Go fly a kite - the basics of the hobby

April 07, 1999

Kite flyingBy KATE COLEMAN / Staff Writer

photo: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer

Gloria Wells remembers flying kites made of newspaper with her sister, Diane, and their grandfather.

That childhood memory is now a passion.

The sisters are members of Wings Over Washington, a Washington, D.C.-based club that meets the first Sunday of each month at the base of Washington Monument in the nation's capital.

[cont. from lifestyle]

"We've been totally taken over by kite flying. It's so much fun," says Gloria Wells of Hagerstown.

The Wells sisters average 80 miles per kite-flying trip and have planned their late April vacation around their hobby. They will meet friends in Ocean City, Md., for the Maryland International Kite Festival and travel down the coast to Boca Raton, Fla., flying kites all the way.


"We love to fly," Gloria Wells says.

She sews kites from patterns she downloads on her computer. They are made from ripstop nylon, a fabric with a special coating to keep it from frazzling, says Todd Little of Camp Hill, Pa. Little also makes his own kites. It gives him a creative outlet, he says.

Wells' kites are not for sale. The sisters prefer two-line stunt kites. They fly their kites anywhere - including in their back yard.

Flying favorites

One of Gloria and Diane Wells' favorite kite-flying places is Sandy Point Park on this side of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Locally, the kite enthusiasts sometimes fly on the fields at E. Russell Hicks Middle School on South Potomac Street.

Stacey McLeran, recreation superintendent of Washington County Department of Recreation and Parks, recommends Washington County Regional Park on Mount Aetna Road.

"It's a beautiful park setting," she says. All power lines are underground at this "most picturesque" park next to Black Rock Golf Course which has lots of free parking and two pavilions - including a brand new one, McLeran says.

John Barrat can't recommend a "best" place to fly a kite. He's had good experience at Morgan Grove Park in Shepherdstown, W.Va., and says it depends on the day at Poor House Farm Park near Martinsburg, W.Va.

Barrat, of Martinsburg, says he's had trouble getting a steady breeze for kite flying there. The wind has to come over the mountain so it's very erratic, he says. There also were a lot of cross breezes, and his kite was up and down.

Bill Flohr, "the kite guy" from Waynesboro, Pa., says his two favorite places to fly locally are the field on the north side of Summitview Elementary School in Waynesboro and the meadow behind Renfrew Park Museum. Last month, Flohr conducted kite-making workshops at Renfrew to promote interest in the sixth annual Renfrew Fun Fly, Saturday, April 10.

-- Kite safety

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