In the 'mini Sled kites' category, probably only our 1-Skewer Sled really belongs. That's because it's spars are ordinary BBQ skewers. We find the 12 cm (12 inch) variety work well.
Next up in size comes the 2-Skewer Sled, which to some people still appears rather small. Even 'mini' perhaps? When I first designed it, after only flying 1-skewer kites for quite a while, 2 skewers tall seemed a decent size!
One day, while out flying it with my young son, a lady remarked to her child 'Look at that little kite!'. I was almost offended... Looking back, it's a bit of a laugh!
Finally, we started making larger kites like the Dowel Sled. In smooth air, it will soar right up over 300 feet. And hold a good angle too!As far as shop-bought Sleds go, this Coloring Sled Kite on Amazon actually comes with crayons which are effective on the rip-stop nylon sail. A nice idea for kids over 3 years.
From here on is a photo or two and a video of each MBK Sled. The end result illustrated, in case you decide to use our instructions to make one of these kites.
A lot of people have shied away from making my Skewer kites due to their complexity and need for gluing. Hence I did a small series of ultra-basic kites, including this Simple Sled.
The spars are about 1 meter (nearly 3 1/2 feet) long. And no gluing! In light winds, it can be flown on 20 pound line, but we usually use 50 pound line just to be safe.
This Sled does not require tails, which does help to keep things simple.
The dinky little 1-Skewer Sled. Each spar is a 30 cm (12 inches) bamboo BBQ skewer. With the points snipped off, that's about 29 cm (11 1/2 inches).
The original was made from clear freezer-bag plastic, which made it almost impossible to see against a gray sky. A good little flier though!
We made quite a number of these mini sled kites over a period of several months. We fly this one on 50 meters (150 feet) of 20 pound line. It doesn't need that strength, but we also fly our 2-skewer kites on the same line....
Here's the latest version of the 1-skewer Sled, in MBK Orange of course ;-) This one can get off the ground in a light breeze, but really loves moderate breezes.
Check out the video below, which shows that home-made mini sled
kites can fly quite stable in a moderate breeze. It was a Spring day,
and only the second outing for the kite.
The 2-Skewer Sled is, as the name suggests, exactly twice as tall as the 1-Skewer design. This gives it 4 times the sail area with not much more than double the weight. Hence, it's pretty good in light winds.
The kite pictured has 2-ply plastic which made it a little heavier, but it was still a great performer. It will eventually be updated, with lighter plastic and shorter side-flaps.
In moderate winds, the 20 pound line is pulled quite tight, and even starts to buzz when the wind strength picks up even further! The kite is also quite happy to loll about lazily in quite light wind conditions.
For an example of that, just watch the video below!
The big Daddy of MBK Sleds, the Dowel Sled. Well, actually, it used to be, before the humongous Multi-Dowel Sled came along!
The Dowel Sled was designed from the start to be tail-less. Those diamond-shaped cut-outs create a little extra drag near the tail end of the kite to help keep it stable.
The Dowel Sled is rather sensitive to rough air but will fly at extremely high line angles in conditions that suit it.
Size? It's about twice as tall as the 2-Skewer Sled, so that's about 4 times the sail area. Compared to the 1-Skewer Sled, the Dowel Sled has about 16 times as much sail area!
Down below is a video of the attractive Dowel Sled in flight...
We once took all 3 Sleds down to the beach and put them up in the moderate sea breeze that was blowing in from the South West.
Even managed to get a photo, with all three in view!
That's about it for this page on mini Sled kites. Some more mini than others!
Hope you enjoyed the pics and the info.This Coloring Sled Kite on Amazon might be worth a look, if DIY is not your thing. Particularly if your child likes drawing or coloring.