I got my first sport kite (a stack of 3 plastic Trlbys - yellow, pink, blue) in the summer of 1983. In 1984, my family moved to the Outer Banks, and within a few months, I had a job as a kite flier (still my favorite title and job) for Kitty Hawk Kites. I spent several summers getting paid to sit out on Jockey's Ridge and fly kites to advertise for the store. I was sponsored by KHK to go to the first East Coast Stunt Kite Championships in 1986 where I proudly placed dead last in Novice Individual Precision (I think I anchored NIB as well). I went to a few more ECSKC's, and helped start an event called the Outer Banks Stunt Kite Competition (OBSKC) on Jockey's Ridge. In that time frame, I'm proud to say that, through working for the store, I was often the first to get my hands on a bunch of classic kites including the Hawaiian Team Kite, the Spinoff, and the Revolution Neos Omega. I also taught a bunch of folks some sport kite basics in that time, including a lovely couple from Richmond VA, the Stonestreets. I brought Stoney and Laura home to my folks' house when I was 16 years old, the beginning of a long friendship they had with my parents. Then I went to college, got married young, moved to West Virginia, had twin boys, and forgot all about kites.
Fast forward 16 years - divorced from the first wife, remarried, had a 3rd kid (a daughter), and moved to Richmond, VA. One day I get a call from Stoney (who my Mom had told about us moving to Richmond) inviting me to come out and fly some kites. That was 8 years or so ago, and I'm thankful every day that he made that call. Kiting has been a great outlet for me to get outside, get some exercise, have fun, flex my creative muscles, and most importantly, make some great friends. I began building kites and competing in sport kite competition within a few months of that initial phone call. Since then, I've won some comps here and there, been NIP, NIB, EIP, EIB, EPP, EPB, EMP, EMB, and MIP champion of the Eastern League. I was commissioner of the Eastern League from 2006 - 2011, and am currently a member of the AKA Sport Kite Committee, as well as the event organizer for Virginia's own Old Dominion Sport Kite Championships (ODSKC), held the 3rd weekend of June at our home field, Dorey Park, in Richmond, VA. I've also helped manage several other events, including the Richmond-Washington Regional Sport Kite Championships (RWRSKC), OBSKC, and the Mid-Atlantic Sport Kite Championships (MASKC) in Ocean City, MD.
I'm a big fan of competitive kiting, and have been a champion of sorts for several measures to keep it alive and well in the U.S. I've written a few articles for the AKA's Kiting magazine and helped promote the use of tools like online event registration and event management techniques to help keep competitions more organized. I also led the effort to introduce the Program Precision format to reduce the time it takes to run Precision disciplines at competitions. I'm now evangelizing on the need for more regional competitions to help introduce new fliers into sport kite competition, with a goal of helping start (or at least inspiring) the creation of 20 new regional events in the U.S. It's stupid-easy to run a regional, I'm living proof! If you would like to learn more about how easy it is, feel free to contact me!