The Doctor is in. Welcome to Las Vegas, NV: Jan 18, 2012. New Silverbowl Park.
Weather 58°F. Winds 0 to 3 mph. Clothing from coats to shorts.
This was my favorite graphic on a SLK.
Normally, I have the model hold the kite right there for stability. Sadly, here, it partially blocks the very nice graphics on the dragon face. Modeled by Cassie Shook.
Ben from Revolution holds up his Zen low wind kite.
SkyDog Black Dog UL held in a 2 hand stall.
Look mom, it's Flipper.
And backlit for the viewing audience.
"Alpha Dog" Jim Christianson of Skydog kites. The Skydog name/logo was most prominent in banners, Roks and shirts.
And back to shooting small deltas.
Nice low cost fliers.
New graphics for the "Little Wing". Held by Dodd Gross.
The lads don't seem too interested in the kites.
Dodd flying the SDT 5.5 in low winds. I tried and wasn't nearly as good as he was with it.
I asked Dodd Gross to fly a ground pass with his SkyDog foil. He was scraping the grass for me and in low winds. Very nice control. And he avoided tangling the lines on the trash can. Don't look too closely at the people in the background as I didn't spend a lot of time on cleanup for this 6 photo collage.
HQ going South and Skydog going North.
John Barresi putting his best Gene Simmons impression on. That's Victoria on the far left and Mike in the middle.
Dodd with the "Dream On" in white. It also comes with black between the stripes.
Dodd squares off with the Black Dog UL to see which kite is better in low wind. Apparently, both will tip stand at the same time.
Sport kite fliers must be graceful.
In order we have: Dodd's hair, Dream On, parking lot, condos across the street.
And another Delta. Perhaps this one is for St. Patrick's Day.
Taking pictures of the drink cups? Or reviewing photos already taken more likely.
Ms. Shook pilots the Zen while Ben keeps his hands out of harm's way. Winds were zero at the time.
Skydog Rok. Looks to be about a 2 meter size.
C9. Hit. A4. Miss. Looks like someone in a striped shirt has already lost his Battleship on the "C" row.
When the clouds weren't cooperating for backgrounds, I asked the pilots to swing the kites by the park lights.
This would make for an interesting quad-line kite. Mark shows his skill at holding his ash in place.
Mr. Barresi with the B2 backlit.
And front lit. The kite is leaning to the viewer's right as John has 2 earrings on that side.
Nicely attended. We had sun, we had a few clouds and at times, we had some wind.
Dodd was the hardest worker of the day. He was constantly flying Skydog stock and explaining the differences to potential buyers. That Dream On (on the grass) is an excellent flier by the way. Very forgiving.
Dodd keeping the kite up by will and skill.
Paul De Bakker is working with Into The Wind these days. Here is an ITW badged Skate, although he has a few surprises coming for this model.
We had high clouds to the South. Although there is some discoloration below the kite, this photo came out fairly well.
Paul De Bakker is a pain in Ben's neck. Actually Ben has gone through 3 Focus Skates and wants some more. What is he doing to them?
The low/no wind Echo, now also badged to ITW.
I last saw standoffs like this on a kite from around 1990. Looks pretty good at shaping the sail and keeping parts count under control.
15 foot HQ Delta. On the lines we have Chris Shultz of HQ USA.
Pretty striking with the black tails here.
Holding onto the tails so the large delta doesn't go blasting into the sky too quickly in our 3 mph gusts.
Over to the right, you can see our own Las Vegas Cigar Smokers checking wind direction for the fliers.
Those tails look very cool.
Rob doing his Statue Of Liberty pose.
Twister game in progress for Frank Morrill.
Paul looks so serious here.
Here's a big surprise. Miguel and Sandy Rodriguez showed up. Here, they have just signed my friendship kite, but then Miguel informed me that he had a prototype with him.
Not part of the KTAI, but I hadn't gotten any photos of an iFlite.
It wasn't easy getting these shots. It's in-between a glider and a slow fighter.
The Skate is now being made by Into The Wind Kites. The Manta in the background is an older Focus. Perhaps ITW will make a Manta next year.
That patch on the Skate is the Into The Wind Logo. I would have preferred the patch to be placed a bit more inconspicuously, perhaps along the spine.
Paul de Bakker tames the Skate.
My favorite glider kite, the Focus Manta. No longer available.....but, you never know what the future holds. Built by Paul De Bakker and Hunter Brown who were Focus Kites for a few years.
No buggy racing today.
Here is the new Into The Wind Hydra backlit. That little tag sewn to the back needs a new home where it doesn't remind me of a T-shirt label sticking up.
And this is what the kite normally looks like.
Paul grabs the lines up close for this shot.
Still so serious. Kent Kingston holds his Manta in the background.
Sharp looking panel layout.
Not the best collage I've ever done. But Paul and I only tried this one time. Here, he has flared the new Into The Wind Hydra so we could see the front of the kite. Focus (no pun intended) is a bit off as well as the background blend.
Here is one of the photos used in the previous collage. The Hydra is still a bit out of Focus, but it looks pretty good.
A quick collage of the HQ foil. Actually, these were the every other shots as I had to account for the slow speed in the low winds. So, it's about 2/3 second between each foil. Flown by Kent Kingston.
Mary Ann on the controls. But she wanted it kept a secret that she had run with a kite. So I'm not telling anyone.
How do you pronounce Conyne?
Here, I use 2 hand models to precisely position the kite while I hold the line for a perspective effect.
Matching bags. How cool is that? The buggy in the background will probably be out at NABX in 2 months.
Corey (far left) came prepared with snacks, drinks and a swing.
The Blue Club. You had to be wearing blue to talk to these guys.
Kent training his Manta.
Miguel's Prototype, flown by Dodd Gross.
Dodd ran a 360 to get the prototype back upwind for the next few photos. He was moving.
Miguel Rodriguez far left. I hadn't seen him in at least 5 years.
Dodd pops the Miguel prototype into position in almost zero wind.
Miguel Rodriguez holds up his Prototype. No name for it yet. But it was loud.
Joe drove up from Kingman, AZ for the day. He was lucky enough to get a shot at Miguel's prototype. (Is that Joe's phone falling on the ground?)
Dumb luck. I had no idea that the jet contrails formed an X when I asked John Barresi to pose his kite for me. I moved the jet down from the original so don't look too closely at the clone blend around it.
The park lights had been turned on so I asked Darren to fly Kent's Focus Manta up in front of one of the lightpoles. You can just make out 4 of the lights through the sail.
This is the bus/limo that would take the KTAI folks back from New Silverbowl Park to Texas Station. I also got several new signatures (note the Sharpie hanging on the bridle) on my friendship kite (a Blue Moon Mojo I mostly sewed at a kite worshop in Chico years ago). Even talked the driver into going to look for a kite. So if you come to Las Vegas and fly a kite, you are eligible to sign. Hoping to add many more names.
The photos following this are brought to you by the letter "H" for heavy. My right elbow is still a bit sore from carrying the camera/strobe setup in my right hand for hours. Photo taken with the Canon S100 pocket camera without flash. And remember to always turn OFF your Vibration Reduction when using a strobe and/or a tripod. That's what the manual says.
Friday, Jan 20, 2012 at Texas Station Casino, about 2 miles from my house.
First, you have to register at the front desk. Maggie and Billy were once again making sure everything ran smoothly.
Some of the HQ kites including the very handsome Mojo quad-line lower left.
This is the new Helium filled (Bass?) fish to complement the Shark and Clown fish from last year.
Run! Run for the hills or shore or whatever. Last year, this poor fellow was wearing a scuba suit complete with flippers, snorkel and mask.
Nocturnal Sports sells lighting kits for all types of kites.
The Skydog crew with friends.
The Skydog lads. Randy Tom on the viewer's far right.
There were also Skydog banner miniatures.
If you are going to fly a large SLK, a tail is a must requirement.
The Prism Switch in 2 color schemes.
These are probably described as cool and hot.
I wish my badge had said Test Pilot. Kent and Daelyn are "A Wind Of Change Kites" here in Las Vegas.
That is an expensive set of kites.
Ron Gibian "South Bound" Masterpiece Revolution held by Lolly.
Revolution and Texlon sharing adjacent space and kites.
Mark Reed sights down the spine of the Zero-G.
Best in-flight shot I could get.
It's called the Zero-G.
Camera focused on the front canards.
Prism Zero-G Bridle has an active front leg which alters the angle of the canard for better lift when pulled and better gliding when released.
Camera focused on the main wing in the rear.
Rob Cembalest keeps the sport kites in line.
Cohasset wind chimes. Very natural look with all the wood.
And the wind chimes from a different angle.
Betty with the Arrowcopter. Her husband named and owns the copyright for the word "Arrowcopter".
Tom McAlister of Highline Kites in Berkeley, CA. Tom sponsors the Berkeley Kite Festival each year.
Tiny bubbles in the air with the squeeze of a trigger. Comes complete with batteries and 2 bottles of bubble soap.
I like the lime green line on the left.
WARNING! Do not attack this man.
The Jr. Devastator uses the blue rubber bands.
Note the nicely rounded edges of the entire toy.
The Shark may have wandered into the wrong booth.
Slightly Above Time fairies.
Lips so kissable. You'd think the fish would be smiling. Maybe she looks ugly to a fish.
Panorama of one side of the convention room from the lunch area.
The comfortable clothes.
Gomberg and niece Michelle, if I recall correctly. (Thanks Cassie for the name)
The lower kite is a Falcon Delta. I purchased one along with a matching transition tail as a wedding gift for a nephew last year. Very nice. Although I got a different color scheme.
More Gomberg deltas.
Welcome to the spider web of Gomberg pretty stuff.
The HQ booth. That 15 foot delta at the top is just beautiful in the air with wide matching black tails.
Some of the girls from different booths got together at Nocturnal Sports.
Checking out the Prism display.
Skydog traction kites.
The In The Breeze exhibit must have been 70 feet long. It was huge.
Yes, that's all In The Breeze product.
Here is a close-up of one of the sections.
If you walk all the way to the end, there is a table with free food. Free is good.
They look like very cool pot holders but are really throwing discs for pets and/or people. I'm guessing the dogs have a tough time throwing the discs.
Cristina fires 3 Pocket Discs at me.
I wasn't able to catch any of the discs.
Light up the sky.
Gomberg gliders from a slightly different angle.
Paul De Bakker is a little bit leaner than last year. He had bulked up a little too much from kickboxing last year, so backed down as it was slowing his skills.
Into The Wind. The Barresi Kymera is on the far left. I like the Dragonfly too.
More Into The Wind kites.
Wholesale price points have been covered to protect the innocent.
Into The Wind SLKs.
Do those kites look hot or what?
I had taken several photos, but never noticed the duality of the Switch. Later, Kent Kingston brought me over and explained the bridle system.
Skydog traction equipment from a different angle.
Val and prospective buyer.
The HQ booth. Pay no attention to the young man eating lunch.
HQ cell kites.
There is something odd about this striking mermaid kite.
3-D panels which would open up in flight and make the kite harder to fly, not that some would mind. My cups runneth over.
No, don't shoot that "Screaming Monkey" at me. And yes, the fired ape does make a screaming sound. I had hoped for an airborne photo, but the monkey was too fast.
Brainstorm products, including X-kites.
It's almost too orderly. Hey, is that my camera, strobe and filter on the table? No, I'm using mine. For a second, I thought someone had stolen my camera.
When I was young, I wanted to marry Tinkerbell.
Still the Brainstorm area.
I like the parrot "ground display". My thanks to Rob Cembalest for the update. It is not a kite nor a banner. But then, I've had 2 real parrots in my youth. I miss one of them.
Actually, the lights on the kites are pretty bright. I'll bet they look great at night.
Val talks Premier product with part of the crowd.
The Switch is going to be a hit. It even has mylar.
One of the hardest working people in the kite business. Mark Reed. He doesn't really have an oddly shaped head. That's my wide angle lens at work. Sorry Mark.
You must be really mad if your hair is sparkling.
And the Gomberg gliders a 3rd time. I must be drawn to them.
The Volksquad in the corner has an adjustable cross-brace and hovers upside down superbly.
New Tech deltas and wind socks.
Paul De Bakker tests out the new ITW Skate. He told me that the ITW logo will be moved from it's current position seen toward the tail and off to one side. Thank goodness.
Into The Breeze free food over on the left. I actually was so busy taking pictures, I didn't get any food. Those red vines would have been devastated, had I the time.
Hey Mr. Gomberg, how big is that rainbow Rok anyway?
More Into The Breeze kites.
Corey Jensen (KTAI president) checks with the ITW booth people. Corey was in his serious mode as he went around checking on the convention.
John's name badge gets longer each year. It's beginning to look like a tie.
Into The Wind Hydra in Lime. It also comes in blue seen just above.
Note the Kite Station kiosk front middle. Nice way to display product in a small space.
The only Prism sport kite I saw this year was on a T-shirt. My how the times have changed.
I have that same model Tilley hat. Although in a different size.
HQ Sport kites.
That mouth looks very 3 dimensional.
Val of Premier Kites holds up a model of the sport kite being used by Nocturnal Sports for their light kits.
Join the AKA. Here Ted is having his jacket ripped off by kite groupies.
My prediction for best seller to advanced fliers, the Zero-G. Although the Switch might well do better amongst new fliers.
I took this photo so you could see the bend in the skeleton for the Zero-G.
I think I focused on the wrong thing here.
If my arms were a few feet longer, this picture would have been perfect.
Sharp graphics on the new Prism glider.
It's a magic bridle, really. Kent had to bring me over to see the bridle as I had missed the fact that the kite could fly in either mode.
The Switch comes with lines for both dual and single line mode.
Time to call it a day and go home mom.