Ian & Jenny Islip (Parow, Cape Town)

What started as a hobby has grown into a full-time job. Ian has become a highly skilled kite-maker who has built over 80 designs, many of which are completely new. His kites include a 28 m orange dragon, a 25 m ‘Rainbow Worm’, a range of superheroes, including his 3.2m Kite Man and a 21 m squid. One of his earliest kites was based on a vintage Cody - an early 20th century kite used for military purposes and able to lift a man into the air.  He’s most proud of his 25 m 3D octopus which took over a month to make, using 200m of fabric and 450 parts!

Every day you’ll find Ian at a field near his home flying kites and testing out new designs. “Stick kites are my favourite because you can fly them in any condition.” When he launched his big dragon for the first time the wind caught it, “It almost walked out of the kite bag, it was just amazing to see, and flew perfectly first time.” Ian says every one of his designs have flown successfully straight away, “I flew radio-controlled planes for 15 years so I understand how the wind works.”