Kite Flying is My Other Passion

MikeI love to fly kites, especially flying large kites over the great state of Wisconsin. I’m a proud member and 2020 president of the award-winning Wisconsin Kiters Club and member of the American Kitefliers Association. Whether flying in a handful of kite festivals across the Midwest or out on my own, I always find a creative way to capture the experience:

Some of my kites include:

MaxiGecko by Peter Lynn Kites:

18 2 16 Mike GeckoMeasuring 30ft X 88ft, this kite is a handful and needs plenty of space and consistent winds around 10 to 15 MPH. This version (Circa 2005) of the MaxiGecko flies entirely on its own without the assistance of a lifter kite. Line used: 4,500lbs. Here’s a look at the MaxiGecko flying in the Color the Wind kite festival in Clear Lake, IA.

Harley Davidson Flow Form:

Harley KiteThis spectacular one-of-a-kind creation from Columbian kite maker Huber Orlando Monsalve Alvarez features the Harley Davidson logo stitched into almost 40 pounds of waterproof taffeta. Measuring 850 sqm, or 26ft X 32ft, this kite is a handful and co-owned by and flown with Bob Turicik, of MV Drone Eye View Photography. Line used: 4,500lbs.


Rieleit Foil 20 by Premier Kites:

Mike RieleitMeasuring 15ft X 15ft with an attached 60ft long rainbow checkered tail, the Rieleit Foil 20 is truly one of the most beautiful and majestic kites to ever grace the sky. It’s a kite that requires a lot of space and attention. Line used: 1,200lbs. Here’s a look at the Rieleit Foil 20 flirting with the sun.

Sutton 252 Flowform by Air Affairs:

SuttonMeasuring 14ft X 18ft, this beautiful Sutton 252 flies with two 100 ft tube tails and mainly serves as a lifter kite capable of supporting the largest of “line laundry,” those beautiful wind-filled creations hanging from the line. This Sutton flies in winds of 8 MPH and above. Line used: 1,200lbs. Here’s a look at it flying in a light breeze.

Power Sled XXXL 15 by HQ Kites and Designs:

XXXL MikeWhen it comes to lifting “line laundry,” I rely on this 17ft X 9.5ft power sled to get the job done. This is the largest kite of its kind on the market. Commonly referred to as “sky anchors,” these and other ram-air-filled kites fly steady in a wide range of winds. This power sled flies in winds of 5 MPH and above. Line used: 1,600lbs. Take a look as it flies high over Black Earth, WI.

Jellyfish from Weifang, China:

Mike Jellyfish1One of my favorite kites, this beautiful Jellyfish measuring 10ft across and 60ft long with attached tentacles (tails), is a hard-pulling kite that’s fun to watch on its own or as it’s holding up a wide range of “line laundry”. Line used: 800lbs. Here’s a look at an early morning flying of the jellyfish in 10 MPH winds.

Trilobites from Weifang, China:

trilo (2)I also enjoy flying 65 sqm and 16 sqm Trilobites. Measuring 25.5ft X 27.5ft and 13ft X 13ft (pictured), respectively, with the kites are majestic and stable fliers with a commanding presence. Line used: 65 sqm – 1,500lbs / 16 sqm – 500lbs. Here’s a look at the 65 sqm Trilobite from mid-air.

Pink Floyd Flamingo by Go Fly a Kite:

Mike FlamingoI recently acquired this unique life-sized and life-like flamingo, with an 11.8 ft wingspan more as a novelty, but quickly found that with the right bridle tuning, this beautiful bird takes to the skies and flies wonderfully. Line strength 150lbs. Here’s a look at the kite soaring over Wisconsin’s driftless region.

Line Laundry:

Turbine:2020-03-22 21.58.49

Made by Columbia’s Huber Orlando Monsalve Alvarez, this turbine/rotor/spinsock is 115ft long and 12.5ft at its widest. Any of the larger kites above will lift it off the ground. This piece performs well in 11-plus mph winds. As you can see here, it is a handful and ideally needs a little more space.


Fauchie MikeAt 15ft long, my red and yellow Fauchi fills the sky wherever he flies. This is my first line laundry in a growing collection. I also enjoy flying 9ft and 16.4ft wind turbines off of most any kite line. Here’s a look at Fauchi lighting up the sky.

My Kite Festival Videos:

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