Saturday, 6 October 2018

Hawaiians galore!

As you may be aware, the Top of the Line Hawaiian Team, usually simply referred to as 'Hawaiian', was essentially the kite which established the sport of team-flying. So, obviously, we had to have at least a pair of them. Our first Hawaiian was not an original Top of the Line, but one made by Chicago Kite, with Skyshark spars and modern connectors. The clear link with Top of the Line was that the sails were sewn by the same people responsible for the original Top of the Line sails.

Pretty soon afterwards, we did get our hands on an original Top of the Line Hawaiian ...

... so we had a pair of Hawaiians to fly! There is a clear weight difference between them (460gr for the Chicago Kite Hawaiian; 582gr for the original Top of the Line kite), caused by the yellow original Hawaiian having thicker heavier spars, but with some bridle tweaking we managed to get them to fly (almost) the same.

It then was a bit quiet at the Hawaiian front, until I was basically given another original Top of the Line Hawaiian ...

... which, of course could be flown with another of our two Hawaiians. This one had lighter spars than our earlier yellow Hawaiian, giving it a weight of 429gr, and it flew best together with the modern black rainbow kite.

And then all Hawaiian hell broke loose ... first of all, we were given a pair of Top of the Line Hawaiians on indefinite loan.

Striking sail colours, and they look fantastic in the sky together.

Very shortly after that pair, I was asked if I was interested in buying a set of three 'old skool' kites, one of which was a Hawaiian. Is the sky blue? Does a Rev have four lines?? This particular Hawaiian had a simpler sail design than all the others we had, with just green and blue panels:

Interestingly, those same green and blue panels were also present in a Hawaiian owned by a team member ...

... which made me think that the two together would be perfect for a 2-stack. To make a not very long story even shorter: said team member hadn't flown his green Hawaiian for ages, and was quite happy selling it to me. So we had a Hawaiian 2-stack!

The two green Hawaiians look and fly well together, and the pull is a bit less than I expected (which may actually say something about my expectations rather than the actual pull)

And, of course, following on from our earlier experiment flying a single kite together with a 2-stack, we also have that opportunity now with Hawaiians!

As far as Hawaiians go, this wasn't the end of it. I was again offered a Hawaiian to buy, and it would have been rude to have refused, wouldn't it? So here's our latest Hawaiian, which is another 'heavy' one with thicker spars, virtually identical in weight (578gr) to our yellow Hawaiian, and also more or less the opposite to that one in terms of colours:

And you have to admit that the two look pretty good together, don't they?

Going back to the early days of Hawaiians and team-flying, here's the classic "Battle Hymn of the Republic" routine of the Top of the Line team; enjoy, whether you've seen it before or not!


  1. So cool! Look at all those Hawaiians! I've just picked up a second one, and am keen to try stacking them... Do you have any tips? I'm especially interested in the the type of line and length of the stacking lines between the kites, and also if you think 200# flying lines would be adequate... Cheers! Angus

    1. Hi Angus

      Rule of thumb is 2/3 of the length of the leading edge, but I'd suggest you do what I did and create stacking lines which can be adjusted in length. That way, you can experiment and see what works best. As to strength, not sure what you mean by '#' ... Hawaiians pull, and a stack of two will REALLY pull. So I'd go for at least 250lbs breaking strength, if not more. Wind-depending, of course.

  2. Thanks so much for getting back to me so quickly, and for your advice! Sorry for the confusion with the "#" - I'm in Australia but have spent a lot of time on American kite sites where it means 'pounds'. So you guessed correctly! I'll upgrade my existing lines as per your suggestion! Cheers again, happy flying to you and the Flying Fish team :)

  3. Hi again Flying Fish team! I just had one more question - do stacking lines need to be the same strength as the flying lines? Or could I cut up an old, lighter line to use for the stacking lines? Cheers again! Angus

    1. The back kite of a stacked pair doesn't develop as much pull as the complete stack, so you could use a slightly lighter line. I wouldn't go below what you would use for a single Hawaiian, because they do pull on their own already.

    2. Brilliant, I thought that would be the case but thanks so much for confirming! Really appreciate your advice!

  4. Okayyyy ONE more question! Do you use 4 stacking lines (upper or and lower spreaders as I can clearly see in the photo) or 5 (with an additional line connecting the centre T's - as I'm not sure if I can see in the photo...) Thank you again and I owe you guys a drink if you're ever in Australia!

  5. Amazing! So glad I asked. Thanks again!

  6. I bought my Hawaiian from Corey Jensen (i.e. later to be president of the AKA) back in the late 80s. It's in German flag colors. I think after I finish my move and it gets out of storage, I'll fly it in Corey's memory. Oh, by the way, I've you ever heard Corey talk about the day that "Frank Supermanned out of his shoes," that's me.