I got into design through kites. In my teenage years, I designed and made hundreds of kites.
The first commercial design that I ever put into production was a chain windsock. I designed it when I was 14. It was manufactured under licence for many years by Gomberg Kites in the USA. Here it’s being lifted by my old fighting kite, a Japanese style of kite called a Rokakku, but made in modern materials of ripstop and carbon fibre.
This parafoil is a big lifter. I’ve made quite a few inflatable kites, and was fortunate get a private workshop about parafoils by Stretch Tucker in the 90’s in Martin Lesters workshop.
100 Blue Kites – 1990
This stack of 100 blue kites was made in about 1998-1990. We spent many happy hours untangling it on Polzeath beach in Cornwall. It still flies.
To Do: Drew, you still need to add alot more kites here.
Cody Manlifter – 1998
I guess when I was 11, I didn’t realise that 11 years old shouldn’t teach themselves how to make one of the most complex kites designs out there. It’s a 100 year old design that pre-dates powered flight. Cody would fly trains of 5 or more of these kites, with a basket to lift people up. It’s sail is Balloon nylon offcuts from Cameron Balloons in Bristol.
AKF Playsail – 1992
AKF Windbow – 1993
Rokakko Fighting Kites – 1989 to 1996
Cellular Kite – 1993?
Flying Toilet – 1994
Kite Skating – 1994
Here I am in my first pair of Rollerblade skating on Weston Seafront, at Weston Kite festival Kiteskating with a Falhawk powerkite. I’m guessing the year, 1992-1995.