Enter the extraordinary… a world that’s big, bold, and astonishingly larger than life – and you’ve entered the world of Ron Gibian! And, as I recently experienced, extraordinary is as much about who Ron is as it is about his exquisite one-off and limited series kite designs known throughout the kiting community.
In mid-2021, I happened upon and quickly bought from a Canadian seller a long-out-of-production, Premier Kites, 6ft Mandril designed by Ron. With some tweaking to the bridle, I had it up in the sky in a jiff. And, aside from leaning slightly to the left, it flew well with an active hand.
Not long after posting the video, ‘Welcome to the Jungle where I Handle the Mandril‘ (yes, that’s really the title), Ron messaged me on Instagram with an offer to straighten out the kite.
We connected by phone and had a great conversation. I learned a bit about Ron, first-hand, and shared with him how much I appreciated his designs and enjoyed learning more about him from his YouTube interview with Kite Builders.
At Ron’s invitation, I sent the kite to him and, he not only made it fly straight, he gave it a complete overhaul, including:
- Redoing all the corner vans tips with stiffer material for more integrity.
- Adding an endcap instead of pocket to the top tip.
- Giving the bottom tip a different tensioning system.
- Cleaning up the large slot holes
- Trading out the bridle and tension system for lighter line.
- Changing the cross spars to carbon.
- Swapping out the ribbon tie downs.
Ron even signed and dated the kite!
The end result can be seen in the video below.
Thank you, Ron!