Thursday, 25 April 2013 11:19

Fun Fly event soars April 28 in Swift Current

Written by  Jessi Gowan
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Local kite enthusiasts can gear up for this summer’s Windscape Kite Festival with a Fun Fly on April 28th, put on by the Windscape Kite Club.

The event is a great way to enjoy the warmer weather with an afternoon outside, and get some flying tips from local kite artists.
“We get together to fly kites a couple times a year, but usually out at our farm,” explained Ray Gowan, a local Windscape celebrity flyer. “We’re trying to have these Fun Fly days in a more public location, to attract a wider audience.”
With a larger local audience attending Windscape Kite Festival each year, it’s no surprise that there are more and more kite flyers looking for the chance to get out their gear more often. These ‘Fun Flys’ provide a great opportunity for them to hone their skills.
“There is a growing group of avid flyers that we really are hoping to see come out,” Gowan said. “I think having days like this when we are out flying gives us a chance to find some other people who maybe miss out on our annual festival in June, too.”
It’s also an excuse for festival organizers to enjoy their favorite part of the weekend, without the stress of putting on an international festival.
“I think a lot of us who are involved with the festival, come away so exhausted that we just put our kites away and have a habit of not getting them out again until the festival next year,” admitted Gowan. “This is a great reason to get them out and make some of the necessary adjustments and repairs that we forgot about last year.”
Gowan hopes that the fun flys will help invalidate the misconception that kite-flying is ‘boring’.
He feels that too often, people associate flying kites with a short-lived childhood thrill, and he encourages everyone to give it another try.
“Kites have a come a long way, and there are all sorts of kites and all sorts of thrills to be had flying them,” he said. “The hobby is quite diverse – you can buy a kite or build your own, and they can become very complex and huge. It’s not an expensive hobby, and it’s fun, good exercise, and a great social event.”
To help people discover the joy of flying, Gowan offers flying lessons both at the Windscape Kite Festival, and at Kite Club Fun Flys.
He has been hooked on kites since the age of six, and after discovering dual-line kites about 20 years ago, he’s learned even more about how exciting kite flying can be – and loves passing that knowledge onto other enthusiasts.
“Once I learned to do it on my own, I realized that teaching others to fly dual-line kites before they demolished them would be an important service to provide,” he said. “A lot of people buy them and then just leave them in the closet, because they are a challenge to get started on. If you have one laying around, bring it out to the fun fly and we will try to help you out.”
With a wide-open flying field right on the edge of town, Swift Current offers a perfect environment for both experienced and novice flyers. Anyone is welcome to join Gowan and other local kite enthusiasts on the corner of Marsten St. and 11th Avenue SW, from 1-4 p.m. April 28.
“We don’t have a lot of kite-eating trees, we’ve got good, steady winds, and we have beautiful skies,” Gowan explained.
“When we put our kites in those skies, I think we make them even more alive than they already are. Swift Current really is where kite-flying makes sense.”

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