Best Kite Shop - 2000
A Frenchman flying a fabulous kite on windy Ocean Beach last fall told us about this shop, and once over the tediousness of a trip to Pier 39, we were fast converts. For starters, forget about the days of $5 Superman triangular numbers you'd breathlessly run not less than two blocks to get up into the air before they slammed into trees. Forget about being too tiny to hold onto the string and seeing your toy drift up into the never-never sky. Forget about tangled strings, tears of rage, and profound senses of loss. Instead, think windsocks, squadron kites (plane-shaped), or Revolution kites ($189 and up), which fly like bastards and can stop in midair. Kite Flite has the very best of these toys of the breeze -- and a staff that knows the flighty science of its products. Aside from accessory kites like massive pigs or cows ($79) or a big black shark-of-the-sky ($45), other fun doodads are available -- the most impressive of which is a kite buggy for the real kite pro. Powered by your kite, it can speed along the beach at heart-stopping speed, and can be yours for a mere $450 (a deal, as it's sold in Canada for $1,000).