Balinese Kites

by Desmond
(Mill Valley, CA, USA)

Q:

Do you have specific instructions (possibly measurements) on how to make a Balinese kite? I want to make a kite for my math project that I can paint a picture on. So it seems like the paper mache type would work best. I also love their really long tails.

A:

No. That's the short answer.

But here's a couple of suggestions :-) ...

1) Trying to make an authentic Balinese kite from scratch might not actually be very practical in your situation. In addition, it would be very easy to end up with a heavy, poor flier. Particularly if you piled on a bit too much paint, or made the paper mache too sturdy.

If it wasn't for the fact you are probably supposed to make the kite yourself, there are of course, quite cheap Balinese kites for sale on eBay. Just see the listing on that page, after scrolling down a bit.

eHow.com has some instructions, but they are vague and basically useless for an inexperienced builder to have success with. No instructions on how to adjust the bridle, for example!

2) Why don't you consider making one of my Simple Series kites. Either a Diamond or a Delta - but use Tyvek instead of plastic. That way, you have a perfect 'canvas' for your painting, since it is like painting on paper.

If you can't get your hands on Tyvek easily, any old thin plastic sheet will do. In which case, colored permanent markers are the way to go, to create a pleasing picture on the sail without adding much weight at all.

The Simple Diamond and Simple Delta are reliable fliers in light winds, so there should be no disappointment there.

Whichever way you decide to go, I hope your project goes well!

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