Flowform Kites In 2008

Adelaide International Kite Festival

Of the flowform kites in 2008 that we saw, none really stood out as artistic masterpieces. That's not surprising really, since these kites could be called the 'work-horses of the sky'. This page features some nice Parafoils as well. Parafoils are not as deep as Flowforms, and the cells are closed at the down-wind end.

At any kite festival, the flowforms are always there, but not necessarily attracting much attention. Their job is hoisting large inflatable windsocks and other assorted line laundry or helping to stabilize inflatable kites. Sometimes you can spot an attractive flowform kite being flown on its own like any other recreational kite.

The 2 kites in the photo down there are typical, although the picture doesn't give you much clue as to how big they are. Many of these are quite large. The bigger the kite, the bigger the pull, and the more stuff you can hang off the line! Also, it's very common to see these flying without tails, like the kite on the left in the photo. A tail might be added just for effect, or perhaps to give a bit more stability in stronger wind conditions.

Flowform kites - with and without tailsTwo large lifting kites

On the topic of flying tailless, we saw what can happen when the wind picks up. A large flowform, with laundry attached, looped several times until coming down in the dunes! We didn't notice if they gave up for the day, or tried again with a tail.

Most Flowforms are fairly large, although the Sutton range offers quite a big choice in size. The smallest can be handled by one person just for fun, while the largest get serious work to do. And they pull like an elephant, in a stiff breeze!

Occasionally, a big one might be seen hoisting a camera rig for aerial photography. Some of the very best kite festival photos are taken from the air like this. We didn't see any of the flowform kites in 2008 being used in this way.

Flowform Kite Gallery

Here's a small photo gallery of some of the flowform kites in 2008, at the Adelaide Kite Festival. The blurry or grainy pictures are due to distance from the kite, either horizontally, vertically or both. Some of them were right at the top of the kite cloud!

I'll make a few comments on each kite...

4 cells and 3 keels

Firstly, the pink Flowform has an unusual tail. At first sight, it looked like someone decided to hitch on a 'squid' windsock instead of a more conventional streamer or tube tail! However, on looking carefully at another photo of the same kite, the windsock turned out to be a long drogue.

Still, it's a bit unusual with those tentacle things flapping around at the back end! It looks like it would produce plenty of drag.

There are 4 cells and 3 keels on this kite. Going by the Flowform kites in 2008, it appears that this is quite a popular configuration.

Large flat Parafoils, good lifters too

On the left is another Flowform with that same configuration, that is 4 cells and 3 keels. This one is tastefully matched with a narrow tube tail. What you probably can't pick out from this down-sized photo is the line of marching ants on the white underside! Those 4 black marks are ants, which are clearly visible in the original photo. A slightly humorous and artistic touch not often seen on this kind of kite.

To the right there's a picture of a flat, wide Parafoil which seems to have 10 cells if I've counted them correctly. This one was a good distance away and maybe there's a bit of motion blur as well. Even harder to pick is how many keels it has! My guess is that there are 3 - one on each side plus a tiny one right in the middle. And what's that in the background? A UKO I reckon. An Unidentified Kiting Object! Maybe it drops little green teddies...

More interesting Flowform kites from the Adelaide FestivalBrought together from separate parts of one large photo

On the left there is a yellow Flowform. This one isn't huge, and its outer 2 cells seem to be tipped on their sides, making it look a little like an inflatable-spar sled. But if you look carefully, you can see it really is a 2-surface Flowform with 4 cells and 3 keels. There's that configuration again!

The middle photo features a crisp-looking kite which doubles as a Japanese flag! The red rising sun against a pearly-white background. This parafoil is fairly complex with 8 cells and no less than 5 keels!

Finally, there's that ugly dotted pink thing, on the right. Gee, I hope that doesn't get back to the owner... Sorry mate (or miss, ms), just my personal opinion! The image is poor since I blew it up from a much bigger photo, so it's hard to tell its exact configuration. Could be a 4 cell design, like a few other of the Flowform kites in 2008. Interestingly, this kite has twin drogues, which are handy since they are much more compact than tails.

A note about the kicking soccer legs kite from last year. How could we miss noticing it up there again this time! Although we didn't get a photo... With the lighter winds this time around, the kite was being flown without the soccer ball drogue.

That's it for the flowform kites in 2008. Next year we'll take a slightly different angle... you'll see!

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

Click to get 'Making The MBK Parachute Kite'

This printable e-book takes you step-by-step through making a 119 cm (4 ft) wide Parachute kite. It's not quite that wide in the air since the canopy takes on a distinct curved shape when inflated. This 14-cell kite performs best in moderate to fresh wind speeds. That's 20 to 38 kph or 13 to 24 mph. In gentle winds, this kite will hang in the air at fairly low line angles. In fresh winds, it pulls firmly for it's size, so small kids should only fly it while supervised!

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 Parachute 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. Global News Report:
    Indian Kite-Flying - Shocking!

    Aug 22, 17 06:00 AM

    Metallic kite flying line and electricity grids don't mix well... ---------------------------------------------------------------- NEW DELHI: Independence Day is here and kites have returned to add co…

    Read More


Plenty of fun kite info, photos and videos - there's definitely too much here for only one visit! Feel free to leave your impressions of this site or just this page, below...

Return to Adelaide Events from Flowform Kites In 2008

All the way back to Home Page



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 decided to run kite making as an elective again on this camp in the past week - so I bought all your e-books, a bunch of materials, and then took a group of 10 high school students through making the kites over 4 days. We built a diamond, a Barn Door, a Delta, and two skew delta kites. Again - every single kite flew."


"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