David Gomberg - Principal of Gomberg Kite Productions International, Vice Chair of the International Kite Federation and Chairman of the World Sport Kite Championships Organizing Committee. Two-time President of the Kite Trade Association (KTA) International and ten-term President of the American Kitefliers Association (AKA). David and his wife, Susan, are accomplished fliers who are known all over the world for their big show kites, including the Biggest Kite in the World, a 10,000 square foot American flag. They perform at 20-30 events each year and have participated in festivals in 35 states and 25 countries. David has received the three highest awards bestowed by the international kite flying community: the AKA's Edeiken Award, the KTA's Checkley Award, and the World Kite Museum's Hall of Fame.
Dave Culp – President of KiteShip Corporation, winner of two Guinness World records, will attempt a new record by deploying one of the largest and most innovative traction kites ever built, to power a 140-ton, 65-foot barge, the largest commercial vessel ever towed by a kite in US waters. Educated at Stanford, Westlawn and the University of California at Davis in Engineering, Industrial and Sailcraft Design, Dave has worked in professional boat building, commercial fishing, yacht design and logistics. His life's work is designing and building traction kite-powered yachts, shipping and related marine structures. Culp-designed speed sailboats have competed at more than a dozen international speed sailing events during the 1970s, 80s and 90s. In 2001, commissioned by Larry Ellison’s Oracle Racing Inc, Dave invented a new type of spinnaker—a free flying kite that adhered to America’s Cup rules for conventional spinnakers. He formed KiteShip Corporation in 1996 to research and develop ultra-large traction kites used to power commercial vessels and yachts. KiteShip won the California Clean Tech Award in 2006 for its contribution to helping ship owners save fuel and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Dean Jordan - Vice President of KiteShip Corporation. A kite builder and competitive kite flier from a very early age, Dean holds a number of world and national records in the fields of sport stunt kiting and traction kiting (kite buggying). Since he was a teenager, Dean has been among the world’s few professional kite designers, fliers and demonstrators. He designed many of the innovative features of stunt kites during their heyday in the 1980s and his company Jordan Air Kites was the first to build ultra light kites and hyper-lightweight kites for indoor (windless) kiting. Dean was among the first to perfect the design of kites for land sailing (kite buggying) and his Jordan AirForm kite set the world standard for single-line large ram air kites. A test pilot, trouble shooter, kite designer and kite builder, Dean studied under master kite designer Peter Lynn and has trained dancers, skaters and performers all over the world in the physics and art of kite flying.
Troy Gunn - TKO Sport Kite Flying Team Member. Multi-year member of the American Kite Fliers Association (AKA) Board of Directors, multi-term AKA Region 8 Director (for which he earned the AKA Regional Director of the Year in 1999). Director-at-Large for the internet kite magazine Kitelife.com, and Chief Judge of the 2006 Weifang World Kite Championships. A US National Champion and World Record Holder, Troy is a multi-talented sport kite flier, who has participated in and won competitions for sport kite team, pairs team, and individual dual line, quad line, and indoor kite flying. Troy’s performances and judging appearances have taken him all over the United States and the world.
Rod Thrall (Newberg, OR) Rod began flying kites in 1992 when on an anniversary trip to Lincoln City, OR he and wife Cindy bought a 6 foot rainbow Delta and took it for a walk on the beach. Since that small beginning Rod and Cindy have added considerably to the kite collection and have flown up and down the West Coast and around the world helping to bring the magic of kite flying to people wherever they fly. They have been described as a kite festival in a pickup due to their large ground display and large collection of kites. The center piece of their aerial display is their 40 foot Peter Lynn Teddy Bear and a set of Jordan Airforms with custom graphics built by Rod. Rod is an award winning kite builder having won awards at the Washington State International Kite Festival, Berkeley kite Festival and he and Cindy were voted Peoples Choice kite flyers at the 9th International Thailand Kite Festival in 2006. His latest creation "Midnight Castle" was awarded 1st place in the Kahuna Class at WSIKF in August of this year.
Christoph Riddle - Eighteen-year-old Kite Surfing, Ground Boarding and Buggy Protege. Christoph tied for first in the 2005 North American Buggy eXpo (NABX) Kite Ground Boarding Freestyle and claims David Sabilino, Chasta and his parents as his heroes. When not pursuing one of his many kiting disciplines, Christoph enjoys singing, musical theater and photography. High schooler Christoph prides himself on bringing sport kiting to his West Coast peers. He is not a fan of homework, as "it keeps me from kiting." Christoph is sponsored by Ozone USA, Ground Industries, and Madkiting.
Brian Champie - American Kitefliers Association Region 11 Director, Cofounding Board Member, Bay Area Sport Kite League, and Northern California Kite Club Manager. Known for his fast, aggressive style of kite flying, Brian flew sport kites competitively and for five years and in 2002 earned the title of Master's Precision National Champion. Brian and Miguel Rodriguez flew together as the pairs team, Avispados and qualified to compete at the first World Championships in Malaysia in 2002. Brian has appeared at kite festivals across the United States and has represented the United States at international festivals in Malaysia, Guadelupe For the past five years, Brian has been collecting and flying BIG kites. Among his sky toys are the 550 square foot Sutton, the 25-foot wide Giant Crown and the out-of-this-world 20-foot diameter Flying Saucer.
Saul Griffith - Inventor and Kite Boat Pioneer - demonstrates (with colleague, Don Montague) this new form of boat propulsion. Their Kite Boats have reached speeds up to 28 knots and traveled distances of more than 100 miles. Continuing innovations in kite boat technology are leading to developments for kite-powered ocean crossings, races and extreme adventure.
Don Montague - Pioneer of Kite Surfing and Kite boating - has for the last thirteen years devoted himself to the research, development and design of kite surfing and kite boating equipment.
Rakesh Bahadur - Indian Kite Fighting and Indoor Kite Flying Expert. Rakesh pioneered and popularized Indian fighter kites and indoor kite flying in the United States during the early 1970s. Rakesh's love of "painting in the sky" has never diminished. Rakesh demonstrates his mastery, as he introduces the allure of kite flying to young people, with his signature "catch-a-tail" games that have been a perennial and hilarious hit at kite festivals for decades.
David Sabilino - Kite Buggy Artist and Daredevil Extraordinaire. David is a four-time first-place winner (and one-time second-place winner) in Buggy Freestyle at the North American Buggy eXpo (NABX) Spring Break Buggy Blast. He draws inspiration for his extreme kite buggying from skate boarding and BMX freestyle. Ozone wings and Peter Lynn buggies are his favorite gear and his favorite saying is: "You don't stop playing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop playing." David is sponsored by Ozone USA, Windzup and Madkiting.
Jose J. Sainz - Member of the Board of Directors, The Drachen Foundation, American Kitefliers Association (AKA) Kite Art Committee Member, recipient of the American Kiteflyers Association 2006 Lee Toy Circle Award - Jose has been making and flying kites since 1989.
Jose Sainz was borne in the State of Sinaloa, Mexico in 1954. He immigrated with his family to California, USA in 1966. As a child, he was always encouraged to keep close bonds and respect for his Mexican heritage. On advice from Randy Tom, one of the early time "National Sports kite" and AKA champions, Jose carved out a niche for himself and began building kites depicting ancient Aztec Gods and bold colorful designs.
Jose's best recognized kite and winner of the 1992 AKA Grand National Championship is the "Aztec Calendar" kite.
Slawek Krauze - Professional Kite Buggier - is taking the sport to the third dimension - jumping. Slawek rides the wind whenever weather conditions permit and his innovative tricks take him all over the sky. Slawek is sponsored by Flexifoil and Live2Kite.
Scott Skinner - Scott has been involved with kites for over thirty years. Artistically, he has combined American patchwork traditions with traditional Japanese kite forms, refining iconic images into his own. He has collected kites and kite-ephemera from many kite-rich countries and is founder of the Drachen Foundation. The Foundation specializes in using kites to teach science, art, history and culture to students of all ages.
Mike & Rhonda from Chico, Ca
Mike won his first kiting award in 1965 at 11 years old for the highest flying kite on a windless day after conning most of his class into running back and forth across the schoolyard with a kite designed and built with his father Gordon. Around 1982 Mike was again drawn to kiting with the introduction of dual line kites. In 1989 he read about the Washington State International Kite Festival (WSIKF) and made arrangements to attend that year. Overwhelmed by what he saw plans were formulated on the way home to construct a kite for next years event. What followed has been a 20 year hobby of flying, building, and competing with kites. He has setup and helped with workshops for children to make thier own kites.
Rhonda became involved in kiting after meeting Mike in 2000 and attending her first kite festival. She decided to try her hand at building her own kite for WSIKF 2001 and won a 3rd place ribbon. She also purchased her first dual line kite in 2001 starting her own addiction to kiting. Together they have started regularly attending events throughout Northern California including Roseville, Berkeley and San Francisco as well as the yearly week long WSIKF event. Along with single line kites she enjoys just flying figures with her dual line kites, often with tails leaving pictures in the sky. Her love of tails has incouraged her to build ever longer tails and has won the longest tail contest all three years at the San Francisco Family Day International Kite Festival.
Thier collection of kites, although uncounted, currently exceeds 250 kites, plus kite buggies & boards, banners, tails, and other ground display items. Did we say ADDICTION?
Comprehensive Kite Making Competition Awards, all at The Washington State International Kite Festival:
- 1990 - 1st place Novice - Delta & Delta derivatives, 3rd place Peoples Choice
- 1992 - 1st place Masters - Flat & Bowed, 3rd place People Choice
- 1994 - 1st place Masters - Figure & Novelty, 1st Place Peoples Choice
- 2001 - 3rd Place Novice - Flat & Bowed
- 2001 - 1st place - Fighter Kites
- 2006 - 1st place Novice - Multi-line kite
- 2006 - 2nd Place - Multi Line Kite
- 2007 - 1st place Novice - Delta Delta derivatives
- 1990 - 1st Place - Best all around Kite Flier
- 1994 - 1st Place - Team Rok Battles - Bozo's
- 1995 - 1st Place - Team Rok Battles - Bozo's
- 1996 - 1st Place - Team Rok Battles - Bozo's
- 2007 - 1st Place - Team Rok Battles - Andersons Raiders
San Leandro, CA USA
Scouted by John Barresi on one of his trips to the Berkeley Kite Festival, Joji was quickly recruited as an alternate pilot for Team iQuad and first participated with the team in 2009 at the Washington State International Kite Festival.
Since then, Joji had his official debut as part of the core team at Kite Party 8 in Huntington Beach where he learned the new Raiders March routine in just one day and carried his own throughout the weekend.
For 2010, Joji is also confirmed to be performing with the team at Maryland International Kite Exposition in Ocean City, Kites over Grinnell in Iowa and the Saint-Honoré Festival in Quebec.
Home: Cary, North Carolina
Memberships: Eastern League Sport Kite Association and American Kitefliers Association
Brian has won numerous awards in Dual Line Kite Precision and Dual Line Kite Ballet competitions. He enjoys attending festivals, teaching people about kite flying and performing sport kite demonstrations. Brian has flown in North Carolina, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, California and the Bahamas. Sport and recreational kite flying has given him the opportunity to meet friendly and interesting people from all over the world.
Brian attended the 2009 Virginia Beach Kite Festival and performed a dual line demonstration.
He attended ODSKC 2009 - Richmond, Virginia and placed second in NIB (novice individual ballet).
Brian attended NJSKC 2009 - Jersey City, New Jersey and placed first in NIB and second place in NIP (novice individual precession).
Jim Strealy started flying in 1985 while living in south Florida. He was on the organizing committee for The Miami Beach International Kite Festival until he moved back to California in 1998. He organized the Merced Time To Fly Festival and Paso Robles Kite Festival. Some of the festivals he participated in took place in Berkeley, Merced, Paso Robles, Morro Bay, Huntington Beach Kite Party, Point Arena Light House, San Ramon, Mountain House, Kites Over Calaveras. He flies Single line, Duel and Quad kites.
Jared Haworth is a relative newcomer to the world of stunt kites, having flown for less than two years. He recently won both the Novice Individual Dual-Line Precision and Novice Individual Dual-Line Ballet disciplines at the 2009 Old Dominion Sport Kite Championship in Richmond, VA. He typically attends kite festivals along the east coast, and enjoys teaching others about the sport of kite flying.
Catherine Gabrel - owner of Kites in the Sky, Stillwater, Oklahoma, recipient of three 2nd place and one 3rd place awards in the AKA Grand National Fighter Kite Competitions. Catherine is currently working with the Enid Habitat for Humanity to set a new Guinness World Record of "Most kites flown at one time"
Catherine loves to fly all kinds of kites, and - to paraphrase Will Rogers - never met a kite she did not like. Kiting has taken her to Denmark, England, Africa and many places throughout USA. She spends most of her time making or teaching others how to make kites.
Warren Harris resides in DeSoto Texas, about 10 miles south of dowtown Dallas. He's been broadcasting on the air since 1978 around the central coast of California, and now is on the air in Dallas Texas. He does a show called the "Sonic Burrito Radio Show" Sundays from 10pm to 12am on KNON-FM HD1 & HD2. The show is an ecclectic mix of old/new music and comedy. Nice tasty pieces of ear-candy.. wrapped in a warm tortilla. He and his wife owned the kitestore "Eden Kites" from 2000 to 2006. It was one of the FEW kite stores in the D/FW area. They specialized in the repair and sale of high quality Dual and Quad line kites and a number of specialty kites that you just couldn't get at your local drugstore. They ran a fesitival in Dallas called the "Lone Star Kite Festival" for all 6 years the business was open. They had to close the store due to the economy, but have been kiters ever since. Warren is the MC/DJ at the annual Zilker Park Kite Festival in Austin Texas. This is his 9th year. He has done music and M/C work for the AKA Region 8 Competitions and Funfly's. He loves to fly, and gets a kick out of people coming up to him at kite festivals, and asking.. "What was that song you just played??"
Mark Baker - (Rancho Cordova, California). Mark has been flying all sorts and sizes of kites on and off since the mid 1970's. Recently, he started tinkering with a large parafoil kite called the "Megafoil" that was initially designed and built by Mark and his brother over 25 years ago. The kite is made from ripstop nylon. The red, green, and blue foil kite is 36 ft wide x 20 ft tall (720 sq ft. total size). It has 48 individual bridles that, added together, measure more then a mile in length.
Christine Miller and Steve Hall of Chico California are long time kite enthusiasts, owners of Gone With the Wind Kites and hosts of the popular GWTW Kite Forum. Most weekends they can be found sharing their passion flying single line, dual line and quad line kites at Chico's Wildwood Park. For their efforts in recruiting members for the American Kitefliers Association (AKA) they were the recipients of the 2005 AKA Volunteers of the Year award.
Ben Dantonio (San Diego, CA). Ben is the General Manager of Revolution Kites Company in San Diego, CA, and is also an active member of team iQuad. Ben has been flying for about 10 years and has devoted himself to quad line kite flying, and also teaching others how to fly Revolution kites for the last 3 years. Ben says: "My greatest joy is when someone I teach just gets it and is beside me and we are flying together, also I love to see the faces of the people as they fly...."
Richard and Jacqueline Mervine of (California, Maryland) - Dual Line Sport Kite Member and flyer of the Eastern League Sport Kite Association, Wing Over Washington Kite Club, and Richmond Air Force Kite Club. Master Level Flyer and competitor in sport kite ballet/choreography, and sport kite precision. American Kiteflyers Association 2009 Southeast Conference Standings: Masters Individual Precision 2nd Place.
Hometown: Redwood City CA
Flew and made single line kites as a kid, started flying sport kites in early 2002, I enjoy every aspect of kiting, from dual line precision, to freestyle and ballet, Fighter kites, Quad line kites, Single line kites and recently kite making.
My biggest kiting thrill was flying in the WSKC 2006 mega teams, along with 30 + fliers from around the world, in addition to flying in formation a 21 kite pyramid where all 21 fliers flew on "Fury" kites made by Carl Robertshaw.
Membership: I have been a member of BASKL and AKA since 2002; Board Member of BASKL since 2003 and have actively been flying and competing at local and national events since then.
Joined "AirZone Flight Team" in 2005; Competed at the World Sport Kite Championships in France, in 2006 and 2008. Along with Aaron Champie, formed a pairs team "Dos Furias" in 2007 and went on to Win 1st place Experience Pairs Dual-line precision, at the AKA Grand Nationals.
2007 Experience Dual-line Champion (BASKL)
2010 Experience Multi-line Champion (BASKL)
Junior De Felope
Kite Buggy Freestyle: His addiction started in 1995. His signature move: 360 spins to two wheels. Jojo RM kites and Peter Lynn buggies are his gear of choice. Junior is sponsored by The Kite Lounge.
Kite Buggy Freestyle: His addiction started in 1997. His signature move: One handed and two wheels. He adds another dimension to the sport by incorporating air. He loves to jump. Ozone kites and Flexifoil buggies are his gear of choice. He’ll go anywhere at any time to ride. Elton is sponsored by The Kite Lounge.