An opportunity came up to pop out with our 2 Skewer Rokkaku kite for 30
or 40 minutes. The breeze outside was light and warm, and didn't seem
too strong for the smallish Rok. This kite loves light winds, but goes downhill quickly as the wind strength approaches 'moderate'!
MBK 2-Skewer Rokkaku
MBK 2-Skewer Rokkak
On arrival at the reserve, the wind still seemed OK. Cumulus clouds
billowed in the distance, and a few other higher-altitude clouds covered
some of the sky as well.
I attached the kite to its 20 pound line and we donned our Cancer Council hats and sunglasses.
Oh yes, the Parish father and son team are Serious Kite Fliers ;-)
The smallish Rokkaku kite popped up quickly. Soon it became clear
that the Rok was straining away in the top half of its wind range most
of the time. We got the photos and video out of the way quickly. After
all, it takes time to climb a kite to 400 feet and then get it back down
Aren, my 4 year old son, had a turn flying the kite, although he did complain a couple of times about how hard it was pulling...
With the imagery in the camera, I let out line slowly, while kite
stayed between 60 - 70 degrees of line angle. By a fluke, I think we
caught a thermal right then and there.
The orange Rok pulled hard the whole time, despite the steepness of the line angle.
Up higher, perhaps on 60 meters of line, the 2 Skewer Rokkaku
kite was still pulling hard. However, it was a struggle to maintain
those high line angles. As gusts surged through, the Rok looped to the
left a few times in protest. It didn't feel right at all, so I brought
the kite down and shifted the towing point forward by 1 or 2 cm. Then we
This time, I had a bit of fun floating the kite out across the field at an altitude of only 3 meters or so.
However, after a while, it wasn't easy to keep releasing line
quickly enough in the same controlled way. Hence the kite started to
climb slowly. We were just using a simple winder.
After this, I let the Rok climb out at a 40 degree angle for a
while. Finally, I did some quick-releasing, just letting the line fly
off the winder by itself. The Rok floated off downwind at around 200
feet. Oops, there goes the last loop of line! I hastily wound a couple
of turns back onto the empty winder.
The 2 Skewer Rokkaku kite behaved well, although its sail sides curved in for several seconds at a time as thermal gusts put extra pressure on. The Rok climbed fairly high, but never went overhead due to the average wind strength being just a few knots too high. Actually, this was just as well, or the kite would have been around 100 feet over the legal limit.
We only had a few minutes to enjoy the high flying before it was time to bring the kite down. A golfer had arrived, and was preparing to hit off a few balls. He was keeping an eye on us and the kite.
Due to plenty of tension in the line, it took some time. I alternated between winding on under tension, and pulling long lengths of line onto the grass so it could be wound on under no tension. The winder coped since it's pretty sturdy.
It was quite a short outing but never-the-less enjoyable. Good to see the 2 Skewer Rokkaku kite strut its stuff once more, carving arcs in the sky at 400 feet!
Making Skewer Kites is one of my downloadable, printable e-books which has instructions for Diamond, Delta and Box kites - among many others. All well-tested designs. There's nothing like flying something you made yourself!
The story above was an actual flying experience with the described kite.
My write-ups are definitely warts-and-all since things don't always go totally as planned. However, half the fun of kiting is anticipating the perfect flight. When it happens, it's magic!