The Child is Father of the Man

by Pete Corbett
(Brewster, MA, USA)

What is my best kite? The stunt I had in the 70's? The one my two little daughters found flying in the 90's on its own, the last foot of line wedged between the jetty rocks? It got there on its own when the owner let it go and walked away. Or their Parafoils or the Sled kites we made on a camping trip? The kite I am yet to fly?

My best kite was not a pretty one or complicated. I made it by myself when I was 9 years old in 1961 in a small tourist town on Cape Cod. My skills came from my Dad where he showed me the Diamond and the Box. Where he learned it from could have been from a summer time neighbor from away that made them with his kids. I'm sure it was from conversation only and my dad being a carpenter could figure it out.

So he showed me how and we both made several the year before. Pine sticks ripped from boards at work and kite string. Newspaper and glue, stuff that was always around. I remember him making a bigger kite and used his fishing reel with 45# braided line and tied a loop of rope around to tie it off to my belt.

So there I was making this kite on the living room floor from materials we had around and fashioned this decent kite I thought and my Mom ripped up an old cotton sheet from where I made a tail. I tied a bridal on and bowed the spar. This was all my doing. I deemed the glue dry and walked out the door through a wooded lot and on to the school yard.

The Child is Father of the Man

Pete Corbett

I had plenty of wind because this creation went straight up. My Dad working close would come home for lunch and he had seen me. I remembered him walking over to me with a sandwich in his hand. He commented how nice the kite flew. He also commented that I had his good fishing reel with the 45# braided line! He stood with me till he had to go back to work and left me flying.

Days moved on and baseball started and I lost interest in this kite. Maybe my little brother played with it and crushed it, sounds about right.

This was most likely my Dad's best kite too. After all these years and having my two daughters and now a grandson I'm looking forward to repeating this intertwined and overlapping circle of life.

Thank you Tim for having this website to give me a chance to relive my boyhood and share it's learned skills.

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Memories
by: Tim Parish

Great post Pete. Kite-making and flying... It doesn't take much in the way of materials or time, to generate some great memories that last a lifetime.

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E-book: Making The MBK Parachute Kite

This printable e-book takes you step-by-step through making a 119cm (4 ft) wide Parachute kite. It's not quite that wide in the air since the canopy takes on a distinct curved shape when inflated. This 14-cell kite performs best in moderate to fresh wind speeds. That's 20 to 38kph or 13 to 24mph. In gentle winds, this kite will hang in the air at fairly low line angles. In fresh winds, it pulls firmly for it's size, so small kids should only fly it while supervised!

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

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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