How To Build A Sled Kite

Step-by-Step - The MBK Simple Sled

Learn how to build a Sled kite with these easy-to-follow instructions. Fully illustrated with photographs, every step of the way. Don't worry about how long this page looks...

The steps are easy, hence this simple Sled kite comes together very quickly!

You can attach 2 tails if you want to, just for looks. The kite does just fine without them, as can be seen over there in the photo.

We take out our Simple Sled once in a while, even here inland where the air is a bit rough at times. Talk about convenient - just attach the flying line and up it goes! This design copes well and flies at a good angle on Dacron line.

The best place for flying single-surface Sleds like this one would be down at the beach. When the air comes from over the ocean it's quite smooth.

In any case, put plenty of space between the kite and the nearest up-wind obstacles.

Making Dowel Kites is an e-book that's worth a look (or printing off) when you want to explore bigger and better kites. Using similar materials and construction methods - that is, just dowels, plastic and tape.

 Like to see a video clip? Just scroll down to near the end...

 


1. How To Build A Sled Kite -
Measuring The Sail

The Simple Sled kite - measurements.

You might want to take a quick look at the materials and tools for making this kite, first. Then just click the Back button on your browser to get back here.

  • Place your plastic bag flat on the floor, with the closed end at the top.
  • Starting from just below the top-left corner of the bag, measure and mark 5 dots on the plastic. I've high-lighted the dots in yellow, in the photo. Judge the horizontal and vertical directions by eye. If you're careful, there's no need for a T-square.

2. How To Build A Sled Kite -
Cutting The Sail

The Simple Sled kite - sail outline
  • Take your ruler and connect the dots with the black marker pen, as shown in the photo. (OK, the lines appear a bit faint in the photo!)
  • Flip the plastic over and trace over all the black lines.

The Simple Sled kite - complete outline.
The Simple Sled kite - cut-out sail
  • Cut along the top and right side of the bag, and open it out to show the complete sail outline, as in the first photo above.
  • Take your scissors and cut along all the black lines. As in the second photo above, your Sled kite sail is nearly complete!


3. How To Build A Sled Kite -
Adding The Spars

The Simple Sled kite - cut dowel.
The Simple Sled kite - tape dowel
The Simple Sled kite - complete except for towing points
  • Lay down a length of your 5mm (3/16") dowel on the sail, line it up with a top sail corner and saw it off at the bottom corner. See the first photo, above, where the dowel has not yet been cut.
  • Cut off a 5 cm (2 inch) length of insulation tape, and stick down the dowel to the plastic. See the second photo.
  • Do the bottom end of the dowel the same way, and also add tape across the center of the dowel.
  • Do the other dowel the same as the first one, so the kite looks like the third photo.


4. How To Build A Sled Kite -
Towing Points

The Simple Sled kite - towing points 1.
The Simple Sled kite - towing points 2.
  • Snip off 2 pieces of electrical insulation tape, each 10 cm (4 inches) long.
  • Go to the right-most corner of the sail, and lay down the tapes as shown in the first photo above.
  • Fold the tapes around onto the underside of the plastic, as shown in the second photo above.
  • Press firmly all over to make sure the tapes are fully stuck to the plastic.
  • Go to the left side of the kite and do exactly the same thing, using 2 more strips of tape. All that remains is to add the bridle!


5. How To Build A Sled Kite -
Attach The Bridle

The Simple Sled kite - bridle 1
  • Cut off a length of flying line that is at least 5 times longer than the kite is tall.
  • Tie one end of the line to the right side towing point of the kite, as in the photo. Use any knot you know but make it as tight as possible, to crush the tape. (I've used a double-wrap slip knot, terminated with a double loop knot ;-) )
  • Similarly, tie the other end of the line to the other towing point.

The Simple Sled kite - bridle 2
  • Nearly finished! Lay the kite on the floor, folded in half so the towing points and spars are 1 on top of the other. See the photo.
  • Stretch out the bridle lines and tie a simple loop in, right near the end. The 2 bridle lines should be exactly the same length. I've brought the loop knot back into the picture, so you can see it in the photo.

And now - FLYING!

The MBK Simple Sled kite in flight on a 'blue' day.Nothing to it - attach line, catch breeze

Your flying line can now be tied to the loop. (If you know how, just Lark's Head the flying line behind the knot.) That's it, you're ready to fly.

Out In The Field

Sled kite stories of my real-life flying experiences are worth checking out!

Illustrated with photos and videos, of course.

However, remember that the dowel spars need to be on the down-wind side of the kite when flying. On the side facing away from you in other words. You can see them through the plastic in that photo up there...

Avoid flying in very windy weather.

It only takes a light breeze to keep this Sled design aloft. In some ways, it's actually more fun to fly single-line kites in light wind. By watching, you can learn a lot about what's happening up there...

Hope you enjoyed learning how to make a Sled kite!



Ever Made This Kite?

You've probably read a kite-flying story or 2 of mine, after they appear under the "what's new?" link on this site. I sometimes wonder if anyone else has made and flown this particular design...

If you feel your efforts really paid off when the the kite finally got airborne - please type a few paragraphs in here telling us all about it!

P.S. I can only accept stories of at least 300 words. Just mention a few details like the weather, onlookers, the kite's behavior and so on - 300 words is easy!

Flight Reports From Other Visitors

Click below to read about various kite-flying adventures, contributed by other visitors to this page...

Moonlight Memories 
My son and I built this sled kite this afternoon. We made it a little smaller, at 2/3 scale. We flew it after sunset on a chilly spring evening. We …

Click here to write your own.


 



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Click here to buy anything you need. Just use the Search box in there if you need different weights or lengths of line, for example.

P.S. Keep an eye out for books by kite author Glenn Davison, a prominent kite person in the USA.

What's New!

  1. Flight Report:
    Club Fly At Semaphore

    Nov 11, 18 10:45 PM

    It was back to the usual Semaphore Park location this month... True to the weather site prediction, a Gentle-strength breeze was coming off the ocean after mid-day. The direction was much more souther…

    Read More

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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Comments

Plenty of fun kite info, photos and videos - there's definitely too much here for only one visit! Feel free to leave your impressions of this site or just this page, below...