made verbal connections fast and easy. Intelligent patronage by the Drachen Foundation helped these developments significantly. Founded and led by Scott Skinner, Drachen has compiled a vast amount of archival printed information on kites, collected fine kites, educated people about the subject, sponsored workshops by experts, staged exhibits, supported research, collected photo documentation, and created publications. Now with all the information safely placed in manageable digital formats, Drachen has taken a giant step forward. It has made everything freely available via the World Wide Web. Following is a sample of the wonderful world of kite people and events of the first 20 years of the existence of Drachen, as documented in its wide-ranging Journal.
MORE FUN THAN PLAYING IN SAND
An inventor by profession and kite flier as hobbyist, Joe Hadzicki of San Diego woke up one day with a kite design fully formed in his mind. He went to his workshop, built it, and took it right out to fly. On this first trial it performed beautifully. The Revolution was born. Of course known as The Rev, the kite is controlled by four lines, two for each hand. It spins on its axis, or goes left or right. Most notably, it can be put in a screeching dive, stopped a foot above the ground, then flown backwards up into the sky. Although tricky to control, it immediately became the outstanding new kite of the late 20th century.
PAINTINGS THAT FLY
A noted artist in his native Budapest, Istvan Bodoczky showed colorful asymmetrical paintings in an art gallery. They were highly irregular, free-form works on paper framed by bamboo strips. In an excess of hubris, he told a critic he could attach flying lines to the paintings and fly them as kites. Challenged to do so, he surprised even himself by succeeding beyond expectation. A new kind of art kite was born. Bodoczky quickly learned how to balance each kite for flight and when word got out about his work he soon was being invited all over the world by kite festivals to show off his strange, wonderful aerial originals.