Here's a handy way to make kite tails for all the MBK kites. A few
photos and some comments showing you how to make plastic rings and then
loop them together. The first photo down here on the right shows a 1-Skewer Rokkaku kite in flight, sporting a long tail made from rings of clear freezer-bag plastic...
As described in some of the kite-making instructions, simple streamer tails are quicker to make. However, the following technique using plastic loops certainly works great and looks great...
By varying the width of the loops, and choosing different sized bags, you can come up with tails to suit just about any size of kite. Specifically:
Often essential for smaller kites, a tail improves the directional stability. This just means that the kite now has a strong tendency to point its nose into the wind when aloft.
Accuracy is not important here. In fact, ragged edges might work better!
Throw away the handles, if any, and also the closed bottom of the bag. Now take 2 rings and loop them together, as in the photo.
Gently pull the 2 rings fairly tight, then attach more rings in the same way.
Keep going until you have the required length of tail, according to the instructions for the kite. Usually it's in terms of the kite's height. For example, 'at least 6 times as long as the kite itself'.
If a kite's tail is a bit longer than specified, that doesn't matter at all! Bear in mind that very long tails will make your kite fly lower. Making tails just long enough to keep the kite stable is the best idea!
That's all there is to making kite tails for the MBK designs. Of course, feel free to experiment with other ideas too. Combining simple streamers and loops, for example.
Never made a kite?
Child wants one?
Check out the...
MBK Beginner E-course
Are the e-books good?
Find out by trying...
'Simplest Dowel Kites'
(wait for cover page to appear)