A tail and other balancers are used to give poise to an otherwise unsteady kite. When a kite is constructed in such a way as to present a broad flat surface to the breeze, it will sway and dive and no matter how carefully you attach your bridle it cannot be supported in the air.

For kites that represent irregular forms, there must also be a special balancer. The tail is usually resorted to in such cases. The tail is more than a weight. A foxy kite refuses to come to terms by the addition of a thread and lead or other weight. The weight drops so quickly to its plumb line that the kite has not come to poise, and makes another pitch in some other direction. The value of the tail depends not so much on weight as on its pulling capacity while being drawn thru the air. The tail, usually consisting of a string with a number of pieces of paper folded and tied thereon, Fig. 18, and with cloth streamers at the end for weight, exerts considerable pull for long enough time to give steadiness to the kite. A kite must have poise in the air just as we balance a board on the end of a finger - if the finger is not centrally located, the board will fall to the left, or right, front or back; so with the kite, if the pressure of the air is not centrally located it will glide to left or right, or pitch forward or tumble backwards. The tail helps most in remedying the two latter troubles. Almost any light surface can be supported in the air by proper attachment of bridle and tail. The Japanese use two or more tails on their square kites consisting usually of long cotton ropes with large tassels on the end. These look very beautiful trailing out in long graceful parallel lines.

Tails 21

Fig. 18.

Another form of air resistance found serviceable, is hollow cones or funnel shaped devices of light cardboard attached by cords to the kite in place of tails, Fig. 19.

A Chinese boy had a colored paper ball about 8" in diameter attached by a string to one of the kites last year, Fig. 20. Another form is the intersected cardboard discs, Fig. 21. Other forms can be used.

Christmas and other paper rope used for decoration purposes could be used to advantage for tails of kites. They will catch the breeze and can be festooned into pretty designs but will need cord supports to give strength.

Don't throw away a kite because it has to have a tail. The tail is sometimes the most beautiful part.

Tails 22Tails 23Tails 24

Figs. 19, 20, 21.