Natham’s Bucket List Gets A Boost – May 2024

Story By: Nathan Yoder
Photo By: Rick S.

Since I was a young child, my grandmother Carole took me to the Ocean Beach Kite festival. After a few years in a row of assembling my own kites and flying them with Carole, my inspiration for kites exploded, and I made it a bucket list item for me to participate in this festival when I grow up.

Twenty years later, my bucket list item became a reality for me when I signed up on the OB Kite Festival Volunteer list at the SD Kite Club monthly meeting, a week before the festival. The main thing I signed up for was to fly in the single-line demonstration area, but I also wrote in parentheses that I wanted to fly in the stunt kite demo area if there was an available time slot.

I flew my single-line delta kite with some line laundry items, as well as my diamond kite with a micro kite for line laundry. While flying in the single line demo area was very fun and relaxing for me, I got a time slot in the stunt kite area, which was my biggest highlight of the festival for sure. This was my first time ever flying in a demo area for a kite festival, a substantial milestone in my personal life.

I flew to the song “FM” by Steely Dan (released 1978). I had Victor Heredia, the owner of Kite Country, be a spotter for me in case I crashed my two-line stunt kite. I started off with my light-wind stunt kite (4D prism kite). About a minute into my first flight, the wind got me at just the wrong angle and I crashed my kite in front of several hundred spectators. My kite broke, and I had no choice but to run back across Robb Field and grab my back-up stunt kite. Thankfully, Mr. Heredia cleaned up my broken kite while I ran back to retrieve my spare kite, I could not have done this without his assistance!

When I crashed, the announcer Robert totally had my back and said that I was going to come back for a “take two.” I did the Olympic sprint across Robb Field to retrieve my back-up kite, the fastest I had run since high school cross country, and then made it back to the demo area. I was out of breath but got my kite back up immediately.

Right after my second kite launch, I ended up flying into a random single line kite above the demo area, but I thankfully was able to maneuver out of it. I flew to the right, and side-stepped about 30 feet in the same direction. I got out of the tangle, and continued to fly to the Steely Dan song.

During my demonstration, I performed a few figure-eights, some zig zags, spirals, and freestyle flying. My flight was about four minutes, and the audience totally cheered for me after I finished. I then eagerly walked back to the cabana where Victor H was sitting, where he had my broken kite all wrapped up and secured. Furthermore, Victor’s son Ryan, who I’ve never met, was already looking for a spare part to fix my first kite, which shows how generous Victor and his family are.

Kite fliers are some of the most kind and generous people you will ever meet. I highly recommend visiting the Kite Country store, 3350 Sports Arena Blvd, San Diego, CA. Victor is a very generous person, and so are his family members. They are truly amazing people.

I’m super thankful for this opportunity, and I hope to participate in next year’s OB Kite Festival.