flying rok


The rokkaku was probably the first kite I built without any sort of plans or instructions, just a knowledge of the proportions to be used. Rokkaku means, simply, "six sided kite", and this Japanese fighting kite can be made in all sorts of shapes and aspect ratios. There are two classic sets of proportions commonly used: 6-5-4 and 5-4-3. The first number refers to height of the kite, the second to the width, and the third to the distance between the spreaders. My first rok used the first set of proportions on a 12" unit, which is to say that it's 6' tall, 5' wide, and there are 4' of vertical distance between the spreaders. My construction techniques were based on general knowledge I'd picked up from building stunt kites, as well as examination of other folks' kites, and in particular, those of Dave Arnold.

scraps rok on ground

My first rok, officially named "Battle Scraps of Doom" after the fact that I made it specifically to enter in the rok battle at SunFest '93, in Ocean City, Maryland, entirely out of scrap fabric. It seems to be more commonly known as the "tv test pattern" by folks in the Kapitol Air Korps, one of the local kite clubs of which I'm a member. (67K)

nextstep rok in air

The NEXTSTEP rok is the second in the series of NeXT-related kites I've made for my friend Mike Matthews . The graphic on this was one of my first attempts at the Randy Tom style of applique, and to be honest, it's pretty miserable looking, at least up close. In the air, it's not too humiliating, though. (30K)

bad karma rokkaku

Bad Karma is one in a set of three matching Rokkakus sewn by Dave Arnold and myself for the Kapitol Air Korps to use in various battles. We were assisted by club president, Ron Young, and newsletter editor Tim Wolfe, as well as his girlfriend, Sharon Huie. The three kites are essentially the same, with differing applique colors (the other kites are white and raspberry). The kites proved themselves at SunFest '94, where two KAK kites tied for fourth place while the third kite, captained by Dave, took first place (and the $1000 purse!) (28K)

"Death's Blossom," a custom kite built for Jason Benedict.


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