Tied to the Sky / Revolution kites
I think what makes the difference between a good hobby and a GREAT one is the people you meet and get to share time with. I have had the pleasure of meeting a few fine individuals on kite fields, and one such is John Barresi.
I have had the privilege of getting to know John personally over the past ten years, and my respect and admiration seems to increase with each meeting. Not only is he an amazing kite flier, but I have also found him to be a thoughtful, relationally generous, kind soul.
I joke that John could fly the hood of a car - he's just that good with a kite. In his forties, John has been flying kites since he was fifteen. His list of accomplishments are legion - National Championships (7x American Kite Magazine Circuit (cumulative season) 19x AKA Grand Nationals (single event face off))
Also, John has been active and innovating in the kite industry, kite associations, and kite events. He has participated in kite events in over a dozen countries. Not just a very skilled, creative flyer he is a true ambassador of the sport.
Many people know John from his popular online Kitelife.com and his extensive online video kite tutorials, both free and on a subscription basis. Kitelife.com is one of the most trusted and significant sources of multi-line kite information anywhere.
John is also highly regarded for his work with IQuad. In 2006, John co-founded iQuad and together they prolifically promoted the world of Rev team flying which ultimately led to the creation of his Signature Series with Revolution Kites in 2007 (the B-Series)… This later spawned the B-Pro (2008) and larger Zen kites (2010) which are handmade exclusively by teammate and kite maker extraordinaire Bazzer Poulter. Barresi, not being content with "good enough" saw another innovation in 2011 with the B-Series Xtra Vent and smaller, nimble B-2.
After performing at over 125 events worldwide in just seven years, Team iQuad disbanded peacefully in September of 2013.
If the great outdoors and west coast breeze didn't provide enough opportunity for quality airtime, Barresi also flies indoors. Flying indoors since 1992, John is a master with the Indoor Rev, dual line or various gliders. Together with his charming wife TK and teammate Spence Watson, he co-founded the indoor show team FlyForm in January of 2012 with an explosive debut routine set to “Pump It” by the Black Eyed Peas.
Personally, in addition to all the above (and much more - American Kitefliers Association, Kite Trade Industry Association)) what impresses me most about John Barresi is his generosity of spirit. I have had several opportunities to share a kite field at festivals with JB, and one can't help but notice how even in the midst a demanding demonstration schedule, John is often found out on the public flying fields giving folks the opportunity to fly his kite, provide one-on-one instruction, and advice to young and old alike. Barresi is an effective communicator with infectious joy of kites, which in my books makes him a top notch spokesmen for the kite industry and a great guy to share a flying field with.
This post is all about the history of Revolution Kites. More than kites, this dynamic and innovative company has developed, hands-down, the best quad-line stunt kite on the market. Sadly, often copied, the counterfeits are nowhere near the quality or performance standard of the authentic Rev kites. Not unlike the introduction of dual line stunt kite back in the day, Revolution kites have breathed new vibrancy into a traditional and historic hobby for a new generation of kite enthusiasts.
I have heard it said by some that the quad line kites are difficult to fly but my experience has been the opposite. Teaching many folks to get started with these awesome flying kites is usually done within 20 minutes and the basics are well in hand. Like dual line flying, proficiency and the "cool-ness factor" increase exponentially as you hone your skills. I think the transition is often most difficult for those who have flown dual-line kites for a while because fly quad-line Rev kites is really a different kind of flying - more wrist action and smaller inputs which as you begin to master them unlock the "Holy Sh&$" of how these kites perform!
The following history of Revolution Kites was found on their website written by Joe Hadzicki. Enjoy!
A true family business, Revolution Enterprises was founded by three Hadzicki brothers in in 1988… Specializing in carbon fabrication, Revolution produces quality kite products, skateboards, golf shafts and a wide variety of other carbon and related products at their factory in Poway, CA.
The Revolution sport kite was released at the 1989 KTA Kite trade show in San Diego, California. The kite was in development for about two years prior to that.
The development of the Revolution design began in 1987. I had recently moved back to San Diego from Santa Barbara, California after completing a degree in mechanical engineering and working with an engineering firm there. While driving by the San Diego Bay one afternoon, I noticed a big husky guy flying a kite and being dragged across the park! I was so fascinated that I looked into this new sport. I soon found out that the best kites cost up in the range of $200 to $300. I quickly enlisted the fun loving company of my two brothers Jim and David. Within two weeks we had designed and built our own set of power dragging kites! For the next several weeks, we spent our afternoons experimenting with this new hobby of ours! After getting the basic controls of two line flying down, we flew team maneuvers, then we flew our delta kites with long flowing tails, then we stacked the kites, then we got kind of bored.
I’m always looking for ways to improve things, and it seemed to me this kite could use some improving! Primarily, better landing abilities!
Several months later I woke up one morning with a completely new approach to the design problem. I decided to approach the kite from an airplane control perspective as opposed to a kite approach. By controlling each wing independently from a flap or aileron design we could redirect the air flow to cause forward or reverse flight. Within two weeks we had a working model that far surpassed our wildest dreams! Far beyond our main goal of being able to back down and land, this new revolutionary kite was capable of instantaneous stopping, reverse flight in any direction, full speed control in both forward and reverse flight, and propeller like spins! The most impressive fact was that these characteristics are inherent to the basic design and therefore do not take hours and hours to learn complicated techniques.
Although precise accurate control takes practice, backing down to land takes nothing more than a simple rotation of both wrists!
Since the initial design of the Revolution I had a nine-foot wingspan, structural integrity quickly became an issue. Fiberglass was too flexible and heavy. The high stiffness aluminum used in the arrow shaft industry works well but begins to bend to shape within an hour or so of flying. My younger brother David just happens to be a pro rated golfer with a lot of connections in the golf industry including access to the graphite shaft design team at Aldila, who at the time was the worlds’ leading graphite golf shaft manufacturer. Within six weeks or so we had designed the ideal shaft for our Rev I (Neos Omega) kite.
With eighty kites built and two days to go until the international kite trade show in San Diego, Aldila gave us the bad news that they wouldn’t be able to manufacture the shafts for us due to other production obligations.
The Revolution design was an instant show stopper at the convention, selling out in the first hour followed with orders for 400 more! We had a wall of people, three deep for three days placing orders.
On Saturday, the kite demonstration day, we had store retailers crowded around with three to six kites under their arms waiting for a lesson. With this information, they would be able to go back to their stores and amaze all their customers, therefore selling thousands of kites! ….. Wrong! We gave people the basic lesson, telling them, thumbs back flies the kite up, left thumb forward turns left, right thumb turns right. Both thumbs forward, backs the kite down. The fact that this method of flying was completely alien to them (no pulling motions), along with the highly sensitive controllability, made the Revolution overwhelming. Add the fact that we had virtually no experience teaching people to fly added to the confusion. It seemed so easy to us! Thumbs back. Left thumb, right thumb, thumbs forward!! The stores had demonstration videos showing performance, but no technique. Only hard-core enthusiasts would dare accept the Revolution challenge!
Although selling the kites complete with a training video was the original plan, it had been dropped due to advice from store retailers that the cost would be prohibitive. After a couple months of frustration from new Revolution fliers and retailers, we began including the training videos with each Revolution sold. We instantly noticed the difference! New fliers that used to take two weeks to get the basics would now buy the Revolution, watch the training video that night, and learn the basic flying skills by the next day! My brother Jim, over the next couple years was successful in incorporating quad line flying into the international competitions including precision, ballet and team events. From the beginning and through the present virtually all quad line events are dominated by the Revolution design.
The original Revolution I design is extremely stable and is the choice for large stacks but is considered slow by today’s standards. The Rev II is fast and somewhat “twitchy”. I enjoy it most in high winds (12 mph and above) on a 100-foot line set, which makes the flying fast and furious! Forget precision! The Rev 1.5 debuted in 1995 and is by far the favorite of both competition fliers and competitors alike. At a wingspan of 7.5 feet, it has great stability similar to the 9-foot Rev I with a lot of the instant quickness of the 6-foot Rev II. The Speed Series, which debuted in 1998, introduced a new aspect to the Revolution design. With the 4-strut support of the tighter sail, the Revolution Shockwave and Supersonic reach speeds to 70 mph! That’s twice the speed of a standard Rev 1.5! In fact, the Speed Series can fly faster backward than a 1.5 can fly forward!
In 2001 we introduced the Revolution Blast. With a wingspan of 9.5 feet and a longer chord, this design resulted in significant power and improved stability over the standard Speed Series design. Introduced in 2003 is the Super Blast. With approximately 30% more sail area than the Blast this is a true buggy kite in winds above 12 mph. The up wind performance is unbelievable! One of the greatest advantages of all the Speed Series kites is the ability to instantly dump 90% of the power by simply rolling the thumbs back! This is extremely useful in all power kiting conditions.
In 2007, we worked with John Barresi to develop the incredibly popular B-Series. Built in the same 1.5 size class as our SLE and EXP, the B-Series incorporated John’s extensive experience as an international competition and performance pilot to provide some of the same advantages to recreational fliers such as the ability to adjust tuning for personal taste, and mulitiple frames to both expand the kite’s wind range and provide the right amount of competition quality precision.
In 2009, award-winning kitemaker Bazzer Poulter joined in our design efforts with the B-Series PRO – utilizing premium PC31 Icarex fabric, added reinforcements and custom colors for every sail panel. The PRO series went on to become the#1 choice for competitive and hard core recreational pilots all over the world.
Continuing to innovate in 2010, Bazzer Poulter worked closely with John Barresi and their iQuad teammates to develop the B-Series Zen. This design utilized a larger sail area, special bridle and framing for extreme ultralight conditions.
In 2011, we introduced a Rev II sized version of the B-Series called the B2 (faster and more responsive), as well as a full sized version of the B-Series PRO called the Xtra Vent for extreme high wind conditions.
Thank you again for all your interest and support over the years. We couldn’t do it without you. I hope kites has brought you as much fun and enjoyment over the years as it has us.
In 2010, all three Hadzicki brothers were inducted into the World Kite Museum Hall of Fame.
New York Minute (NYM) - 2014 saw the introduction of the New York Minute kite. An exciting new look with a 25 panel sail, new logo, and a folded ‘No Fray’ leading edge, this is one of our smoothest flying sails yet. Built with the best American made, new generation carbon fiber- our highest performing “Green Race Frame” comes standard in this exceptional sail. Innovative venting provides a selection of vent sail designs for almost every wind condition.
Reflex - New for 2016 the Reflex is a unique Rev design that is super stable and boasts a larger sail area. With impressive light wind flying and in winds over 12 kph deliver more power, more fun. Almost like getting 2 kites in One Reflex. Learn More
For the history of the specific models and framing, check out John Mitchell's website Revolution Kite History. This Rev enthusiast has put together a really impressive site in homage to an amazing kite.
Just a heads up that we have a fresh shipment coming out of Revolution Kites very soon! If you are looking for that something special now would be a great time to talk with us to get it included!
Remember - we fly Rev Kites and we can set you up with the package that you want! We can customize frames, handles, line sets and we can also help you get a custom sail! Contact us or call us Toll Free 1-877-382-3956
Back by popular demand - The Revolution Multi Kite roll-up bag. Folks, these are VERY well made. More than a simple bag, it is packed with quality features. Heavy duty construction, attractive embroidery, beefy, durable clips and more. The outside also boasts a nice shoulder strap and good-sized zippered pocket ideal for car keys, sunscreen and various odds and ends.
Open this case up and you will be impressed with the efficient design - Space for at least 5 kites with a fold-over velcro cover to keep your gear in place. Each slot has quality mesh on the bottom so you can see what kites you have with you, and reduces the chance of the pockets to fill with sand/dirt or grass. There are also plenty of velcro mesh pockets for line sets and flying handles. I love this bag because you can see what you have at a glance. Reduces the instances of getting to the flying field and discovering that you forgot your handles or your vented Rev! (I know I'm not the only one to do this!!!)
Folks, if you don't have 5+ Revs to fill it, you can carry many of your dual line kites in it as well. This Multi Kite Bag by Revolutions packs your gear safely, securely and smartly and is ideal for travel - car or airplane. Efficient and well thought out for the flying field!
If you are frustrated with your old sloppy bag where you have to dig and search for everything; then this kite bag is for you!
After a looong winter, Spring has finally arrived in our small corner of the Canadian prairies. They days are getting warmer, sun shining longer and of course nice wind! Our fresh stock continues to arrive and being added and updated in our online kite store. We are really excited with the addition of a few new products and these include:
New Sail patterns and colours for the Revolution 1.5 packed with both the SLE and 3-Wrap leading edge making this a really great kite package! There are quite a few new designs for 2013 and we have also added some new B-Series as well!
Remember, if we don't have it - we can get it! We work very closely with Revolution kites - ask us about your own designed Custom B-Series!
The O'Canada Rev 1.5 is back by popular demand! Exclusive to the Great Canadian Kite Company, the classic, edgy, red, maple leaf-esque sail is available in Vented, Mid Vent and Full sail. New for 2013 with the full sail is a complete 3 wrap frame and a complete 4 wrap frame. We have dropped the SLE in this model to tweak the performance even more in this kite! The 4 wrap gives you more upper wind range with all the flex and performance! We also have expanded our selection of Rev accessories including frames, handles and quality Spectra Shanti quad-line sets!