A blog detailing our collection of Peter Powell kites, and chronicling our flying of these kites. Plus a bit of PP kite history thrown in. Our collection to date can be seen here. I am keen to expand the collection, so if you have an old Peter Powell kite, whether made in the UK or the US, gathering dust and looking for a new home, why not get in touch? Depending on the kite (does it bring something new or different to my collection?), its condition (is it flyable? how much TLC does it need?), and the price you ask (+ shipping if from outside the UK), we may well be able to do a deal.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Skyraker!

In a recent post, I tried to shake the tree to see if a Skyraker fell out. Well, I didn't have long to wait! A fellow kite flyer contacted me, saying he had a Skyraker that he wouldn't mind letting go. We quickly agreed on a price, and a few days later, my Skyraker was in an airplane crossing the Atlantic.

So here it is!


As far as I'm aware, this was the first dual-line delta produced by the American arm of Peter Powell Kites. To me, it really does look like a (small) diamond Stunter, to which a pair of wings is added.

Next question is, of course, how does it fly? First flight was in 7-14mph wind, and that shows that the Skyraker really needs a bit of wind pressure on the sail; it was happiest when the wind speed went into double figures.


Reasonably responsive, but not overly quick to react to input. Also a rather large turning circle for its size. I tried to axel it, but only succeeded once (and then only if you really squinted and sort of looked the other way ...). Essentially, it flies as you would expect a small-ish dual-line delta from the 1980s to fly.

I say small-ish: its wing span is 1.70m. Now that's interesting, because the ads from when it was marketed talk about a 76" = 1.93m wing span .... did the Skyraker come in different sizes? If anyone knows more about this, please get in touch!

And I mentioned in my earlier post that the Skyraker came with several different sails: 3-panel, 11-panel, and with 'Illusion' graphics. The one I got my hands on is the 3-panel version, and my bag is always open to an 11-panel and 'Illusion' Skyraker joining the collection ...

Monday, 13 June 2016

Caribbean Kite Company

Around 1994, the US arm of Peter Powell Kites became independent and changed its name to Caribbean Kite Company. This morphing of Peter Powell Kites into Caribbean Kite Company, based on Jamaica, and with distribution centred in Florida, is nicely shown in the magazine Kite Lines: up to 1993, it carried ads for Peter Powell Kites, whereas by 1995, these had disappeared and ads for Caribbean Kite Company started to appear. Initially, these ads made clear the company was formerly known as Peter Powell Kites.

The Caribbean Kite Company continued production of a small number of Peter Powell kites, and introduced a range of kites themselves. At that stage, they were quite ambitious, and were aiming for 'Caribbean kite' to become a worldwide badge of the highest quality. All their kites carried names of islands in the Caribbean (well, to be perfectly honest, all but one, but that's for a later blog post). So, for instance, the traditional Stunter was renamed Cayman, the Skychaser was rebadged as Tobago, the Skylite was produced under the name Mustique, and the Omni was relabelled Caicos. The front page of their web-site gives a nice overview of the range of dual-line kites they sold (with thanks to the Wayback Machine!).


Keep in mind that over the years more kites than these were produced and marketed. They also had a range of single-line kites, by the way. The Caribbean Kite Company didn't last for very long: in 2000, it was put up for sale; not much was heard of it since, but I'm not sure exactly when they went out of business (anyone?).

Even though technically kites produced by the Caribbean Kite Company aren't Peter Powell kites, some of them do contain the DNA of Peter Powell Kites. And the Cayman is a Peter Powell kite in all but name. So, for me, kites produced by the Caribbean Kite Company definitely represent a chapter in the story of Peter Powell kites. You may agree with me or not, but I will definitely be looking to add Caribbean Kite Company kites to my collection of Peter Powell kites!