It was roughly 1985 when Glenn Mitchell, then a high school biology teacher in Coalinga, was attending a summer workshop at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. He hadn’t flown a kite since he was a kid, but he bought one, went to the beach and discovered a hobby that would become a passion.
He eventually learned to maneuver two-lined kites (called stunt or sport kites), expanded his collection (including one kite 80 feet long) and studied in China on how to fly tan ying. He now has a kiting YouTube channel with over 1.7 million views.
He knows that not everyone is going to get to his level, but he does have a few pointers to keep it fun: Start with a delta-style kite (shaped like a triangle) and don’t run to get lift-off. “If the kite cannot be flown out of hand, or pulled into the air with strong tugs, then maybe it’s a better day to go swimming,” he says. “You are decorating the sky with color. You feel a connection to nature because of the wind force that’s transmitted to your hands down the line – you have a physical connection there.”
He still frequents two local spots – Monterey State Beach and Asilomar. [SR]