From November 12th-18th we are featuring all things Fighter Kites! Lets get this started with an interview with AKA Member and Fighter Kite flier and builder Mitch Cordover.
What is your name Mitch Cordover
How long have you been flying fighter kites? Very long.
Why fighter kites? Fighters are active and responsive. You actually have to fly them, control them. Far more engaging than stationary SLK (which I also fly for other reasons). Far less set up and less room needed than multiline kites. AND it’s something you can quickly see yourself get better and better at, and some fighters are inspiringly good! The fighter kite crowd is very welcoming.
What is the easiest, and hardest thing to learn about fighter kites? By definition, the kites are active and if you try to learn on a competition level American Fighter, one would find it squirrely and hard to control. Since the technique is a matter of timing and is rather quick, If you don’t start with a larger slower sail it can be frustrating. You have to get past crashing on the ground, which even the best of us do all the time.
Favorite place to fly? Furthest you have traveled for a match? For a match, Washington. Fought with kids in the hills of Nepal, but that’s not why I went. Brought fighters to Antarctica, but couldn’t find anyone who would play.
Is it all hardcore competition, or is it friendly rivalry? Hahaha. Even the most hardcore competition is friendly and jolly.
What do you think is the biggest obstacle for people to get into fighter kites? You need someone to show you how, to get the right kind of kite in your hands, to play with. So AKA education and promotion is part of it, but there is a critical mass of players needed. Many festivals and gatherings don’t have a fighter area set up. Unless you are very good, it’s hard to fly them around a forest of SLK lines.
Do you make your own? Yes, but since mine are not as good as some made by excellent friends, I admit to flying theirs more. You can make one very quick and I have thought classes. I have the instruction manuals if anybody wants one.
What is the strangest thing you have ever been asked or told about your flying? “Jim Gibson just flew a Bukka fighter in and out of a four foot window at 100 feet. Gob smacked!
Why should someone try this? It’s fun, portable, quick and easy to get into the air, social when you want it to be, cheap, easy to get into, satisfying to get good at, active and even athletic.