When we started this site, a tiny Diamond shape kite was one of the very first designs we came up with. This Diamond was made from 2 BBQ skewers with a clear plastic sail and matching tail.
The 1-Skewer Diamond was quickly off the drawing board and into the air! Against a gray cloudy background the little kite could be difficult to spot, because it was so see-through. However, near sunset it would transform remarkably, with the sun's rays lighting up the plastic sail and tail like a neon light!
We found the 12 cm (12 inch) variety of bamboo skewers worked well, with the points snipped off. More recently, I have made the kite more visible by doing the sail in orange plastic and using a simple ribbon tail of black plastic. It looks good!
Next up in size comes the 2-Skewer Diamond, which you could consider to be a medium size. On a 20 pound Dacron line it is a good performer up to 300 feet of altitude or so. Beyond that, there is quite a lot of sag in the line. However, you could probably fix that by using even lighter line.
Then, we started making larger kites like the Dowel Diamond. This one is superb in very light winds, and will even go right overhead if there is just a whiff of warm rising air underneath it!
Finally, for those who want to whip up something super quick and easy, there was the Simple Series of just 3 kites. The Simple Diamond is the first described below. There is a photo or 2 and a video of each MBK Diamond shape kite. This illustrates the end result, in case you decide to use our Kite Making section (over there on the left) to make one of these kites.
A lot of people have shied away from making my Skewer kites due to their complexity and need for gluing. Hence I did a small series of ultra-basic kites, including the Simple Diamond.
The spars are about 1 meter (nearly 3 1/2 feet) long. No bridle, and no gluing! In light winds, it can be flown on 20 pound line, but we usually use 50 pound line just to be safe.
With no bow or dihedral, this kite tends to bob around a lot, particularly in rough air.
In keeping with absolute simplicity, the tail for this Diamond
shape kite is just a single ribbon of the same plastic used to make the
This 1-Skewer Diamond looks a bit worse for wear in the photo, with some bits missing near the nose. Diamonds just keep on flying though. Each spar is a 29 cm (1 foot) bamboo BBQ skewer.
The original was made from clear freezer-bag plastic, which made it almost impossible to see against a gray sky. It's a different story when back-lit by the setting sun though...
With a long tail, this little Diamond shape kite has a surprisingly good wind range. See how we have made the tail from several loops of plastic, cut from bags. Each loop is knotted to the next one, making something more interesting than a simple ribbon.
We fly this kite on 50 meters (150 feet) of 20 pound line. It doesn't need that strength, but we also fly our 2-skewer kites on the same line....
Here's the latest version of the 1-Skewer Diamond, in orange garden bag plastic. The tail is cut from a cheap black garbage bag. Actually, we knotted a few lengths together as you can see. The long tail ensures that this quite small kite can cope in gusty breezes from quite light to almost fresh in strength.
Check out the video below, which was taken from underneath and
just a little upwind of the kite. The breeze was moderate and gusty as
it almost always is inland.
The 2-Skewer Diamond is, as the name suggests, exactly twice as tall as the 1-Skewer design. This gives it 4 times the sail area with not much more than double the weight. Hence, it's pretty good in light winds.
The Diamond shape kite pictured has 2-ply plastic which makes it a little heavier, but it still flies great. Like most Diamonds on a simple 2-point bridle, this kite moved around quite a lot during flight.
We did have an unusually sedate flight with it once, when a very smooth, cool air-stream flowed across the local reserve where we were flying.
It just sat there at around 100 feet, with barely a wiggle.
Here's a photo of the latest 2-Skewer Diamond. Shaped a little like an Eddy kite, it doesn't require a lot of tail.
The video below shows this kite in a gusty light breeze. Some of the gusts are strong enough to send it into a loop or 2.
After this video was taken, a small hole was cut in one side of
the sail to correct it's tendency to lean to one side as the wind
The big Daddy of MBK Diamond kites, the Dowel Diamond. This one was designed from the start to be tail-less. In fact, it is loosely based in the famous tail-less Eddy kite.
I can't help thinking it looks a little strange just sitting there in the air. We are so conditioned to seeing the Diamond shape with a tail.
The Dowel Diamond is a reliable flier in light and moderate breezes. Like most Diamonds, the flying line angles are modest, but it climbs easily to 400 feet if you let enough line out.
Size? It's twice as tall as the 2-Skewer Diamond, so that's 4 times the area. Compared to the 1-Skewer Diamond shape kite, the Dowel Diamond has 16 times as much area!
That's about it for this page on the Diamond shape kite. In 3 convenient sizes! Hope you enjoyed the pictures and information.
Never made a kite?
Child wants one?
Check out the...
MBK Beginner E-course
Are the e-books good?
Find out by trying...
'Simplest Dowel Kites'
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