Louisiana man finds Long Beach is the best place to catch the wi - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Louisiana man finds Long Beach is the best place to catch the wind and sell his kites

Chris Barker opened Kewl Kites in Long Beach in March. Chris Barker opened Kewl Kites in Long Beach in March.
Kewl Kites owner Chris Barker shows off some of his kite inventory at Kewl Kites in Long Beach. Kewl Kites owner Chris Barker shows off some of his kite inventory at Kewl Kites in Long Beach.
LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - Monday is National Global Wind day.But there is a Louisiana man who celebrates the wind everyday - with kites.

And he's chosen to catch most of that wind in Long Beach.

Chris Barker is a construction manager by trade. He's been building schools in Louisiana since Hurricane Katrina.

And he's found a way to relieve stress.

“So I have a lot of work and a lot of stress in that job,” he said. “Kite flying's good for you. Relieves a lot of that stress and helps your vision, helps your heart rate and gets you out on the beach and gets you so fresh air.”

Barker has had a love of kites since childhood. Early memories were flying them with his grandfather.

“All of our kites pretty much had a one-way trip,” he said. “Our goal was to see how long we could fly A kite. So generally it would fly until a storm came and we'd pull the string back and see how much of it we got back and then we'd build another one and start the process over again.”

A few years ago, he started selling kites as a vendor at festivals. In Baton Rouge, he learned about Long Beach.

In March, he opened Kewl Kites, a shop on Jeff Davis Avenue that sells kites for beginners, kites for the more serious fliers and kites for those who love to make an impression in the sky – either during the day or at night.

“Long Beach was the first place that would let us sell kites,” Barker said. “And we've been coming back ever since, every year. And when we decided we had grown enough that we could open a store, Long Beach was it without a question.”

Kewl Kites is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

Barker said he test flies everything he sells and will also make repairs.

At some point, he hopes to open a kite manufacturing plant.

“We do this out of a passion and love for doing it,” he added. “And to promote the family values that come out of it. And sharing time with your family. And, we're not doing this to make money.”

Copyright 2015 WLOX. All rights reserved.
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