A day at the beach with kites. What could be better?
The 2017 Kite Festival has arrived. Many gather from across the country to take flight or just enjoy the sights.

Whatever the reason, this event has categories for all. There’s small kite sections for anyone to enjoy. Synchronized kiting where the pros show off their best moves.

And then there’s the big elephant in the room, or shall I say squid? The large kites are indeed large. Some larger than the vehicles they were brought in. The sights make it easy to get carried away, but everyone started somewhere…even large kite users.
Phil Burks, “We started flying kites just like everybody else with small kites on the beach and start flying bigger kites and bigger kites. Pretty soon that’s where it winds up.”

But safety is paramount. In fact, one of the reasons they’re off to side is because a large kite can pull hundreds of pounds of pressure. They are usually hoisted by rock climbing equipment. Passersby can get severely injured if a gust of wind pulls up in a few seconds. So a lot of pressure goes into the kites.  These experts recommend you start small then go large. Kite Veteran of 25 years tells us what can happen even to the experienced.

Doug La Rock, “Shattered both ankles, broke both legs, broke my hip, my pelvis, some bones in my back, broke a rib or two  collapsed a lung,  tore up my elbow, broke both wrists.”  But despite all the trouble, Doug says it’s a fun hobby that keeps him coming back.

The kite festival continues on Saturday, February 4 on the flats, next to the SPI Event Center.

By: Alfredo Cuadros