Gary Engvall

Gary EngvallCranston, RI

If you have a question about:

  • Kite Making

  • How AKA Kite Competitions are judged....

    • Four Criteria of:

      • Design

      • Construction

      • Flight

      • Appearance

  • How to organize a festival

or many more questions.....


"Kites and kiting are wonderful. Kite flying is the most ecumenical of any activity out there. There is a kite for every ability and every pocketbook. Sharing the knowledge and passion of kiting is even better than kite flying." Gary Engvall

People often ask, “How did you get in to kiting?” My glib answer is that I never got out. I did the right of passage kite flying as a kid and loved it. Back in the day of paper or plastic kites, I always had a kite around to fly to de-stress. Then, I lost a kite. It was a gusty day and I lost the battle to get it back safely. I was devastated, because I thought you could only buy kites in March and April. Some people are thrifty, but I am cheap. I found a book to buy. Having never seen a stunt kite fly, I built my first stunt kite from David Pelham’s Penguin Book of KITES. It was made from Tyvek and wooden dowels. I was also able to learn a few things from Indiana's Ansel Toney.

Fast forward to organized kiting..... I have been a Comprehensives judge for the Kite Making competition at 3 AKA Conventions, but I learned the most about design and construction when I was a Flight Judge for the Smithsonian Institution Kite Festival on the Mall in Washington, D.C. Olan Turner knew me from the Sport Kite Competition circuit. He invited me to be a Flight Judge. I gratefully accepted and that became my job for 15 years.

Workshops: Workshops are a great way to gets hands on experience with experienced assistance. I have been leading two workshops a year for the ConnctiKITERS Kite Club for decades. I have also done workshops for New York Kite Enthusiasts, Kites Over New England, Treasure Island Sport Kite Klub, and the Richmond Air Force. My wife, Maggie, & I also do kite making with kids of all ages using Frustrationless Flyers. I have also presented at Fort Worden, the Maryland Kite Society Retreat, and MAKR.