Competitor getting ready to fly a quad line kite at the Outer Banks Stunt Kite Competition.
The Outer Banks is one of the most celebrated kite flying places in the world. The open terrain and constant winds are, after all, why Orville and Wilbur Wright came here to learn how to fly.
So it’s should come as no surprise the every year there are a number of kite festivals and in September the Outer Banks Stunt Kites Competition.
Sponsored by Kitty Hawk Kites, the competition has been part of the Outer Banks fall scene for over 30 years, and it’s a great show, although the competition itself can be a little bit confusing to the the uninitiated.
Held the past couple of years at the Outer Banks Event Site in Nags Head, it’s obvious something is going on because huge kites fill the sky because two miles from the site, huge kites can be seen filling the sky. The size of some of those kites isn’t completely apparent until your standing beneath them and realize they are 12-15’ across, a few of them even larger.
There is a field where novice flyers can learn to fly stunt kites, and conditions this weekend were great, although flying the 3 meter power kite that was on hand in 15mph winds was . . . exciting.
The competition itself requires an amazing degree of coordination between music and the flight of a kite. And conditions for a competition were challenging—15mph winds are fun conditions to learn to fly a stunt kite, but getting a kite to dance across the sky in a synchronized pattern with the music with winds that strong is different than conditions most competitors are used to.
It was a great day, though. Beautiful setting, lots of fun and a reminder of how special the Outer Banks can be at any time of the year