Jolly Blue Giant

Slovenia is … an aeolically challenged country (more kiters than wind turbines here), and we constantly struggle with winds too low for decent kite aerial photography. We tried a lot of things, having different kite designs for most of the wind force spectrum – rokkakus for low, deltas for medium to strong, sled for strong and very strong winds – but when the wind speed is below say 5 km/h pulling the poor rokkaku higher in a vain hope that up there wind might be stronger is a losing battle.

Yet there is a simple way out of this conundrum, and it involves simple physics. The weight of a kite is pretty much proportional to its size (it is a thin sheet of fabric with long and narrow spars), and the lift of a kite is proportional to the square of its size. So a kite twice the size has like four times the lift.

As they say – less is more, but more is even more. To fight the low winds situation one just needs a bigger kite.

The main workhorse of our kite aerial photography endeavours is the Original Big Blue Rokkaku, a 160 cm wide and 200 cm tall kite that is not exactly small; approaching three square meters its pull can be overwhelming in wind speeds above 15 km/h, and it can lift a picavet with a camera down to about 5 km/h. While this is a very respectable performance, the barely perceptible breezes of summer are too much – too low – even for it. To do KAP in such conditions, one needs more.

Thus Janez of Dr.Agon Kites made a bigger rokkaku. Much bigger. So big one really can’t appreciate its enormity when it’s in flight; only on the ground, close to an object of famillar size its dimensions are comprehensible.

Behold – the Jolly Blue Giant.

This monster of a rokkaku is 3 meters tall and 240 cm wide. It’s blue, as it is supposed to be. And it flies like … well, like a jolly blue giant rokkaku.

All our blue roks were able to fly – the Little One barely supporting its weight; the Big Blue flying comfortably, but without the pull needed to lift a camera; and the Jolly Giant nailed to the sky, exerting a force comparable to a normal kite in 20 km/h wind.

It will be a phenomenal asset for kite aerial photography in these windless lands.

And we have a problem … the best excuse for not doing KAP – “there is no wind!” – is now gone.

5 thoughts on “Jolly Blue Giant”

  1. Your kite and KAP activity is growing up in all aspects: quality, quantity, care for your beautiful country, communication…. I’m very glad to see new kites, new experiences.
    I’m a lucky owner of a BIG BIG VERY BIG ROK made by BKT Piotr Madry – Poland… it is so big that I almost never fly with such a beast

    so big ROKs NEED a strong frame, the deformation is evident and the problem of ROKs is that angle goes down, pull goes up but also the risk of breaking something goes up; I wish you that you will never experience of wind increase during a KAP session…. pulling like a horse ?

    the 3 ROKs seen all together are beautiful CONGRATULATIONS

    • True, the 6mm spars are very flexible and the giant rok does get deformed … but, is it a problem? In a way high flexibility of the spars helps to lower the impact of a wind speed increase (or of a strong gust), as part of the force is absorbed by the rokkaku deforming.

      And I agree – this beast is for barely perceptible winds, maybe up to 10 km/h. Sadly here the days of too low wind are many …

  2. Thank you for this vivid report!
    Indeed, low winds are often a real challenge for KAP.
    Have fun and good results!


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