How to Make a Sode Kite

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The MBK 1-Skewer Sode

How to Make a Sode Kite

Now you need another three bamboo skewers. The photo shows them laid over the sail, before being snipped to length with scissors.

The 1-Skewer Sode - spars laid out on sail
  • Lay down the glued skewers over the center crease of the plastic, lining up the non-pointy end with the top corner of the plastic. Snip off the other end so the skewer lines up with the bottom edge of the plastic as well. As already mentioned, this is the vertical spar.
  • Lay down another skewer across the top left and right corners of the sail, and again snip to length, removing the point. Also make an easily seen mark on the skewer at the exact center point. This is the upper horizontal spar.
  • Using a sharp corner, perhaps a blade of the scissors, make an indent in the bamboo, at the center point you marked.
  • Do those last three steps again, to make another spar. This will be the lower horizontal spar.
  • Finally, lay another skewer across the bottom edge of the sail, and snip to length. This is the bottom horizontal spar. Note that the camera has caused a little curvature in the picture; to your eye, everything should look square.

Those indents will help ensure the bamboo bends at the right spot when you later create dihedral!

How to Make a Sode Kite
Attaching Sail

The 1-Skewer Sode - attachment of spar tip to plastic with sticky tape
  • Lay down the vertical spar skewer over the sail, and wrap a short length of clear sticky tape around the top tip, securing it to the top corner of the sail. The photo shows the top tip in closeup.

The 1-Skewer Sode - attaching the spars
  • Stick a short length of sticky tape over the vertical spar, near the lower end of the sail. See the photo.

The 1-Skewer Sode - attaching the spars 3.
  • Lay down the upper and lower horizontal spar skewers and attach their tips to the corresponding corners of the sail. Use the tape sparingly.
  • Attach the bottom horizontal spar to the plastic by wrapping tape around the tips, like all the other spars.
  • Fold the tabs over the skewers and stick down with several small squares of tape. The kite should now look like the photo.

The 1-Skewer Sode - attaching the spars 4
  • Bend the upper and lower horizontal spars in the middle (one at a time), until they start to crack at the indent! Carefully increase the bend until you can get the kite looking like the one in the photo. There should be about 20 degrees of angle from the floor on both sides.

The 1-Skewer Sode - glued cross-over point
  • Dribble some wood glue all around where the bamboo has crackedsee the photo.
  • Wait for the glue to dry. It should still be flexible enough to allow more adjustment of the dihedral if necessary, and yet stiff enough to hold firm in flight. If not, just add some more glue!

How to Make a Sode Kite

Dacron line in 20 to 50-pound strength is suitable for all the Skewer Series kites.

The 1-Skewer Sode - bridle loop
  • Cut off some Dacron line to a length of 1.5 SL (44 cm, 17 in.), and tie a very small Loop knot into each end. See the photo.

The 1-Skewer Sode - completed bridle
  • Poke a hole in the plastic sail, just above where the upper horizontal spar crosses the vertical spar.
  • Poke another hole in the plastic sail, just below where the lower horizontal spar crosses the vertical spar.
  • Poke the Loop knots through the holes and tie off around the vertical spar with a Double Wrap Slip knot.
  • Now take a length of flying line about half a skewer long, and tie one end to the bridle line with a Prusik knot Tie a small Loop knot into the other end. There's the whole bridle, in the photo.
  • Secure each knot on the vertical spar with a tiny blob of wood glue.

How to Make a Sode Kite

The 1-Skewer Sode - attaching the looped tail.
  • Cut out a long thin rectangle of colored plastic for the tail. Mine is black, to contrast with the orange sail. Make it 12.0 SL (350 cm, 140 in.) long and 0.2 SL (5.8 cm, 2 1/4 in.) wide. Knot pieces together if necessary, to get the full length. Avoid taping, because it adds weight!
  • Slit the plastic sail near each tip of the bottom horizontal spar, just enough to slip the ends of the tail through. Tie off each end of the tail with a single Half Hitch. Pull until firm, then snip off any excess plastic poking out of the knot. See the photo for the end result.

At this point, you've finished making the 1-Skewer Sode!

The 1-Skewer Sode - attaching the flying line.

To attach the flying line, just Lark's Head the flying line to the short kite line as in the photo.

Coincidentally, the position of the Prusik knot in the photo shows you how to set the bridle for moderate winds.

In lighter winds, you could try shifting the Prusik lower, by just a few millimeters (a small fraction of an inch).



As mentioned earlier, there's more kite making on this site than you can poke a stick at :-)

Want to know the most convenient way of using it all?

The Big MBK E-book Bundle is a collection of downloads — printable PDF files which provide step-by-step instructions for many kites large and small.

Every kite in every MBK series.

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