Am I right in thinking that on longer lines you have more chance of keeping the kite in the air?
I still drop into the water to turn around so am vulnerable to the kite dropping at this point, do longer lines help?
Yeah for sure you have more space in the air before the kite touches the water so it helps with longe rlines, but the original post was asking about more than 15 knots so I don't think there's any problem riding short lines when it's that windy. Above 15 knots I switch to 20 meter lines. Below 10 knots I go to 30 meter lines. I have several control bars set up with different line len gths so when I want to switch line lengths it's easy for me just swap in a new control bar.
Precisely, when +15 knots keeping the kite up is never a problem.
You will have way more difficulties in light wind, as you will almost for sure ride too fast downwind - too wide an arc when carving, thus the kite goes down.
This is not the same problem in more wind, so here you should not choose linelength because of that.
But in lighter winds, definitely way easier and more room for error with longer lines without getting it in the drink, yes
Racers use the shorter lines they can for performance but that requires perfect timing in tacks, jibes and
I find the opposite. You don't have to get the timing right on short lines because you can put the kite where you need it much quicker. As you said, the longer your lines are, the longer it takes to move from one position to another in the window. Maybe this is more relevant for big slow turning foil kites, but I definitely foil through transitions much more with shorter lines.
The short lines make a huge difference in how much power you can handle. The kite doesn't surge as much in the gusts and you can get it to where you need it in the window much faster.
I ride 15m lines for my 9,11, and 15m kites now. Could definitely go shorter now for the 9m and 11m kites.
17m or 20m lines with my 18m kite.
18m on 20m lines: <10 kts
18m on 17m lines: 9-13 kts
15m on 15m lines: 11-16 kts
11m on 15m lines: 15-22 kts
9m on 15m lines: 18-30 kts
Short lines are the "trick" to go fast, i use this mostly also with foil kites. But if i just want to play around with a wave foil and small LEI i use 27m lines.
This is the reason why there are so many opinions and confusion amongst some readers I imagine...
Foil kites and power and range, short lines is the way to go.
Wavefoils and freestyle, medium lines is the way to go.
ANY foil, in absolute marginal winds for the given kite, long lines is the way to go.