I must admit we use 20 pound Twisted Dacron line from a shop, for all our Skewer kites, since
this is good stuff for flying small to medium sized designs. However, in
the spirit of doing things cheaply, we use handmade wooden winders.
In Australia, kites may not be flown higher than 100 meters (330 feet) above ground level, according to Air Traffic regulations.
When the weather's good and you have the time, it's great to get out with a kite or 3. But what about on bad weather days? Then it's time to pull out...
"Kites Up!" - my downloadable kite-flying board game! Apart from towing indoor kites, doing a spot of imaginary flying is the next best thing :-)
The winder described here has been made up to take around 50
meters (150 feet) of line. This is a good length to test out a new kite
of any size. If you really like the results, and have a spacious area in
which to fly, you can make a bigger winder and use much more line.
This winder is suitable for all the Skewer kites. The ends were
shaped with a medium-grade woodworking file. The finer-grade files can
take a long time to remove enough wood, if it is fairly hard.
The block is about as long as a ball-point pen. You don't really want to go any smaller than this, otherwise you'll be spending a lot of time winding and unwinding line.
Of course, if you take pride in your woodwork, you'll want to
sand it back all over and give it a few coats of varnish! I actually
came across a guy who does exactly this, and sells his winders on the
After measuring out 50 meters of whatever type of line you have
decided to use, put a simple overhand loop into one end. Hang the loop
over one 'horn' of the winder, as shown in the photo. Then, wind on all
Of course, this means that when letting out line, you have to be
careful when there are just a few winds left on the winder! However,
doing it this way leaves you free to do other things with the line.
For example, attach it to a kite arch anchor line, or an attachment point on another kite line as part of a kite stack.
After all the line is wound on, tie a simple overhand loop into the free
end. This is now ready to attach to any MBK kite bridle using a Lark's
That's it for making up a simple winder and a length of kite line.
As mentioned earlier, there's another alternative to towing indoor kites if it's just not possible to fly outdoors...
"Kites Up!" is my downloadable board game. It's a PDF file which has all the documentation for the game plus images for all the components. Tokens, cards, the board itself and so on. Anyway, just click that link to see more info :-)