Paul Shirey of AeroStar Sportkites held a contest to design a new logo for his kite building. This was my entry and it won. He gave me the idea accidentally in a phone call when he told me that he constantly got mail for Arrow Star. The idea just popped in my head.
All these early photos were taken with my Nikon 900s 1 MP camera.
My first kite. A Team Hawaiian by Top of the Line, designed by Don Tabor.
This was my idea for a custom Mamba. Although Ken McNeill refused to do it, he later made a few very, very similar ones to this. The only difference was less stars.
My daughter Shea with our Berkeley Special Edition Illusion 2000.
It almost worked though.
Here I am with a Voodoo. My right leg is in a walking cast.
This was my idea for a Custom Mamba by Ken McNeill. Later, several good friends chipped in and had this made for me. It is beautiful.
Our family at Shoreline Park.
Berkeley Kite Festival and a beautiful home made SLK.
Here is our son Britt with one of our first kites.
Some other ideas for patriotic Blue Moon kites.
This was actually the kite Bambi wanted for our first kite.
Ken McNeill asked people to submit a design for a new logo. I submitted this as I felt a Blue Moon should be full.
Ray Bethell, Berkeley Kite Festival
Bambi asked me to make her a kite unlike any others. This was my attempt. It kept popping overcenter and deflating. I needed a much stronger spine.
I have only seen these 2 Vented AirFX models. Ken McNeill didn't make many of these and I've never even heard of any of the others.
The large inflatables always got their own section. Kites maintained by the Berkeley Kite Wranglers.
My Open Freestyle costume at Berkeley many years ago. Photos by Mark. Yes, that's Wonder Woman.
Brian Todd was a test pilot for Martin Schob some years back. This batten shaped mid-windTricktail was a thank you from Martin to Brian.
Brian Todd flying his 1 of 2 mid-wind batten wing shaped Tricktail.
Shea next to her kite of the day, a Tramontana
Stunt Kite Spar Data (Graph made 5 April 2002). This graph was made by taking data in tabular form from the Avia and SkyShark Websites. The Red and Yellow dots show 2 different data points for the same spar when measured by the manufacturer and the competitor. Very interesting.
Prism Kites made in the USA.
Opium by R-Sky Kites in France.
Quad-Line kites of many different shapes.
Laurent Moll with his Mojo.
Mojo Classic Panel Layout by Blue Moon Kites (Ken McNeill).
Big Easy MEFM (Most Excellent Flying Machine) by Ray Bordelon.
Maverick. There were around 10 of these made by Ken McNeill, but the kite never went into true production.
Laurent Moll with Mojo #131.
Gary Dromgold sport kite. Gary was always known for his eye-searing designs.
I think I made this RWB version for someone from a Prism photo. I do not know the original photographer.
Bridle information gathered from several other websites.
My ideas for applique designs on a Bad Boy kite.
Centurion by Peter Betancourt about to land in a tree.
It's a 10 foot kite.
Look upper left about 30 feet off the ground.
The 2002 Nationals at Ocean City, Maryland. I was there representing BASKL in the Novice dual-line category. We had 17 in my group.
I should know who is flying this stack.
2002 AKA Nationals in Ocean City, MD photos start here.
There is Lam, who won the Kite Building Award. If I remember correctly, it was the first time a dual line kite won the award.
Jose Sainz won a huge award for this beauty.
Unknown pilot and kite. Love the yellow kite bag.
Unknown builder and creation.
6-Stack of Ghost Deltas, AKA Nationals 2002 (That's me reflected in the sunglasses)
That is a nice looking stack of Pyros.
My legs got in much better shape after walking in that loose sand for a week.
Ron is really lunging to get the kite to hang for the picture.
Ron is off camera.
He wouldn't quit until I told him I got the picture I wanted.
Ron Graziano snap stalling a Master Control in strong wind while Shawn Tinkham and Doug Charleville look on. This was tough, but Ron said he liked the challenge.
And this was the one I wanted. Thanks Ron.
New Tech 10 foot kite (Firestorm?) designed by Dodd Gross.
New Tech Dynamite designed by Dodd Gross.
Very cool quad-line kite.
And even more Shivas.
I actually like the way this one looks.
Shiva. This one got my vote for one of the uglier panel layouts. It's funny, now 8 years later, it looks okay.
Gosh, I was doing this triangle shoot even back in 2002.
There were a lot of Shivas at the 2002 AKA Nationals.
Auction win for Don King.
The hand of Ron Graziano and a Shannon SLK.
Ed Shenk with his trademark double overlap prism design. Photo taken Ocean City, MD 2002 with a 1MP Nikon 900s
Closeup of an Ed Shenk double overlap Prism.
Double Dondai by Ed Shenk
Double Dondai at the 2002 AKA Nationals (built and designed by Ed Shenk)
Ed Shenk with a beautiful SLK he made. He's giving Bambi instructions on how it goes together.
Voodoo at AKA National Convention 2002, Ocean City, MD.
John Welden wins Hot Tricks at 2002 AKA Nationals. Jim Byrne on right.
John Welden, winner of the Hot Tricks Contest.
John Welden with his Elixir. Mark Reed on right.
John Welden's Flea Award for Hot Tricks.
Doug Charleville had his digital camera too. I wonder if Doug thought I had a strong accent.
Uly was a sponsored flier for SkyBurner Kites. These are his Trick'n'Track in UL, standard and vented.
Bambi's T2 SUL by Peter Taylor. The first and maybe only Airdynamics kite to use rainbow fabric.
I've gone through so many different trick line set-ups on this kite.
There is a great story behind this kite, but I don't remember it.
That is a good looker.
MEFM (Most Excellent Flying Machine) by Ray Bordelon of Big Easy Kites.
Tirips (That is Spirit spelled backwards).
Similar to the previous photo.
I must have been in love with these kites.
Yes, it's another Tirips.
And there it goes.
Normally, I don't like to take pictures of kites on the ground.
Debbie Park with her Deca.
Debbie and Lee Park practicing their indoor Deca skills.
They are in really, really good shape.
Killer Bee Kites
A swarm of Killer Bees.
Note the perforations for venting in addition to the 6 screened panels.
Boy, I really wanted one of these. Loved the striped panel.
STX 2.1 Prototype.
STX 2.3 Prototype
Ken with an early Ichiban.
One of these photos is on his website.
Digital cameras have come a long way since 2001.
And it flies.
Lam told me later, that he was reducing the number of middle vents.
Okay, that is just a very hot looking kite.
Looking back at these photos now some 8 years later, the memories seem very fresh.
My favorite venting of any kite from a visual standpoint. The kite is by Lam Hoac. Shawn Tinkham is holding the tip stab.
One of my favorite early kite photos.
This kite later became the MSE with some panel changes and tweaks.
Doug's patriotic Mojo standard.
Doug adds his patriotic Mamba to the shoot.
Doug's Mojo UL or SUL.
Doug, that is a good looking kite (Blue Moon Mojo)
Doug Charleville's rainbow fabric Mojo. This is either a UL or SUL judging from the connectors.
Ken McNeill at the AKA Nationals in 2002 in Ocean Shores, Maryland with the final "classic paneled" Mojo by Blue Moon kites.
Ahhhhh. My Mojo. Hand delivered by Ken McNeill. I was surprised when Ken told me no one had ever ordered this airplane look before. It seemed like a natural.
Ken McNeill hands over the last "classic panel" Mojo to Bambi.
Ahhhh, back when I was thinner. Ken McNeill is the one wearing the Blue Moon hat.
Is that Jon Trennepohl next to John Barresi?
Paul Shuman also made the Speed Limit which had dynamic variable venting.
Stripes by Aerodrone Kites (Paul Shuman). One of the very few broadseamed kites.
Ed Shenk Mask UL. I won this at the Auction. And right after this shot, I did my first fade.
Sonic by Peter Werba
Prism Prophecy hanging in the bar.
Classic paneled Mojo on ground and 2nd generation paneled Mojo in the air.
Here I am hooked up to the young ladie's 23 sqm parafoil. Just a little too much for my timid soul.
Ray Bethell flying 3 sport kites at Berkeley Kite Festival.
Paradox by Spirit of Air Kites.
Makua, a Dennis Fishback (in the background) tribute to the Prism Illusion and Prophecy. Dennis is holding an Aerie Diablo (made by Shanti, not Ken McNeill). That's the camera case for my 1 MP Nikon 900s which I got for $900 used at the time.
Niall & Louie at Shoreline Park, CA
New Tech Dynamite at San Ramone Kite Festival
My Deca15 and A1 at Shoreline. I traded the A1 for a Rev 1.5 and Rev 2. Still have the 15. Fun kite to fly, but not a Rev. I actually prefer it to the rev. Handles high wind nicely. (text by Brett Grant)
Rev Shockwave - Fun to Fly. Nice and Fast. Baylands (text by Brett Grant)
Mako SE Prototype by Ken McNeill of Blue Moon Kiets.
Boul'X by R-Sky Kites at Baylands Park, California
Pro Wren SUL by Jeff Howard
Look at all those TT - Cool. That was a fun event. The red TT being held by Brian Todd (RIP) is one of the few TT200s in the states. (text by Brett Grant)
Brian Todd with his Prism Radian.
The late Brian Todd with a Prism Radian
Pyro. Many consider this the best single line kite ever.
Maverick. The model that never went into production. By Ken McNeill.
Steve Hall with an R-Sky Frenezy.
Dan Whitney with my Prism Vapor at Shoreline Park, California
Magnum Opus being flown by Lee Stroup.
Magnum Opus on the ground and Big Dipper above.
Lee Stroup (holding a Magnum Opus) being harassed by a Big Dipper.
Rod Thrall on the left talking to Lee Stroup.
Jim Strealy with his Sutton.
The water kept trying to knock down the kite.
Luna Moth. This is the low cost version made by Go Fly A Kite.
Jam Session Classic designed by Dodd Gross. Flown in front of Jim Strealy's Sutton.
Big Dipper UL.
Jordan Air Pro at Baylands Park, Sunnyvale CA. Looks like I was showing the effect of a Photoshop Level Adjust.
Utopia. An extremely adjustable kite which can tolerate huge wind speed ranges by varying several line tensions
Sizzle by Top of the Line Kites (TOTL)
Utopia showing very unusual 2 skin construction. Designed by Martin Schob for Flying Wing.
New Tech Dynamite designed by Dodd Gross
(Info from Paul Shirey & Troy Gunn) He was a great designer and contributed a lot to the sport. Both the 1000 & 750 models (100 inch; & 75 inch; wingspans) had very similar graphics and overall appearance. This is the larger 1000 model since it has four panels of stripes on the wings. The smaller 750 only had three. Later, Vince came out with some cool looking new designs and even signed a deal for distribution with UP Sports. The Stinger 1000, 750, Warrior, Chief, etc... were later available only by CTW Kites of Lincoln City, OR. The 103" Stinger 1000 was replaced by a slightly smaller version, named "Stinger S2". Vince dropped out of the main kiting scene but not entirely. Vince still flys kites on occassion and buggies, but his passion the past many years is sailing. Vince lives in Normal, IL and is a engineer, designing Eureka Vacuum cleaners. ya, his job sucks! The Stinger line of kites no longer exist, but remained in production until the late 90's. Pam Kirk and Michael Dennis sewed most recent sails.
Custom colors on a Diablo by Aerie Kiteworks. HOWEVER, this was NOT made by Ken McNeill, but by a fellow who purchased the rights and pattern from Ken.
My father, Frank Chilese with an Ed Shenk "Mask".
Canadian Maple Leaf Pizazz.
Love the bubbles on the sail. (text by Brett Grant)
Flying Wings Utopia - My first real trickkite. Baylands. (text by Brett Grant)
Pro Wren by Jeff Howard. Pilot is Aaron Champie. This must be the BASKL tournament held up in San Francisco annually.
(text by Brett Grant) Vented Tricktail - Baylands. Owned by me, but I am not the pilot here. Pilot is Uly.
My new "Ugly Bridle) for a Berkeley Edition I2K by Prism Kites.
Original bridle for the Prism Illusion 2000 or I2K.
Std Tricktail, Baylands. (text by Brett Grant)
(text by Brett Grant) Standard Tricktail - Still owned by me, currently in Tucson, AZ. Photo from Baylands, CA
One of my favorite pictures of a Tricktail.
Opium Standard by R-Sky Kites.
Laurent Moll demonstrating proper footwork.
David Barnby flys an Aerie Mystic at Shoreline Park.
Mystics by Ken McNeill of Aerie Kiteworks.
Worshiping the Kite Gods with a sunset prayer :-) (text by and model Allen Carter)
Allen Carter with a PBSK Bad Boy UL
Custom Spin-Offs. Note that there are no standoffs (whiskers)
Level One Amazing SUL flown by Dennis Fishback.
PBSK Bad Boy Vented
HQ Tramontana set with the newer sail pattern and shape.
Australian built MEFM, not made by Ray Bordelon.
Lithium Standard by L'Atelier (Workshop) Kites.
Vented Vodoo at Shoreline Park.
Jam Session by New Tech Kites. Designed by Dodd Gross.
My brother Frank and his son Tony at the San Ramon Kite Festival in May of 2002.
Dynamite by New Tech Kites. Designed by Dodd Gross.
Midi Sandpiper by Tim Mattheson.
Not your average Beetle. This "Super Beetle has been reframed by John Gillespie". I flew it at Crissy Field. It was so much better than the original. Of course, a lot more money was spent.
Voodoo Standard at Crissy Field and Shoreline Park
Phantom UL in custom colors. Designed by Tim Benson, although this one was made by Fizz Kites.
I didn't have any kite lines with me so I used my belt.
ZeroStar sport kite made by Paul Shirey of AeroStar Kites. Flown by John Gillespie at Crissy Field, San Francisco, CA. Vince Maranta in the background.
Vented AirFX by Ken McNeill when he owned and ran Aerie Kiteworks. This is the hardest pulling vented kite I own.
Laurent and Sam Moll at Shoreline Park.
AirFX UL in the air and AirFX standard underneath. Both made by Ken McNeill.
AirFX Vented with matching purple ribbon tail at Shoreline Park, California.
Vented Willie at Shoreline Park, California.
Level One Blackjack, Shoreline Park, CA.