Updated: Jun 21
This last weekend was the long awaited inaugural Sport Kite Camp in Long Beach, Washington. Something that we had been planning to make happen back in April of 2020, but well, there was that one pesky thing that happened that put a stop to all events for a few years.
The idea behind Sport Kite Camp was simple, and has remained simple from the very start. It needed to be a gathering place for people to get together and share in the simplest form, the joy and excitement of sport kite flying. Given that there are a handful of opportunities already out there for quad line sport kite fliers to gather, we made the decision to focus heavily on dual line sport kites for this camp. It also needed to be a place that the barrier to entry was minimal, the requirements on attendees was non-existent, and the atmosphere retained a level of freedom. This last bit is a critical part of the heart of camp. Not only does it allow for ease of learning from one another, or workshopping of ideas, but it also allows for the natural 'connection building' needed in sport kite flying. Dual line flying in particular, more than many other styles of kite flying is a rather lonely activity. (there are many reasons why... maybe more on that later) So when you can get several folks together it helps to revitalize and encourage each flier!!
Day One - Thursday
This was not a full day for most, as many were traveling in from out of the area on this day. The weather however was beautiful. Bright blue sky, minimal clouds, and a stiff wind around 10-12mph. A few classic sport kites made an appearance, like a Shiva, a Team Hawaiian, and some other beautiful kites. The day gave way to evening at the camp house with a bit of peace and quite and looking towards a robust weekend.
Day Two - Friday
More Sport Kite fliers rolled out on to the beach in front of the camp house early in the morning.
Starting with wind around 10-12mph and a bit of grey clouds, the wind slowly dropped through out the day until everyone was on Ultralight and Super Ultralight kites by 3pm.
The drop in wind also meant that a bit of a rain cloud came in and started sprinkling on everyone. Some tried waiting it out for a bit, would go out and fly between the rain bands, then come back to the tent.
The rain overtook us on the beach, so we retreated to the camp house, and a shared dinner of 'Paprikash' while discussing dog staking, kite collections, and favorite memories of times past.
Day 3 - Saturday
After making the mistake of sending out weather reports predicting sunshine and perfect wind, the Sportkite.org HQ had to eat a little bit of crow as the temperamental Long Beach Weather in June struck again. The day began with a few sprinkles but was generally flyable all day.
In a given hour, a flier may find themselves on a full vent, a standard, a UL and a SUL; but with ample space to spread out and fly and to set up kites, it was no problem to set out kites and to easily swap. Many noted by the end of the day that they had actually spent the bulk of their time flying other peoples kites, and not much time their own!
The evening ended up with even MORE new fliers coming to the house after flying, a dinner of Jambalaya and a round table discussion about a new potential sport kite competition format.
Day 4 - Sunday
Due to the weather predictions, this ended up being a travel day for many of the fliers. Much to their chagrin, as soon as those travelers left.... word has it that the weather cleared up, was perfectly sunny and beautiful wind for the rest of the day. Oh well.. maybe next time!
A big thank you to all that came to this first one, and we are looking forward to doing more of these, in multiple locations!