How To Make A Sled Kite

Step-by-Step - Page 2 of 2 

The MBK Dowel Sled

How To Make A Sled Kite
The Towing Points

Here's how to reinforce the towing points...

The Dowel Sled - towing point close-up.
  • Prepare another 3 lengths of electrical insulation tape, 2 of them 0.08DL (9.6cm, 3 3/4") long, the other 0.05DL (6cm, 2 1/2").
  • Firstly, stick down one of the longer pieces of tape from left to right. Let it stick out from the plastic a distance of about twice the tape's width. See the photo.
  • Turn the sail over and stick down the other longer piece of tape exactly the same way, so both pieces stick to the plastic at one end and to each other at the other end.
  • Lay down the remaining shorter piece of tape across the towing point in a nearly vertical direction, then fold the ends under the plastic. The photo shows how the corner of the sail should be covered in tape.

Now go over to the right side of the sail and do exactly the same thing with another 3 pieces of tape. The pieces of tape that stick out are where you will attach the bridle line. This method of creating Sled towing points is surprisingly strong and can take a lot of punishment in gusty air.

How To Make A Sled Kite

All the construction details for the bridle are contained in the large photo below. Look and read carefully, and you can't go wrong on this rather important bit!


If you are new to this, you might need instructions on how to tie the following knots...

Loop Knot

Double Wrap Slip Knot

Prusik Knot

The Dowel Sled - bridle details


Once your kite + bridle looks like the photo up there...

Fold the kite so it looks like the Template diagram at the top of this page. The 2 spars should be touching each other along their entire length. Stretch out the bridle loop across the floor in a straight line. If the Prusik knot is not right at the end, adjust it so it is.

At this point, you've pretty much finished making the Dowel Sled!

This page has plenty of photos - so their size and quality have been limited to make the page load faster. (And everyone with a slow Internet connection said Hooray!)

No such limitations are necessary for an e-book, so all the images are larger and sharper.

How To Make A Sled Kite
Prepare To Fly

The Dowel Sled - attaching the flying line to the bridle.

Finally, make up a flying line and attach it to the bridle with a Lark's Head Knot.

See the photo, where the Lark's Head has been left loose.

How To Make A Sled Kite

The MBK Dowel Sled on its first day out.
The MBK Dowel Sled on its first day out.

Firstly, if it's very windy outside, stay home! This is a big light-wind kite and it can be a handful in fresh wind.

Assuming there is some breeze outside, just dangle the kite at arm's length until the wind catches it. As long as you feel the kite pulling, let out line slowly by taking loop after loop off the winder.

Be very cautious about letting line slip through your fingers, since this kite can easily give you line-burn!

Another approach is to get a helper to hold the kite up and let it go, on the end of maybe 10 or 20 meters of line. This way, the kite soon gets high enough to make it easy to let more line out.

The launch picture up there shows the Sled on its way up, in a light and gusty breeze.

Out In The Field

Sled kite stories of my real-life flying experiences are worth checking out!

Illustrated with photos and videos, of course.

Have fun flying, and I hope you've enjoyed learning how to make a Sled kite! 

In case you have any difficulties, the e-book instructions for this kite go into more detail about flying issues. There are even some suggested mods that will make this kite less temperamental in rough or gusty conditions.

Now, just in case you have actually made and flown this kite at least once already...

Ever Made This Kite?

You've probably read a kite-flying story or 2 of mine, after they appear under the "what's new?" link on this site. I sometimes wonder if anyone else has made and flown this particular design...

If you feel your efforts really paid off when the the kite finally got airborne - please type a few paragraphs in here telling us all about it!

P.S. I can only accept stories of at least 300 words. Just mention a few details like the weather, onlookers, the kite's behavior and so on - 300 words is easy!

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FREE E-Book!

I'm referring to Simplest Dowel Kites, my popular kite-making download. It's a printable PDF file. Make a diamond, delta or sled. Each kite is capable of flying hundreds of feet up for hours on end.

Could you do me just a small favor though?

Please sign up for my free monthly publication, "Tethered Flying". No other emails will be sent, and your details are safe with me. You need to be at least 16 years old. There's...

  • A huge "photo of the month" (via a link)
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  • A "flight report of the month" (selected from my own flying logs)

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Click here to buy anything you need. Just use the Search box in there if you need different weights or lengths of line, for example.

P.S. Keep an eye out for books by kite author Glenn Davison, a prominent kite person in the USA.

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Wind Speeds

Light Air
1-5 km/h
1-3 mph
1-3 knots
Beaufort 1

Light breeze
6–11 km/h
4–7 mph
4–6 knots
Beaufort 2

Gentle ...
12–19 km/h
8–12 mph
7–10 knots
Beaufort 3

Moderate ...
20–28 km/h
13–18 mph
11–16 knots
Beaufort 4

Fresh ...
29–38 km/h
19–24 mph
17–21 knots
Beaufort 5

Strong ...
39–49 km/h
25–31 mph
22–27 knots
Beaufort 6

High Wind
50-61 km/h
32-38 mph
28-33 knots
Beaufort 7

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