How to Make a Parafoil Kite

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The instructions which show you how to make a parafoil kite are step-by-step and illustrated throughout by high-quality closeup photographs. But first, let me tell you a few things about this kite which "looks like a bought one" when in flight...

Brief Summary

  • The kite is 120 cm (48 in.) long and spans 60 cm (24 in.)
  • It's a true flat parafoil, although quite a simple one.
  • In flight, the MBK Parafoil copes with a rather wide range of wind speeds, with the help of some tail or a small drogue.
  • Despite being a two-surface design, this parafoil has a relatively light pull on the flying line. This is due to its modest size.
  • Like most soft kites, setup time is essentially zero. Just attach the flying line and let some breeze into the inlets to inflate.
  • The whole kite and bridle rolls up into a compact bundle. It would fit in many jacket pockets and some jeans pockets too.

Here's what one happy customer had to say:

"I found the parafoil easier to make than I expected. It was finished before I knew it."
- Ian H. (Cambodia)

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But, Why Make a Parafoil?

This has to be the most do-able flat parafoil design out there. There's no sewing, no design software to learn, no curves. If you can measure and draw straight lines with a ruler you are good to go with the MBK version!

You'll get a real sense of achievement from doing this kite. Be the only person on the field with a homemade parafoil. Once you know how to make a parafoil kite, the idea of making a much bigger one might pop into your head. The cost? A mere fraction of what a large retail parafoil would set you back!

The wide wind range of this design is so handy. As we all know, it's no fun losing flying time because the breeze has become too light or too strong.

The video further down shows the MBK Parafoil in a gentle breeze down at a beach.

What's So Good About Soft Kites?

Avoid the inconvenience—or impossibility!—of trying to find spar material of the right type and in the right size.  This means you can get started very quickly. Just thin plastic sheet from hardware stores or large bags from supermarkets are required. Or, if you start opening up and joining smaller more colorful bags, the possibilities are endless. You might even have enough plastic at home already!

Avoid the expense of spar material. In fact, if you have your own flying line(s) already, plus some large bags and sticky tape at home, your total spend might actually be zero!

All of my Soft Series kites are fully tested in a variety of weather conditions. So, if you can follow simple written instructions and you use similar materials, you can be sure it will fly! Big high-quality photos illustrate what to do, each step of the way.

The e-book itself is also fully tested since I build the final prototype from my own instructions. That is just to be sure the steps make sense and are error-free.

One of my Soft Series kites can be taken anywhere, anytime. They are so compact that one kite might even scrunch up into a trouser pocket or at least a jacket pocket. It would definitely fit into a spare corner of a small backpack or other carry-bag. You could go for a walk or a bike-ride. No-one would suspect that you had a decent-sized kite ready to fly at a moment's notice!

So, for any sort of outdoor setting you can get to with not much more than the clothes on your back—take a kite to fly once you get there! A small stake winder doesn't take much room either, or just wind some line directly around the kite itself.

As with any kite design from this site, whether sparred or not, there is the huge satisfaction of seeing something fly that you made with your own hands. No shop-bought kite can do that for you!

The plastic-and-tape kite made from my instructions is just a start. You could later duplicate it all with soft Tyvek and Tyvek tape. Then it becomes a canvas for an artist's work! Display your art in the sky, where many people can see it.

Working with soft Tyvek lets you turn a plastic-and-tape design into something of even greater quality, durability, and good looks.

For someone's birthday, a hand-made kite makes a great gift too. Even a plastic one. The gift receiver can't help but realize that it took a bit of work, particularly if you personalize the sail with some line art done with permanent markers. Or you could do acrylic paint on Tyvek. And of course it flies!


Here's the button for secure purchases via credit card or Paypal:

     $3.95 (USD)