Korean Kite Bridle
by Patricia Suess
(Houston, TX, USA)
We are making a Korean kite. A rectangle with 5 sticks. I am stuck on the bridle.
What is it? How do I make it? Where do I start from? What should it look like? How long should it be?
I have no idea how to begin it.
OK, I'm assuming you're making the traditional Pangp'aeyon fighter kite with the hole in the middle. Sometimes called the Shield Kite.
Here's what to do to get something quite close to the traditional bridle of this Korean kite...
Cut off 4 pieces of flying line, each one about twice the length of the kite itself.
Tie one piece to the top-left corner of the kite.
Similarly, tie another piece to the top-right corner.
Tie the next piece around where the diagonal sticks cross the vertical spar. Right in the middle of the hole in other words!
Tie the last piece of line onto the vertical spar, mid-way between the middle of the kite and the bottom edge of the sail.
Now, gather all 4 lines together in your hand while the kite stays flat on the floor. Adjust until all lines are about as tight as each other. Finally, your hand should be directly over the vertical spar, and about half-way between the top edge of the sail and the middle of the kite.
Near your hand, tie a simple knot with all four lines at once, being careful not to let any of the lengths change. Then tie another knot close to the first one.
Now you can easily attach a long flying line with a Lark's Head knot. Just slip it around the bridle lines, between the 2 simple knots.
Hope this helps! Although this bridle is not easily adjustable, it can be done with a bit of effort...
If the kite seems unwilling to climb, even with some wind, it's possible your bridle is adjusted too far back, that is, towards the hole in the sail. Undo both knots and re-tie slightly closer to the top edge of the sail than it was before.
If the bridle has been tied a little too close to the top edge of the sail, it won't make a huge difference. The kite will just need a bit more wind to fly well.
Since this Korean kite is a fighter, flying it could be tricky, but at least it should all look right now!