My two kite building start-ups

 In May 2020, my daughter sent me a little video of my grandson with a kite she'd bought to him.

Late 1960s
What a mental time-machine! This short video sent me right back to the 1960s and my very first kite, a small Eddy with 3-4mm wood dowel spars, sail made from clear plastic with the print of a hawk/ or eagle-like brown bird. 

I suspect that this kind of kites was something new in Norway in the late 1960s. 
A neighbour, who had a pigeon-shed in his garden for sure didn't know about it. His son later told me that he had stopped his father from shooting down my kite which he thought threatened his birds.

This kite inspired me to my first ever self built kite. Knowing myself, I probably started at the library. I've kind of always liked to get things right on the first attempt. I guess that is the reason for my endless questions in the Kitebuilders group on Facebook - to try to not have to reinvent the wheel. 

I decided on a black Diamond kite made from what I could find at home - 20x5 mm pine spars and a big black 60 cm x100 cm trash bag. With a shallow V shape to the "wings" and a long old fashioned tail made from a cotton string with "paper-bows", the kite flew surprisingly well. 

The kite drew quite a bit of attention from other kids in the area, probably being the first high-flying kite they had ever seen.

May 2020
Some 50+ years later I've taken up the same hobby again, not the least because my grandsons kite turned out to be really bad. 

First I did an intense web search to get to grips with what had happened in the kite building world since my childhood. One of the first sites to really inspire and educate me was the Australian Tim Parish' site My-Best-Kite. My first build was his all plastic "MBK Soft Sled". Having no experience, I used a thick, heavy masking tape in several layers to "stiffen" the soft kite a bite. It did fly - with lots of wind - but not very well. It ended in the trash.

I have sucessfully built the same soft sled design recently. This proves there is nothing wrong with The MBK design. The problems with the first kite were my ideas of improvement.

Next attempt was an other Tim Parish design, his "MBK Dowel Delta". 
Again I ran into trouble. I was unable to get hold of the 1200 mm x 5 mm dowels he was using. The closest I came was 900 mm x 5 mm. So I had to reduce the size by 25%. 
Short story - another failure. I'm not blaming Parish, but I haven't given the design another go, so I don't know what the problem was. I have built two more Deltas with varying degree of success. 

Despite my problems, I'll, still recommend My-Best-Kite as a good place to acquire some basic plastic kite building technique. I have learned a lot from the web site and ebooks. Tim Parish got me started!