I started flying kites in 1987. Stunt kites caught my eye at a kite
day organized by a friend. Although I thought kites were a little silly
for grownups, I went to the kite day with my cameras, a ton of lens and
filters, and thought to my self "I'll take pics" of these kites on this
beautiful blue sky!!! Well when I showed up I was so impressed by the kites
and very impressed by the stunt-kites. So I had to try it... and I did...
and my god I liked it... yep I was hooked. The very next day I bought $300.00
of kites (stunters) and oh yeah I never took a single picture that day...
3 months later I was so into kites that I quit my job (a good job) to
start selling kites. I read everything I could get my hands on and quickly
discovered fighters. I was very intrigued about these little kites and
wanted to learn to fly them. But I like to do things the right way if possible,
so I wanted to learn from a master. I had to wait until October 1988, at
the Chicago AKA Convention, were I meet Joe Vaughan, (Corey Jensen had
told me he was pretty good) ... Joe patiently showed me how to fly... and
wow this was even more fun then stunters... I invited Joe to Montreal for
the next week where I had organized the One Sky One World kite day. He
really surprised me by showing up and it was great, I was invited to promote
OSOW at a hobby show in a huge convention hall, Joe came along and flew
his Grandmasters kite indoors... WOW! I was flabbergasted... He then taught
me how to do it. This was so intense for me that I suffered a slight temporary
memory loss, that's how concentrated I was on the kite. We spent the rest
of the day finding big public buildings to fly in and get kicked out of...
I started to experiment with building fighters the following week, my
goal was to make a good indoor kite. Since I was the only one in Montreal
stupid enough to go to big public buildings at 3:00 AM to fly my fighters,
I started to change my paper indoor kites for sturdier ripstop kites that
I could fly outdoors and teach others to fly with. The development process
for the Patang had begun...
The goal was now to make a sturdy ripstop fighter that would track straight,
spin fast and be predictable. I thought if I could do that, then I can
make kites for my friends and have fun, I really never thought that I would
one day make a living making these.
So you see the result of these years of having fun with fighters, I'm
quite proud of the Patang because it does what I really wanted it to do.
It tracks very straight, spins quite fast, is extremely predictable (it
always turns up when going from side to side) and it is very durable. Although
it prefers a good breeze, it will fly nice in 3-4 mph of wind and I have
flown it (after adjusting the bridle) in winds of 25+ mph. The pattern
I now use on it is a very traditional design from India, when I went to
India I saw kites with the two concentric circles all over the place. I
think they call it the moon kite because the biggest circle ends up looking
like a crescent moon. So I decided to make that pattern as a tribute to
the original India fighter and because it actually makes the kite perform
better (a one piece main sail has faster forward speed then a assembled
sail). Last thing, they come in two models for now, the Patang and the
Patang Extreme, the later one being equipped with a stiffer bow, and I
am currently working on a ultra light version.