Rokkaku

I have had a bit of a love-hate relationship to Roks - I love the simple, elegant form and it is a great canvas for appliquing; but it took me a lot longer than expected to figure out the details required to make it a well-behaved flier.

The Rok's simplicity is misleading: there are enough variables to adjust to make it hard to isolate cause and effect. Small alterations can make all the difference between a stable flyer and a manic looping kite.

Here's a list of my current preferences:

Big Roks

I have built large static Roks according to plans by Simo Salanne and Charlie Charlton. They are each about 1.5m by 1.2m, Carrington and carbon/fibre-glass frame.

I don't usually use Carrington, since it has more stretch and absorbs more water than Icarex does. It is nice, though, for "show kites": it doesn't crinkle at all during sewing and has a nice silky look from up close.

Charlie's design: This kite was built as a wedding present (kind of obvious :-)
Rok 1 (8K) (8K) Rok 2 (9K) (9K)

Simo's design: Another wedding kite (not so obvious). The glyph is the chinese symbol for Chi, loosely translatable as "life energy". The blue and red areas symbolize the elemental forces of fire and air.
Rok 3 (44K) (44K)

Little Roks

This one is really small, with a 75cm spine. It is primarily meant to be a fighter Rok. I haven't yet participated in a real Rok battle, but I do like to zoom around a fighter kite every now and again (check out my fighter kite page to find out about other types of fighters).
The spine is 4mm carbon, the spreaders are 2mm fibreglass. I initially used 3mm spreaders but these proved to be too stiff: the kite did not respond properly. Of course, if you're just flying it as a static kite 3mm is fine.
The sail is Icarex applique. The Navajo design was a result of my '98 trip to the south-western states of the US.
Fighter Rok (16K) (16K)


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Last Updated: Mar 15, 2003

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