Firstly, what exactly is an Eddy kite? The original design was a large diamond-shaped kite from the 1800s which flew without a tail. Unlike most retail Diamonds these days which are usually tailed.
Our MBK Dowel Series of kites are all tail-less, like the Eddy-inspired Dowel Diamond. That's it over there on the right, although we have made some minor changes in a later version. It flies beautifully in very light winds.
I remember on one occasion in the late afternoon, this kite floated right up to 400 feet, going almost overhead. At the time, there was barely a breath of wind at ground level!
This little list sums up the history of the Eddy...
In case you are curious about Eddy himself, here's a few interesting details...
His full name was William A. Eddy.
In some circles, the term Eddy is used more loosely to mean just about any kind of Diamond kite. I first became aware of this when a European blogger featured my 1-Skewer Diamond design in a post. A 'little Eddy' he called it!This Eddy Clownfish 27" Diamond kite on Amazon is typical of the modern trend to label any Diamond an 'Eddy'.
For a start, you won't find many truly Eddy-like designs in the shops. Tailed Diamonds are the closest thing offered both on and off-line. However, a good reason to make one is that the design is quite easy to build, and results in a stable, efficient kite. For some additional fun, you can stack these kites together along one long flying line. An Eddy is a great light-to-moderate wind flier.
The Eddy kite was the inspiration for my original Dowel Diamond design, which you can see in the photo at the top of this page. See if you can spot the 2-leg bridle. From a distance, the Dowel Diamond and the Eddy look very similar, but there are in fact a few differences. The Dowel kite has a plastic sail and tape edging. It's shape is quite close to Eddy's original, although the overall size is somewhat smaller. Some of the originals were almost 3 meters (9 feet) in height!
It's relaxing seeing the Dowel Diamond hang up there in a light breeze. Having a 3-leg bridle, my most recent version doesn't waggle its wing tips like an Eddy kite would do. See the photo and video below. With a sliding knot on the bridle, it can be adjusted toward the nose a little if the breeze is stronger and threatening to over-power the kite. The 1.2 meter span sail generates a decent pull, and can keep the line fairly straight even with over 100 meters let out.
It seems Eddy kites are everywhere. Some bowed, some made with dihedral. People like to make them very colorful too, unlike yours truly who has stuck with pale orange for 3 series of 8 kites each! Going overboard with decoration can turn even an Eddy into a lumbering fresh-wind kite though...
Sizes vary a lot too, with quite small versions being made for children and other enthusiasts tackling full 9-foot replicas of the original meteorological kites!
An interesting but simple variation of the Eddy kite is the single-point bridle Diamond. The flying line simply attaches to where the spars cross. The crossing-point is 25% from the nose rather than the original 19% for these.
With sufficient bow and slightly slack sail these kites can still fly tail-less, and therefore are perfect for flying in a stack or train.