We nominate Peter Lynn for the AKA’s highest award — the Steve Edeikin Memorial Kiteflier of the Year Award for his incredible lifetime of achievements in the kiting world.
Today, if you search the web for kite related webpages about Peter Lynn you will find over 120,000 entries for this modern day kite inventor. In the Guinness book of records you will find his name next to the world’s largest kite. He was inducted into the World Kite Museum Hall of Fame in 1991. He has his own Wikipedia page. He is the czar of giant inflatable show kites and the father of modern power kiting.
Our story begins a long long time ago, in a land far far away, Peter started his kite business in New Zealand, selling single line kites to children. A year later, in 1974, he invented the Tri-D box kite; the plans for which are currently available on the AKA’s website. In 1979 he attended the first AKA convention and served on the first AKA Board of Directors. Peter is a lifetime member of the AKA.
The origins of Peter’s giant inflatable show kites began in 1984 with the Centipede design. He went on to develop other large creature-themed kites which he and now hundreds of others fly all over the world. Peter once said making a giant kite that flies is the easy part; the hard part is making one that barely flies, so you can get it out of the sky at the end of the day. His kites include the Manta Ray, Octopus, Puffer-fish, Gecko and Trilobite. Today his kites are well known for their flight abilities and ease of handling relative to their size; there are over 25 inflatable designs that have been developed by Peter and his kite company.
In between travelling and designing his giant kites, in 1987, he somehow found time to begin developing power kites for traction uses, as well as designing boats, buggies, boards and snow sleds to use with them. The sport of kite buggying began from a kitesailing craft; it had three ‘skis’ and by his own admission was not quite successful on the water. In 1990 he converted it to a land buggy by replacing the skis with wheels. More than 10,000 of his buggies are now in use, and there are many other kite buggy manufacturers as well.
But the buggy is not Peter’s only contribution to power kiting, Peter has designed many power kites; from the Peel to his newest ram air inflated wing, which he holds two US patents on . Known as arc or twinskin kites, these kites have no bridles, and will auto zenith to the top of the wind window. In performance handling improvements it is equivalent to the automobile getting an automatic transmission. It is by rights a unique category of kite, separate from other controllable kite types.
In the past two decades, the modern power kiting movement that Peter started has branched out to kite surfing, and snow kiting; now, it is looping back to its original roots – kite sailing. Peter Lynn has recently introduced the Kite Cat; a kite powered catamaran, completing a challenge he set for himself in 1987.
Peter started his kiting career 37 years ago selling kites to kids, Peter is today still selling to those very same kids, though both the kids and the kites have gotten bigger. Peter would also tell you he is the biggest kid of them all.