Here's a look at the various examples of box kite design we have tried,
along with an illustrative photo and video of each. At this writing,
there are two Dowel box designs which are a satisfying size for adult fliers. Plus a giant one which you can see down there on the right.
On the other hand, the two skewer designs are ideal for quite young children to fly, even in rather fresh winds. Small sail area means just a small tug on the flying line!
Before getting into the imagery, you might find this summary helpful...
Down below is a photo and a video of each MBK Box kite. The end result illustrated, in case you decide to use one of our books to make one of these kites.There's always the Traditional Box Kite from Amazon, if you prefer not to DIY after all.
Here's the latest version of the 1-Skewer Box, trimmed out and floating nicely on a warm moderate breeze at a nearby park.
It's hard to be super-accurate in construction with these tiny kites. A small extra tail on one side will soon fix any problems though. After a bit of experimentation on the flying field. But that's half the fun with tiny kites. You get a sense of achievement when the thing finally behaves itself and floats up high! At that point, you can hand the string over to your 4 year-old and watch the joy.
Here's a video, taken on the same day, when this little kite broke its own altitude record...
The 2-Skewer Box kite design is, as the name suggests, exactly twice as long as the 1-Skewer design. However, it still uses the same diameter bamboo skewers. As a result, this kite can fly in somewhat lighter winds than the 1-Skewer Box. But it is also strong enough and stable enough to cope with very fresh winds. You can take it out in any sort of windy weather and expect to get a good afternoon's fun out of it!
We fly this kite on a 20 pound line, which gets pulled pretty straight in a stiff breeze. In lighter breezes there is some sag, but the kite will still get plenty of height on 60 meters (200 feet) of line.
See this kite in action in the video below!
At twice the size of the 2-Skewer Box, the Dowel Box (moderate) doesn't make you feel like you are flying a 'kids kite' as such. This version has had a number of great flights in conditions that you would not normally associate with box kites.
You know the old kiting saying - 'box kites for strong wind'. Not these days! Particularly when space-age materials like graphite (carbon fiber) is used for spars. Not to mention light-weight ripstop nylon for the sails.
But even using more traditional materials like dowel for the spars, it is possible to build a box kite quite light. The inherent weight disadvantage is still there, when you compare it with a Diamond or a Delta for example. However, this design is proof that you can still keep a box kite up in fairly light wind if you build it right.
The wind is gusty and moderate in strength in the video down below...
The Dowel Box (fresh) is so named because it can take quite a bit of punishment from the wind. The cross-pieces are relatively short and tied together to prevent bow under pressure.
With the original bridle, this kite handled 20 kph winds comfortably. Later, I redesigned the bridle and tested the kite almost to destruction in some truly strong wind! It now handles 30 kph well, and will survive well into the 40-45 kph+ range.
It's all good experience, and you can always make another kite when the materials costs are so low. The pull on the line is quite firm in fresh winds. I have measured it at around 2 to 3 kg (5 to 8 pounds).
Somehow, though, I just wouldn't be game to fly this box
kite design on 20 pound line! It stretches 50 pound line nice and tight,
so that will do me.
The wind is gusty and fresh in strength in the video down below...
That's about it for this page on a few examples of box kite design. Hope you enjoyed the pictures and the info.