Really, with an recent average of 150-225 AKA members attending every year, the AKA Convention is most often the single largest annual assembly of hard core kite enthusiasts in North America - all kitefliers, or those who simply love kites - and this year, we have a keen eye on making it a wonderful experience for everyone whether you're "inside the box" or out of it, or both - unlike most festivals, this is an event that is quite literally made by kitefliers, for kitefliers - and a lot of heart is going into this one. (y)
Come to learn in workshops and clinics by friendly experts, fly indoors, compete (kitemaking, sport kite*, miniature kites, fighters, rokkaku, people's choice and more), come to play, try new kite styles, watch amazing performances, shop the Fly Mart, meet great kiting personalities, drop lucky tickets in a huge bag raffle, grab some real steals in the largest kite auction anywhere, freely laugh at the president's bellbottoms, or heck - come just as an excuse to fish some amazing NW salmon, do some hiking around Mount Hood or see the Space Needle in Seattle before or after the event. :)
* sport kite competitions require regional qualification.
This upcoming Convention in Seaside will be my 18th - above and beyond every other event, this is the one I absolutely must attend because to me, it's representative of the whole community, and it's a clear crescendo for everything we've all put our hearts into during the year... If you go back through the daily updates in KiteLife, you may be able to see what I see. ♥
Please consider this your personal invitation. ✌
Presidental Candidate Bio
"We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails."
- Fortune cookie
Region 1 Candidate Bio
My name is Gregory Lamoureux, and I am running for American Kitefliers Association (AKA) Regional Director, Region 1.
I made the decision to "raise my hand" and run for Region 1 Director. Why? Well, over the past two years I have been working with the AKA By-Laws community to reform and update the American Kitefliers Association By-Laws to reflect the current activities, number of members and the direction of the new AKA kite club.
As the regional director, I would provide a direct approach to help move the AKA in a new direction by working within the AKA organization.
Over the years, my wife Jackie and I have both worked full-time jobs while managing a retail kite shop, an on-line kite website, our very successful Kites for Kids Program and organizing kiting events; this has created some very challenging times. I am a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, with a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science, retired from the U.S. Naval Reserves, and have over 31 years in the business community in both the private and government sectors. With this background, I will apply my experience, business knowledge, creativity and energy into the promotion of a very important organization, your American Kitefliers Association. This first-hand experience has given me a real appreciation of what is needed in the position of Regional Director. With your support we can make the American Kitefliers Association a great resource for the kiting community.
I am hopeful members will elect me as your Regional Director. Thank you for your support, and I ask for your vote.
Region 2 Candidate Bio
Bradley (Brad) Weiner
I’m probably best known on the East Coast as the organizer of the East Coast Rev Clinic and Rev Party held at our largest kite field, Wildwood,NJ. This was the event that had ignited the Quad-line Explosion on the east coast, and it remains very popular in the area and still keeps growing. A great group of people. I have traveled to many festivals both stateside and international, competed in both the sportkite and the single-line communities. I've attended many kitemaking workshops in my region and others.
I’m running for RD because I believe I can offer something to my region and the AKA. The willingness to work with others to support and improve the AKA. What I enjoy most about kiting, besides making and flying kites, is the fun we all have with other kiters and the general public.
Region 2 Director
My name is Thom McAdams and I am running for the Regional Director position for Region 2 of the AKA. I have been flying kites for over 20 years, And I always fly for fun.
I have been a member of South Jersey Kite Flyers [SJKF] for a several years now and have held the position of Director-at-Large for the Club for about four  of those years. As with and through SJKF, I have had many opportunities to meet many AKA members from all over and have enjoyed their company. It is my hope that as your Region 2 Director I can expand on those opportunities and make more acquaintances from our regional group of kite flyers. I sincerely look forward to that happening.
I have been flying kites for over 20 years now. When I first started flying, my interest was in small single line kites before gravitating toward flying stunt kites that I managed to teach myself to fly. Over the years I have stayed with single line kites, though now somewhat larger in size and theme, as well as the stunt kites that I enjoy so much also. I have made a few different kites and still savor any opportunities I can get to make something and to fly.
As with any locally sponsored SJKF events I get to, I usually try to fly whenever I get a chance no matter how limited the amount of time I have. I always bring kites to fly whenever I go away on vacation. I have made my way to several beaches around the United States and the Caribbean and have flown on every beach I have been to. I get a lot of enjoyment out of meeting and showing people from other parts of the world how much fun kiting really is. I hope to bring that same enthusiasm into this region by way of trying to attend as many events as I can within the region.
My belief for an effective Regional Director is to communicate and be involved with the region and its members as much as possible. That is why I will plan on making a conscious effort to stay in touch with and
participate in as many regional activities as possible. I fully realize the wealth of knowledge and the level of friendship this region has to offer. And I would like to be a part of making the relationships between all the clubs in this region even stronger than it already is.
I am looking forward to getting involved with the AKA at this level. I would also like to be part of the growth and success of the AKA in Region 2. As many people in SJKF, my own club, will attest, I bring a work ethic, dedication and insight that I have learned from the other organizations I have been involved with over the years. It would be my pleasure to serve all the members of the AKA in Region 2 as your Director.
Thank you for your support!
Region 3 Candidate Bio
Many of you know me as Jack and as Mr. Dennis Smith has said while announcing…“You don’t know Jack”
So for the record, I’m Jack Wilson. My wife Sharon and I have been living in Virginia for the past 11 years but both grew up in Southern New Jersey.
That’s where my story begins. Back around 1988 a friend knew some people that knew some people that were involved in kite flying. This eventually led to my friend procuring a “Hawaiian” and a Flexifoil. We had a blast. We started heading down to Wildwood every Memorial Day to watch the ECSKC and our group of “spectators” grew yearly as we introduced other friends to the sport. It was colorful, exciting and they were flying to MUSIC! Back then those flyers were viewed by us as sport celebrities!
Well, I eventually bought my own Flexifoil and for years Sharon and I flew circles and figure eights to music regularly until the sun went down.
As time goes on and as life happens, the kiting faded.
Fast forward to 2009 and thanks to my wonderful wife Sharon, we take a trip to the Outer Banks looking for a place called Jockeys Ridge. We brought our very dusty Flexifoil, Rev 1 and Scorpion. It took no more than lauching that very old Flexifoil for all the joy and excitement to come back!
We never envisioned being part of the warm and welcoming group that we found ourselves with after spending time with folks from RAF and WOW at a first Sunday Fly. We felt like family amongst people we’ve never met before!
In the 4 years I’ve been flying (again), thanks to some not so subtle peer pressure, I find myself competing and those that I quietly admired in awe have taken the time to teach me things that I may not ever have learned otherwise. I’m also slowly going broke buying kites!! LOL
It is that passion for the sport and the willingness to share that brings me to this. I was very hesitant, struggling with the decision to be a Will Smoot’s successor. I believe I even told him I couldn’t do it.
Well when I got a call and was asked if I’d be willing to “step up” I realized that if I love this sport, then it was up to me to do my part as many others have, to keep it alive and growing.
So to say thanks to all of you, I would be honored to be Regional Director and will try to do my best to support the region. I look forward to helping promote and grow this sport we all love so much!
“Kiting is Freedom”
Region 4 Candidate Bio
As a long-time AKA member, it's truly my pleasure to offer my services as the Regional Director for Region 4.
I realize that some of you may not know who I am, or my history, so I wanted to give you a quick rundown of where I come from.
I started serious kiteflying (stunt kites) back in 1993. I had stumbled upon a small stunt kite being sold at a local sports store here in Central Florida, and got hooked. This was before the World Wide Web was available to most people, so in order to find a kite shop, I had to go to the phone book and look for a store near me. That happened to be Krazy Kites in Orlando Florida. There I met Randall Lum and his group of kiteflyers that would go flying in an empty field behind the Magic Funhouse in Orlando (anyone remember those days?).
In 1997, I moved to the D.C./Northern Virginia area. While I was just starting my career in web development, I looked up the Wings over Washington (WoW) kite club and flew with them a couple of times, but wasn't an active member because I was just starting a new career and family.
But then 9/11 happened. As with many people, I started taking a closer look at my life and what I was devoting my time to. I started flying kites again starting with a "Freedom Fly" being held by the folks of WoW... That got the addiction rolling again, and I never quite stopped.
That was when I started KiteStop.com. At first it was just an electronic magazine where I could post what was happening in the world of kites as I saw it. I started attending festivals all over the east coast, photographing the events for my site. I met many kiteflyers along the way and eventually got involved with the retail side of the kite industry after attending a KTAI Trade Show in Florida (2001).
I became a "professional" kiteflyer in 2004, when I started working with Kiteman Production at Sea World. They would strap me to the back of a Sea-Doo and I would fly big 16-ft Delta Stunt kites and 6-ft Diamond stacks around the lagoon in the "Fusion" show. As a flyer for Kiteman, I've flown around cruise ships,
in shopping centers, in the middle of the World's Largest Fireworks Show in Kuwait, and a ton of other kite gigs where I've met many MANY wonderful kite people.
I am an absolute supporter of John Barresi and his attempts to modernize the AKA. I would like to work closely with our regional member merchants and affiliated clubs to increase frequency and attendance at their festivals. One of my top priorities will be to increase communication, both through social media and email, so that new and existing members are aware of everything happening in our region.
Thank you for your consideration, I would be honored to serve as your Region 4 Director.
Region 9 Candidate Bio
With your support, I hope to continue as your AKA Region 9 Director covering Idaho, Montana and Oregon. This past year has been exciting and educational. I have learned a great deal about AKA and have met many new people with the same passion for kiting. With your vote, I will continue to support and promote kiting, keep in contact with members through updates, and represent you as your AKA Region 9 Director. I have enjoyed getting to meet even more people this year through AKA.
I started flying kites when my wife, Diane, and I vacationed in Lincoln City with our children. In 2007, we happened to be in Lincoln City during their summer kite festival. I watched Lam Hoac and John Barresi perform tricks I never thought possible with a kite, and was hooked. We joined the local kite club, Rogue Valley Windchasers, later that year. I have been learning dual slack line tricks and how to “Own Your Hover” with a Revolution quad line kite ever since. I have performed as a featured flyer at several festivals. I also fly as a dual line duo team called Rogue Slackers. We recently performed at the Southern Oregon Kite Festival in Brookings Oregon.
I was born and raised in Medford, Oregon and still live in Medford today. My background is in real estate finance and I have just recently retired after 30 years in the local banking industry. Since I retired, Diane and I have been going to as many kiting events as we can. We love to travel and spread the joy of kiting everywhere we go.
Thank you for your support,
AKA Region 9 Director
The AKA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to sharing kiting with the world.AKA History
The American Kitefliers Association was founded in 1964 by the late Robert M. Ingraham of New Mexico. Now, with over 3,000 members, in 25 countries, we are the largest association of kiters in the world. Our purpose is to educate the public in the art, history, technology, and practice of building and flying kites - to advance the joys and values of kiting in all nations.AKA Goals We strive to promote public awareness of the pleasures and educational opportunities that kites provide. They can remind us about how we interact with our environment and each other. Kites can be a source of community building, breaking down barriers that typically prevent us from interacting. No words are needed to fly a kite.