Main Parade Ground
San Francisco, CA


August 17, 2013

11 am - 5 pm

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Contact Us: Staff

Past and Current Performers

Brian Champie
Former AKA Region 11 Director

A competitive sport kite flier, Brian is known for his fast, aggressive style, earning him the title of Master's Precision National Champion. Giant kites are his passion. His tethered toy collection includes the 550-square-foot Sutton, the 25-foot wide Giant Crown and the out-of-this-world 20-foot Flying Saucer.

Rakesh Bahadur
Indian Kite Fighting and Indoor Kite Flying Expert

Rakesh popularized Indian fighter kites and pioneered indoor kite flying in the United States during the early 1970s. Rakesh thrills crowds with his signature Catch-a-Tail games—an undisputable highlight at any and every kite festival.

David Gomberg
Ten-term President of the AKA , Two-time President of the Kite Trade Association,

David and his wife, Susan, are distinguished kite fliers, known the world over for their giant show kites. They boast the Biggest Kite in the World, a 10,000-square-foot American flag. They appear at 30 festivals each year and have beautified the skies in 35 states and 25 countries. David received the three highest awards in the international kite flying community: the AKA's Edeiken Award, the KTAI's Checkley Award, and entry into World Kite Museum's Hall of Fame.

Dave Culp
Founder and President of KiteShip Corporation

Already a holder of two Guinness World records, Dave will attempt a new record by deploying one of the largest traction kites ever built, to power a 140-ton, 65-foot barge—the largest commercial vessel ever towed by a kite in US waters. The kite is a prototype for ultra-large traction kites that increase the fuel efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of commercial ships. His life's work is designing and building traction kite-powered yachts. Culp-designed speed sailboats have competed at more than a dozen international speed sailing events.

Dean Jordan
Owner, Jordan Air Kites

A competitive kite flier from a very early age, Dean holds national and world records in sport stunt kiting and kite buggying. He apprenticed for master kite designer Peter Lynn. He went on to found Jordan Air Kites where he designed groundbreaking kite designs for land sailing and windless (indoor) kiting. Dean has trained dancers, skaters and performers the world over in the art and physics of kite flying.

Troy Gunn
AKA Region 8 Director, Member of the AKA Board of Directors

A US National Champion and World Record Holder, Troy is a multi-talented sport kite flier. He is a member of the TKO Sport Kite Flying Team. He has won competitions in sport kite team, partner, individual line, 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, including 2006 Weifang World Kite Championships.

Rod Thrall
Kite Designer and Showman

Rod and his wife, Cindy, bought their first kite, a 6-foot rainbow Delta, in 1992. Since then they have grown their collection (dubbed a “kite festival in a pickup truck”) and wowed audiences on the West Coast and around the world. Rod is a kite builder who has taken prizes at the Washington State International Kite Festival, the Berkeley Kite Festival and the Thailand International Kite Festival.

Christoph Riddle
Kite Surfing, Kite Landboarding and Kite Buggy Protege.

Christoph is a multi-disciplinary kiter—kite surfing, kite landboarding, and kite buggying. He has placed first in the 2005 North American Buggy eXpo (NABX) Kite Ground Boarding Freestyle. Christoph prides himself on introducing sport kiting to his West Coast peers. Christoph is sponsored by Ozone USA, Ground Industries, and Madkiting.

Saul Griffith
Inventor and Kite Boat Pioneer

Along with co-inventor, Don Montague, Saul has pioneered a 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 in kite-powered ocean crossings, races and extreme adventure.

Don Montague
Pioneer of Kite Surfing and Kite boating

Don served as Head Sail Designer at Gaastra Sails and, subsequently, headed up R&D for leading windsurfing and kite surfing company, Naish International. For the last thirteen years devoted himself to the research, development and design of kite surfing and kite boating equipment. Kite Boats are his latest innovation.

David Sabilino
Kite Buggy Artist and Daredevil Extraordinaire

A three-time Nation Buggy Freestyle Champion at the North American Buggy eXpo (NABX), David draws inspiration for his extreme kite buggying from skate boarding and BMX freestyle. Ozone wings and Peter Lynn buggies are his gear of choice. David is sponsored by Ozone USA, Windzup and Madkiting.

Jose J. Sainz
Member of the Board of Directors, The Drachen Foundation, AKA AKA Kite Art Committee Member

Born in Sinaloa, Mexico in 1954, Jose has been flying kites since 1989. As a child, he immigrated to California with this family. Jose celebrates his Mexican heritage in his kite designs. His kites depict ancient Aztec Gods in bold colorful, designs. Jose's most notable kite, the Aztec Calendar won the 1992 AKA Grand National Championship. Jose was honored with the AKA Lee Toy Kite Artist of the Year Award in 2006

Slawek Krauze
Professional Kite Buggier

Slawek takes the sport of kite buggying to the third dimension. Buggy jumping is his specialty. Swav, as he is known, rides the wind whenever it is up, and his innovative tricks fly him all over the sky. Slawek is sponsored by Flexifoil and Live2Kite.

Scott Skinner
Board President and Founder of the Drachen Foundation

A thirty-year veteran kite flier, Scott combines American patchwork traditions with traditional Japanese kite forms. He redefines iconic images in his own distinct style. He has collected kites and kite-ephemera from many kite-rich countries and is founder of the Drachen Foundation, which uses kites to teach science, art, history and culture to students of all ages.

Mike Hagen
Chico, CA

Mike won his first kiting contest when he was 11. On a windless day, he flew the highest kite, one designed and built by his father. A visit to Washington State International Kite Festival in 1982 reignited his kiting passion and sparked 20-year hobby of flying, building, and competing kites. His collection of kites exceeds 250 kites and includes kite buggies, ground boards, banners, tails, and magnificent ground displays.

Rhonda Davidson
Chico, CA

Mike introduced Rhonda to kiting in 2000. She designed her first kite for the Washington State International Kite Festival in 2001 and took home a 3rd place ribbon. She flies both single and dual line kites. She holds a particular affection for kite tails and builds ever-longer tails. Three times she won the longest tail contest at the San Francisco Family Day Kite Festival.

Joji Davis
San Leandro, CA USA

Joji first flew with Team iQuad as an alternate pilot at the 2009 Washington State International Kite Festival. Joji made his official debut as part of the core team at Kite Party 8 in Huntington Beach and has performed with the iQuad team at the Maryland International Kite Exposition in Ocean City, Kites over Grinnell in Iowa, and the Saint-Honoré Festival in Quebec, Canada.

Brian Bishop
Cary, North Carolina
Member Eastern League Sport Kite Association and AKA

Brian has won numerous awards in Dual Line Kite Precision and Dual Line Kite Ballet competitions. Sport and recreational kite flying has taken Brian to North Carolina, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, California and the Bahamas. He earned 1st place in Novice Individual Ballet and 2nd in Novice Individual Procession at the 2009 New Jersey Stunt Kite Championships.

Jim Strealy

Jim Strealy started flying in 1985 while living in south Florida. He flies single line, dual and quad kites. He organized the Merced Time to Fly Festival and Paso Robles Kite Festival and flew his kites in the California skies from Calaveras to Morro Bay. Jim drowned in Lake Yosemite in 2012.

Jared Haworth

Jared is a stunt kite flier on the Eastern Seaboard. A relative newcomer, he won both the Novice Individual Dual-Line Precision and Novice Individual Dual-Line Ballet disciplines at the 2009 Old Dominion Sport Kite Championship.

Catherine Gabrel
Owner, Kites in the Sky, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Catherine nabbed three 2nd place and one 3rd place at the AKA Grand National Fighter Kite Competitions. To raise funds for local charities and promote wind energy, Catherine organized a campaign to set a new Guinness World Record for the most kites flown at one time. Though she didn’t make it into the Guinness Book, 2,439 Kites [flew] Over Enid, Oklahoma—the most kites flown at one time on the continent of North America.

Warren Harris
DeSoto Texas

Warren is the onetime owner of Eden Kites, one of the only kite stores in the Dallas area. For six years running, Eden Kites sponsored the Lone Star Kite Festival. A career radio host, Warren regularly MCs and DJs kite festivals and competitions.

Mark Baker
Rancho Cordova, California

Mark has been flying kites of all varieties since the mid 1970's. Not just a kite flier, but also a kite designer, Mark conceived of the Megafoil with his brother over 25 years ago. The Megafoil is a 36-foot wide and 20-foot tall foil kite. It has 48 individual bridles whose total length measures more than a mile long.

Christine Miller and Steve Hall
Chico California

Christine and Steve are longtime kite enthusiasts. They keep the kiting community connected on their Gone With The Wind Kite Forum. Most weekends they can be found flying single line, dual line, and quad line kites at Chico’s Wildwood Park, but their online store,, specializes in Prism Kites. Christine and Steve earned the 2005 AKA Volunteer of the Year award.

Ben Dantonio
General Manager of Revolution Kites
San Diego, CA

A member of team iQuad, Ben has been flying for about 10 years. His specialty is quad line kite flying and teaching others to fly Revolution kites. 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
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.

Francisco Navarro

Francisco Navarro
Redwood City CA

Francisco started flying sport kites in early 2002. His kite-flying repertoire includes single line kites, dual line precision, freestyle, ballet, fighter kites, and quad line kites. Francisco is a member of the AirZone Flight Team, and the partner team, Dos Furias. His kiting highlight? A 21-kite pyramid flown in formation by 21 fliers at the Washington State International Kite Festival. Francisco has won nation championships in Experience Dual-line and Experience Multi-line.

Junior De Felope
Kite Buggy Freestyle

Junior’s wind addiction started in 1995. Since then he has fine-tuned his free style and perfected his signature move, a 360 spins to two wheels. RM kites and Peter Lynn buggies are his preferred gear. Junior is sponsored by The Kite Lounge.

Elton Thanh
Kite Buggy Freestyle

Elton’s wind addiction started in 1997. He loves to jump and will do just about anything for big air. Elton’s signature moves are One handed and two wheels. Ozone kites and Flexifoil buggies are his preferred gear. Elton is sponsored by The Kite Lounge.

12 pack stack

Francis Kintz
Extreme Kite Instructor

Francis Kintz is a local kite instructor, teaching stunt and traction kites from entry level to advanced.