Mad Kiters

Mad Kiters

By Koren Wetmore |

Eddie Davison dons headphones and firmly grasps the curved control bars of his quad-lined Revolution sport kite.

Limp Bizkit rages in his ears as he lifts the kite, spins it, then pulls it to a dead stop. It hovers like a purple bow tie out 20 feet parallel to him.

The move draws cyclists and children longing for a closer look on this Saturday at Meadow Park, but Davison warns them to keep their distance. Capable of slicing air at speeds of up to 120 mph, sport kites are no child’s toy. “They move really fast and can be dangerous,” Davison said. “If you get hit by one of the strings, it could cut you in half.”

A former dirt biker and self-proclaimed extreme kiter, the 32-year-old Big Bear City resident is co-manager of Mad Kiters, a sports-kiting club that hopes to build local enthusiasm for the sport and lure coastal kiters to the Inland Empire for an annual competition. “We need to get some people together, so they can see that kiting isn’t just for kids anymore. It’s amazing the kind of things you can do,” Davison said.
Control is key with sport kites, which feature dual- and quad-lined models ranging in length from 2 feet to more than 10 feet. Using a combination of pulls and pushes, kiters can execute loops, flips, spins and, in the case of quad-lines, hovering and reverse flight patterns.

“It’s not just floating in the sky,” said Mad Kiters co-manager Mario de Angelis, 35, of Sugarloaf. “They usually have a lot of power and some can really pull you across a field.” In fact, power kites, averaging 8 feet to 10 feet in length, can yank people right off their feet, said Davison, who likens the sensation to “being dragged by your car.”

Sport kites emerged in the early 1970s…

Full text available to editors upon request.
Published in The Press-Enterprise (cover story)