Duct Tape/Bamboo/Drop Cloth 'WingKite'




About: Hmmm...I was just trying out the name to check the availability :( ahh well...they're cool guys! I'm a teacher/tinkerer/outdoor kinda guy. Bamboo is the most incredible renewable construction mate...

Bamboo is a tough, natural, multi-use substance that is readily available in the summer and has been used for ages in a wide range of activities. Here’s our Instructable for how to make a duct tape, bamboo and ground cloth ‘WingKite’ for use with a skateboard, kayak, surfboard, etc.

This ‘Kite’ has a 14 ft. wingspan and covers about 4.7 sq. yd. (Be safe! Don’t ‘fly’ without a parachute!)
Seriously, this ‘WingKite’ can be scaled down for heavy wind or smaller surfers. Don’t use this size kite in more than a 10 or 15 knot wind unless you’re skilled!

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Step 1: Step 1: Gather Materials

Materials: Duct Tape, Bamboo, 1/8” nylon cord, 8’X12’ Plastic Drop cloth
Tools: Saw for cutting Bamboo, Scissors for cutting tape, cord, and drop cloth

Step 2: Step 2: Cut Bamboo Pieces to These Lengths:

¾ to 1 inch diameter
            2 – 8 ft. long for the wing leading edge
            3 – 1.5 ft. long for the boom supports
            1 – 5 ft. long for the spar
            1 – 5 ft. long for the boom

½ to ¾ inch diameter
            2 – 1.5 ft. long for the wing tips
            1 – 6 ft long for the centerpiece

¼ to ½ inch diameter
           1 – 6 ft. long for the center batten
           2 – 4.5 ft. long for the middle battens
           2 - 3 ft. long for the outer battens

Step 3: Step 3: Assemble the Wing: (the Wing Will Be Assembled Upside Down)

Tape together the wing leading edge pieces at a 120 degree angle

Step 4: Step 4: Tape the Spar to the Wing Leading Edges

Step 5: Step 5: Tape the Wing Tips Parallel to the Centerline Approximately 6 In. From the Outside Tip of the Wing

Step 6: Step 6: Tape the Front Boom Support to the Front End of the Boom

Step 7: Step 7: Tape the 2 Side Boom Supports to the Front End of the Boom

Step 8: Step 8: Tape the Front Boom Support to the Center of the Wing Leading Edge Where the Left and Right Sides Meet

Step 9: Step 9: Tape the 2 Side Boom Supports to the Wing Spar

The boom should be elevated about 1 ft. above the spar

Step 10: Step 10: Tape the Centerpiece to the Middle of the Leading Edge and Then to Back End of the Boom

Step 11: Step 11: Center the Boom and Tape the Centerpiece to the Spar

Step 12: Step 12: Tie 1/8 In. Nylon Cord

to the end of wing leading edge then to a wing tip end then to the trailing end of the boom/centerpiece, opposite wing tip end and then the end of the other wing leading edge

Step 13: Step 13: Covering the WingKite

Spread the 8 ft. by 12 ft. plastic tarp and place the ‘WingKite’ frame on top of the tarp to fit

Step 14: Step 14: Tack Tape the Drop Cloth to the Frame

Step 15: Step 15: Cut Away the Excess Plastic Material

Leave about 1 inch margin all around the kite bamboo frame and trailing edge cord for overlapping and taping

Step 16: Step 16: Starting at the Center of the Leading Edge, Pull the Plastic Tight and Fully Tape It to the Bamboo

Step 17: Step 17: Draw the Plastic Tight at the Rear of the Boom/centerpiece and Tape It Securely

Step 18: Step 18: Draw the Plastic Tight, Fold It Over the Nylon Cord and Tape It Securely

Step 19: Step 19: Measure 30 Inches From the Boom and Mark the Plastic at the Rear of the Wing

Step 20: Step 20: Lay Duct Tape From the Leading Edge of the Wing Where the Spar Joins It to the 30 Inch Mark at the Back Edge of the Wing

Step 21: Step 21: Measure 30 Inches From the First Batten and Mark the Plastic at the Leading Edge and Rear of the Wing

Step 22: Step 22: Lay Duct Tape From the Leading Edge of the Wing to the Rear of the Wing

Step 23: Step 23: Lay Duct Tape Directly Beneath the Centerpiece

Place a 6 in. tall item between the centerpiece and the plastic to give you room to work

Step 24: Step 24: a Short Bamboo Brace Between the Centerpiece and the Center Batten, About Even With the Spar, Will Give the Wing a Nice Curve

Step 25: Step 25: Make Duct Tape Pockets for the Ends of the Battens

Step 26: Step 26: Cut the Battens to Length and Wrap the 'nodes' With 1-2 Layers of Duct Tape for Cushioning Then Insert Them Into the Pockets So That the Plastic Is Stretched Tightly

Step 27: The Finished WingKite Weighs About 15 Lbs

Video of WingKite and ‘GrasSurfer’ coming soon!
Be Safe!!!
Kia Kaha!

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    24 Discussions


    3 years ago

    I love this build and I know it was done for the duck tape challenge but is there other more permanent materials to use for the joints and spars??
    I want one of these for my mountainboard but dread paying the price of a real one.

    Kite builder

    5 years ago on Introduction


    what would you do with this kite?

    i mein, it is to small to fly with it like a hangglider...

    And it looks to heavy to send it up into the sky with a line like a toy-Kite...


    5 years ago on Introduction

    hey, im kinda confused if using a kayak how exactly would you use this.... i mean what does it do?


    7 years ago on Introduction

    do you have a video of this?
    I know kites but I don't know anythign about kite wings. just by looking at the photos it doesn't look like you have enough area to generate enough pull versus the weight.
    I'm wondering if coming up with a parafoil design and eliminating the bamboo altogether may give you much better pull with a fraction of the weight for the same area.
    I also wonder how strong the plastic drop cloth is? i wonder if something like mylar (space blanket) may work better? it's strong without adding weight.
    I realize that you were doing this for the duct tape challenge but I also think that clear packing tape may work better. it's just as strong but much lighter than duct tape.
    just talking off the top of my head. I definently commend your inginuity. I'd like to build one of these but I don't think i get good enough winds where I live.

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    yeah..this was all about the duct tape challenge. I've had some good winds and it tugs like crazy but I haven't finished my landsurfer yet and I'm chicken to try it with my inline skates. certainly mylar is a better choice and packing tape also in this particular case would be good, too. this is not a kite for height rather for traction nearer the ground...like this...



    7 years ago on Introduction

    where do u tie the nylon cord to ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    1 reply

    nylon cord was used along the trailing edge. just tie it at the back end of each of the wing spars. it gives you an 'edge' to fold the sailcloth over.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    mabie if you used a light tarp and aluminum rods and make it bigger you could add lots of asfety harnesses and fly on it yourself

    I've not tested the tensile strength of duct tape...but the bamboo is MUCH stronger than pvc...not nearly so brittle...the duct tape has some 'give' to it which seems to help under a load...I'd call around to local nurseries or just ask somebody with a field of bamboo...they're often happy to let you take as much as you need...good luck!

    I recall that..didn't they try to put an engine on it? THAT'S the myth they busted (I know...they burst). this isn't intended as a hang-glider but as a 'KiteWing'


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah, it was because the engine was too heavy or something like that

    nice design anyways! I am waiting for a video


    8 years ago on Introduction

    What a good looking scientist!!! Someone has a lot of time on their hands :0)!!! Thumbs up though!!