Hotter speed and turning than competition kites. Higher-quality exercise and livelier pull than power kites.
WindDances are "airgear," a new concept. They fly better and feel more exciting than typical stunt kites.
Our other advancements: Ergo T-handles that boost feel, control, exercise. Natural active FLY-a-kite skill.
"Satisfaction" guarantee? Part I Part II
We have a "performance" guarantee: we guarantee WindDances to perform and hold up as well as we advertise on this web site.
But do we offer a "satisfaction" guarantee? No. We can't. And here's why:
In the delicious pulsing and shifting brisk winds during the 1999 Berkeley kite festival, WindDance parafoils clearly outflew -- in the three essential performance & handling ways -- all the other dual-line kites there by a huge margin, including the hottest deltas. To bystanders we demonstrated and explained the hot speed & turning performance, the exciting lively pull, and the high quality of the exercise. And we showed how easy it is: merely use basic "kite FLYING" skill. Most who watched, listened, and demo-flew really liked WindDancing. But one experienced flyer, after he WindDanced quite skillfully (in a passive way: he never actively generated any turning speed & power), remarked, "It's OK if you like that sort of thing." He obviously didn't.
We've encountered many such "kite culture" flyers who simply don't care for what people normally want in their outdoor recreation: state-of-the-art gear that delivers exciting performance and good exercise with natural power-generating skill.
Since the awesome WindDance performance that we guarantee is so unsatisfying for many flyers in the "kite culture," we cannot offer a "satisfaction" guarantee.
What kind of sport kites are preferred by the "kite culture?" Delta kites with superb un-flying and non-flying performance and relatively low acceleration & speed. Kites that provide a dull feel through your control lines, including the feel of pull loss when turning and the feel of no pull when you kill off FLYING with advanced skill. Even a kite magazine made this clear.
What kind of parafoil sport kites are preferred by the "kite culture?" Ones that neatly fit into the "kite-culture" stereotype of what parafoils are supposed to be like: inferior in performance to delta sport kites. They don't want the hot performance we guarantee. Hot WindDance performance is unsatisfying.
Some flyers of delta sport kites, who email us from this web site before they read any content, have written how they're looking for "slow" parafoils.
One Seattle dealer suggested that we re-engineer WindDances to have less performance in order to satisfy "kite-culture" flyers.
Another Seattle dealer told a customer, "Parafoils can't turn sharp corners. You need a delta for that." And sold the customer a parafoil that has much lower performance and is more difficult to fly than a WindDance (the customer told us this). Perhaps the salesperson assumed the customer had the typical "kite-culture" mindset: parafoils can't possibly turn sharp corners, and really don't when they actually do. Perhaps the salesperson assumed the customer, a beginner, would quickly join the "kite culture" and be happiest with a parafoil that flies poorly in order to keep deltas on their high pedestal.
Another WindDance dealer in the Seattle area told a customer about his experience flying a WindDance, "Tried it. Didn't like it." That customer then bought a WindDance directly from us, vowed to never go back to that kite shop, and bought a second one from us.
Some kite shops have gone go so far as to sabotage hot FLYING performance and customer enjoyment of WindDances.
How did the "kite culture" get into this mess? Unwittingly it allowed elite sport kiting -- trick flying and competition flying and its gear and skills -- to evolve into something totally different from mainstream sport & recreation. Trick & competition flying have turned out to be the sport's slowest ways to dual-line fly. The 'hot' kites flown are bred to be slow. Slow flying -- as well as non-flying forms of flying like flipping your kite in the air and tumbling it on the ground -- became 'hot' performance in the eyes of the "kite culture." The preferred skills, difficult abrupt & jerky advanced skills, reduce & eliminate speed & power. The preferred control handles prevent the best feel & control, prevent full use of basic skill, and are uncomfortable and hurt many flyers.
How far has organized kiting advanced the sport? Often, elite flyers can't fly kites made for FLYING (such as WindDance parafoils) as well as beginners can. Why? Near-constant use of advanced skill -- "push on your kite lines to make it un-fly" -- purges natural FLYING ability. They must practice to relearn basic skill -- "pull to make it FLY" -- the simple skill that beginners use instinctively.
As other sports evolve toward high performance and good exercise from natural skills that generate speed & power -- and toward gear that's engineered to respond with hot performance to those natural skills -- dual-line kiting evolves in the opposite direction.
As other sports encourage participants to enjoy high performance and its excitement, organized kiting indoctrinates sport-kite flyers -- including thousands of young males -- to be turned off by the acceleration & speed & agility of a well-tuned aerial Ferrari and by its powerful & lively feel.
At kite festivals (all are put on by the "kite culture") -- especially when some people are WindDancing in brisk wind with acceleration & speed & turning that's vastly more spectacular and graceful than the serious & competitive flying featured by the festival -- you can see the amazing contrast: On center stage, lots of dull 'n' difficult flying for the "kite culture." Off to the side, some hot 'n' easy flying for the public.
The "kite culture" continues to push dual-line kiting away from mainstream sport & recreation, damaging kiting's appeal to the public as well as kite-industry growth and revenue -- despite warnings from enthusiasts about the adverse consequences. We have warned the "kite culture." Others have warned the "kite culture," including before we introduced WindDances and put up this web site, before we looked beneath the sport's smiling surface and saw all of this happening. Rather than heeding constructive advice, organized kiting keeps shooting itself in the foot and liking it.
The sport's prime authority -- the "kite culture": organized kiting with its trade association, flying associations, clubs, flyers, festivals, competitions, magazines, web sites, manufacturers, distributors, and kite retailers -- has failed in its responsibility to be the Keeper of the Flame of the Joy of FLYING.
Here is what kite retailers could do: foster growth and success of the sport & trade. How? Like other types of retailers, offer more than one set of choices. In addition to catering to the "kite culture," also cater to the general public with choices they'd like. Such as hot performance and great exercise from natural-feeling gear and easy basic skill.
If kite retailers decide to take that road to success, high-performance FLYING would eventually become a cool thing to do within the revitalized "kite culture." And then we could offer a "satisfaction guarantee!"
We'd sure like to have a "satisfaction" guarantee. But too many flyers today -- indoctrinated by the "kite culture" that drives organized kiting -- dislike the superb performance, great exercise, and good value summarized in the yellow banner at the top of this page. Since the good things we guarantee are unsatisfying for so many in organized kiting, we cannot possibly offer a satisfaction guarantee.
The "kite culture" induces you to prefer what the "kite culture wants," which is less than what people normally want:
To prefer less speed & turning performance, less visual excitement, less physical excitement in the form of pull liveliness, lower-quality exercise, and less fun than what REAL kite flying provides.
To prefer the discomfort of control handles that tend to strangle your hands like a noose.
To prefer the high cost of needing many specialized kites, none of which FLY well in the three essential ways.
To prefer the expense of needing to keep a supply of spare parts.
To prefer special control lines that cost more but don't work as well or last as long as what we provide.
To prefer kites that make it more difficult and less fun to fly side-by-side with a friend.
When organized kiting raises its standards, learns to appreciate "kite FLYING with basic skill," and rejoins mainstream sport & recreation, THEN we can offer a "satisfaction" guarantee in addition to our "performance" guarantee. We eagerly await that day.
WindDance dual-line parafoil stunt kites/sport kites are developed, sold, and backed by Seattle AirGear.
WindDance, WindDancing, Seattle AirGear, and AirGear are trademarks of Seattle AirGear.
Copyright © 1995-2017 Seattle AirGear.
This page last revised Oct-4-2001