Try A Dopero Kite

From Tiny Toys To Big Floaters

The Dopero owes its Spanish-sounding name to its origins in Pearson's Roller kite. Put 2 such kites together side by side and you get a DOuble PEarson ROller! Note the capitals. Although only rather large versions of this kite are sold commercially, we thought it would be fun to do a few in smaller sizes.

Our little 1-Skewer version requires a tail, and is fun to fly in moderate breezes. At this size it is not a true light-wind kite due to the weight of its 4 bamboo spars. Being BBQ skewers, they come in a very limited range of diameters. Like 'thin ones' or 'oh, this lot are a bit thicker!' However, if you are careful not to add any unnecessary weight, and avoid the thickest skewers, this little kite will readily get boosted up to high line angles on 50 meters of light flying line. With plenty of help from a patch of rising air!

Next up in size comes the 2-Skewer version which has a great wind range for a home-made kite of this size. The 4-leg bridle can require a little adjustment before the kite is perfectly trimmed. As with everything, practice makes perfect!

Finally, we started making larger kites like the Dowel version which is 1.2 meters (4 feet) from tip to tip. This one has a 4-leg bridle, which keeps the kite very steady and predictable most of the time. Like the Dowel Rokkaku, this kite also likes to go directly overhead when given the slightest help from warm rising air!

Making The MBK Dowel Dopero Kite is a handy e-book of printable step-by-step instructions. It's a PDF file download.

Down below is a photo or 2 and a video of all the MBK Doperos. This illustrates the end result, in case you decide to use our instructions to make one of these kites.

1-Skewer Dopero Kite

The original 1-Skewer Dopero kite in flight.Original 1-Skewer Dopero
The original 1-Skewer Dopero kite in flight.Original 1-Skewer Dopero

Here's the cute little 1-Skewer Dopero. Don't try lifting anything with it! If the wind's too light, it has trouble lifting itself. However, with a few more kph of breeze, the tiny kite does much better. Complete with 2 little keels and a 4-leg bridle.

The original was made from black garbage-bag plastic, which actually looks pretty good in photos, don't you think?

Later, a clear plastic version was made, since all the other 1-Skewer kites had clear sails at that time. However, it never flew very well.

Post mortem? I hadn't noticed how much heavier the 3mm skewers were, compared to the 2.5mm ones in the original kite! As always, the lighter, the better. Particularly with tiny kites.

The MBK 1-Skewer Dopero kite in flight.1-Skewer Dopero
The MBK 1-Skewer Dopero kite in flight.1-Skewer Dopero

Finally, an orange-plastic version was made, which also had a slightly larger sail area than the previous 2.

A loop-tail of black plastic went nicely with the sail color, and kept the little kite stable in moderate breezes.

We fly this version 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.

I haven't been able to dig up a decent video of the last 1-Skewer Dopero, but here's a great one of the original! ...


2-Skewer Dopero Kite

The MBK 2-Skewer Dopero kite in flight.MBK 2-Skewer Dopero
The MBK 2-Skewer Dopero kite in flight.MBK 2-Skewer Dopero

The 2-Skewer Dopero has a span of 2 skewer lengths, or about 58 cm (46 inches) On a 20 pound line, this kite loves thermal weather just like the 2-Skewer Rok.

The spars, being made from skewers attached end-to-end, are no thicker than those of the 1-Skewer version. However, the strength is still more than adequate.

Hence this kite can really show off in light wind conditions! As we did at a local kite festival one year, when everything else dropped out of the sky.

That is, before someone put up a hi-tech Cody sporting graphite spars and 1/2 ounce ripstop sails...

The video below shows this kite on a long line. So long in fact, that I had to use full zoom on the camera. Hence there's a few wobbles! The wind was light, with occasional thermals helping to keep the kite high overhead....


Dowel Dopero Kite

The MBK Dowel Dopero kite in flight.MBK Dowel Dopero
The MBK Dowel Dopero kite in flight.MBK Dowel Dopero

The largest of these MBK designs so far, the Dowel Dopero. With plenty of sail area, this one does well in light conditions despite the extra weight of dowel.

Size? It's about twice as tall as the 2-Skewer version, so that's about 4 times the sail area.

Compared to the 1-Skewer version, the Dowel version has about 16 times as much sail area!

The video shows our original kite drifting around in light wind. The kite was low, and you can see how the keels kick the nose into line with the wind direction every now and then. Later, we let line out and allowed the kite to fly in smoother air up around 300 feet...


That's about it for this page on our Dopero kite designs. Hope you enjoyed the photos, videos and info!

Making The MBK Dowel Dopero Kite is a handy e-book of printable step-by-step instructions. It's a PDF file download.


FREE E-Book!

I'm referring to Simplest Dowel Kites, my popular kite-making download. It's a printable PDF file. Make a diamond, delta or sled. Each kite is capable of flying hundreds of feet up for hours on end.

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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 ...
12–19 km/h
8–12 mph
7–10 knots
Beaufort 3

Moderate ...
20–28 km/h
13–18 mph
11–16 knots
Beaufort 4

Fresh ...
29–38 km/h
19–24 mph
17–21 knots
Beaufort 5

Strong ...
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

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