The First Annual LBI Festival did luck out with the weather, WIND & the initial organization of the events . It could not have gone smoother. It was 100X better than Wildwood since all the volunteers wanted to make it work. I will leave it at that ...
Some factors for next year for the LBI Festival IMO:
1. Possibly move it into mid-late September where the wind & weather
may not be so erratic? The Chowderfest was destroyed by weather the weekend before with a passing Hurricane from secondary winds/rain as it passed up the coast off-shore. That event was DESTROYED COMPLETELY. NO SURVIVORS.
2. The festival was at Ship Bottom
for the big/small kites. The dunes were two story high. West winds below 5 mph in any direction and your DEAD and only small kites are flying near the water. Incredibly winds picked up and from a forecast of West & Calm it turned to East early and then to 5-10 mph in the afternoon Sunday. Its was LIGHTS OUT PERFECT. 11/10. Intoxicating WINDS!!! VERY LUCKY.
You have to ask yourselves with that much work input from the Town of LBI, AKA and all the local KITE volunteers they should move the festival to September (better weather opportunity IMO) and a beach with better DUNE topogrpahy. Dunes which are LEVEL with the beach. Barnegat Light
4. The KID/Family Events were 10/10. No suggestions.
5. What made this festival awesome was coming off the bridge onto LBI you HIT this main event (BIG/SMALL kites). It was packed, epic and STELLAR! But a dangerous location IMO for a repeat success due to BLUE SKIES and EAST WINDS that were PERFECT
5. I had five people come up to me wanting to learn to fly a stunt. Next year two more fields for stunt only and rev only instruction fields is a recommendation. One field for Demo/COMPS. One for equipment layout (revs/stunts and stakes ready to fly and these two others) prior to going tohe DEMO if that's your thing. It was CROWDED on the only field to fly roped. I was flying in a crowd at times in an unroped area when the revs were UP in the roped area due to lack of real estate. No complaints I do this on the beach all the time - it was semi-open and people were walking the EDGES (Ocean water line and the base of the dune areas) for the most part. The event was simply OVER RUN by the crowds. HUGE! No fault here ... no one expected HUNDREDS at the FESTIVAL. No boardwalk here like Wildwood. People were INTEGRATING with kiters.
6. The diversity of Events were PERFECT. But again demo's and an annoucer IMO integrate the pilots with the crowd only so much ... no kite company stands, no AKA tent?, etc. ... A bystander said I have been flying a stunt kite for six months ... I want to go beyond Figure 8's ... what do I do ... where do I go so I can fly like people in those videos.
. I wonder how many others wanted to learn? I did have five inquires with five E-Mails put into their I-Phones for further links/instructions/AKA contacts/Easstern League Competition flying with simply just flying. A sign - Want to Learn to Fly a Stunt Kite or Fly a stunt kite for 60s without a CRASH and win a $1. Easy. Give out AKA applications to all interested. LBI residents get a Eastern League application if interested (slightly).
When I started flying in AP at times in July I had crowds of 20-30 people watch when I flew a Lam kite from the AP Boardwalk ... in those 10 years I trained only twelve pilots. How do we get the the kite IN HAND. Who does not like a MEGA FLY? However is there alternative methods?
In any event this was the best Kiting event I ever attended ... its hard to imagine its only 40 miles from my weekend Beach House in Asbury Park, NJ (Exit 102 to 63 on the Garden State Parkway).
The above being cited only to IMPROVE LBI FEST 2016. Its ENGRAVED IN STONE for many years to come as the go to
Festival on the East Coast.
BTW - the number of competitiors BROKE the AKA National Convention mark at this event. Whatever ... OLD SKOOL is better than NO SKOOL. My mind set will be CHANGED next year to OLD SKOOL. Again ... whatever/who cares/I agree.
It was great seeing Ron Graziano again ... who BTW lives in LBI. Yes ... very unusual. Good luck IN THE OCEAN on the Long Board.
Yep ... this weekend did have some unusual moments.