It's an archive of sorts, although there are no dates and times. Kite flying is timeless, don't you agree?
I trust there is plenty in here to educate, inform and often entertain!
Try the Making Skewer Kites PDF, if you are interested in making these bamboo-sparred kites. Handy for working offline or from printouts.
These short flight reports once appeared in the site blog page - that's the one you enter via the 'what's new!' site navigation link.
Just scroll down and stop at any heading that appeals :-)
Risky Roller Ride
Risky but fun! Just had a fascinating little flight out on the side lawn, with the 2-Skewer Roller kite. About enough space for two people to swing one cat each out there, simultaneously. If you get my drift.
It was right at sun-down, with large thick clouds lowering what was left of the late afternoon light.
After two or three attempts to pull the kite up above gutter height, on just a few meters of 20 pound Dacron, success. Now the kite was just hanging up there in the cool light breeze. Down low, the line direction had been everywhere. An occasional gentle fluttering could be heard from the trailing edges as the plastic and bamboo craft sat just above roof height, indicating a northerly wind direction.
As a distant rain squall approached from the west, the little Roller rose, sank and flitted about in the light gusts. A bird landed on the neighbor's roof and glanced at the kite. First with one eye, then with both - beak extended towards the kite.
I let out as much line as I dared. The peach tree, thorny rose bushes and a Hills Hoist cloths-line lay in wait, but were disappointed. An occasional tug on the line was required to urge the pale orange craft back up to high line angles.
And then small raindrops began to fall. As the shower slowly intensified I got busy winding line back on and keeping an eye on the kite's position at the same time. Soon the Roller was safely back on the lawn.
It seemed the breeze was no more than 12kph or so, although a weather site was indicating gusts to 31kph. Meanwhile, the clouds scudding overhead from the west were going even faster.
Tiny Roller's Roller Coaster Ride
I think I have stuffed enough R's into that title to make it ... err roll off the tongue...
At first the little kite, just 29cm (11 1/2") from tip to tip, struggled a bit in the gusty wind-shadow of the trees. Despite a moderate sea breeze pumping in from the shore just a few kilometers away to the West.
It's amazing how well small kites on simple bridles can cope with rather brisk air - as long as enough tail is used! In fact, after the first flight or two on 20 meters (70 ft) or so of 20 pound Dacron line, it was necessary to dig around the kite bag for some extra tail plastic.
The 2-point bridle looked like it was adjusted fairly far forward, so I took it back a little. With an extra-long piece of thin black plastic being knotted on, the kite would still be in good trim.
On a much longer line now, the tiny orange Roller shot away to the right. However, with some extra height, it straightened and soared way up to a very satisfying line angle. The long, long tail straight as an arrow in the freshest gusts. During lulls, the kite would descend tail-first, with the thin black ribbon behind taking on all sorts of graceful shapes.
On more than 60 meters (200 feet) of light flying line, the 1-Skewer Roller was a delight to watch in the bright and cloudless sky. And that was in fast-moving air that would ground many of my larger kites!
I can't even remember the last time this particular kite flew, but it sure was a good choice today.
Don't forget to try the Making Skewer Kites PDF, if you are interested in making these kites for yourself. Handy for working offline or from printouts.
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