2-Skewer Box Kite - my all time favorite!

by MBK Flight Reporter: Susan Drey
(Omaha, NE, USA)

flying well

flying well

flying well
relative size
its a beauty
flight angle

The first time I saw a box kite was by way of an illustration in a book I was reading as a child. It completely grabbed my attention, and I wanted to see and know more about a box kite ever since.

Well that time finally came a couple of months ago when I built my own, two skewer box kite as illustrated in Tim's book. It was the second kite I ever built since discovering Tim's website, "My Best Kite". And it will most likely remain my all time favorite – for its unique structure and lovely, dancing flight patterns.

I have now flown my box kite a total of four times, with last weekend, August 24, being the most recent. I brought it to the office beach party, as I thought some of the children would enjoy it - but, back to that later.

The first time I flew my box kite was in the neighboring park where I go for most of my test flights. It was quite exciting to see it immediately take off, although it took a while to get it to rise and stabilize above the erratic winds.

The kite was quite unstable while under 150 feet, and would do the loop to loop nose dives – almost touching the ground. But, once it rose above 150 - 200 feet, it smoothed out and flew beautifully, while staying at a low 30 degree angle.

I added a tail to my kite for its second flight, (approximately four to five feet) to see if that would help stabilize it. And much to my relief, it rose smoothly through the lower turbulent winds with a more even and steady ascent.

A couple of weeks later I took it out for its third and final flight. Once again I used a tail, but changed the colors to better match the kite – added some green to the blue. (The artist in me coming out). I couldn’t fly in my usual spot, as there was a concert going on, and I didn’t want my unsteady kite launch to aggravate the lounging concert viewers.

The kite took off beautifully, and was so fun to watch. I absolutely love the way it angles back and forth in the wind – rising higher and higher. It reminded me of a tadpole wiggling back and forth through the water with its tail following behind. This beautiful box kite pulls hard, always on an upward ascent, and does well in strong winds (12 – 16 mph).

Most of the time this kite sits at a 30 to 40 degree angle, but quite often catches thermals and rises to almost a 60 degree angle and then has quite a bit of slack in the line. And then, every once in a while; it will suddenly spiral down rapidly, doing loop to loops, and scare the heck out of me as if it is going to crash to the earth. But, it always dodges the ground, and makes its way back up to where it belongs.

After my third flight, I retired this kite to hang on my wall – displayed alongside my other kite creations. And there is sat from early June until just this past weekend, August 24, when I took it to my company beach party.

I launched it on the lake front where the winds were quite strong and erratic, causing a rocky start, including a couple of nose dives - hard into the ground. I didn't let this stop me, as I was determined to make my box kite fly in front of the onlooking children and their parents (my co-workers). So I removed a small amount of its tail, and let it out one more time hoping for the best. Thankfully, it took off this time and rose fairly quickly, although at about 30 feet I saw something fall from the kite, and recognized it as one of the cross bars. Thankfully it kept right on flying, and made for an impressive flight.

It didn’t perform as well as I had planned - often dipping very low, and not rising much above a thirty degree angle. I am sure that the integrity and structure of the kite had suffered after the nose dives, along with the missing cross bar and ripped sails (which, I observed after pulling it in).

But overall, the box kite was quite impressive and fun to watch. The children had fun holding the line and even a few grown-ups took turns at managing and reeling it in. Especially when it appeared that it might crash into the neighboring pool lounging crowd.

Comments for 2-Skewer Box Kite - my all time favorite!

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Aug 31, 2013
2-Skewer Box Kite Design
by: Tim Parish

One day I will get around to updating this design - and will shift the cross-pieces to the middle of the cells where they belong - rather than the edge! That will stop much of the distortion that you can see in the in-flight photos, and thus help to get higher line angles. But it sounds like you were happy with the outcomes and that's the main thing...

You could try shifting the flying line attachment point back a bit at a time to see if you can get any better height/stability out of it. But no further back than the trailing edge of the upper cell.

Thanks for the 'eye candy' - people will really appreciate it!

Click here to add your own comments

Return to MBK Flight Reporter Submission.

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

This printable e-book takes you step-by-step through making a 120cm (4 ft) diameter Parasail kite. This kite performs well in gentle to moderate wind speeds. That's from 12 to 28 kph or from 8 to 18 mph. It pulls hard for it's size, so should not be flown by very small kids!

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 Parasail 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 Adelaide Kite Festival

    Apr 26, 17 06:00 AM

    Coincidentally, this previously published page has recently been updated. The Adelaide International Kite Festival for 2017 was held earlier this month...

    Read More



Kite-making e-book: Simplest Dowel Kites

This one's FREE
Download it now!

More E-books...


"Love the easy to understand step by step instructions, made from next to nothing materials and above all so much fun to fly... cheers Tim for sharing your well thought out pdf kite designs with the whole world.

Very satisfying making your own and watching them get air-born for the first time."


"I've just bought your super e-book and spent most of last night pouring through all the great stuff in it!

Very detailed and USEFUL information - thanks for such a great book."


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

 Your instructions and methods are wonderful. You help the builder to focus on accuracy, without making it hard. Also, you use materials that are durable, yet cheap!"


"omg i made a kite from this site and i fly it ....... booom i didnt expect this bc in the other sites instuction are trash

thank you"

Kite-making e-book: Simplest Dowel Kites

This one's FREE
Download it now!

More E-books...

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