Peter Lynn

August 2008

Kites Over Water: The Tow Show*

The world's falling apart; recession looms- could be long and deep.
Sounds like a perfect time to start a new business, so we are.

  • The idea: Move the kite shows we do now from the beach on to the water.
  • The reason: Beach space for kite flying becomes unavailable just when the audience is greatest.
  • The method: A system for launching and flying large show kites from small boats. 

Followers of this newsletter may recall that in Jan '07 I published photos of the systems for doing this that we were testing then.  Since that date I've been working away on technical refinements and putting together the business elements and people required to make it happen.

On the technical side, in 2006, for kite launching and retrieval we required the use of a floating platform that was attached as a trailer to the towing boat.  We have now developed techniques for launching large kites directly from a boat- and their later retrieval.  During the last year we've also increasingly noticed how much easier it is to fly kites when there is control of wind speed- it's a really dramatic difference.  I guess we have all become so used to bad wind that we think it's something intrinsic to kite flying- but it's not- and this becomes immediately apparent when the 'wind' is controlled by an accelerator.  While tow flying; if a kite stalls and won't lift when launching- just speed up a bit.  If it climbs too fast and starts to pull excessively- just slow down.  And, remarkably, if a kite's tail trails in the water, you just adjust the speed so as to gradually pull it out- no damage, no drama.  It's magic.  Of course, when towing it is still practical to fly kites right up to when the wind speed is at the max for a particular kite anyway- so the wind range for the Tow Show is effectively from zero right through to whatever the kite can handle. 

We thought we had a good enough idea back in 2006, but it's just been getting better and better!

Who's this "we" then? 

So far we are:

  • Paul Reynolds: Kite flier, festival announcer, and in real life; "in the city"- London that is.  CEO.
  • Abdul Rahman al Farsi: Kuwaiti kite enthusiast, owner of the world's largest kite.  Financial backer.
  • Myself; technical development.
  • And an Operations manager; I can't reveal who yet, a big secret, but he's excellent.

And: 100% involvement and support from Peter Lynn Kites Ltd.

Our next step is to test the market.

Of course we're sure that we can put on a show that people will enjoy, and that we can do this for much less cost than a conventional kite festival-but we also have to find someone who will pay for it.

Area tourist authorities, promotional associations, hotels, advertisers and sponsors are all possible customers.  There are others.

During the 2009 northern summer season (approx. March to July '09) we are intending to do test shows at likely sites (probably concentrating on the Mediterranean).  From these we aim to get customer and audience feedback,-and experience in actual operating conditions.

So why am I telling you all this?

Because we would like to work through and with kite fliers and kite festival organisers:-your local contacts and specialist kite knowledge can be the key to making this project succeed.

For agency terms and conditions, please contact Paul, address below.

Some further information;

For the test period we will fly existing kites but after this, expect they will have special themes, colours and adaption's for over the water flying.  For greater spectacle, they can also be larger than we usually fly at land based events (space ceases to be a problem).

And, we hope to use kites from all the major designers- most have been contacted and those we've talked to so far are very supportive.

And, towed kite shows off popular beaches aren't the only opportunity we see.  There are also likely to be opportunities to participate in special events, cruise ship welcoming, resort exclusives and ultimately we expect to be doing fully choreographed sound and light night kite shows. 

But before we can fly so high we have first to get started.

Replies to Paul at


Peter Lynn,

Ashburton, July 29 '08


PS  I forgot; we also need an assistant for our operations manager during the test period; someone to help with organising shows.  European language skills desirable, kite flying experience optional (otherwise written as 'on the job training provided') but definitely a desire for adventure is obligatory!  Know anyone who might be good for this?


*The "Tow Show" is a working name only, unlikely to be the final choice, neither is KiteCircus- discussions are continuing, all suggestions welcome.


Thanks to David Gomberg and Murray Neill for the photos which we have slightly doctored!




Peter Lynn Kites Ltd
105 Alford Forest Rd

Ph: +64 (0) 3 308 4538
Fax: +64 (0) 3 308 1905