AKA Convention 2014 Nags Head, North Carolina
by Dave and Iris Corning
The American Kitefliers Association Convention and Grand Nationals is held every year over a week of September/October. Its location floats each year. Last year it was at Seaside, Oregon; this year Nags Head, North Carolina; next year at Enid Oklahoma. It is a week long event of kiting classes during the morning, kite flying and competitions all afternoon, and social gatherings and banquets most evenings. Five days of total immersion into everything kiting!
This was the third such event for Iris and me. Wish I had an album of photos to add to this article. But we were so busy, a camera was the last of our activities. Iris attended a class of making miniature kites from cocktail napkins while I attended a presentation of the quad effect, how to fly four line kites for competitions with pointers to earn extra credits with the judges. We both built box kites that will fly in a small room. Other classes presented Kite Aerial Photography, Night Kite Flying, and Kite Boarding. So many classes, there wasn’t enough time to attend them all (though we tried!).
Our afternoons were spent at the event site fields socializing with single line kite fliers, visiting old friends and meeting new ones. Participating with the daily mass ascensions earned hat pins. We watched the afternoon competitions of the Grand Nationals, the ‘SuperBowl ‘ of two and four line stunt kite flying (Cass and Carol picked up a handful of trophies flying their Rev kites to some very impressive routines). Iris played ground crew during my participation of the fighter kite competitions. We earned a couple of trophies from the Novice Class Skills and Line Touch disciplines.
We came home with more kites we just had to have! The bag raffle, the silent auction, and the open auction were sources that added another half-dozen new kites to our kite bags. The banquets were decorated with kites entered in the kite building competition. Such awesome workmanship and beautiful and clever designs!
We were able to break away from the kiting activities to do a little bit of sightseeing of the Outer Banks. The Wright Brothers National Memorial was my must see spot. Our resort was in the middle of a natural preserve, beautifully nestled among a forest of trees yet only twelve miles from the AKA activities. Businesses along our daily route had each bought giant Adirondack Chairs and full sized horse statues, and decorated them to adorn their front yards. Other sights there we’ll see another time are the largest sand dune on the east coast at Jockey’s Ridge State Park, eight different lighthouses, and a tour of an area known for its wild horses.
Membership with the AKA has its benefits. The Kiting magazine, kiting insurance, the annual convention. And the pleasure of being among the nation’s largest group of kiters!
As mentioned earlier, we were much too busy to take photos during the Convention. But we picked up a few along the way, let’s see if they’ll add some entertainment to this write-up.