“The wind was cooperating today, so I thought I’d go fly for a couple hours,” says kite flyer, Vernon Courson of Altus. Courson knows how to make the best of his vacation, and the best of the Oklahoma winds. On a gorgeous afternoon, Thursday March 7, when the temperature was in the 70’s, an American flag kite soared 300 feet up in the air.
Courson packed his three-wheeled cycle with three his favorite kites and rode over to the big open field on Tamarack Road immediately west of the Great American Car Wash to enjoy a few hours of kite flying in the open breeze.
He said that he could put his American Flag kite up to 1500 feet, but he want to be able to see his kite. “I like it just high enough for the wind to keep it steady.”
Courson owns 12 kites, from small Delta kites, to box kites, to some that are much larger. The American flag kite has an 11-foot wingspan. Its two tails are 15-feet long, and the sock in the middle is a length of 6 feet. When looking at it from the ground it is hard to believe that the Delta-style kite’s wingspan is twice the size of the height of an average person. From the head of the body to its tails combined total 20 feet.
Because of the amount of pull the kite has in the steady winds, Courson has it attached to a 14-inch ball bearing reel of 300 lb test line which, Vernon says, “sings a bit in the wind.” When it’s time to reel the American flag back in, Courson wears gloves to prevent his hands from getting blisters because of the effort it requires to turn it.
This particular kite doesn’t do many stunts. However, some of the smaller kites Courson owns tend to swoop low to the ground, maybe do a few loops, and then soar back up again.
This one is very stable though, he explained. “It goes whatever way the wind shifts.”