About Shanti Kite Company…
Shanti Kite company was founded in 1974 by Daniel Prentice. He began cutting wooden parts in his basement, dyeing them in his bathtub and assembling them on his kitchen table. The result was the first “factory” in America to produce high-quality kite spools and winders. During the next 20 years, Shanti grew to a staff of 30 employees and became the world leader in the development of recreational and high-performance kitelines, including…
- Speed (tm) line, the world’s first Spectra line.
- Skybond (tm) line, the world’s newest HMPE coated competition line.
- Power ™ line, the world’s leading Kevlar kiteline.
- Zip ™ line, an innovative hybrid line for beginners.
- Crazy-8 ™ winders for tangle-free line storage.
- Hardwood spools and Winders, sold with a lifetime guarantee.
- Plastic Grip-Light ™ and Spinner ™ spools for recreational use.
- Patented Sky Claw (tm) handles and winders.
- Patented Adjustable straps.
- Bulk braided line and more…
Though lines and spools have always been the core products for Shanti, we have also produced our own line of American-made kites. These kites have ranged from recreational, single-line kites to custom-designed sport kites for World Cup competition. The production of these kites has always been directed to the kite-specialty market, not the mass retail market. This means that our kites have to fly well and exceed the expectation of the consumer or we hear about it. Some of our more popular kites include…
- Sky Pilot ™ Rock n Roll ™ and Airwave ™ and Skywave ™.
- Chicago Fire ™ Magnum Opus ™, Allegro ™ and Bee(tm) kites.
- Aerie ™ FX ™, Diablo ™, K-3 ™, and Mystic ™.
- Sky Zone ™ Skytrain ™, Santana ™ and Zebop ™
- Sky Lark ™ Deltas, Cubes, Tails and much more…
Along the way there have been a variety of other products we have developed for the kite market, both in our shop and through our suppliers. Two such products continue to impact the kite industry are Icarex (r) and the Voltair Cube ™. In 1992, Prentice traveled to Japan to meet with third-generation silk weavers who were able to weave very fine polyester fibers into new kite material which he trademarked Icarex. Available in 31 colors, Icarex has better UV resistance and 50% less warp stretch than other ripstop nylons. This has allowed kitemakers around the world to design to more precise specifications as well as exploring new graphic aesthetics.
In 2002, Shanti introduced the Voltair Cube, a revolutionary R/C airplane which used the Shanti Cube kite as a wing surface and a patented vectored-thrust system. In flight the aircraft looked like one-half of a box kite drifting in light air. Though the Voltair Cube has no moveable-control surfaces, the flyer is in total control of the plane through a simple radio that controls prop angle and speed. Today, many companies produce similar aircraft based on this design.
In the mid-nineties American kite manufacturers began to move their production to China and other third world countries. Exploiting cheap labor overseas did not fit into the company philosophy at Shanti. It has always been important to us that the people who make our products are able to make a living wage, are treated with respect and are honored for their hard work. Our commitment to making our products in our own shop has led to an inevitable downsizing of our company and our product offering. For example, our kites are now only available in limited, custom orders. But this downsizing has not lessened our commitment to quality of our established products or our excitement about the new ones we continue to invent. For us, it’s not just about “made in USA” it’s about “made by us” and we do it for you, the kiteflyer.