Rokkaku Snow Kite

by Gary Crenshaw
(Hampton,GA, USA)

My first Rokkaku kite was just an experiment of mine that was nothing more than wood skewers and lightweight table cloth plastic with an overall size of about 36 inches. Not knowing until later that a six sided kite of that shape was called Rokkaku.

The kite's maiden flight was on a lunch hour near where I work in March, 2010 and there were very low snow clouds and about an eight MPH steady wind. The kite just glued itself to the sky like a picture as I let the line spin itself out.

At about two hundred feet the kite disappeared into the clouds. I continued to let out line until the four hundred foot mark showed up.

The line was around the eighty degree angle, almost straight up and pulling as if it wanted more. A jogger passed by and shouted (Where's your kites today? )and I pointed up at the line and when he realized what I was doing he just had to give the line a tug for himself. When I reeled the kite in the framework had about a quarter of an inch of snow across it and the added weight didn't seem to be a factor.

Just send a kite up through the snow clouds and bring the snow back down to you, that's how we do it in the south...

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Brrr
by: Tim Parish

Excellent story Gary! Sure makes a contrast to the weather here... Even with Winter approaching.

Roks are great kites - a lot of performance for relatively little building time.

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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