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CHANGING FLAGLER BEACH’S SKYLINE – COLORFUL KITES

by Brenda Carter de Treville

Cozy Flagler Beach is a retro coastal town offering miles of sparkling beaches, wonderful art and festivals, beachside boutiques and shops, savory waterfront restaurants, great fishing from the classic pier, surfing and natural parks. Friendly residents and open-air restaurants set the stage for a laid-back afternoon.

Now there’s a new change to the city’s skyline, and it’s making “waves” high above the blue waters and surf of Flagler Beach – colorful twirling, whirling and flying kites.

A recent addition to Flagler Beach, Sue and Richard Carter have been seriously flying kites for about nine years. As Sue says, “We started small with two kites we bought in stores and have continued to grow our collection with more than 300 purchased kites and approximately 100 kites that we have made ourselves.”

“We live in Florida because it is a great kite-flying state. We like to travel the east coast to fly and lifting our kites up above the Flagler Beach Pier is a great location as so many persons are attracted to this area,” Sue adds.

And the kites Sue and Richard fly are not the small ones we remember flying as children. Their kites come in many shapes and sizes – many flying at the same time or tethered together along the kite strings rising high above the beach. Kites take shapes of flying fish, cross boxes, deltas, seahorses, sided boxes with wings in rainbow colors. And even at a distance Sue and Richard’s kites look huge. Some are almost two stories tall. Just check out their 12-foot inflatable star kite or their 14-foot modified Coyne Cross. It truly takes stamina – along with the proper weather conditions – to gets these giant kites airborne. Just check out Sue’s hands and she will show you her cuts, scars and bruises from flying! You have to be tough, she comments.

And if you get the lure of these remarkable kites flown by these amazing kite pilots, just visit Sue and Richard’s Kite Warehouse on A1A (across from the Funky Pelican restaurant) in Flagler Beach. Here you can learn more about kites and what would be the best for your adventure into the skies. And you can take home the perfect kite or kites for you and your budget.

Kite flying takes knowledge. Fondly known as the “Kite Lady,” Sue agrees. “It is important to talk to kite sellers and flyers to discover the flying features and strengths of a specific kite. Whether single-line or multi-line kites, you have to understand the characteristics of your kite – and remember not all kite are for hand-flying!”

Sue and Richard love talking about their kites and often attract numerous locals and tourists, alike. When the day is perfect for flying, it can take hours to stage and put their kites in flight. Along the sandy beach next to Flagler’s historic Pier, just follow the colorful billows and lines – you’ll be sure to find the “Kite Lady” nearby.

For more information and to video videos on Sue and Richard’s kites, please go to We-Kite.com.


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