" Least Wind Kite "

edited November 2017 in Kites
I may know the answer to this question, but I will pose it anyway. My home turf, the Berkshire Hills in Western Massachusetts
is loaded with scenic things to shoot. But we often lack wind.
To get a light, to medium weight rig aloft in the slightest of wind, it seems that a 10' or 12' Rok, such as Piotr builds, is the
best solution.
Flying to 400 or 500' is not a problem, as it would be in the UK. Getting the kite up through the first 100 feet is the
If a big Rok seems the best solution, would you choose a 10, or a 12' ? I imagine at some point the weight of the
kite will become a greater factor than the imagined increase in lift by going bigger. And bigger.
Any input will be greatly appreciated.

Has everyone gone fishin', or what. The limited activity on this site worries me....

Many thanks,


  • edited November 2017
    Yes things seem to be very quiet here these days.

    I think the appeal of KAP is waning and the UAV has pretty much replaced the desire for humans to take aerial photographs by kite.

    I'm quite sure interest will return when KAP throws up a revealing image that surprises us all. Interest in the technical aspect of camera control will no doubt revive when a new kind of camera comes along....

    I can't really help on the least wind lifter but the Rok idea looks sound. My Jones 8' can take a lot as well lift in a light wind.

  • You can view the declining activity in another way; the amount of good information available here means that less questions are being asked.

    FWIW, I'd go with a 10' Rok. The basis for that choice is that you don't want to get caught out if the winds at 500 feet suddenly increase. Of course, if you're working with a good walking down area then I guess you can afford to go bigger!

    I'm hoping to re-ignite my KAP activity very soon after a very quiet 2017. Resting on my desk next to me is a 3D printed cube frame that is awaiting the arrival of 6 Go-Pro clones picked up from Amazon at a reasonable discount this week. KAP 360s is the aim....
  • edited November 2017
    It seems to me that the problem with low wind KAP is mostly about the launch since the wind (however light) is usually stronger as the kite gains altitude. Some kites launch more easily in low wind than others. In my experience the Fled and Dopero launch more easily in low wind than the various deltas and the Rokkaku.

    One measure of a kite’s low wind performance might be gauged by the lift generated during a long line launch, even where there is little or no wind at ground level. An easily launched kite will lift off and fly behind you as you briskly walk away, gently sinking back to the ground as you slow to a stop. During this test the kite should remain perfectly level, neither falling away to the right or the left.

    I have built a 6’, 8’ and a 10’ Rokkakus and been quite disappointed during such a launch. The Rokakku has a vertical aspect ratio, being taller than it is wide and often topples to one side before gaining any altitude.

    On the other hand a Genki has a horizontal aspect ratio being considerably wider than it is tall and appears like an aircraft wing during launch rising gradually while maintaining its horizontal aspect. The area exposed to the wind may be gradually increased by adjusting the bridle as you walk, increasing the pull causing the kite to rise.

    My home made 10 ft Genki is scaled up from the ITW Triton and I usually attach a tail in winds of about 2 BFT. The tail reduces the area to weight ratio and is removed for even lower winds. The Genki flies with a high angle of attack and may tend to over-fly without the tail so careful assessment of the wind is important.

    To make sure I’ve covered all bases when I head out on a KAP expedition these days, I take the 10 ‘ Genki, the Triton, the Levitation Light with Dynamic Spreader and the Trooper.

    Oh…………and I usually bring a drone or two in case the wind is blowing from the wrong direction!

    10' Genki
    Homemade 10' Genki
  • Paul,

    Recommend the BKT 10' Rokkaku for light winds. I can lift my dual camera KAP rig with the 10' foot Rokkaku in about 5-7 mph wind. I also recommend a very long line launch (150+ feet, if you have the room) to reach stronger winds aloft.

    As for a drop in activity on this forum - I agree it has dropped off.

    Personally - I have been flying kites about 3-4 times a week with a bit of KAP mixed in. Fun KAP sessions in Osaka Japan, Boston, Mass, Allentown PA and Ocean City MD.

    Do to work....my time to process, post and write up KAP stories has been limited....

    I will be in Poland in a few days....hope to KAP as sunlight and wind permit.

  • I have a 2m Dopero (which won't be big enough for you) which is easy to self launch. You can lie it down and let out line. When you have a lot of line out, reel in a little or walk into the wind and it launches itself.
    I've done that with the delta but it needs something to lean against.

    I did some KAP in the summer and a little on Fuerteventura before and during the lovely warm kite (25 + degrees C) festival last month. (It's 3 C degrees today at home in England)
    I've been flying sports kites with Ken this year so therefore much less KAP

    Fly High

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