Jul 162015

Caution, flying sport kites is contagious and can be highly addictive. I know, because two years ago I did not own a kite, and then we went to the Washington State International Kite Festival in Long Beach and a fellow let me fly his dual line Prism Snapshot 1.9 speed foil. It took all of about 30 seconds for me to realize that I needed one of those babies! That was the contagious part.

And like any addiction, once you’ve had a taste of the honey, you find yourself going back for more and more. I now own five kites. A Prism Snapshot 1.9 of my own, a dual line Prism Quantum stunt kite, two quad line Revolution 1.5 SLE stunt kites, and a single line I have to introduce kids to kite flying. Hello, my name is Nick, and I’m an addict.

When I got into flying kites Miss Terry expressed an interest in it as well. But since then whenever we have gone out she’s been too busy being my chaser to do anything else. For those of you who don’t know what a chaser is, it’s just like the name suggests, the chaser is the person who chases the kite down, unwinds the multiple lines, and sets it up to fly again after a crash. And when you’re learning, you crash a lot!

Last year I won a third Revolution kite in a drawing on the Kite Life website, so I told Terry that one would be hers. It got stuck in a corner of the motorhome and has not been used since then. Until yesterday.

In the afternoon we went to the beach across from the Thousand Trails campground, along with Dan and Patty Chance, and Nancy Kissack. I got Dan and Nancy both hooked on kites soon after I fell into the abyss, and he brought along his Snapshot. Nancy had her smaller Snapshot, as well as the Prism Quantum that she just acquired.

While Dan got his kite into the air, I helped Nancy set up her Quantum and gave her a quick explanation of how the controls worked. She took to that thing like a duck to water! In no time at all she was amazing us with how well she was flying it.

Once Nancy was in the air and doing well, we set up Terry’s quad line Revolution EXP, and she launched it for the first time. A quad line kite is highly maneuverable and can do amazing things, but there is a decided learning curve. But don’t tell Terry that.

I have spent two years crashing kites, watching kite how-to videos, reading kite websites and forums, and last year I even had a private lesson from John Barresi, who has won more national kite flying championships that anyone else has come close to. Terry didn’t need all that nonsense, she just flew the damn kite!

Terry flying Rev small

Sure, she crashed it a lot, too, but every time she did she instinctively learned a lesson and the next time she launched it she did better. After about two hours of steady flying she was already better than I am on my quad line kite. And the smile on her face, it was priceless. Oh yeah, she’s hooked!

Terry framed Rev small

As for me, I didn’t do any flying yesterday. Somebody has to be the chaser!

When we left the beach we stopped home for a few minutes, then went into town to have dinner with Dan, Patty, Nancy, and Tom and Barb Westerfield at the Chowder Bowl in Nye Beach. As always, the company was good, but I did not think my fish and chips were as good as those at the South Beach Fish Market. And the ladies seemed to enjoy their fish tacos.

It’s Thursday, so it’s time for a new Free Drawing. This week’s prize is a one year subscription to the digital edition of the Gypsy Journal, or an extension to your existing digital subscription. If the winner has a print subscription they will receive a certificate for a digital edition once their current subscription expires, or they can give it to someone as a gift. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.


Thought For The Day – Way too many of my stories end with “And that’s why I can’t go back there anymore!”

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Nick Russell

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  3 Responses to “Oh Yeah, She’s Hooked!”

  1. somehow the concept of Nick “chasing” anything faster than a nap on the couch directly behind his desk or his next visit to a Chinese buffet is totally foreign to me. Maybe writing an article telling how to chase! Now figure out how she can fly a single line kite from behind her loom and you will be her hero.

  2. I’m a solo traveller. Anyone know where I can hire a chaser?!?

  3. Now that both you and Terry are hooked, here are the next two things you should do (not in any particular order, maybe both at the same time). Get some kite stakes if you don’t have them already, one for each of you. Then, you can be your own chaser. Stake the handles and you can walk down to your kite to pick it up, mess with it, reset it, etc. Now you can both fly at the same time. But, walking back and forth is tiring, right? So, the other thing is to learn how to relaunch or reset your kite without walking down the line. Unless the kite is bridle side down with the nose/leading edge toward you or you have line wraps around the wingtips, this is usually possible to do. I would love to meet you and Terry and the others you have hooked at WSIKF. I’d be happy to show you some of the ground recovery techniques too if you’d like.

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