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Go fly a business


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POSTED: Sunday, November 08, 2009

Kite flying might seem an archaic, corny, passe pastime, but that might be to only those who don't know how high tech—and even extreme—the activity has become.

There also might be people who don't know how truly therapeutic it can be to get a basic, colorful, single-line kite way up into the wild blue yonder—whether to provide amazement for a child or just to distract one's own psyche from daily pressures.

Robert and Pam Lemoine are only too happy to lead the way—and help teach adventurous customers how to get their own air and resulting adrenaline rush.

The couple, originally from Louisiana—though there is nary a trace of accent—opened the Hawaii KiteWorks kiosk at Ward Warehouse on Sept. 1.

The kiosk stocks a wide variety of kites for anyone from the keiki kite-flier to seasoned air junkies. Its merchandise mix includes novelty kites and Hawaii-themed kites from Big Wind Kite Factory Inc. on Molokai, as well as sun-catchers and wind-spinners. It also sells kite-flying accessories, and Lemoine offers repairs, should the evil, kite-eating tree from Charlie Brown comics make a sudden appearance in your flight path.

               

     

 

GLOSSARY

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» Single-line: A basic kite, the type eaten by Charlie Brown's evil tree.

       

» Stunt kite: A highly maneuverable kite used to perform tricks.

       

» Power kite, traction kite, land kite: Often used to lift its operator off the ground, akin to kite surfing, only on land.

       

 

       

The longtime kite fliers and the truck-based vendor, whose colorful nylon versions of gossamer wings are aloft at Sandy Beach each weekend, know exactly what the Lemoines know.

“;We've been into kites for quite a few years now,”; Robert said. “;We love to fly them.”;

“;You can make it as extreme as you want,”; he said. “;We pretty much match people to kites.”;

An entry-level power kite “;helps everybody get jumps”; but is not too extreme. “;If they're a smaller person, I put them in a smaller kite that'll get 'em off the ground but won't be too extreme.”;

Should practice and familiarization lead to a longing for “;more air or more air time”; and a desire to be outfitted with a larger kite, the Lemoines have a knack for that.

Robert offers a free lesson for buyers as well as a free trial for someone wanting to try before they buy.

“;Literally, once someone gets their hands on one of these guys, they want 'em,”; he said.

Robert is solidly rooted in getting off the ground, but getting air from a power kite is not just for boys.

“;I've had big guys out there, muscular and everything, being pulled around by a 5-meter kite, and then a girl will come out, her size (motioning to his petite bride) or smaller ... and fly it,”; he said.

Pamela is a stunt-kite enthusiast and pointed out some delta kite stunts on a video loop played at the kiosk.

A flic flac, for example, is done by getting a delta kite in the air, letting go of one line and pulling it back “;really quick, and then the kite will flip over,”; she said.

YouTube.com is full of kite-related stunt and trick videos.

“;We would eventually like to get a group of people together to fly kites, have little kite days and then have kind of a festival one day,”; she said.

Kite festivals are popular around the mainland and often include team competitions in stunts and other activities, while manufacturers set up booths and stage demonstrations.

Until such time as a big kite festival gets off the ground in Hawaii, kite fliers will have to sate themselves at Sandy's or another windy spot.

And because you never know when the mood or the proper breeze will strike, a key-chain kite is available for $5.41 plus tax at Hawaii KiteWorks.

The roughly 12-by-12-inch kites with a happy face, ladybug, skull and crossbones or other design come folded up, with string, in a brightly colored container about the size of a hockey puck.

KITE SURFING ONLINE

A sampling of Web sites relating to kite associations and the enjoyment of flying kites. There are many more, including international consumer- and business-oriented sites.
» American Kitefliers Association: www.aka.kite.org
» North American Fighter Kite Association: www.nafka.net
» Kite Trade Association International: www.kitetrade.org
» Hawaii KiteWorks: www.kitespro.com
» Big Wind Kite Factory (Molokai): www.bigwindkites.com

ETYMOLOGY OF A BRUSH-OFF

“;Go fly a kite”; is an odd insult, in that kite-flying can be pleasurable.

According to the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary online, the phrase, “;go fly a kite”; is used to tell someone who is being annoying, to go away.

However, the word-origin site www.etymonline.com reports that the dismissive idiom is a reference to the bird of prey called the kite, as it reflects contempt for the bird as a “;scavenger and eater of garbage.”;

Sources: Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary online, www.etymonline.com
» http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?key=30007&dict=CALD
» http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?l=k&p=2