The group is just a casual bunch of kite pilots rather than a well organized kite club. Like many clubs we’re just a bunch of people who enjoy flying kites.
Individuals have been flying in Old Settlers Park since the mid 1990s. In 1998, members of the group including the kite team Austin End Of The Line helped organize a full competition with the American Kitefliers Association (AKA). The competition was used as the opening of the Southwest Sport Kite League and AKA central sport kite competitions. Several locals participated in Experienced and Master level competition. The event was covered by KiteLife Magazine (archived here).
We have connections with World Wind Kite, our local kite store on McNeil Drive. They have a collection of beginner and intermediate kites if you’re looking to buy, and they can help get you more advanced kites or help track down obscure parts when repairs are needed.
Through the years the group has been small, but there have always been people who love flying and will show up year round. While many kite fliers have only a few months of good weather, our conditions allow flying year round. Flying in the hottest summer days (with a heat index over 110’F) is best done by anchoring the kite and relaxing under the shade of an easy-up, and sport kites are flown with a slow draw. Flying in Austin’s winter can feel cold for natives but with December and January having average temperatures in ranging from 40’F through 60’F, we can have a fun day flying while most kite pilots are dreaming of days back on their beach, or waiting for their snow to melt.
Around 2010 the favored field was paved over for tennis courts, but the neighboring field north of the lake was available. In 2020 the north field was irrigated. They added a few trees but still left enough room for us to fly. The flyable area is currently about 500 feet by 800 feet, more than enough room for three simultaneous groups. The prevailing winds are typically from the south, with a half mile tree-free run for wind to get relatively smooth.
The current batch of fliers is somewhat organized (or disorganized) by Bryan Wagstaff. Past organizers include Michael Boswell and the late Gayle Woodul. In 2021 there was a decision to change from the old group name “Central Texas Cloud Chasers” to “Central Texas Kite Fliers”, due to the phrase “cloud chaser” getting adopted by other groups.
There aren’t enough of us to have a consistent regular monthly fly, although we have attempted a regular meeting date in the past. You’ll likely run across us on a Saturday afternoon, or after a work day, or even catching some wind during a lunch break. Check the kite flying calendar for upcoming dates and times.