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Cutting down lines length for starters

Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:47 am
by oto212
Tantrum is advising shorter lines for beginners as this makes the kite safer
This does no damage or has any effect on the actual flying of the kite (as long as it’s done right), and actually gives you a lot more options to change the configuration of your kite when you are up and riding. I would recommend you to go for at least 7m and 15m cuts, so you’ll be able to fly your kite on 7m lines, 15m lines or full length lines. If you want to go the whole hog I would suggest 5m, 10m and 15m. This will give you a great range to progress through and these are the sizes we’ve had the greatest success with in our physical kitesurf school. Every case if different and your exact needs may depend on what size/type of kite you have…the Viron for example comes with the ability to shorten the lines, because of this and due to the friendly characteristics of this kite you don’t need to cut the lines any more for this kite.
Via https://www.tantrumkitesurf.com/short-lines-acdy

What's your take on this ?

Re: Cutting down lines length for starters

Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:20 am
by socommk23
5m lines??????? Or even 7m lines???????
Ok I use 15m to 20m on my foil kites. 20m+ on leis.
The length of lines can effect the profile of the kite so shortening lines will have an effect on the kite. Measurable? In some extreme cases yes. Essentially line lengths determine the manouverability of the kite and time it spends in any one part of the wind window during flight, this is useful for racing.

Re: Cutting down lines length for starters

Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:29 am
by MnO
Something like 10m lines would be extremely handy at some of my spots where even 18-20m lines are a challenge to lay out because of trees and rocks near the shore. I think I am going to give it a try...

Re: Cutting down lines length for starters

Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:15 pm
by sflinux
Short lines make sense to me for smaller kites, standard lines make sense to me for medium kites, and line extensions make sense to me for larger kites. The true test for me is how the kite loops. If it is too difficult to loop the kite (window is too tight), then the lines are too short. If the wind window feels too big, then the lines may be too long. It's all about tuning the kite for your needs. I can't use one bar for all of my kites, that's for sure.
The page you referenced had beginners in mind, at some point probably not a good idea for beginners to be accidentally looping the kite. (i.e. first lesson) But at some stage they have to learn to appreciate the power that a kite loop can produce.

Re: Cutting down lines length for starters

Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:41 pm
by Matteo V
sflinux wrote:
Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:15 pm
It's all about tuning the kite for your needs.
Bang on! But there is a little more to it than that. Maybe even a current windsurfer/kiter could give you an opinion of the "zero length lines" of a windsurfer. Lots of effects, lots of different feels.

But there is a standard length for a reason - those standard lengths work best all around. When reducing or lengthening your lines, you are specializing.

Here are some examples of restrictions on those specialized line lengths:

1. Hydrofoil kiters try to get short for low drag and efficiency, but can't go too short as short lines reduce capability of the kite to generate pull on a power stroke.

2. Kite size/turning speed (slow kites) can make the downloop impossible on short lines so they have to be a minimum length for a kite size of a certain turning speed.

3. Large light wind kites (used with a planing board - not a hydrofoil) can benefit from the longer passage through a larger wind window afforded by long lines.

4. Some areas have noticeably less wind closer to the surface than up high, so kites benefit from being higher and accessing the stronger winds up high.

5. Certain snowkite locations require a minimum line length to get out of some of the deeper features and climb the back sides of hills.

Personally, I like to NOT specialize. I like access to all of the benefits of a kite over a sail. Accessing the full range of the wind window, without it being too big, allows you to do almost anything with 17-27meter lines. Again, there is a reason for that standardization. Ask yourself, "what am I giving up by going short or long?"

Re: Cutting down lines length for starters

Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 6:23 pm
by alford
I think they're saying using short lines while learning to fly the kite, not necessarily for riding in this case.

Re: Cutting down lines length for starters

Posted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:45 pm
by Matteo V
alford wrote:
Thu Sep 28, 2017 6:23 pm
I think they're saying using short lines while learning to fly the kite, not necessarily for riding in this case.
If trainers were available with short lines from the manufacture, then maybe this would substantiate the claim of "short lines to learn on".

The main problem with short lines is that you do not learn how to control a medium power stroke. Short power strokes are great in a specialized situation. But if you learn short power strokes at the beginning, and do not develop a feel for a longer (medium) power stroke, you will have to learn the power stroke all over again.

I know I am in the minority, but I kind of feel the same way with short masts on hydrofoils. Standard size makes more sense in most deep water situations with chop.

Re: Cutting down lines length for starters

Posted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:55 pm
by Faxie
Short lines for lessons are useful for a student not taking up too much space and to learn basic kite control without too much power development.

Re: Cutting down lines length for starters

Posted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:11 am
by el_guestos
Yeah just to clarify...I'm NOT suggesting you ride on 7m lines...well I've seen it done and it's bloody funny to watch...but as a teaching aid...especially in Tarifa where we can get pretty mental winds at times...it's invaluable