Mini Sled Kites

Tiny, Small And Not-So-Mini Sleds...

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.

The MBK Simple Sled kite in flight.

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).

Mini Sled Kites - original 1-Skewer Sled in clear plastic

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....

The MBK 1-Skewer Sled kite in flight.

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.

Sled Kites - the 2-Skewer Sled

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!

Sled Kites - Dowel Sled

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.

Out In The Field

Sled kite stories of my real-life flying experiences are worth checking out!

Illustrated with photos and videos, of course.

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.

E-book special of the month (25% off)...

This printable e-book takes you step-by-step through making a 120cm (4 ft) diameter Parasail kite. This kite performs well in gentle to moderate wind speeds. That's from 12 to 28 kph or from 8 to 18 mph. It pulls hard for it's size, so should not be flown by very small kids!

Every kite design in the MBK Soft Series satisfies the following points...

  • Materials are plastic sheet, tape and line – and nothing more!
  • Tools are a ruler, scissors and a marker pen - and nothing more!
  • All cuts are along straight lines.

For the greatest chance of success, I make recommendations regarding the materials. For example, the type/weight of plastic, type/width of tape and line type/strength. Close enough should nearly always be good enough, since the design is well-tested and should be tolerant of small differences from my original.

Get the e-book for making the MBK Parasail kite. After making your first one in plastic and seeing how it performs, you can try soft Tyvek or rip-stop nylon for your next build.

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:
    Diamond In 'Light Air'

    Apr 29, 17 04:43 AM

    Though overcast and nearly windless outside, there was still a chance the 1.2m Dowel Diamond would stay up...

    I selected my special light wind version, which stays rigged - saving the weight of glue an…

    Read More


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...

Return to Kite Plans from Mini Sled Kites

All the way back to Home Page



Kite-making e-book: Simplest Dowel Kites

This one's FREE
Download it now!

More E-books...


"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