It was only when Star Kites was first published, in April 2019, that I learned from my German kite-friend Holger Lendla that Hans Soika had died on Christmas Day in 2017. I was, and remain, deeply pained and saddened. Hans and I had last exchanged emails some 4 or 5 years previously, and I had always hoped to meet him and his wife Dagmar again and had somehow taken for granted that that would be happening in a not too distant future. As a matter of fact I was convinced that precisely the publication of Star Kites would bring us in contact again.
Hans was a loyal friend and a generous man, and was also known as the "ferryman" as he always made it possible for kite people to get cheaper tickets for the ferry to Fanø, the Danish island which for nearly four decades now has been hosting on its uniquely expansive beaches the most incredible kite flyers gathering (http://www.kitefliersmeetingfanoe.de). Hans is mentioned in Star Kites on page 33.
The photographs below were sent to me by Hans as an attachment to his last email to me. They show a Super Reflex kite made in "German colours" that I had given to him and a set of Grandmasters Banners. I believe they come from the 1988 Berlin International Kite Festival. The same Super Reflex is shown on the cover of the February 1993 issue of Fang den Wind, the magazine of the Drachenclub Berlin.
I have found his photo on the internet but do not know the name of the person who took it. I would be glad to credit that.