Kite Contest on a South Pacific Island

by Doug McLean
(Conover, NC, USA)

I have not thought about making kites in a long time. I have an addition. When I was 8 years old (1959) I was living in Okinawa, which is in a chain of islands south of Japan. People in the Orient take kite construction and flying kites very serious.

I was in Boy Scouts. Once a year we would have a kite contest for construction and flying. One year I made a kite that was a 5"x3" diamond shape. I used balsa wood, onion paper and thread in the construction. The tail was thread and every 2 or 3 inches was a 1 1/2" cloth bow. I used thread as string. It flew really good, about 100 ft high before the string got too heavy to go any higher. I won smallest kite and smallest kite to fly. It was so much fun and winning was great. Sorry I do not have any pictures.

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Small kites
by: Tim Parish

There's a lot to be said for small kites - quick and fairly easy to make, and yet good fliers if you do a great job on the design and construction. Bridle adjustments can be very fiddly though, if you try something like our 1-Skewer Dopero!

Try polyester sewing thread if you ever make another tiny kite. The stuff is light and surprisingly strong when used as kite line.

Thanks for sharing!

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The
Sode is a traditional Japanese design, and this MBK version is exciting to watch in rough air!

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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.

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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