Long Line Kite Flying

by Neil
(Corwen, Denbighshire, Wales, UK)

As a boy of around 10 years I used to fly a wooden dowel single string kite about 30 inches long by about 20 inches wide. I flew it over the sea on the North Wales coast when the wind was blowing from the south-east.

The kite was of cotton fabric with a v-shaped middle vertical section to which the string was attached. I had a huge length of string maybe a quarter to half mile long and the kite used to just sit up there for as long as I wanted. A half to one hour I suppose.

Strangely, my brother's kite of the same make and model never performed so well, mind you he is 30 months younger than me.

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Long lines
by: Tim Parish

I used to have similar experiences, but out in the bush (outback of N.T., Australia). Twigs for spars and heavy old plastic sheet for the sail! Plus a string tail with cloth ties at intervals - you know, the classic Diamond kite look.

These contraptions would also stay up for quite a long time, but at pathetic line angles. Due, of course, to the excessive weight of just about everything. Including the 100m (300 feet) or more of fishing line that would have been strong enough to catch a Killer Whale!

At the age of 10 or 11, it was all good fun though. Just having made something that stayed off the ground for minutes on end was a genuine thrill. As for my brother, quite a few years younger - he just wasn't into kite-flying at all.

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

If you have made Diamonds before, this kite takes a little more time to make. It's still a straight-forward build though, using the same techniques as used for my Dowel Diamond. 

Get the e-book for making the MBK Dowel Sode kite. The cambered sail makes this a very efficient design. Of the Dowel kites, this design is one of my personal favorites!

This Sode flies steep and steady over the Light wind range, and starts to move around quite a bit when the wind picks up to Moderate levels. Tail(s) are entirely optional, but may be added for looks.

The e-book is a PDF file - which means printable instructions to refer to while you make the kite. It also means convenient off-line access if that suits you better.



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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