Tying Down A Diamond Kite!

by Jessie Horton III
(North Little Rock, AK, USA)

Q:

Hey there, I want to thank you for introducing me to the beautiful world of aviation -the cheap at-home unpowered type. I have built all of your kites except the Diamond, since I have never EVER gotten a store bought diamond kite to fly.

My question is this, how do you tie these kites down? I guess the proper word is bridle, but I only get this part of making and flying right by mistake. Please help!

A:

I'll take your points one at a time...


  1. It is a beautiful thing isn't it - a home made aircraft floating around for minutes on end, hundreds of feet up there :-)

  2. If you have indeed built ALL of my kites, I'm very impressed, since there's no less than 30 free designs on the website pages! You might have to dig a bit to find all 30. The books for sale also offer extra kites that you won't find anywhere on the site. But even if you have just done the Simple Delta and Simple Sled from the Simple Series - well done!

  3. You should really try the Simple Diamond, since it has no bridle. The flying line connects to where the sticks cross. So, as long as you have carefully got all the measurements right, this Diamond will just fly straight away with no bridle adjustments necessary!

  4. Tying kites down... You seem a bit confused about 'bridles' - the bridle of any kite is the arrangement of short lines which connect the kite to the long flying line. So, how to connect the other end of the flying line to something on the ground is your question?

    For all of my kites except the very largest 2-Dowel versions, it's pretty simple. Just pass the winder (or reel or whatever you are using) at least 6 times around a handy pole, post or railing. That's it, no knot required! If you read through my flight reports, you will see how I have made use of small tree trunks, fence railings, goal posts, fence posts and even a pram handle for the smallest kites! Just wind the line around it 6 times and leave it. You will be surprised how secure it is, even if the pole or rail seems 'slippery'.

    Here's one last option which can be helpful if you are out on a beach or other remote place. You can jam the winder behind a football-sized rock. Depending on the shape of the rock, you might even be able to put a few turns of line around it, just like using a pole or railing. Just be careful not to cut or damage the line on sharp edges.


Hope this helps!

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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