Does your kite need a Tail?

To see if your kite requires a tail, fly your kite without the tail in Low/moderate wind condition. If the kite flies straight, without wobbling or incline to either one direction than you do not need to add a tail. Now try flying it in strong wind, or you can run with it. If it starts to spin or roll or any of the above this is your hint to adding a Tail. Tails create a downward drag which in turn makes the kite stable. Tails are major help in strong stormy winds.

So, Basically:
Low wind = Smaller tail
Strong wind = Longer tail

Tails are not always used to stabilize the kite, designers also add them for creativity. It adds color and movement in the sky. Also makes the kite look big.

kid fly kite

What should be the length of the tail?

To check how long the tail is needed for the kite, start by adding tail of length 3-4 times the height of the kite. For smaller kites 3-4 feet should be good to start. Balance is important. So, while adding the tail make sure it is either added bottom centered of the kite or on both sides. This depends on the structure of the kite. Normally Tails are added to the center of the kite. Long straight tail or 2-3 Small tails to the center of the kite. One can also add tails to sides of the kite. Need to make sure both the tails are of the same length or else kite may incline towards the side having longer tail. You can also make a loop by connecting both sides of the tail. Loop tails create more drag.

After adding the tail fly your kite in moderate and strong wind to check if more or longer tail is required.

kite tail

Different types of tails

Straight Tails

tail of kite
kite workshop

Spinners

tail is important

Wind socks

why kites need tail
kite tail is necessary

Observation and results

Did flying your kite without the tail make your kite spin ? Did it fly straight steady in both low and strong wind? Or when you flew the kite running? Now after adding the tail what was the result? Did it make it more stable?

Tails are a very great way to regain stability of the kite. If small tail is added kite may make slower loops or spin, but when the same kite is added longer tails it will be more steady. This also helps kite to gain more height up in the sky steadily. But at the same time if the tail is heavier or longer than required it will prevent the kite from reaching the height. It will make the kite stable but not gain height. The best way to determine the right length of the tail for your kite would be to try it out. Get creative!