Rokkaku Spar Recommendations:

I must give credit where credit is due and acknowledge Kevin Shannon as the original source to this list. These are his preferences when framing his award winning Rokkaku's. I've asked Kevin for an in-depth tech sheet on his building techniques and he promised "one day" to get to it.

For now, here is what I suggest to kitebuilder's when they call asking for my recommendations:

up to 40" - 3/16" fiberglass     up to 45" - RET40
41" - 50" - RET248     46" - 60" - RET370
51" - 60" - RET40     ---  
61" - 70" - RET75     61" - 78" - RET414
71" - 85" - RET414     79" - 110" - RET505
86" - 100" - RET505     110" - 130" - RET610
  • Kite Studio's "RET" (epoxy tubing) can be found Here >>>
  • For more information on Framework that is available for sale, Go Here >>>
  • For more information on Rokkaku Flying and Fighting Go Here >>>
  • For Rokkaku kite building plans, Go Here >>>

    by Steve Ferrel

    Most of the stability/instability comes from a combination of bridle and
    bowline adjustments.  Basically, for more stable flight, add more bow and/or
    move the towpoint down. Although, the size of the kite and wind conditions
    also play a roll. Of course, I assume your kite is built symmetrically.  An
    unsymmetrical Rokkaku can be very difficult to fly straight! ;)

    On a comical note:  One of the first Rokkaku's I made was an eight footer
    back in 1994 +/-.  To make best use of materials with zero waste and to my
    way of thinking, "a balanced kite", I did the following:

    The horizontal requirement was 80 inches and the standard length of a RET414
    spar is 54", So, for the upper horizontal I used a full length on the
    leftside and ferreled it with a 26" piece on the right.  I wanted a
    "balanced kite", so on the bottom horizontal I used the full length 54"
    piece on the right and coupled it to a 26" piece on the left.  I took my new
    kite to my first Maryland Kite Society Kitebuilding Retreat and proudly
    showed it to Mel Govig.  Mel looked it over, took a puff on his pipe, smiled
    and said, "Steve, what you got there is a propeller!"  I said, huh?  Mel,
    further explained that when the horizontal is framed and ferreled in that
    fashion, when you bow the kite the spars bow unevenly and form a propeller,
    hence very unstable flight!  I whacked myself in the head and couldn't
    understand why I didn't think of that.

    So now I always split my horizontal into thirds and make sure the top is
    framed exactly like the bottom.....

    I have attended every MKS Retreat since, and I gotta tell you, each year I
    still learn something new.  Tho, I do miss Mel.  :(