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This set of instructions on how to make a Rokkaku kite assumes you know absolutely nothing about kite making.
You might already have some of the simple tools and materials required.
Anything you don't have is easily bought. If not exactly what I used, then at least something pretty similar!
These instructions on how to make a Rokkaku kite might look a bit long, but each step is quite simple to do.
Just steadily work your way through from top to bottom, skimming over any detail that you don't need.
29cm (11 1/2") across, the MBK 1-Skewer Rokkaku is a rather small Rok.
This kite has dihedral, a 2-leg bridle and a long streamer tail which keeps it stable in moderate winds.
1-Skewer kites are fun, but somewhat toy-like :-) due to their rather small size. Fancy something much bigger to fly, suitable for teenagers and adults?
The "Making Skewer Kites" e-book
has plenty of 58cm (23") designs in bamboo skewers and plastic. Plus all the 1-Skewer designs.
A handy approach is to just print out the pages for the kite you want to make next. The e-book is also handy for working off-line on a laptop, tablet or other device.
Now's the time to read up on the 'tools' and materials required for making a Skewer kite, if you haven't already.
The template shown above represents one side of the kite sail. You will now transfer these measurements to the sail plastic as follows...
The vertical spar is 1.4SL (40.6cm, 16") long, so two 30cm (12") bamboo BBQ skewers need to be glued together.
Now you need another two bamboo skewers. The photo shows them laid over the sail, after being snipped to length with scissors.
Wait for the glue to dry.
At this point, you've finished making the 1-Skewer Rokkaku!
To attach the flying line, just Lark's Head the flying line to the short kite line as in the photo.
Firstly, if it's very windy outside, stay home! This is a light-to-moderate wind kite and won't like being launched in a gale.
My collection of real-life Rokkaku kite stories is 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 taking loop after loop off the winder.
Another approach is to get a helper to hold the kite up and let it go, on the end of maybe 10 or 20 meters (around 50 feet) of line. This way, the kite soon gets high enough to make it easy to let more line out.
I've had this kite up to 200 feet altitude, in an ideal breeze. Have fun flying, and I hope you've enjoyed learning how to make a Rokkaku kite!
The video down below shows the little Rok struggling to stay up in a very light gusty breeze. Half a minute later it was on the grass!
Now, just in case you have actually made and flown this kite at least once already...
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!
Click below to read about various kite-flying adventures, contributed by other visitors to this page...
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For now, please view this site on a Desktop or Laptop computer to see the videos. And there's plenty of them!
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"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."
"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