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.

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!

4 comments:

  1. I recently bought a Martinique, and the only information about it was here (thanks for sharing!)
    Do you have any idea in which year the Martinique is manufactured?

    Thanks in advance!

    Bertina (kites.tk)

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    1. Hi Bertina; glad you liked the info! The earliest record I've been able to find of a Martinique is from 1996. Caribbean Kite Company went out of business in 2000, so your Martinique must have been produced within that time window, possibly even in 1995. Post some pictures!

      Hope that helps (a bit),
      Lex

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  2. Hi Lex,

    Thank you for your very fast reply and the additional info!
    I don't know how to post a photo here, but you can see it on my website (kites.tk -> 2-line kites -> 2nd photo).

    I haven't flown the Martinique yet, but I hope to do so this week.

    Thanks! And keep 'm in the air!!
    Bertina

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    Replies
    1. Goeie verzameling; hou ze inderdaad in de lucht!

      Groetjes, Lex

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