How To Build A Roller Kite

Step-by-Step - Page 3 of 3

The MBK 2-Skewer Roller

How To Build A Roller Kite
Prepare To Fly   

Attaching the flying line to the brtidle.

Finally, make up a flying line and attach it to the bridle with a Lark's Head Knot. See the photo above.

As a final check, lift the kite by the knot on the end of the bridle line. Shift the Prusik knot along the bridle line until the kite hangs at about a 30 degree angle from the horizontal.

Also lift the kite with a finger under the nose and a finger under the tail, balancing it on the vertical spar. Try this a few times, and if it's clear that one side of the kite is heavier, add small bits of electrical tape to the spar caps on the lighter side, to balance it up.

How To Build A Roller Kite

How to build a Roller kite - launching

The above picture is of the MBK 2-Skewer Roller Kite being launched, down at a local flying field.The vertical spar had a slight bend in it, can you tell? It was fixed later, and the kite flew much better.

Out In The Field

Roller kite stories of my real-life flying experiences are worth checking out!

Illustrated with photos and videos, of course.

Assuming there is some breeze outside, just dangle the kite at arm's length until the wind catches it. As long as you feel the kite pulling, let out line slowly by letting it slip through your fingers. If it refuses to climb despite pulling on your hand, shift the Prusik knot towards the nose a bit, and try again. Keep going until the kite behaves itself!

Another approach is to get a helper to hold the kite up and let it go, with maybe 10 or 20 meters of line let out. This way, the kite soon gets high enough to make it easy to let more line out.

Finally, if the kite doesn't seem stable enough, looping around in both directions even in light wind, just add a simple short tail and try again. However, if you have put the correct dihedral in both spars, this should not be necessary!

If the kite flies ok, but tends to hang to the left or right, try pulling some tether line through, on the opposite side of the main sail. For example, if the kite always seems to want to loop to the left when gusts hit it, pull some line through on the right side, as viewed from the flier. Make very small adjustments until the kite flies noticeably better.

Have fun flying, and I hope you've enjoyed learning how to build a Roller kite!

Now, just in case you have actually made and flown this kite at least once already...

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Ever Made This Kite?

You've probably read a kite-flying story or 2 of mine, after they appear under the "what's new?" link on this site. I sometimes wonder if anyone else has made and flown this particular design...

If you feel your efforts really paid off when the the kite finally got airborne - please type a few paragraphs in here telling us all about it!

P.S. I can only accept stories of at least 300 words. Just mention a few details like the weather, onlookers, the kite's behavior and so on - 300 words is easy!

Flight Reports From Other Visitors

Click below to read about various kite-flying adventures, contributed by other visitors to this page...

A great flyer in light (slightly thermic) conditions Not rated yet
Just to say thanks again for providing these instructions. I made the roller kite - as well as a mini diamond, 2-skewer dopero and 1 skewer delta! I …

Click here to write your own.

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 Bridle Sweet Spot

    Oct 21, 16 11:51 PM

    It was too windy yesterday, but today the breeze was ideal down at a beach...

    As a final attempt to optimize the bride, the lines were swept just slightly forward of the kite's leading edge and shorten…

    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...

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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'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