Handcrafted Comprehensive Competition

Carol Bechard & Kara Zubal, Co-Directors       9:30 am, Field A

  • Pre-registration will be open from 2:00 – 4:00 pm on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning at 9:00 am. Listen for announcements.
  • All kites entered in today’s competition will be flown and judged by the “RULES AND GUIDELINES FOR COMPREHENSIVE KITEMAKING COMPETITION,” published by the AKA, as a guideline.
  • Every participant in the Handcrafted Kite Competition will be a winner! A special participation pin will be given to every competitor that enters at least one kite for judging.
  • Judging criteria includes craftsmanship, structural design, kite flight and handling, and visual appeal.
  • Each event (except Smallest Kite) will include three competitor levels: APPRENTICE, JOURNEYMAN, and MASTERS. A questionnaire form will be available to determine each competitor’s skill level. Flyers may choose to compete at higher skill level than the questionnaire determines.
  • Registration will be open on Wednesday afternoon from 2:00 – 4:00 and again Thursday morning at 9:00.
  • Kites that have placed in Handcrafted Competition at WSIKF in previous years are ineligible to compete.
  • Kites can be either built by an individual or cooperatively by two or more people.
  • Upon the completion of the competition, drawings will be made from the winners of each level for prizes.
    APPRENTICE: A free ride scholarship to Fort Worden Kite Makers Conference (room, meals and tuition).
    JOURNEYMAN: A free ride scholarship to Oregon Kite Makers Retreat (room, meals and tuition).  
    MASTERS: A gift basket full of surprises.

Events         Times are approximate and based on number of entries in each category

9:30 – ARCHES, TRAINS AND CENTIPEDES – Kites of any shape or structure that is connected by lines to each other.

9:45 – TRADITIONAL KITES – Kites include eastern or western kites using designs that might have been found before 1950 and/or based on designs indigenous to the region they represent. Kites must be made from traditional materials such as paper or silk with a bamboo frame. This includes countries such as Bali, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, and Thailand.

10:00 – INNOVATIVE CONCEPTS & DESIGNS – This category recognizes new designs or styles of kites that do not fit within any other category. Imagination, innovation, experimentation, and originality are added emphasis.

10:15 – STUNT / MULTI-LINE KITES – Kites which require more flying lines to lift the kite in the air and keep it steady as it flies.

10:45 – LINE ACCESSORIES & GROUND ART – Sometimes referred to as “line art,” this category will included any tethered object. The object may be tethered to a kite, line, or the ground. Examples would include wind socks, bols, wheels, etc.

11:15 – FIGURE OR NOVELTY KITES – Shapes of these kites represent persons, animals, or other objects. May be controlled by two or more lines. Kites whose surfaces are decorated with pictures or representations of the above are not considered figure kites.

11:30 – THE SMALLEST KITE – The kite should demonstrate stability in flight-. Once meeting this requirement, the kite with the smallest amount of lifting surface will be declared the winner.

11:45 – Lunch

12:30 – Handcrafted Tribute Fly

1:00 – SOFT & SEMI-RIGID – The shape of the kite is maintained by the interaction of the wind on the sail and the proper bridling of the kite. Semi-rigid kites may have spars going in one direction only.

1:30 – ROKKAKU KITES – Kite shape must be six-sided and framed as a traditional Sanjo Rokkaku

2:00 – FIGHTER KITES – This category is open to all types and designs of fighter kites

2:15 – CELLULAR OR DIMENSIONAL KITES – A three-dimensional structure with the wind flowing through channels formed by the sail surfaces which are also lifting surfaces.

2:45 – DELTA OR DELTA DERIVATIVES – Usually a triangular winged kite

3:15 – FLAT OR BOWED KITES – The lift surface is a single plane. Diamonds, Della Portas, Eddys, Edos, and Bermudas are all examples of Flat or Bowed Kites.

Handcrafted kites will be available for viewing at the northeast corner of field A following the judging of each category.


Registration For Mass Ascension pins

10:00 am, Registration Tent


KITES with TAILS mega fly

Sponsored by the World Kite Museum    10:00 am – 1:00 pm Field B

The World Kite Museum created this event to get experienced and beginner kite flyers to appreciate one another and learn from each other, while having fun. Kites can be bought from kite stores, made from printed directions or classes or borrowed from a friend. To get a pin for the fun you’ll have, you need to register at the table on the south end of the Registration Tent. Kites with Tails can be attached to the kite or pictured on the kite. Anything goes! Your start time will be recorded. You need to fly for at least one hour to qualify for a pin. When you are done flying, check out at the registration table to collect your pin. This arrangement is good for those competing in the handcrafted events by arranging your mega flying time at your convenience. Get involved in the fun!


Handcrafted Tribute Fly

Ken Conrad and Suzanne Sadow

Sky Pirates, Event Directors 12:30 pm Field A


This year we are pleased to be honoring Ken Conrad & Suzanne Sadow. Ken & Suzanne are involved in all aspects of kiting, making kites, teaching classes and even aerial (KAP) kite photography.

In college, Ken prepared for a career in hard science, but found it didn’t click. Ken flew kites for fun during breaks between classes; he noticed the attention kites brought and had his first business idea: why not leave science and sell kites?

He made a few kites & sold them to a kite store in Cannon Beach. From there he taught a kitemaking class at a local school for 800 kids. In 1976 he opened his kite store, Great Winds. He met his wife, Suzanne, when she just happened to walk into the store one day.

Suzanne had recently moved to Seattle from New York. She thought Seattle would be a lovely place to retreat and do studio work. Suzanne has become well known for her Nishi sled, a playful take on Takeshi Nishibayashi’s double layer sled that she personalizes with her artwork.

Recognizing that many kites don’t fly well, Ken and Suzanne strive to design reliable flyers suitable for any experience level. They developed the Frustrationless Flyer. This 24” sled is a foolproof kit with a blank skin, ready to customize with any artwork. Perfect for the classroom, or for someone who is all thumbs but wants some flying time.



Long Beach Elementary School Gym opens at 3:00 pm, Single Line Competition at 7:00 pm


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