How To Build A Roller Kite

Step-by-Step - Page 2 of 3 

The MBK 2-Skewer Roller

How To Build A Roller Kite

Try this Kite Winder from Amazon, if you are not sure where to get suitable flying line. The 20 pound strength is ample for all the Skewer Series kites.
The 2-Skewer Roller - the keel

In this photo, pieces of clear sticky tape are indicated by yellow rectangles.

  • Mark out a triangle on some spare sail plastic, as per the dimensions on the template.
  • Cut off 4 pieces of flying line, each about 1.25SL (36cm, 14") long.
  • Cut out the triangle and tape down 2 lengths of flying line onto one side, as visible in the photo.
  • Now flip the plastic over and tape down another 2 lengths of flying line, directly over the first 2.
  • Also lay down tape along the remaining edge of the keel, on both sides of the plastic.
  • Reinforce the keel by sticking down and wrapping extra bits of tape where the pieces of line come out, making sure the plastic remains flat.
  • Where the 4 pieces of line come together, tie a Multi-Strand Simple Knot close to the plastic, then tie another one further out, as in the photo.
  • Also tie Simple Knots close to the plastic at the other 2 corners.

How To Build A Roller Kite
Sail Tethering

The 2-Skewer Roller - upper sail tethering

At this point you need to make sure the glue is dry on the frame. If it is...

  • Lay down the kite with the bamboo on top, and cut 2 short lengths of flying line. About 0.75SL (22cm, 9") each.
  • First, tape the lines to the lower sail near the tips - over the bamboo, around the sail edge and then back towards the bamboo. As shown by the yellow rectangle in the photo.
  • Lay the lines across the upper sail and tape them down with just a small piece of tape near the sail corner.
  • Carefully pull each line through the tape until there is no slack - as in the photo.

During test flying, it might be necessary to slacken off one of these lines to get the kite to fly straight. Once you are happy with the trim, you should add more tape to make sure the line never slips during flight. It should still be possible to pull a little line through by hand though.

How To Build A Roller Kite

The 2-Skewer Roller - attaching the keel

Firstly, attach the keel...

  • Poke 2 holes in the lower sail, near the lower horizontal spar, where indicated by the black dots near the top of the photo.
  • Take the keel and poke the upper 2 lines through the holes near the horizontal spar. Then pull tight against the knot, and tie them off around the bamboo using a Granny Knot.
  • Now poke the bottom 2 holes in the plastic, using the keel to find the exact spots for the holes.
  • Thread the lines, pull tight against the knots, and tie them off tightly around the bamboo, using a Granny Knot.

These knots must never come loose, so use tiny drops of glue to keep them secure.

The 2-Skewer Roller - the bridle line

Next, attach the bridle...

  • Lay the kite down with the keel on top, then cut a length of flying line, about 5.0SL (145cm, 58") long.
  • Tie a small Loop Knot into each end of the line.
  • Poke 2 holes in the upper sail where indicated by black dots in the photo.
  • Attach one end to the vertical spar through the 2 holes in the upper sail. Use a Double Wrap Slip Knot and pull tight. Then secure with a tiny dob of glue.
  • Attach the other end to the keel using a Larks Head Knot, and pull tight against the keel's big knot.

Finally, take a length of flying line about 0.5SL (15cm, 6") long, and tie one end to the bridle line with a shiftable knot such as the Prusik. Tie a small Loop Knot into the other end.

At this point, you've pretty much finished making the 2-Skewer Roller!

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E-book special of the month...

Barn Door is a traditional American design, and this MBK version has delighted many of this site's visitors over the years.

If you have made Diamonds before, this kite is only a small step up in difficulty.

Get the e-book for making the MBK Barn Door kite. Down to a mere $2.95 for this month.

The MBK Barn Door is a reliable flyer over the Light to Moderate wind range. Tail(s) are entirely optional, if the kite is made according to the instructions.

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. Flight Report:
    Parachute Flaw Discovered

    Oct 24, 16 12:49 AM

    I was looking for slightly stronger smooth winds today, but instead learned another lesson from the Parachute kite...

    The idea was to see if greater wind speed - say in the mid-twenties (kph) - would p…

    Read More


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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