How To Make A Delta Kite

Step-by-Step - Page 2 of 3

The MBK 1-Skewer Delta 

How To Make A Delta Kite

The 1-Skewer Delta - where the bamboo skewers go.
  • Select the straightest skewer you can find, and lay it down the center-line of the sail. Snip the skewer to length, removing the point, so it lines up with the plastic at each end. This is the vertical spar.
  • Select 2 more skewers, that have very similar stiffness. Judge this by bending them one at a time, or perhaps use your creativity to judge this some other way!
  • Place these 2 skewers along the fold-lines of the tabs. Snip both skewers to length, removing the points, so they are as long as the tabs. These are the leading-edge spars.
  • Measure 0.42SL (12.2cm, 4 3/4") from the top end of the vertical spar, and make a mark on it there. Select another skewer, snip the point off, and place it over this mark, so each end sits over a leading edge spar as in the photo. This is the spreader.
  • Apply glue where the spars cross each other, but not onto the vertical spar. While this is drying, you can get on with the keel. Hey, it's starting to look like a Delta!

How To Make A Delta 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 1-Skewer Delta - making the keel
  • Mark out a triangle on some spare plastic, as per the dimensions in the Template, and cut it out.
  • Tape down 2 lengths of flying line onto it, running along both edges that meet at the towing point. The length is not too important, just take the photo as a guide.
  • Flip the plastic over and tape down another 2 lengths of flying line, directly over the first 2.
  • Reinforce the keel corners by sticking down and wrapping around short lengths of tape.
  • Where the 4 pieces of line come together, tie a Multi-Strand Simple Knot close to the plastic, then tie a second one further out, as per the photo.
  • Also knot the lines at the other 2 corners, using the same kind of knot. Adjust them so they are flush with the plastic.

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

The 1-Skewer Delta - attaching the keel
  • Fold over and tape down the sail tabs over the leading edge spars, using 2 lengths of sticky tape on each side.
  • Fold tape over the ends of the vertical and leading edge spars, securing them to the plastic.
  • Poke a hole in the plastic sail, just above where the spreader crosses the vertical spar. Thread the upper keel lines through and tie off tightly with a Granny Knot.
  • Using the keel to find the exact spot, poke another hole in the sail near the trailing edge. Thread the lines through and tie off tightly, again using a Granny Knot.
  • With the keel flush against the plastic sail, add sticky tape along the full length of the keel, attaching it to the sail plastic. Flip the keel over and do the other side too.
  • Put a small drop of wood glue on the knots which attach the keel to the vertical spar. In the photo, you can see the keel through the main sail plastic.

How To Make A Delta Kite

The 1-Skewer Delta - attaching the tail

Have you read the page on making kite tails? Assuming you have...

Make a tail at least 5 times the length of the kite itself. To attach the tail to the kite, just push one end between the vertical spar and the sail, at the bottom end of the kite. Then thread the other end of the tail through the loop you just pushed through.

Simple! If you don't tighten it too much, the tail will always be easy to remove later, even after flying.

At this point, you've pretty much finished learning how to make a Delta kite!

How To Make A Delta Kite
Prepare To Fly

The 1-Skewer Delta - attaching the flying line

Put a little bow in the spreader, away from the sail. Do this by gently bending the bamboo with both hands, with your thumbs in the middle of the bend. You might have to try a few times before the bamboo deforms a little.

The purpose of this is to put a little slack in the sail, which will make the kite more stable. If you over-do it and the bamboo cracks, just rub some wood glue into the bend!

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

With this kite, I'm confident that if you build it and attach the keel with reasonable accuracy according to the plan, it should need no further adjustment. Just like the bought ones! You might need to experiment with using a bit more tail if the kite loops around too much.

Continue to page 3

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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. The Classic Cody Kite

    Aug 23, 17 06:00 AM

    This previously published page gives a quick insight into the structure and materials of the original 'War Kites' by Samuel Cody. Plus some history and photos of course. Intriguing stuff...

    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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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