The name "TKO Sport Kite Team" derived from the names of the first letters of the three different states, that the team's original members lived in (Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma), in the United States of America.
Team members and flight order:
#1 - Troy Gunn of Wichita Falls, Texas (1993-present)
#2 - Shane Snowden of Ottawa, Kansas (1999-present)
#3 - Jerry Hershey of Wichita, Kansas (1995-present)
#4 - John Clonts of Temple, Texas (2011-present)
- Chris Shultz of Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina 2004-Present)
- Jon Trennepohl of Plymouth, Michigan (2007-present)
Former members - Larry Christensen of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (1993-1998), David Burns of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (1996-2001), Noel Nester of Edmond, Oklahoma (1998-2001) Paul Beugelsdijke of Wichita, Kansas (1996), John Barresi of Portland, Oregon (2004), Gerald Kelly of Clinton, Oklahoma (1993-1994)
To read each TKO team member's Kite Flying Biography, click the "back" button at the bottom of this page, and then click the "Team Members" button on that page.
Team TKO has been the name of this team since late 1995. Previous to 1995 team members have flown under two other team names (Team Nemesis, and Pacific Flyers), and were the 1991 (Jacksonville, Florida), 1995 (Tulsa, Oklahoma), 1996 (Santa Monica, California), 2012 (Enid, Oklahoma), and 2015 (Enid, Oklahoma) American Kitefliers Association Grand National Champions, and/or placed in the top 3 in team and team pairs, in which they competed against all the best Sport kite teams, from all over North America.
In 1997 Team TKO placed the highest in Team Choreography, amongst all AKA American teams, at the 1st Intercontinental Kite Challenge, on the French West Indies, Island of Guadeloupe. During that International Competition, 40 of the best sport kite competitors from North America, and 40 of the best sport kite competitors from Europe, competed in head to head competitions.
Team TKO won 1st place for best performance at the world Kite Championships 2004, held in Weifang, China. The Team has also won numerous regional competitions and AKA Conference championships. Individual members of the team have also won or placed in the top three at several AKA Grand National Championships.
Where Team TKO has performed:
TKO Sport Kite Team and/or it's team members have been perfecting their kite flying skills for over 20 years, by competing at various sport kite team competitions around the country, and by performing demonstrations at various events and festivals all over the world, including:
- Taipei International Kite Festival, Taipei, Taiwan.
- Coolum International Kite Festival, Coolum Beach, Australia
- Townsville International Kite Festival, Townville, Australia
- Gujarat International Kite Festival, Ahmedabad, India.
- Pasir Gudang International Kite Festival, Johor, Malaysia.
- Intercontinental Kite Challenge, Island of Guadeloupe, French West Indies.
- Weifang International Kite Festival in China.
- Bogota International Kite Festival in Bogota, Colombia.
- VRoom Jamaica Festival in Discovery Bay, Jamaica.
- Kites Over Enid's Guinness World Record Attempt in Oklahoma.
- Gulf Coast Balloon Festival in Alabama.
- Bucktown Bash in New Orleans, Louisiana
- The Plano Balloon Festival in Texas.
- Oklahoma City Balloon Festival.
- Aerospace America Airshow in Oklahoma City.
- Air Show of the Ozarks, Harrison, Arkansas.
- Albuquerque International Balloon Festival.
- State Fair of Texas in Dallas, Texas.
- Mayfest in Fort Worth Texas.
- Wildwood International Kite Fest, Wildwood, New Jersey.
- Washington State International Kite Festival.
- Treasure Island International Kite Fest, Florida.
- UP Sport Kite Challenge Santa Monica, California.
- Great Lakes SKC at Grand Haven, Michigan.
- Berkeley International Kite Festival, California.
- North Coast Challenge, Seaside, Oregon.
- South Padre Island Kite Festival, Texas
- AKA Grand Nationals in Jacksonville, Florida
- And many AKA Grand Nationals across America, and Regional Festivals, etc....
The team an/or it's members have been privileged to perform for high ranking officials in various countries, such as: Chief Minister of Gujarat India, The Sultan of Johor Malaysia, and the Governor of Taipei County Taiwan.
The team has even performed demonstrations for the Famous Cirque Du Soleil group members, while in Santa Monica, California, in 1996.
What Does TKO Do?
The team specializes in flying maneuverable sport kites, in various daring formations, all choreographed to music. The kites that are flown are completely maneuverable and controllable. Each member of the team flies and controls a separate kite, but the kites are identical in shape and size. Just like the Blue Angels or Thunderbirds, the kite team has various flight positions on the team. Team leaders, wing man, tail man. The team leader has one of the most important roles on the team, in that he is responsible for translating the cadence calls to the team while in flight. Cadence calls are a series of verbal commands that let the other team members know which way to turn their kites, and the style of turn to make with the kites. Timing of the cadence calls and correct spacing of the kites are the most critical part of a successful sport kite team, flight demonstration.
Because the team actually fly their kites thru and around each other's kites. A common question asked by spectators is "How do you keep your lines from getting wrapped or tangled"? Answer, The team will purposely fly various formations that will cause all of the kites flying lines (two per kite), to wrap around other team members kite lines, creating twisted lines. The team will then fly a formation that unwraps the flying lines from each member's kites.
The kites flown by the team, are high tech sport kites, capable of speeds of 30 to 80 mph, depending on the wind velocity. The kites are framed with pultruded carbon and wrapped graphite, and the sail material is high quality ripstop nylon, such as is used to make parachutes and paragliders.
During festival performances, Team TKO usually performs a half an hour routine, which consist of at least one award winning performance from each team member, and then the team finishes the performance with thier award winning team choreographed performance.
Team TKO also performs individual indoor performances, in gymnasiums.
Team TKO Contact Information:
To contact the team for demonstrations, or Invite the team to your kite festivals, please contact Team TKO at: