1.2 Metre Rokkaku

This plan has been written especially for the Artistic Kite Group Gallery Project. and accompanies the diagrammatic figures 1 to 4.

Examples from The AKG Gallery Project

Copyright © Charlie Charlton 1995


Depending on your budget, patience, attention to detail you will

1.5 metres of ripstop ( less if you use the wide kind )

2 x 1 metre lengths of 6mm dowel or 5.5mm carbon fibre tube (for
the cross spars)

1 x 1.2 metre length of 6mm dowel or 5.5mm carbon fibre tube
(for the spine)

2 x aluminium bow string adjusters

3 x aluminium O rings

15 metres (approx.) 50lb - nylon / polyester cord for bridles
and bow lines

4 metres ribbon or edge binding tape (optional)


This is a simple kite to make, it can be made in many different
ways. please feel free to use your own methods of construction
if you prefer them to the suggested ones. Remember there is no
right or wrong way to do things only different ways.

The Sail

The sail can be made of either one single piece of fabric of
five separate pieces, the easiest is of course to use only one
piece, to do this mark out the shape onto the ripstop nylon
ensuring the grain runs straight down the sail and  leaving an
additional 1.5cm all around to allow for a double folded hem.
alternatively you can cut out the sail as five panels leaving
about 7mm hems between the panels, the four corner panels should
be arranged so that the grain runs parallel to the outside
edges. the advantage of this method is that it minimises sail
distortion and stretch. If you wish you can sew narrow ribbon or
edge binding tape to the back , front or even inside  the hems
to prevent any stretching along the edges.

The Pockets

Make six pockets out of strips of ripstop as shown in fig 2
these strips should be about 27cm long and folded in half twice
to produce the pocket, hot cutting strips from a pre-folded
wider piece of fabric which is still 27cm long, produces nice
tidy pockets which do not unfold whilst being sewn to the sail.
sew on the pockets for the cross spars at  points B, C, E, and
F. Try to keep your sewing to a minimum as in fig 2, obviously
the pockets should all point horizontally across the sail. Next
sew the pockets at A and D ensuring that the openings  point
directly at the opposite pocket.

The Bridle attachment points

You will need to attach the bridle at the six points indicated
in  fig 1 you can either use  about 30cm x 2.5cm long strips of
ripstop folded 

and sewn into tabs, this method is preferable if you use the 5
panel sail technique since they can be added when the panels are
assembled,  the front portion of the tab can protrude about 1cm
from the face of the kite and the remainder can hang from the
back surface and be used as ties to hold the spars in place, or
else alternatively you can make small patches of several layers
of ripstop as in fig 4  and sew these to the sail as shown, next
take a fine pointed soldering iron and pierce two holes right
through the patch and the sail as shown. this produces a very
neat finish and negates the need for ties on the back of the

The Spars

Cut  the spars to fit, if you are using dowel, file a couple of
notches in the ends of the cross spars as in fig 3 , if you use
carbon then you will need to add arrow nocks to the spar ends to
take the bow lines.


Cut  lengths of 1.6m of cord for each bow line, tie a small
overhand loop in one end and put it over one of the notches, the
other end can now be fed through the aluminium adjuster 
continue around the other notch, when the line returns to the
adjuster tie it securely. The cross spar can now be bowed,
repeat this for the other spar. with all spars in place decide
which end you wish to be the top and bow the bow line so that it
is 12 cm from line to spar, on the bottom make this distance
15cm. with a pen mark the cord so that you can find the bowing
points again.


First fit a top central bridle line of around 1.2m, next fit the
other top lines as a single piece of line approx. 2.5m long,
lying the kite flat on its back (but still bowed), draw the
three lines to a point and tie an overhand loop directly above
the top spar. Repeat for the lower spar, except use 1.4m in the
middle and about 2.9m for the sides. attach aluminium rings to
the loops via larks head hitches, next join the two rings with a
piece of cord approx. 1m long  attach the final aluminium ring 
at a point on this final line which when all lines are taught
causes the front cross spars of the kite to lift about 15cm from
the floor.


Your 1.2m Rokkaku kite should now be ready to fly , adjust the
position of the towing point forwards slightly if the kite will
not rise and move it back slightly if the kite is unstable.

Plan for 1.2m Rokkaku for AKG Gallery Project

Some examples of 1.2m Rokkakus based on this plan