Niagara Windriders Newsletter

The Official Newsletter of the Niagara Windriders Kitefliers Association, Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada

Monday, October 27, 2008

October Fly Cancelled :(

Well, the October "Halloween Fun Fly" was canceled due to the forecast of rain and high winds. The day was bright, but overcast with the threat of rain coming at any time. The winds were very high and gusty. I checked the Fort Erie weather and they were reporting gusts to 50 km/hr. We did get a rain storm in the afternoon in Stoney Creek, but we also had sunshine for part of it. Oh well, maybe next year.

Instead of the usual kite flying pictures of the kite fly (because there isn't any) I thought I would share pictures of the making of my Crossdeck that I built over the Christmas holiday last year.

I found the design in the summer/fall 1993 issue Kitelines. It is a kite originally designed by Carl Crowell. The article gave the dimensions and materials list, so I set out to acquire the necessary spars and materials to get going. I ordered the parts and material from They have a sample pack of ripstop for $50, their choice of colours, a real bargain for the price. After I got my materials, I decided to make the kite out of 9 different colours. If you ever want to make a project 9 times harder, this is the way to do it.
Being an engineer, I have access to AutoCad and I drew out the kite there to get the radius of the arcs and fabric dimensions needed in the design. I used a cardboard template to cut out the body of the kite.

Above is the fabric sewn together and laid out on the kitchen floor ready to be cut, and the result below. I had to cut out the other panel with the diagonals running the opposite way to get the pattern I wanted. I had to make sure all the colours would match up in the middle.
Below is the project and quality control manager...Tigger, keeping an eye on what I was doing.

I used 1/2" black edging folded in half for all the edges. I bought 1" material and slit it into 2 halves, folded it over and ironed it to keep it 1/4" strips.

Above the front, below the back.

Below is the back of the main sail sewn together with the spine pocket in the middle.

The back all finished.

The front all finished.

Using the same colours in the same order, I made a 50 ft tail.

Front and back with spars in the spare room.

With some of the cuttings I made a colourful bag.

Here it is flying high over Lake Erie.

Altogether it took about 40 hours to complete, but well worth it. Every time it flies, I always have someone tell me how beautiful it looks up in the sky.

Well, I know it's the end of the good flying weather, but we are planning for next years' activities. The directors are meeting in November to plan the year ahead. Hopefully we will get great weather and wind for the 2009 season. See you next season.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

September - A Gray and Gloomy Day

September's monthly fly turned out to be a very cloudy, gray day. Despite that, there were about 25 brave kiters that came out to try to get kites in the air. The wind was from the north at 6 to 8 kph which meant the wind was off the trees at the north end of the field. much the same as the beginning of Canal Days. Unlike Canal Days, the wind didn't shift. There was even a time when I felt a slight rain, making me pack up the single line butterfly I had staked when I arrived.
Above is a sled delta with the comedy/tragidy faces made by Dennis Ische.
Terry and Tyrone with one of the new additions from a newly opened toy store in Port Colborne.

Russell and his grandson, enjoying the afternoon.

Rowan flying his Big Buka.

Fred and Donna getting ready to fly a patriotic Rev.

Here's Fred and Donna showing the newly renovated Niagara Windriders Rokkaku.

Bob and his monster kite from Costco.

Chatting and catching up on the month's goings on.

Bob Luft flying one of his many home made kites.

At 3:00 o'clock we had the prize draw and here are the results:
Rowan won a line winder. Andy and his wife won a kite bag and a sand anchor. Paul won a NWKA coffee mug, and Russell won a a spool of kite line. Congratulations.
Thanks to Doug Isherwood for sending me a few of the above pictures.
I don't know how many of you know that if you click on any picture, you will get a larger version displayed. (hit your "back" button to reurn to the post)

Well, next fly is on October 26th. This is the last fly of the year and is also the annual Halloween Fly. Come dressed up and fly your scariest kite! We'll also have hot cider and I'm told hot dogs, I think to help keep us warm. I hope to see everyone out in costume. See you then!