The World's Original Stunt Kite born in the UK and recreated in the USA.
Millions sold World Wide and we are back with a new range and new designs.
Manufactured in the UK by the sons of Peter Powell.
Peter Trevor Powell was born 29th June 1932 in Gloucestershire, UK. He didn’t start designing kites until he was in his 40s. Fed up with the problems of the traditional one-line kites listing to one side, he developed a steerable kite simply by adding a second line – it was the first dual line kite in the world.
Appearances on the popular children’s show Blue Peter followed and for the next few years, Powell would sell his home-made kites from the back of his car on day trips to the coast. He didn’t advertise, he simply flew his kite and let the sails do the talking.
The Peter Powell Stunter had been born.
When production started out, the Peter Powell Stunter had spars made of ramin (Gonystylus) but these were soon replaced with aluminium tubing and, ultimately by glass fibre spars. Originally only available with black plastic sails, other colours such as blue, red and yellow soon became available. The kites also came with a long, hollow polyethylene tail that was inflated by the wind. It not only added stability but looked good when performing stunts.
Gaining in sales and popularity, Peter won the silver diploma for his kite at the Exhibition of New Inventions and Techniques in Geneva in 1975.
But it was 1976 that changed everything for the Powell family. Invited onto the BBC news and current affairs programme, Nationwide, a programme with over 10million viewers, sales went from 300 to 25,000 a week!
Accolades continued to follow and in November 1976, the kite won Toy of the Year by the British Association of Toy Retailers. Steerable kites became the must-have item not just in the UK but all over the world, even celebrities were known to fly them.
To keep up with demand, Powell first opened two factories, soon followed by a further three, with production reaching 75,000 a week at its peak.
It’s fair to say that without the ‘Peter Powell Stunter’, we would not have the many types of multiple-line kite flying that we have today.
Unfortunately, the hey-day of the ‘70s and ‘80s couldn’t continue. The combination of other companies producing similar products and a shift in interest towards computer and video games, sales started to fall. By the late 1990s the company had hit rock bottom.
One day, according to his son Mark, "I came home… and it looked as if the house was on fire...Dad had been round all the factories, collected all their jigs for making the kite and he had a big bonfire and burnt everything to do with the kite. He said to me and Paul, ‘’Whatever you do, do not start that business back up again."
Over the years Mark would share stories with his kids about the kites that ‘grandad made’. On day trips to the beach, he would buy single line kites that would fall apart after just a few minutes of play and would tell his kids how good grandad’s kites used to be - how easy they were to fly and how much more robust they were.
It wasn’t long until Mark and Paul followed in their dad’s footsteps and started the process of recreating and expanding on the famous Peter Powell Stunter.
Starting from scratch they began building jigs, sourcing materials and soon had the MKII prototype ready for testing. Over the course of the next two years, they worked in secret, not wanting to present anything to their dad until it was absolutely right as they wanted to make sure he was on side before going into production.
In 2012, on the day the Olympic Torch came through Shurdington in Cheltenham, Mark and Paul revealed their hard work to their dad who couldn’t believe what they had achieved behind closed doors. ‘’He was gobsmacked and told the brothers I might have to go home and have a lay down!’’
Over the next two years, the father and son trio worked together to create the MKIII and in 2014 the business was relaunched, this time not just in a retail shop but also online.
Hundreds of hours were spent flying the kite around the Cotswold hills, testing the kite to destruction and amending and tweaking its components to ensure it withstands mother nature’s extreme weather conditions. The new model kite has been tested in temperatures from zero to 30 degrees centigrade, in sleet and snow, full-blown gales and torrential rain and come out unscathed.
Peter Powell died in 2016, aged 84. Now in the absence of their late father, his two sons, Mark and Paul, continue to produce the MKIII: the updated model of the world-famous Original Stunt Kite. It retains all the classic features of the original but with a modern twist, including Peter Powell handles, moulded from the hands of the legend himself!
When purchasing a Peter Powell Kite, you’re not just buying a kite but a piece of history.