Archive for January, 2010

What a Great KTAI

Monday, January 25th, 2010

After a long trip from Seattle to Las Vegas, a harrowing, bumpy descent into Nevada, and a mad dash over the rain-soaked freeway, we finally arrived in Primm to attend the annual Kite Trade Association International show. 


We set up a marvelous booth with the focus on ourselves and our two computers – after all, porting endless amounts of carbon and fiberglass rods and tubes to the show was inadvisable, and the kite stores and manufacturers know all about our products without needing to see them.  We demonstrated the ease of ordering through, but the most fun and important part of the trip was putting faces to names and building relationships with our valued customers.

Not only do we provide carbon, fiberglass, connectors, flying line, fabric, tapes, and other kite parts to kite retailers for repairs and kite building, but we also supply several manufacturers with carbon and fiberglass as raw materials.

We had a great time, and we enjoyed meeting some of the greats in the kiting industry.  In two weeks, we’ll head to the NW Model Hobby Expoin Monroe, Washington, and we plan to attend iHobby in Illinois in October.  Not to mention the American Kitefliers Association’s convention in Seaside, Oregon in October and perhaps the Washington Kiteflier’s Association Fort Worden event in March.  Phew!  It’s going to be a busy year.  Perhaps we’ll see you at a show?

KTAI, Here We Come!

Friday, January 15th, 2010

There’s something we can all count on in America: if the weather is bad, it’s probably nice in Las Vegas.

While we haven’t seen the below freezing temperatures of most of the country these past weeks, we have been hit with rain, howling wind, flood advisories, and the winter blues up here in Mount Vernon, Washington.  Fortunately, the Kite Trade Association International’s trade show in Primm (outside of Las Vegas) is next week, and we’re going to give our bones a chance to warm up.  We’ll be out of the office from Tuesday through Friday, January 19 through 22, but we will answer emails and return urgent phone calls.  We will have limited capacity to ship orders, so be sure to tell us if you need something right away.

If you’re planning to attend KTAI, we would love to meet you.  It’s always great to put faces to names, and we look forward to learning more about the kiting industry and seeing all the ways in which the carbon we supply is used in the industry.

And, hey, it’s Roger’s birthday on January 20th!  He’ll be sixty years old, and Leland and I are planning on celebrating dad’s six awesome decades with an extra day in Las Vegas.  We’re going to let him choose all the activities, which means we’ll be going to every car museum and eating loads of buffet food.  A great time!  Happy birthday, dad.

Let’s Talk Fiberglass

Monday, January 4th, 2010
Wow, fiberglass.  Used in so many things.  In fact, your Corvette body is made out of it (you know, if you have one).  So is the insulation in your house.  Maybe even your cast if you break a bone.

But that’s not what Goodwinds sells.  We provide American-made fiberglass rods and tubes from 0.060 inches in diameter up to over 1 inch in diameter, used in kites, tents, archery, RC hobbies, catamerans, and lots of industrial purposes including snow plow guides, underground gas detection, and inflatable jetliner slides (in case of emergency).

So what are fiberglass rods and tubes?  How are they made?  What is so special about them, anyhow?

Fiberglass Tubes

Fiberglass Tubes

Well, fiberglass is, essentially, teeny-tiny fibers of glass that are reinforced with a polymer, usually an epoxy or vinylester resin.  The tubes Goodwinds supplies are called Filament Wound Epoxy Tubing (FWET) and are created through a continuous winding process that can create tubes with very thin walls which are then reinforced with impregnated epoxy.  These tubes are strong and somewhat flexible, and are great insulators.

Fiberglass Rods

Fiberglass Rods

The fiberglass rods Goodwinds supplies are formed from a pultrusion process – basically, a pulling of the fibers of glass through the polymer to bind them.  These rods are flexible and have a great strength-to-weight ratio.  If you’re interested in learning more about the pultrusion process, our supplier, Glasforms, has a guide with photos on their website here.

We love fiberglass rods and tubes, and we know our customers do, too.  It is heavy and strong, flexible and durable.  Best of all, it’s inexpensive, especially compared to carbon rods and tubes.  If you’re looking to do a project and weight is not an issue, fiberglass is a very cost-effective way to go.  The great flexibility of fiberglass is why it is used for tent poles and backpack stays, LARP swords and kites – fiberglass can accept a lot of shock force, bending without breaking.

What do you use fiberglass rods and tubes for?  Tell us about your projects, we’d love to hear about them!