Peter Lynn (b. 1946) is a man somewhat obsessed with kites – a strange occupation but as a world renowned kite designer, Peter has managed to make a living dangling things from the end of a bit of string. It’s the new New Zealand success story – pick a niche, and then be the best in that niche. Before he started with his kite obsession, Lynn also created a ‘tipping blade’ sawmill system in the 1970s. He realised there was a better way for sawmills to work than having two blades, and making a sawmill that could do the same job for the same energy with just one blade might be a winner.
It was. He patented his idea, licensed it out and largely forgot about it, and the system is now adopted broadly in sawmill systems around the world. Moving on from sawmills, he became the holder of a number of patents around the world for innovations in kite design (‘A wing for a traction kite comprises a plurality of cells formed by chordwise- extending ribs . . . ’) and also the world record holder for the largest kite ever flown – with a total area of 1019m2, it’s over 40m wide, weighs over 200 kg and was in the shape of a giant Kuwaiti flag.
Lynn lives in Ashburton but spends much of the year travelling, and is a pioneer in the use of kites for sports – he developed the sport of kite buggying; and his kiteboards and kitesurfers can often be seen in the windy, low-tide areas around New Zealand and the world, terrorising the locals.