Remember well that with another child they cut a plastic bag, they gave it a hexagon shape and tied some bamboo sticks. Of tail, a pingajo of clothes, in as much a piola worked to them like line to send to fly that first comet. From a stubble in the La Esmeralda neighborhood, the clouds plowed. It was more than thirty years ago, but it became the preamble of what would later become his hobby and company.
Óscar Muñoz is the owner of Colombian Kyte, a Bogota company located in Rionegro (Suba town). From there, he produces and imports kites for children, teenagers and adults. Of all sizes and for all pockets. From 4,000 pesos to one million. From a polyhedron to a shark.
Already as a student of the technical school Francisco José de Caldas built a model worthy of amateur competition. He made it with two friends and they took as a base a delta (or triangular comet) that they saw exposed in a shopping center. In pencil, they drew the plan in a notebook and then they got down to work.
“We won a prize and I liked the subject. It was too big and with wings very closed, but it was flying well, “Munoz concedes, while supervising that his employees have just bagged hundreds of models to assemble.
The company occupies a first floor of a house. In the access room, an inn serves as a work platform, around which women are located, which do not stop folding, adjusting, packing and sealing. From the first hours of the morning, they can reach up to 12 of them, and for August, month of the winds, the demand rises as high as the products that are sold.
White, blue, red, black, yellow. Multicolors, with drawings or without them, there are a variety of reasons that are packaged and distributed according to the clients. For example, while the owner explains how the operation works, a client calls from Putumayo to ask for 10,000 units: a politician will distribute them to the same number of children.
“The kite workshop is my flagship product, we generated it in Colombian Kyte. It is a pre-cut kite, ready to set sail (area), sticks, tail and line (rope). They come with a manual and the companies buy them to do group activities; children and adults arm, decorate and fly. This started in kindergartens and was gaining strength, to become what it is today, “says Óscar, busy because since July the business can not cope.
He studied industrial engineering and there he polished with mathematics and physics all that he used to do by intuition and practice. He discovered that the waterproof fabric is better than the plastic for the elevation, that if the kite is light the line should be even more, that the direction, location and variability of the wind are elements of an equation that by complex does not stop being fun. In short, he professionalized his hobby.
At that time he advanced several projects with friends and discovered that in addition to rubber, they could explore a niche market. He attended festivals in Villa de Leyva and other places, until he ended up in the south of France as a guest at the Eolo Tempo, meeting of connoisseurs of international level.
“There I saw everything that moves around: people, advertising and industry. It is a very broad issue, although sometimes it seems only a toy, “says the commissary (expert in these flying objects) and at the same time kite (the one that makes them). “It’s a children’s toy that adults ultimately use.”
One more vein of your market, in this case as a service, is the show cometero. Here comes the Comet Club, which he founded 11 years ago to bring people of different professions together with the same love for flying these artifacts. They train, practice movements and in August they hire them to show what they know how to do.
“The show is first of static or of a single string; flat, dihedral angle and alphas; then we fly the three-dimensional, inflatable and acrobatic, which are directed to two or four strings; with these an acrobatic ballet is done, which goes with a musical track and we make them move to the rhythm. And we end with giant or power kites, which are like a paraglider and drag a buggy or tricycle, in a field trip, “says Muñoz.
The Bogota biker says that comets can be as different as people are responsible for doing them, because apart from a fun, they are the cultural expression of the countries. A festival in Guatemala is not the same as in Chile, nor is it the same in France as in Colombia. At that point, the connoisseur points out that in our country the habit is to take the kite, go up far and stay all the time controlling your flight, but Europeans are more friends to raise it to a point, tie the rope to a point fixed on land and leave it in the sky while engaging in a conversation or enjoying a picnic.
What must be very similar all over the world, is the pleasure of seeing a man-made frame fly.