The 1 Skewer Diamond Kite

2 Orange Diamonds Flash In A Blue-Gray Sky

Several very rainy days are approaching, so the new 1 Skewer Diamond kite was pulled out while the sun shone. Kites actually, since I had made 2 of them. 'Made to be trained' they are - one bridle leg out the front and one out the back, for convenient hitching together with short flying lines.

1-Skewer Diamond Kite

The weather conditions were quite unusual today.

Thin hazy mid-level cloud reduced the intensity of the sun, blocking it to what could be called 1/2-strength. Objects such as trees and poles still cast easily-seen shadows.

A wide halo had formed in the cloud cover around the sun. Not a rainbow, but some other effect for which meteorologists have a name. I'd mention it if I could remember it...

Winds this afternoon were very variable. You could describe them as light gusting to fresh, with frequent shifts in direction. Hence the new 1 Skewer Diamond kite was either struggling to stay up, or being battered by too much wind speed for much of the time!

Gee, I've taken a while to get to the actual kite flying...

Ok, the first Diamond I made went up first. Let's call it Number 1. Moderate gusts were blowing through constantly as I attached the flying line, so the little Diamond soared up almost immediately. It was too easy to let out about 20 meters of line, before stepping on the line and fishing out the digital camera from a coat pocket.

I took some photos and video, then wasted no time letting out over 60 meters (200 feet) of line.

These little kites have correspondingly low line pull. Hence, even in these conditions, my wooden winder could just lie on the grass without shifting downwind. This enabled me to take some video footage from directly underneath the 1 Skewer Diamond kite. Coincidentally, some soaring birds got themselves in the picture too. They were checking out the kite from a much higher altitude!

The 1 Skewer Diamond kite coped well in the very gusty air, although the freshest gusts would force it down close to the ground from time to time. It was good seeing it up high for a change. Now, it was straight back to the car to pull out the Number 2 kite and attach it to the back of Number 1 with a 10 meter (35 feet) length of line! Just 2 Lark's Head knots, a piece of cake.

It was fascinating to watch the interplay between the 2 kites as they swept around the sky.

Both Diamonds responded immediately to shifts in wind direction. Somehow, the wind shifts were a lot more obvious when more than one kite was on the line! Imagine all 8 1-Skewer designs flying in a train stretching up to 400 feet... It might happen one day.

Lulls would lead to both kites sinking low sometimes. At other times, very fresh gusts would put Number 1 into a dive towards the ground, dragging Number 2 with it. And then Number 2 started to twirl around in loops, completely overpowered, while Number 1 hung on maintaining its composure. And so on and so forth.

Maybe 20% of the time, wind strengths would be near the ideal for these kites. It was then very gratifyingly to watch them soar up to a 45 degree line angle in tandem, swaying and rocking just a little as the long tails kept the noses pointed upwind.

With such small kites on nearly 90 meters (300 feet) of line, there was bound to be a little excitement from time to time. I'm talking about those trees lurking in wait around the reserve perimeter! Number 2 had a near miss with one such tree. However, 1 Skewer Diamond kite Number 1 helped me to pull it free through some small twigs! Phew.

It's definitely more fun flying 2 kites on the one line like this. We'll have to do more of it! I can see most of the 1-Skewer kites lending themselves to this 'ready-to-train' approach, as I re-design them one by one.

The story above was an actual flying experience with the described kite. My write-ups are definitely warts-and-all since things don't always go totally as planned. However, half the fun of kiting is anticipating the perfect flight. When it happens, it's magic!


E-book special of the month (25% off)...

Click to get 'Making The MBK Parachute Kite'

This printable e-book takes you step-by-step through making a 119 cm (4 ft) wide Parachute kite. It's not quite that wide in the air since the canopy takes on a distinct curved shape when inflated. This 14-cell kite performs best in moderate to fresh wind speeds. That's 20 to 38 kph or 13 to 24 mph. In gentle winds, this kite will hang in the air at fairly low line angles. In fresh winds, it pulls firmly for it's size, so small kids should only fly it while supervised!

Every kite design in the MBK Soft Series satisfies the following points...

  • Materials are plastic sheet, tape and line – and nothing more!
  • Tools are a ruler, scissors and a marker pen - and nothing more!
  • All cuts are along straight lines.

For the greatest chance of success, I make recommendations regarding the materials. For example, the type/weight of plastic, type/width of tape and line type/strength. Close enough should nearly always be good enough, since the design is well-tested and should be tolerant of small differences from my original.

Get the e-book for making the MBK Parachute kite. After making your first one in plastic and seeing how it performs, you can try soft Tyvek or rip-stop nylon for your next build.

The e-book is a PDF file - which means printable instructions to refer to while you make the kite. It also means convenient off-line access if that suits you better.

What's New!

  1. The Classic Cody Kite

    Aug 23, 17 06:00 AM

    This previously published page gives a quick insight into the structure and materials of the original 'War Kites' by Samuel Cody. Plus some history and photos of course. Intriguing stuff...

    Read More


Plenty of fun kite info, photos and videos - there's definitely too much here for only one visit! Feel free to leave your impressions of this site or just this page, below...

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"30+ years ago, I tried making a kite using the 'instructions' in a free kite-safety booklet. What a disappointment for a young boy.

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Kite-making e-book: Simplest Dowel Kites

This one's FREE
Download it now!

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Wind Speeds

Light air
1-5 km/h
1-3 mph
1-3 knots
Beaufort 1

Light breeze
6–11 km/h
4–7 mph
4–6 knots
Beaufort 2    

Gentle breeze
12–19 km/h
8–12 mph
7–10 knots
Beaufort 3    

Moderate breeze
20–28 km/h
13–18 mph
11–16 knots
Beaufort 4    

Fresh breeze
29–38 km/h
19–24 mph
17–21 knots
Beaufort 5    

Strong breeze
39–49 km/h
25–31 mph
22–27 knots
Beaufort 6

High Wind
50-61 km/h
32-38 mph
28-33 knots
Beaufort 7