Wau Bulan is a buzz word in Malaysia's traditional kite's world. Perhaps, you landed at this blog because you too search for 'Wau Bulan". Therefore, it is imperative that I blog on this subject at the onset. I will not dwell into history at this point of time. There are so much uncertainties and myths with regards to the origin of Wau Bulan.
Wau Bulan literally means Moon Kite. It derives its name from the shape of its tail that looks like a crescent. It is the most stable Malaysia's traditional kite and an easy flyer suitable for light and moderate wind condition. As a single liner and a flat kite, strong wind will cause instability. A suitable size of a Wau Bulan for recreational flying purposes is a four footer (about 1.2 m). Smaller is unstable and bigger gives much drag, unless you are a seasoned kitesperson; the more drag, the greater the fun.
Like any other traditional kites of Malaysia, the frame of Wau Bulan is made of bamboo strips. The purpose of the Wau will determine the type of material and the extend of the decorations. A Wau meant for display is made of glossy flint coloured papers and will be decorated elaborately; but is too heavy to fly. A Wau meant for recreational flying is made of kite papers with only light decorations, or with a more durable materials like plastics sheets or ripstop nylon fabrics.
However, at national competitions, both beauty and flight performance were considered, and the materials used are limited to those of a traditional Wau only. Therefore, it is up to the Wau-Maker to strike the balance between the decorations and the weight of the Wau. There have been innovation in the construction of a Modern Wau Bulan. This is due to the need of bigger Wau to capture spectator's attention; but at the same time is easily assemble and dismantle. In this context, the use of modern kite materials such as carbon rods and ripstop nylon fabrics come into play. I am among those who subscribe to the innovative idea and have won several awards at national competitions in that category.