Big box kite on 100 lb line

by Annette

My husband and I often fly kites together. While flying our latest creation, a six-foot nylon box kite, we knew it would pull HARD, so we used 100 lb. line. And the wind picked up, and the line broke.

We were flying in the street, in a suburban neighborhood, and the kite wasn't very high when the line broke, so my husband went off looking for it.

He found the kite a couple of blocks away, in a small tree, and there was a little girl, maybe six years old, jumping up and down and asking her daddy to get it down for her. It's a good thing my husband showed up when he did; that kite would have dragged her right off the ground!

The next time we flew our box, we used 250 lb line. The only way to get that beast down in a strong wind was to loop the line around a broom handle piece and walk it down.

We've built and flown a number of large, six-foot kites. Our favorite is the French Military variety, as it seems to enjoy a wide range of wind speeds. A six-footer we were flying in more open country came loose in a strong gust, and it had been out on about 700 feet of line at the time. The kite still had several hundred feet of line attached to it, so we figured, “How hard can it be? We'll just look criss-cross the wind line until we run into some 150 lb. Dacron!”

We searched back and forth for MILES, and never found a trace! I think someone must have seen it and snatched it before we could find it.

Another French Military kite (Smaller this time), was lost, and it had our phone number on it. Sure enough, it was found and returned about 8 months later. Someone had found the line draped over some power lines. Of course, it was a bit the worse for wear, having been out in the desert sun for all those months, and sunlight is not kind to nylon. Still, it was fun to get it back!

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Huge Box Kite
by: Bill from Carlyle, IL

A few days ago I posted the below story about the monster box kite that a friend and I flew one time, and only one time. We both had a lot of experience with flying normal sized kites. We had a normal sized box kite that we used to make the big kite exactly to scale. My friend did all of the building, as I would calculate the dimensions.

My story said that it was 8 feet tall, but it might have only been around 7 feet. I was over 6 feet tall at the time, and it was bigger than me. Here’s a website with a photo that I used in my FB post:


This photo of a box kite reminded me of something that I did more than 50 years ago. A friend and I made a huge 8 ft. tall box kite out of very lightweight aluminum angle pieces and Visqueen (thin black plastic sheeting). It looked identical to this photo.

We attached the kite to 100+ pound test nylon twine that was wrapped onto a large metal spool. The spool mechanism had a car window crank to wind it back in. We went to where the lake is now to fly it and got on top of the earthen dam that was just recently built, but the concrete spillway was not yet completed. I had the large spool apparatus strapped around my waist.

A steady wind was coming straight out of the south, and the kite immediately went airborne. Everything was working fine until the kite got 100 feet or so in the air. I suddenly realized that I grossly under-estimated the amount of pull it created. I also realized that there was no way I'd be able to crank it back in, and when it got to the end it might yank me right off the spillway levee. I finally let go of the crank and yelled at my friend to cut the line when it got to the end. When the spool reached the end, it gave a hard jerk just as he cut it.

We lucked out in finding the kite. It was over 1½ miles north of there, and not even damaged; we never flew that kite again. I'll never forget that!

Big Box Kites
by: Tim Parish

Great post! I took my 2.4m (8ft) Multi-Dowel box out the other day, which I fly on 200 pound Dacron.

Not a lot of traditional square box designs are seen these days - possibly the set-up time required has dented their popularity. Mine requires 8 shoe-lace ties to be secured - but that includes joining the upper cell main spars to the lower cell ones. The kite packs down to a 1.2m (4ft) package.

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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