KITE LINES - Sport and Stunt Kites - strength & length

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The choice of kite lines can have a profound effect on the performance and characteristics of sport, precision, trick or stunt kites.  I'll try to show the differences the strength and length of your kite lines can make on you kite,  and list below all the major manufactures recommendations for sport, stunt, precision and trick kite lines.

Please see my other guides for power kite lines, and the construction and ideal materials for making kite lines.

What strength and lenght of line?

Unlike power kite lines, which are largely determined by the flyers weight.  The relative lack of pull of sport kites means that the choice of line is largely determined by:

  1. The size of the kite and
  2. The wind conditions

Kite manufacturers have to set up the kite to suit a wide range of conditions and flyers.   Hence they have to err on the side of caution, and offer stronger and shorter lines as standard.  Hence the lines that come with your kite are likely to be a good starting point for avearge conditions.  But careful selection of lines to suit the conditions means you may be able to increase the performance you get from your stunt kite

Line strenght

In general the Strength of the flying lines effect the kite in the following ways:

Stronger lines

  • Slow the kite down
  • Allow you to fly in stronger wind
  • Increase the minimum wind required to fly the kite
  • May decrease the response in low wind, as the lines sag. 
  • But conversely increase the response in high wind as there is less give and stretch

Weaker lines

  • Allow the kite to fly faster with less drag
  • Allow you to fly in lighter wind
  • Decrease the maximum wind you can fly the kite in
  • May decrease the response as there is more give and stretch in the lines
  • May break!

Line Length

Line length affects the kite in following ways:

Longer lines

  • Slows the kite down, kite takes longer to manovour, and turns slower
  • May allow you to fly in weaker winds, by finding more wind at greater height, or reach cleaner air above turbulence.
  • However the opposite can also apply as you need more wind to lift the weigth of the lines
  • Increase the minimum wind required to fly the kite
  • Will decrease the kite response as there is more potential for stretch
  • The kite can spend more time in the higher wind part of the window.
  • More thinking time to react and recover if something goes wrong.

Shorter lines

  • Speeds the kite up, giving quicker response
  • Will increase the kites responsiveness, as there is less stretch in the lines.
  • Faster through the window, and hence allows a larger kite to be flown in stronger winds as the kite has less time in the more powerfull parts of the wind window,.  This is good for getting upwind on buggy or board

Manufactures recommendations:

The following are the kite manufactures reccomendations copied directly from the Manufactures website, and should be taken as a good starting point for selection of lines.

  • The lines are grouped into type then presented with the same strenght kg rating.
  • The wingspan of the kite is shown in italics to allow you to compare similar kites
  • The recommended line length (in metres) is shown in brackets if available.    

23kg

  • Prism Vapor - 2.03m - (x15 to 30m)

40kg (approx 90lbs)

  • Prism Jazz - 1.4m - (x20m)
  • Prism Nexus - 1.5m - (x20m = 65')
  • Premier Addiction - 1.82m
  • Prism Alien - 1.89m - (x20m)

70kg

  • Prism Quantum - 2.13m - (x26m = 85')
  • Elliot Traffic - 1.55m

100kg

  • Elliot Magelan - 2.3m - Line rating 45kg to 100kg

225kg

  • Carl Robertshaw Fury - 2.5m - U.Light = 25kg via Std. to Vented = 225kg
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