I spent Father’s Day weekend on the Delaware shore at the quintessential beach town, Rehoboth Beach, with my wife and her family. This was my fourth visit and I love the place as it is everything Cape Cod is not: boardwalk, honky-tonk, and big surf as opposed to stately WASPy-ness, calm bays, and no real concentration of the whole saltwater taffy-caramel corn dog thing that I’d expect from Coney Island on south.
Every evening, around 5:30, when the beaches slowly emptied of roasting sunbathers and the umbrellas and chairs were stacked and put away, when the lifeguards climbed down from their perches and packed it for the day, a huge armada of kites and wind-driven stuff would suddenly appear in front of a little shop on the ground floor of a boardwalk hotel. A few people would unfurl little kites and start to actually fly the things, in the literal sense of the word, doing more with two strings and a little triangle of sailcloth than I ever dared imagine back in the old days of buying a vinyl bat kite and six rolls of cheap cotton string and then getting a charge out of letting it get so high there was no way in hell any one would waste the time to haul it back down.
So we parted with $35 and came away with a kite that provided three hours of instant fun. The next morning we were back and bought kite #2, this one touted as the most advanced of the advanced “a bee on amphetamines” as the label claimed. And by nightfall we had kite number 3, which you don’t want to know the price of.
My son finally found an outlet for all those years of video gaming in the analog world and blew away the learning curve in minutes. He is a kite maestro. Me, not so much. I am more into the sedate than the extreme.
We now own:
- Osprey Premier (our first and easiest to fly)
- A Prism Micron (the hardest to fly)
- A Prism E3 — a very good kite
Here in the video is my son and my brother-in-law, who decides about two minutes into the video that it would be a good idea to strafe the camera man. The tail was zipping across my face. Apologies for mis-aimed videos, it’s hopeless trying to see the screen of a smartphone in full sun, let alone through polarized sunglasses.
I highly recommend checking these things out. Now to figure out where to fly them on the Cape that won’t put them over the water.