Making Kite Tails

For The MBK Kites

Here's a handy way to make kite tails for all the MBK kites. A few photos and some comments showing you how to make plastic rings and then loop them together.

Making kite tails from loops of plastic.MBK 1-Skewer Rokakku
Making kite tails from loops of plastic.MBK 1-Skewer Rokakku

The photo shows a 1-Skewer Rokkaku kite in flight, sporting a long tail made from rings of clear freezer-bag plastic...

As described in some of the kite-making instructions, simple streamer tails are quicker to make. However, the following technique using plastic loops certainly works great and looks great...

By varying the width of the loops, and choosing different sized bags, you can come up with tails to suit just about any size of kite. Specifically:

  • 1-Skewer kites - 2 average adult finger widths
  • 2-Skewer kites - 3 average adult finger widths
  • Dowel kites - 1 average adult palm width

Often essential for smaller kites, a tail improves the directional stability. This just means that the kite now has a strong tendency to point its nose into the wind when aloft.

On steerable multi-line kites, a long tail looks spectacular and traces out the movement of the kite through the air.




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 :-)



Kite Tails From Bags
Step By Step...

Start with a plastic bag.

1. Once you have got the knack of making kite tails this way, you can just use any kind of clear or colored plastic bags or garbage bags. Like the small blue plastic shopping bag in the photo.

Remove handles, if any, then cut rings one by one.

2. Firstly, if the bag has handles, cut straight across to remove them. Then, keep cutting straight across to create rings as shown.

Accuracy is not important here. In fact, ragged edges might work better!

Knot one loop through another.

3. Throw away the handles, if any, and also the closed bottom of the bag.

Now take 2 rings and loop them together, as in the photo.

Keep adding loops until length is sufficient.

4. Gently pull the 2 rings fairly tight, then attach more rings in the same way.

Keep going until you have the required length of tail, according to the instructions for the kite. Usually it's in terms of the kite's height. For example, 'at least 6 times as long as the kite itself'.


If a kite's tail is a bit longer than specified, that doesn't matter at all! Bear in mind that very long tails will make your kite fly lower. Making tails just long enough to keep the kite stable is the best idea!

That's all there is to making kite tails for the MBK designs. Feel free to experiment with other ideas too. Combining simple streamers and loops, for example.



 


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 :-)


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