This set of instructions on how to make a Sode 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 Sode 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 Sode Kite is a rather small
Sode, with dihedral on the horizontal spars, a simple 2-leg bridle and a
looped tail. In anything more than moderate winds, you might need more tail than is described here. Like in the photo over there!
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?
Have a look at the e-book up there on the right. So you can work from nicely-formatted printouts or direct from the screen on your laptop or other device while offline.
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 1.5SL (43.5cm, 17 1/4") long, so two 30cm (12") bamboo BBQ skewers need to be glued together.
Now you need another three bamboo skewers. The photo shows them laid over the sail, before being snipped to length with scissors.
Those indents will help ensure the bamboo bends at the right spot when you later create the dihedrals!
Wait for the glue to dry. It should still be flexible enough to allow more adjustment of the dihedrals if necessary, and yet stiff enough to hold firm in flight. If not, just add some more glue!
At this point, you've finished making the 1-Skewer Sode!
To attach the flying line, just Lark's Head the flying line to the short kite line as in the photo.
Coincidentally, the position of the Prusik knot in the photo shows you how to set the bridle for moderate winds. In lighter winds, you could try shifting the Prusik lower, by just a few millimeters (a small fraction of an inch)
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.
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.
If the kite persists in looping around and not going high, just keep adding tail until it settles down. The picture up there shows 5 year old Aren flying this latest version of the 1-Skewer Sode in a gusty breeze. Some extra plastic was added to the tail loop to settle the kite down a bit.
The video below shows that longer tail in action! The breeze was moderate way up there.
Have fun flying, and I hope you've enjoyed learning how to make a Sode kite!
The "Making Skewer Kites" e-book
has this design and many others in bamboo skewers and plastic. 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 or other device.
That's great value already, but "The Big MBK Book Bundle" is even better! This includes the "Making Dowel Kites" compilation e-book, plus several other handy kiting e-books.
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!
Never made a kite?
Child wants one?
Check out the...
MBK Beginner E-course
Watch it fly!
A closer view
Make all the Dowel kites, including the one above...
The ultimate kite-making resource, and naturally
much better value...
Are the e-books good?
Find out by trying...
'Simplest Dowel Kites'
(wait for cover page to appear)