Flying kites has long been a favorite pastime of many people. Recently, a company called Castakite has come out with a product that serves as both a kite launcher and flyer. Operated via a fishing pole design, Castakite truly makes kite flying child’s play!
Castakite was developed by an avid kite flyer/fisherman and a pilot, with help from an MIT-trained engineer. The Castakite flyer enables children as young as four years old to know the joy of kite flying without the tangles, line burns and frustration of conventional kite winders and spools. The fully-assembled flyer comes pre-strung with 150 feet of quality kite string and packed with a nylon diamond kite (though it works as easily with any 15″-60″ kite), so the fun can start right out of the package. Parents love that it gets kids off the couch and outside for an activity the family can enjoy together. Castakite also can open up the world of kite flying to wheelchair-bound children, as there’s no need to run to catch the wind to send a kite soaring! Thus far, the responses from consumers have been overwhelmingly positive:
• I bought one and we love it! It’s amazing how easy it is to get this kite in the air! Even my 5 year old nephew could do it on his own – he was so proud of himself. Great toy-well made. I highly recommend this.
• We love this thing! Got one for Christmas and I absolutely will be buying more. They’re great for kids and adults. The cast and reel handle makes kite flying so much easier. No running to catch the wind with this thing. We can’t wait for summer so we can get this on the beach. Thanks!
• Great fun for kids. It used to be a hassle to fly kites with my boys. Now they can reel their own kites without my help.
Recently the Examiner spoke with Greg Holmes, the president of Castakite, about his experiences working with the company and his hopes for its future:
Meagan Meehan (M.M.): What inspired you to create Castakite and why was that name chosen?
Greg Holmes (G.H.): The motivation was to make kite flying easier and therefore more fun, so more kids would go outdoors and play. The name speaks to the ease of launching and flying a kite, using a flyer/handle with a fishing pole design to cast the kite high into the air and to reel in the string to control the altitude.
M.M.: Castakite is the name of your kite product. Do you have any other items pending release?
G.H.: We just introduced 2 new flyer handle colors, purple and black, and 3 new diamond kite colors — red, blue and yellow, in addition to our blue and orange flyers and lime/green kite. Down the road, we can envision adding other kite designs, colors and accessories, as well as opportunities for custom designs.
M.M.: How did you go about getting Castakite produced and sold in stores?
G.H.: We exhibited Castakite at Toy Fair in NYC, where we were approached by several online and offline retailers. We also called upon retailers in several markets, especially those near beaches and attractions that cater to kids and families.
M.M.: To date, what has been the most rewarding part of working with Castakite?
G.H.: We’ve gotten tremendous positive feedback from customers who talk about the fun kids — and families — are having flying kites with Castakite, easy it is, and how well-made it is. Given how sedentary and screen-focused so many kids have become, we’re happy that Castakite is making outdoor play more appealing again.
M.M.: Career wise, where do you hope to be in ten years?
G.H.: We’re working hard to build the domestic market for Castakite this year, but hope to expand to international markets in the future.
M.M.: What advice would you give to someone who is striving to become a product designer, especially a kite designer?
G.H.: One of the most challenging aspects of product development is translating an idea into a viable, quality product. I was lucky enough to find an MIT-trained engineer to develop the mold for the Castakite flyer based on my input, and delighted to work with a manufacturing company to get Castakite made in America.
M.M.: Are there any upcoming events you would like to mention?
G.H.: Although today’s crazy weather patterns make it reasonable to be outside flying a kite in Central Park on a 60 degrees day in January, I thought I’d follow the sun and take a soon-to-be unveiled Castakite truck on the road to be part of outdoor festivals in Florida and other winter warm locations.
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The Castakite flyer is made in the USA and is available online at the official website as well as many toy and sporting goods retailers nationwide. To learn more, visit the official website.