Karl Longbottom, Kitemaker and Kite Designer

Karl Longbottom, Kitemaker

Karl Longbottom, an engineer by trade, has been designing and making kites for over thirty years; initially making kites for his children, then part time alongside his engineering job and finally full time as a life choice since 2003.

After working for most of twenty eight years in Herefordshire, in the wilds of the English border with Wales, he has started a new adventure by moving north of the Scottish border into Dumfries and Galloway.

Karl regularly produces new designs including all manner of bird and pterodactyl kites and his award winning Phoenix.

Karl makes Delta Sled kites for both altitude sprinting and for kite aerial photography (KAP). He also produces specialist kites for indoor flying and a range of the more traditional kites, including the Papillion designed by Didier Fermont.

Karl supplies iFlite kites from Patrick Tan of Layangman, Wala, Laima, Emong and Grace kites from Albert Chen of Flying Wing Kites and kites from Leong Chee Wan of Ceewan Kites when available. Contact Karl for details.

Most kites are made by Karl himself; he maintains a worldwide reputation for the excellent quality, precision, balance and flying characteristics of his kites. His two most popular designs are now produced by Flying Wings Kites and are available both from Karl and other kite suppliers.

Karl undertakes commissions on a regular basis many of which can be found on the Gallery page. He produces kites to be flown in stage shows and other similar projects including props for Take That, Superbowl and the Empire Windrush, seen as part of the 2012 London Olympic Games Opening Ceremony. More recently he has produced props for the Holiday on Ice show in Belgium.

Karl has run kite workshops for children and adults alike for over twenty years, ranging from simple sleds to complex ripstop kites. He has worked with schools, colleges and kite groups in the UK, teaching his skills to others. Twice he has been invited to Kitemakers Conferences in the USA to teach fellow kitemakers.

The hawk was designed specifically as a bird scarer for European weather conditions. More of these have been sold than any other design; they are available through suppliers only.

Karl and his wife Sara are invited to a number of events every year, they used to be involved in the organisation of the Herefordshire Kite Festival held at the National Trust, Berrington Hall, Leominster every July but handed it over to the Midland Kite Fliers. With a growing interest in indoor flying they arranged an Indoor Kite Event in Swindon and continue to hold them on an occasional basis.

In addition to kites, Karl has been asked to manufacture banners, he has put together a large collection of white pennant banners which add a new dimension to occasions, be they a kite festival, a castle reopening or his own daughter's wedding.

All kites and banners are tailored to the customer's requirements in terms of colour, size and most importantly graphics; they can be printed or appliqued. Contact Karl and discuss your requirements for that special kite you have always wanted or the surprise present for someone you know.