The Boreal Arch

A Classic Series Kite

from . . .

Boreal Kites

About the kite:

The first question about an arch is, of course, is it a kite at all?An Ohashi arch, where all the kites are independent of each other, can be considered a kind of kite train. Our arch is a European-style arch, that is, each kite has a spine, but the cross spar is simulated by the line attaching the kites to each other. Thus, this kind of arch only flies as a unit, and the individual diamonds are not actually kites per se.

Be that as it may, the European-style arch is much, much easier to fly. I first saw several of these arches at the Coloriamo I Cieli Kite Festival in Castiglione, Italy, in 1984, and was amazed at the simplicity of the concept. We are all indebted to the original designer, both for coming up with the concept, and for leaving it in the public domain. These arches have literally blossomed all over the kite world in the last few years.

Launching this arch is very easy. The simplest method for setting it up is to tie one end to a dogstake, or other anchor, and gradually feed out the arch, while walking away. Keeping the two anchor points perpendicular to the wind allows the arch to fully inflate. Moving back and forth with the other end will quickly tell you if you've got it right or not. Once the right spot is found, simply anchor the other end. As long as the wind doesn't change direction, the arch will fly happily all day. If the wind dies, the arch will gently lay itself out on the ground. The instant the wind picks back up, it will lift itself up again. The only rigid requirement is fairly clean ground wind. If trouble is encountered, and ensuring the arch is perpendicular to the wind doesn't help, it may be your choice of location. Check for obstructions like fences etc. blocking the ground wind.

Our full arch includes 72 diamonds. We felt that the cost of this in one go, might be too much for most people, so we are selling them in sets of twenty-four kites, or Two-Fours ( a Canuckism for a case of beer, or 24 bottles). This unit will fly by itself, but if the full effect is wanted, it is very easy to tie three of them (or more!) together to make as large an arch as you could wish.


Each Boreal Arch Two-Four consists of twenty-four 16 inch by 13 inch ripstop diamond kites, with 36 inch tails, spaced 20 inches apart on 250 pound dacron line.

The sail fabric is 3/4 oz. Contender Nylite, made without the resin coating (this allows better dye uptake and stronger colours). The spine in each diamond is 1/8 inch hardwood dowell (for easy replacement).

The design is screen-printed by hand with acid dyes. The Arch is available in two colours, black on white, or red on white.

The Arch can be flown in as little as a 3 mph wind on up. It requires clean ground wind and placement perpendicular to the wind. With the right placement, it is self-launching after a calm.