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Author Topic: Love Or Hate Him: Just Spell The Name Correctly  (Read 4640 times)
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chilese
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« on: May 16, 2011, 06:18 PM »

I know a lot (of rumors and stories) and a little (of the truth) about Dodd Gross.

Self-proclaimed Master Instructor.
Winner of many competitions.
Teacher of thousands.
Founder of the Trick Kite Video (the death of kite flying)
Rock drummer

I've met him, photographed him, had him autograph some kites, been annoyed by him at times and heard many, many stories. Hated some of his kites and really liked others. Can we blame him for the QC on some of his earlier kites or was that just a company decision made on a design he originated? So much I don't know.

So what I'd like to hear are not rumors, stories or your opinions.

Tell me what you know. What were the order of the companies he worked with?
HQ, Dodd's Kites, Eolo, Revolution, New Tech, Sky Dog (that's a lot already)

And what's with the whole Jam Session HQ/New Tech Dodd/Christoph history?

Let's clear the air. But keep it civil. If you don't like him, that's fine with me, but don't clutter up the thread with hatred. Stick to first hand events or information you are pretty sure are true.

And no comments about the hair either (maybe a little).


« Last Edit: May 16, 2011, 11:48 PM by chilese » Logged

John Chilese: Las Vegas, NV
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thief
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« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2011, 06:29 PM »

well this is not going to start up anything now is it....

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chilese
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« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2011, 06:33 PM »

I spoke to Steve before starting the thread. We're hoping people can be a bit more HISTORIC and less HYSTERIC on the subject.

I really like the top 4 sport kite models of Skydog, but hated the French Connection and Big Bang. I liked the Jam Session too.

Just behave.  Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2011, 07:41 PM »

Only came into his presence once thought he was alittle full of himself until I saw him take time with a kid who was about 10 and teach him to fly.  Also, have and have flown several of his kites mostly liked them, the ones I didn't like was pilot error not a design flaw.  He has been the topic of several discussions on the field which generally conclude with "yeah but he is that good".  Guess we're still good with 'nobody's perfect'.
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DecSkybirds
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« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2011, 09:35 PM »

Dodd just wrote me a private message on facebook today, so he is pretty cool in my books.  Really loves the sport and the people.  Good guy.
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« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2011, 09:38 PM »

 Shocked JW where are you?
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Sine Metu!
inewham
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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2011, 12:37 AM »

... until I saw him take time with a kid who was about 10 and teach him to fly.

A friend got Dodd over to the UK for a couple of flight schools with the MKF in the late 90s. I did both because it was just good fun. Forget the hype and he was a nice guy and a *very* patient teacher who never seemed to tire of spending all day teaching his pupils.

A lot of people give Dodd a hard time, I hope they can justify that by having put as much effort into kiting as Dodd has over the years.
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obijuankenobe
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« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2011, 04:58 AM »

I have heard and read many stories about him. 

Anyone that I know that has met him has said he's a great guy...he just likes kites.

He...like the rest of us...is a dude/chick that digs on kites.  The difference between him and most of us is that he has made a pretty decent attempt at making a living from them.

Business/sales-men make crazy statements everyday.  Master instructor?  This isn't the craziest thing I have heard said in the interest of making a buck.

obi
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« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2011, 05:29 AM »

Before I found the online kite community, all I knew were New Tech kites, because that's what the local kite store sold as 'high end ' kites... And shoot, $125 for a kite... Seemed like a lot. So, before I knew it, I had a bag full of Dodd's kites, and a video. So, with no one local that flies, he pretty much taught me how to fly by way of his video. A couple years later I found kiting on tHe Internet and Found out that there were better kites out there, and learned much more from everyones advice. I credit Dodd for giving me a solid start, it would've taken me years more to figure this stuff out for myself, and I may have given up if I hadn't known what was possible.
Last year I had the pleasure of meeting Dodd in person. He was curious about the bright red kite I was flying, and wanted to give the lines a tug. It was pretty cool to hang out with the guy who taught me how to fly without actually being there. I also found it amusing how much he didn't like my red kite, the same impression I had of it for the first 20 hours I flew it.
Anyway, I'm looking forward to the next time I share the field with Dodd, and even the next time I get to hear him play with his band. I don't know any of the 'back in the day' stories, and really don't care, I'm glad to know him a little, and call him a friend.
Rob.
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RonG
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« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2011, 07:43 AM »

Dodd and I have not always seen eye-to-eye on things over the years, but nothing can change the fact that I owe my entire "early education" in flying to the Flight School videos, and the HQ kites he represented at the time (especially the Jam Session).  If there were a Hall of Fame of kiting, Dodd would have earned a place there a long time ago.

As for the rest, I'm not going to delve into petty conflicts, rumors, innuendo, or he said/she said crap.  Not worth it and no one feels better for it in the long run.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2011, 07:47 AM by RonG » Logged
rncembal
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« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2011, 08:26 AM »

The Hq Dodd New Tech Christoph History is a series of separate events.
Dodd was flying and beginning to sell and influence kite designs
HQ and Dodd formed a partnership
Christoph was already designing ,and building kites for HQ
HQ had a kite the jam session
Dodd supplied his expertise to changes in standoff positioning bridle adjustments and other tweaks ( the amount of credit due each is the sublect of much debate ) The final result was one of the best selling and reviewed kites of it's era and one that still has fans. IT would be hard to debate that the final kite would have existed in it's form with out input from both.
Dodd was traveling and supporting The jam and the HQ line and flight schools were developed culminating in the first video. This video suddenly allowed fliers and would be fliers to learn without  finding a live teacher.
HQ and Dodd went separate way with a fair degree of animosity over issues I would leave for them to discuss. I would offer that they were more between the principle owners of HQ and Dodd not between Dodd and Christoph.
A few years past and Dodd and New Tech Kites entered an agreement where Dodd would be the main force behind the sport kite development for New Tech
New Tech entered an era of expansion and made several hires pushing further into the specialty kite trade.
Go fly a Kite imploded and Sky Dogs came into being.
Dodd was offered what he perceived to be an exciting new venture to join and gave notice to New Tech.
During the years Dodd worked with New Tech,Christoph had steadily worked designing kites of all variety. He had become an independent designer for a number of companies.
New Tech felt the need to move away from Dodd's designs as his name was now associated with  another
company.
We had known and respected Christoph and his work for many years and we came to an agreement that is working well .
The Jam session has had several lives and is still in production I don't believe that Dodd or Christoph has any financial reward from it's current sales.
Rob Cembalest
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Kite traveler and observer since 1985
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kevin
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« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2011, 07:12 PM »

In the mid-90's, under crazy circumstances, I found myself the manager of a high(ish) profile kite shop.  Since I was deemed the "Kite Nut", I was tasked w/ buying from Prism, Skyburner, AirMaster, and Dodd Gross.  At the time, Dodd was the sole distributor of all the cool European stuff---Benson, Spirit of Air, and more.  I wanted these kites in my shop, and after a very pleasant conversation, I had an order that was over my allowed budget---but at a better discount and on better terms---on the way.  The deal Dodd gave me, plus the fact that I loved these kites and had very little trouble selling them, kept me employed for quite some time.  Dodd came to town to demo his stuff often, and I loved to both fly with him and hang out with him "off the clock".  Don't ask---I won't tell.  Wink

A few years later I moved to the other side of the country.  One afternoon, after being here for about 6 months, I walked on to a local festival field.  I saw Dodd across the field and headed his way.  After a brief reunion, he told the sponsors of the fest (local shop owners) that they would be idiots not to have me working for them.  I soon was, and enjoyed another few years of working in the kite industry, thanks again to Dodd.

After leaving that position and becoming more active on the GWTW forum, Dodd said a couple of things that I thought were tongue-in-cheek, so I was harshly sarcastic in my responses---believing we were "friends".  Something in his world was different and I was not privy to whatever it was.  Honestly, he pissed me off, and I intentionally pushed his buttons.  Every now and then I regret not trying to find out what was going on with him, but in the end, I've lost no sleep over it.

I hope he's well.
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Schook
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« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2011, 09:21 AM »

Dodd and I have not always seen eye-to-eye on things over the years, but nothing can change the fact that I owe my entire "early education" in flying to the Flight School videos, and the HQ kites he represented at the time (especially the Jam Session).  If there were a Hall of Fame of kiting, Dodd would have earned a place there a long time ago.

As for the rest, I'm not going to delve into petty conflicts, rumors, innuendo, or he said/she said crap.  Not worth it and no one feels better for it in the long run.

+1,  my very thoughts exactly. 

But for me it was with the New Tech kites.  Cherry Bomb was my first kite, took a very large number of lawn darts while I was learning.  Also have a Techno, Big Bang Pro, and French Connection. I have never met Dodd or have ever exchanged messages that I can remember, but if it wasn't for the Flight School video and these kites, my whole kiting experience may not have ever "gotten off the ground"

I have since moved on to other kite models and makers but still respect Dodd for his passion for kiting and dedication to the sport.

jim
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John Welden
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« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2011, 10:26 AM »

Shocked JW where are you?

I retired.

John C, that's a sweet picture of Dodd and that kite.

It's probably better to delete this thread. No old controversies need to be resolved, like who designed the Jam Session. No one cares.  Start a thread about his new kites and talk about those. The rest of it isn't worth talking about.  Anyone that knows Dodd already knows the good and the bad. Anyone that doesn't really know Dodd, doesn't need to hear about the past because it makes no difference.  Leave all the old crap about Dodd on the old GWTW forum.
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Bill Rogers
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« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2011, 11:11 AM »

Leave all the old crap about Dodd on the old GWTW forum.


Well said. I'll leave it at that.

See ya,
Bill
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