How To Make A Sled Kite

Step-by-Step - The MBK 1-Skewer Sled

This set of instructions on how to make a Sled kite assumes you know absolutely nothing about kite making.

Learn how to make a Sled kite like this 1-Skewer Sled.

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 Sled 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.

At 29cm (11 1/2") tall, the MBK 1-Skewer Sled Kite is a rather small Sled, with 2 simple ribbon tails for extra stability.

This kite can stay up in fairly light winds but prefers it gusting into the moderate range.

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.




How To Make A Sled Kite
Sail

Now's the time to read up on the 'tools' and materials required for making a Skewer kite, if you haven't already.

Sail template for the 1-Skewer Sled kite.

The template shown above represents one side of the kite sail. You will now transfer these measurements to the sail plastic as follows...

The 1-Skewer Sled - template marked.
  • Firstly, take a light plastic bag that will fit the entire Template shape within one side, and lay it flat on the floor.
  • Mark dots on the plastic, corresponding to the corners of the Template. There is no need to use a T-square, since any small error will be duplicated on the other side of the sail.
  • Using the marking pen, rule lines between the dots, as in the photo.
  • Flip the plastic bag over, and trace over all the black lines using your marker pen and ruler.

The 1-Skewer Sled - whole sail  marked.
  • Cut out a rectangular section of the bag containing the kite sail, open it out and lay it flat on the floor - you can now see the complete sail outline, as in the photo.
  • Cut along the black lines with scissors, to create the sail.





How To Make A Sled Kite
Spars

The 1-Skewer Sled - where the skeweras go.
  • For this Sled, you need two 30cm (12") bamboo BBQ skewers.
  • Lay down and line up the skewers over the plastic as shown. Mark each skewer where it crosses the bottom edge of the sail.
  • Snip off the pointed ends with scissors, at the marks. These are the vertical spars.





How To Make A Sled Kite
Attaching Sail

The 1-Skewer Sled - how to attach the skewer to the plastic
  • Lay down the vertical spar skewers again, over the sail.
  • Wrap a short length of clear sticky tape around each of the 4 tips, securing them to the sail plastic. The photo over there shows the top tip in close-up.
  • Next, lay a short length of clear tape across each skewer and onto the plastic, at the center. See the next photo.





How To Make A Sled Kite
Towing Points

Here's how to reinforce the towing points...

The 1-Skewer Sled - towing points
  • Firstly, stick down a length of tape that goes left to right and sticks out some distance from the towing point, as in the photo
  • Turn the sail over and stick down another piece of tape exactly the same way, so both pieces stick to the plastic at one end and to each other at the other end.
  • Finally, stick down another piece of tape at right angles to the first 2. Fold the corners around the edge of the plastic sail, so it looks like the photo.
  • Now go over to the right side of the sail and do exactly the same thing with another 3 pieces of tape. The pieces of tape that stick out are where you will attach the bridle line. This method is surprisingly strong and can take a lot of punishment in rough air, due to the kite's light pulling force.




How To Make A Sled Kite
Bridle

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 Sled - bridle knotted to towing point.b
  • Cut off some flying line to a length of 6 skewers, and put a small Loop Knot into each end.
  • Using Double Wrap Slip Knots, tie one end of the line to one towing point tape, and the other end to the other towing point tape. Try to get the knots tight enough to crush the towing point tape. See the photo.
  • Take the bridle line and suspend the kite from it, so that the 2 sides line up exactly. The 2 spars should be right next to each other. Tie a small Loop Knot into the bridle, taking care that the kite sides still align.

TIP: It's best to fold and twist the towing point tape before forming the knot. Otherwise, it's too easy to shear off the tape when attempting to tighten the knot!





How To Make A Sled Kite
Tails

The 1-Skewer Sled - attaching the twin tails.
  • Cut out 2 long thin rectangles of colored plastic for the tails. Mine are black, to contrast with the orange sail. Make each tail 4.0SL (116cm, 46") long and 0.15SL (4.4cm, 1 3/4") wide.
  • Tie one end of each tail around a vertical spar, as close as possible to the bottom tip. See the photo. A single Half Hitch will do, since there are very low forces on the tails in flight.



At this point, you've finished making the 1-Skewer Sled!

Attaching the flying line to the bridle.

To attach the flying line, just Lark's Head the flying line to the kite's bridle as in the photo.






How To Make A Sled Kite
Flying!

The 1-Skewer Sled kite in flight.

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.

Out In The Field

My collection of real-life Sled 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.

The picture shows the 1-Skewer Sled on it's second outing, on a Spring day with a moderate breeze. After this photo was taken, the little Sled went on to reach almost 200 feet above ground.

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




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




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!

Please Enter A Title

Flight Reports From Other Visitors

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

My First Sled Kite 
I have never made or even flown a kite before. For a school project I had to make a kite. I tried making a 'normal' cardboard kite. It didn't work at all. …

1 Skewer Sled Kite Made In Secret By 52 Year Old Dad 
Just over 6 weeks ago with a new baby due I found myself picking up odd items with the shopping. Clear plastic tape, my own pair of scissors, some bbq …

Girl Scouts - Kite Flying 
Many years ago my Girl Scout troop took a trip to Frankenmuth where a kite shop let us make kites very similar to this. It is a rectangle base 18"x24" …

Sled Kite Making - Kept 20 Kids Happy! 
My wife and I are Leaders for our local scout group. She is The Cub Leader, and has been running the Air Activities badge. As the construction portion …

Click here to write your own.

 

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New! Comments

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...



Apologies for this site's current lack of video when viewed on mobile devices...

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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