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)...


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.



What's New!

  1. YOUR Kite Aerial Photography

    Dec 07, 16 09:00 AM

    This page features some KAP work by site visitors. From the 'just having a go' to the rather more professional!

    Read More





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...



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Testimonials
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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.

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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