Articles

  • Art has been in my life for as long as I can remember. It existed in basic forms of imagery and objects viewed by people, admired in museums, and bought and sold in galleries. As a child, I was always drawing but would never have called myself an artist. Artists were almost mythical creatures in my eyes: men and women of museum and gallery legend. I, on the other hand, was always exploring nature and science. For me, representing the physical world through art was a way of better understanding its functions and processes.
  • It’s winter here [in New Zealand]. It’s been fairly mild, so I can’t really complain, but summer seems a long time ago. Last year I didn’t spend so much time in the seat, so when my Christmas holiday approached, I decided that I was going to ride my buggy as much as I could and jam with my buddies. I finished work on Friday, Dec. 17, 2010. I would have 18 days off and I wanted 10 rides. Not an unreasonable target if the wind blows. 
  • After dallying with kites for seven or eight years, I got seriously hooked in 1983 when I walked into Reza Ragheb’s Hi Fli Kites, a store in Aurora. Very shortly thereafter, I picked up a Saturday Evening Post and saw the shocking back-page photograph of Steve Edeiken being lifted by a huge kite on the Northwest Coast. Steve’s shocking death sent a wave through the kite world and gave us sobering insight into the power and danger of these behemoths. 
  • With their signature stacks of thirteen Hyperkites pulling 40’ long tails, The Bay Area Sundowners have the distinction of being one of the oldest and most entertaining kite flying teams in the world today.
  • The story about to be told is one of great heart. At times unbelievable and utterly mind-blowing, it has come straight from a self-confessed mad-man. He is Ashburton, New Zealand’s Craig Hansen, aged on the edge of half a century, and the record is entirely true and correct. It speaks of four men and a support crew who conquered the rugged, unforgiving Sahara Desert and its many barbs - all the while in buggies - by harnessing the power of wind as their fuel alone. It tells of determination, innovation, inspiration, and new world records.
  • I first saw Peter Lynn in his kite buggy in either 1990 or 1991 on a beach in Japan. My first thought was, “He’s done it, he’s found a way to get in everyone’s way!” But that was shortsighted and selfish – what Peter had really done was to reinvent kite traction, this time as a sport for thousands.
  • THE EARLY DAYS Since the invention of the box kite by Lawrence Hargrave and the bowed kite by William Eddy, there has been only one man who created a major innovat ion i n unmotor ized flight . Of cour se ever y enthusiastic aviation specialist and kite-fanatic knows more people who were inventive: Otto Lilliënthal, Alexander Graham Bell, and Samuel F. Cody. From the perspective of innovation, though, the invention of Francis M. Rogallo was a real breakthrough.
  • In 2002, the Drachen Foundation awarded me a grant to perform some basic explorations in the use of kites to generate useful electrical power. This grant was originally predicated on furthering explorations of the LadderMill invention of Professor (and one time astronaut) Wubbo Ockels.
  • Some Greek said that if an Ox drew a picture of God it would look like and Ox. Perceptive for 2,500 years ago, I thought, and also I thought that it's time my writings became a bit less serious again. But then I thought, like hell they should, this having fun is a serious business. "I look through a glass darkly, etc." Ah, to know the future. What will be the standard kite surfing kite five years from now? The Big Question!
  • Samoans and other island sailors of Polynesia used kites to propel their canoes throughout the vast Pacific. (Although I have it on good authority that using kites in this manner by Polynesian sailors is a fact, I haven't seen the documentation. Grist for one's own mill and, perhaps, another article.) Because he wrote about it (we'll take him at his word), we do know that in the early 1700's, a young Benjamin Franklin, while floating on his back, employed a kite to pull himself across a pond.