(Also, see So Much More than Kites and Take They’re Breath Away to capture your event in 4K.)
I love to fly kites, especially large kites over the great state of Wisconsin. I’m a proud member and president of the award-winning Wisconsin Kiters Club and member of the American Kitefliers Association.
Whether flying in a handful of kite festivals across the Midwest or out on my own, I always find a creative way to capture the experience: https://youtube.com/michaelksherman
Some of my larger kites:
Maxi Gecko by Peter Lynn Kites:
Measuring 30ft X 88ft, this kite is a handful and needs plenty of space and consistent winds around 10 to 15 MPH. This version (Circa 2005) of the Maxi Gecko flies entirely on its own without the assistance of a lifter kite. Line used: 4,500lbs. Here’s a look at the Maxi Gecko flying in the Color the Wind kite festival in Clear Lake, IA.
Maxi Ray by Peter Lynn Kites:
This Patchwork Maxi Ray measures 32ft X 96ft and is a stunning fixture in any sky. The kite is best flow in winds from 6 to 12 mph and will require a team of people to take it down in higher winds. Line used: 4,500lbs. Seen here flying in the Color the Wind Kite Festival in Clear Lake, IA in 2022.
Jordan Pro AirForm:
This gentle giant is one of my favorites, measuring 12ft X 16.5ft and flying with 170ft tube tails. It has a wonderful presence in the sky, as seen here. Like the Sutton below, Pro Airforms are out of production. Oregon-based kiter, Rod Thrall, is the only person licensed to make and sell Jordan kites commercially. Line used: 1,200lbs.
Rieleit Foil 20 by Premier Kites:
Measuring 15ft X 15ft with an attached 60ft long rainbow checkered tail, the Rieleit Foil 20 is truly one of the most beautiful and majestic kites to ever grace the sky. It’s a kite that requires a lot of space and attention. Line used: 1,200lbs. Here’s a look.
Sutton 252 Flowform by Air Affairs:
Measuring 14ft X 18ft, this beautiful Sutton 252 flies with two 100 ft tube tails and mainly serves as a lifter kite capable of supporting the largest of “line laundry,” those beautiful wind-filled creations hanging from the line. This Sutton flies in winds of 8 MPH and above. Line used: 1,200lbs. Here’s a look at it flying in a light breeze.
Trilobites from Weifang, China:
I also enjoy flying 65 sqm and 16 sqm Trilobites. Measuring 25.5ft X 27.5ft and 13ft X 13ft (pictured), respectively, the kites are majestic and stable fliers with a commanding presence. Line used: 65 sqm – 1,500lbs / 16 sqm – 500lbs. Here’s a look at the 65 sqm Trilobite from mid-air.
214 Flowform from Fun With Wind:
I love the colors of this 13ft X 16ft flowform. Its 13ft X 88ft custom tail really helps it fill the sky. This kite is an excellent choice for winds from 7 mph to 20 mph. I use it in place of the Sutton 252 on occasion when the weather is less than optimal. It’s also an excellent lifter for some of the large items shared below. Line used: 1,000lb Dacron
Power Sled XXXL 15 by HQ Kites and Designs:
When it comes to lifting “line laundry,” I rely on this 17ft X 9.5ft power sled to get the job done. This is the largest kite of its kind on the market. Commonly referred to as “sky anchors,” these and other ram-air-filled kites fly steady in a wide range of winds. This power sled flies in winds of 5 MPH and above. Line used: 1,600lbs. Take a look as it flies high over Black Earth, WI.
Jellyfish from Weifang, China:
One of my favorite kites, this beautiful Jellyfish measuring 10ft across and 60ft long with attached tentacles (tails), is a hard-pulling kite that’s fun to watch on its own or as it’s holding up a wide range of “line laundry”. Line used: 800lbs. Here’s a look at an early morning flying of the jellyfish in 10 MPH winds.
Maxi Crab by Peter Lynn Kites:
I love the look of this Maxi Crab, and at 26ft X 24ft, this guy fills the sky when flown with a pilot kite. He also looks great tap dancing on the ground when flown as line laundry. Here’s a closer look at his debut at one of my favorite flying fields.
Maxi Dog by Peter Lynn Kites:
Measuring 46ft long, Barkley flies with a 130 square foot lifter (kite) and fills the sky as a can’t-miss attraction at kite festivals across WI, MN and IA. Flown on 4,500lb line. Here’s a look at Barkley flying at Kites Over Lake Michigan (at 5:17 in) in Two Rivers, WI.
Made by Columbia’s Huber Orlando Monsalve Alvarez, this turbine/rotor/spinsock is 115ft long and 12.5ft at its widest. Any of the larger kites above will lift it off the ground. This piece performs well in 11-plus mph winds and, ideally, needs a little more space. Here’s a look at it in action at the Prairie Winds Kite Festival.
The Astronaut designed by Jan O’Loughlin is one of my favorites and a great addition to my kite bag. This 15ft version produced by Peter Lynn Kites looks like he’s floating in space.
At 15ft long, my red and yellow Fauchi fills the sky wherever he flies. This is my first line laundry in a growing collection. I also enjoy flying 9ft and 16.4ft wind turbines off of most any kite line. Here’s a look at Fauchi lighting up the sky.
At 9ft each, these Moorish Idol Fish and Copper Banded Butterfly Fish make a fun statement in the air.
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