MBK Sode Kite Stories

Featuring All The MBK Sodes

An MBK Sode kite is fun to fly in any size, although the smallest one requires a rather long tail for stability. No other other commonly flown 'flat' kite has a cambered wing quite like the Sode. This makes it very efficient and prone to accelerate here and there in straight lines. In lighter breezes it settles down and is smooth and predictable like a Rok.

30 pound Dacron, as available on this Stake Line Winder from Amazon, is a reasonable compromise to use for all my Skewer and Dowel kites. Except the huge Multi-Dowel ones of course!

Here's a short-format flight report featuring the Dowel kite...

"High In Cold Air"

Another short but very enjoyable flying session while the small son enjoyed his soccer practice a few blocks away. This time it was the Sode's turn to be brought out of moth-balls for a fly.

Dowel Sode soars

After setting up the wind meter on its tripod and rigging the kite, launching was easy in the gusty breeze coming through between the scattered trees upwind. Out to about 30 meters of line, I just let it slip fast enough to maintain a 40 degree line angle.

Flying about on 60 meters (200 feet) of line, the big Sode surged around and quivered occasionally in the rough air. No dramas, although the line was tight in the almost moderate strength wind up there.

Then I had a bit of fun, shaking line off the winder with my left hand while controlling the slippage with my right hand. This was done fast enough to allow the kite to sink down to a mere 15 or 20 degree angle, far away on 90 meters (300 feet) of line. Once there, I just hung on while the kite did a magnificent fast climb, weaving gently on its way straight up to 60 degrees.

Not content with a mere 90 meters, I continued to let line out slowly until the Dowel Sode finally sat almost motionless up around an altitude of 350 feet above ground. The breeze was smooth and moderate in strength at that height. The line was pulled tight and sagged by only 5 to 10 degrees.

I can't actually remember ever flying this Sode in such smooth air before. There it was today, 'nailed to the sky', until I decided to take it down about 10 minutes later.

Passing down through 250 feet, the line tension quite suddenly slackened off - but just a little. Then again, below 50 feet, the line tension decreased further and the Sode started shifting around and quivering in turbulence from the trees and houses upwind.

With the kite on the ground, a quick check of the wind meter showed an average wind speed of just 3.7 kph near ground level, and a maximum gust of 12.4 kph. It felt like a steady 15 or 18 kph up high though!

Tim's Flight Reports
Featuring MBK Sode Kites

The links below are full-length reports recorded by me, each featuring an MBK Sode kite of one type or another...

Frolicking In Moderate Winds And Thermals (Dowel)

Smooth Stable and Predictable! (Dowel)

Bridle Sorted, 2 Skewer Sode Kite Soars High (2-Skewer)

Gusty Moderate Winds And One Heck Of A Thermal (2-Skewer)

High And Stable In A Moderate Breeze (1-Skewer)

Flying line...

This 30 pound Dacron line is handy for all the MBK kites except the very large Multi-Dowel designs.

E-book special of the month...

Barn Door is a traditional American design, and this MBK version has delighted many of this site's visitors over the years.

If you have made Diamonds before, this kite is only a small step up in difficulty.

Get the e-book for making the MBK Barn Door kite. Down to a mere $2.95 for this month.

The MBK Barn Door is a reliable flyer over the Light to Moderate wind range. Tail(s) are entirely optional, if the kite is made according to the instructions.

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.

What's New!

  1. Flight Report:
    Parachute Bridle Sweet Spot

    Oct 21, 16 11:51 PM

    It was too windy yesterday, but today the breeze was ideal down at a beach...

    As a final attempt to optimize the bride, the lines were swept just slightly forward of the kite's leading edge and shorten…

    Read More


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Kite-making e-book: Simplest Dowel Kites

This one's FREE
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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.

Very satisfying making your own and watching them get air-born for the first time."


"I've just bought your super e-book and spent most of last night pouring through all the great stuff in it!

Very detailed and USEFUL information - thanks for such a great book."


"30+ years ago, I tried making a kite using the 'instructions' in a free kite-safety booklet. What a disappointment for a young boy.

 Your instructions and methods are wonderful. You help the builder to focus on accuracy, without making it hard. Also, you use materials that are durable, yet cheap!"


"omg i made a kite from this site and i fly it ....... booom i didnt expect this bc in the other sites instuction are trash

thank you"

Kite-making e-book: Simplest Dowel Kites

This one's FREE
Download it now!

More E-books...

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