Recently Wayne Dowler ‘sat down’ with folks from his local news station and spoke with them about how kite flying has helped him after a stroke. We had a chance to talk with him and learn more about what it is that keeps him flying.
AKA: While your fellow kite fliers might have met you on the beach, they may not know that you often fly indoors. You host a regular indoor fly in your home town correct?
Wayne: Yes – the local soccer center has given me use of the facility whenever they are not using it. Been a 5 year relationship now.
AKA: Is it just you, or have you had other kite fliers join you?
Wayne: Irregular cast of fellow fliers. Some there weekly, some just whenever they can. I’m the most “regular. John (Barresi) is a good example – comes when he can, but not a “regular”. Gerry Ralls and George Meredith are the most regular, besides me. Then we have drop ins when they can come.
AKA: When a person sees you flying indoors, and they are not a kite flier, what is their first question?
Wayne: WHERE IS THE WIND FROM? They always are looking for the fans or some source for wind! Cracks me up! Or I turn the table on them and ask – “Did you expect to see a kite flying indoors today?” little ones love that. stare in awe.
AKA: In the video you talk about how kite flying has been a kind of therapy after your stroke. What do you think it is about kites that really helps?
Wayne: In my case it has had physical benefits. Coordination, balance, hand eye stuff. But the most important is the mental help – I feel much more confident having something to identify with, not sitting on a couch. Overall it has given me a much more positive outlook. It would have been easy to wallow in self pity. Remember too that I’m 65 and had a stroke at 49 – my whole world was turned inside out, upside down.
AKA: Do you think that kite flying could be helpful for others?
Wayne: FOR SURE!! Unless there are really limiting physical reasons that flying is impossible – Can’t think of a more rewarding activity! The physical and mental aspects are hard to ignore! Remember the Glider Geek saying?? “We don’t need no stinking wind!”
AKA: What do you think is the biggest barrier for entry for new kite fliers?
Wayne: Not knowing someone and the general cost factor to start out. Figuring in the long term – it ends up being cheap. But it can be spendy if getting new. I’m usually always looking at getting good used to keep my costs down, but not everyone knows where to look, who to ask. You can almost see the reaction when you tell them you have almost $300 in your indoor Rev. And it’s worse outdoors, when you fly Pros valued at around $400 + lines, handles, etc. and say you have $500-600 invested in just one kite and you have 5. Again very lucky to buy used, but I know where to look, who to ask.
AKA: What is something that you wish non-kite fliers knew about kites?
Wayne: How much fun there can be for us adults too. Not just a kid’s toy, but some other hobby to spend time with and learn. And it has benefits of doing it solo, duo, team flying. The social aspect of getting together with other like minded people, sharing something we all love. And decorating the sky with color! Or in this case – the indoors with color!
AKA: We have heard you say you love your Revolution Kites, but do you have another kite that you love to fly?
Wayne: Never really connected with the dualies indoors, but love all my different gliders! They are a completely different style of flying, still need flying them, but much more a relaxing thing in between sessions of workout with the Rev! Since I have a few it’s really hard to nail t down to just one. Have to admit being partial to my Plutz’s
AKA: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Wayne: I have an accident survivor coming out on Tuesday – we’ll see if he has any physical limitations and go from there! Helping others is what this is all about now. It has helped me already!
P.V. Nguyen wanted to add the following when we asked if we could use the photo of Wayne for this write up.
Dylan dual line’s ProAm with Scott David this year got him fascinated in indoor kiting. Then comes Wayne, who taught him how to fly a quad and do a throw and catch in just TWO days!
At Lincoln city Summer Kite, Dylan had a hard time flying his full vent all day in strong wind (I’ve posted a great moment of Griff holding him back). While Chuck Wiley graciously let Dylan trying out his rainbow xtra, Wayne again guided him through his first pairs experience.
The kids haven’t been flying much besides Lincoln city and WSIKF. Wayne has always been their constant support, flying next to Dylan in teams, showing him how to manage lines and getting him through crisis being an inexperienced flyer.
Join the Glider Geeks Group on Facebook at : https://www.facebook.com/groups/232378193482957/
There is a considerable amount of information on all aspects of Indoor kite flying at: Kitelife.com
Here is another type of Indoor Kite Flying