Making Kite Tails

For The MBK Kites

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...

Making kite tails from loops of 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:

  • 1-Skewer kites - 2 average adult finger widths
  • 2-Skewer kites - 3 average adult finger widths
  • Dowel kites - 1 average adult palm width

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.

For sheer spectacle, this Tie Dye Kite Tail Set on Amazon is hard to beat. Check it out if you really need something a little fancier and more colorful than my DIY ideas.




Step By Step...


Start with a plastic bag.

Once you have got the knack of making kite tails this way, you can just use any kind of clear or colored plastic bags or garbage bags. Like the small blue plastic shopping bag in the photo.


Remove handles, if any, then cut rings one by one.

Firstly, if the bag has handles, cut straight across to remove them. Then, keep cutting straight across to create rings as shown.

Accuracy is not important here. In fact, ragged edges might work better!


Knot one loop through another.

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.


Keep adding loops until length is sufficient.

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.

For the Tie Dye Kite Tail Set on Amazon, it's just a matter of attaching 1, 2 or all 3 tails at the same point near the tail end of the kite. Depending on how big the kite is and hence how much tail is required to get it stable.

 

You might have noticed that this site has a monthly newsletter...

For single-line kite fliers and builders, it's always been a good read. But if you are interested in KAP and/or large home-made kites you won't want to miss it!

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And there are even more free resources, such as a kite-making e-course, waiting for you in the next issue of this newsletter.




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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