Being only a few years into kiting and in my late 40s I tend to prefer lighter bar pressure. I am very familiar with all the depowering, knot adjustments on the wing and knot adjustments on the down lines to dial my kite to my preference. I understand many kite lines stretch over time so I tune my bars regularly. Recently, I obtained a slingshot (SS) bar, tuned it - even though it was fine - and used it on my kite; a 9m 2010 waroo (I know these suck but I do like it very much). My original setup has always had very light bar pressure using a liquid force (LF) bar. From what I understand, SS lines tend to stretch less than many on the market, including my LF lines (and they look much heavier). Anyhow I immediately noticed some heavier bar pressure when using the SS. I immediately switched back to my LF bar and it was light again using the same knot settings on the kite. It made me wonder about line quality and flexibility as a variable of bar pressure. If lower quality lines flex sightly more than those that have a greater tensile strength, would this translate to a lighter, spongier, more flexible bar pressure? I can understand a majority of riders preferring the direct feel of the kite in order not to have to look at it in the sky and all, but its not my thing... Any experience or thoughts would be appreciated.
Last edited by NYKiter on Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
If you have stretchy lines it translates into feeling a bit like a rubber band but the line type doesn't affect bar pressure. It's something else, maybe the bar width, high Y, or the wrong attachments on the kite, when a kite is flying underpowered you will feel a lot less bar pressure.
Hmm, a rubber-band effect would be a disadvantage in all areas, right up until you sent the kite for a jump and got a big slingshot boost effect. But with stretchy lines it would be difficult to send the kite at all with the spongy steering effect the stretch in the lines would cause. Oh, to have your cake and eat it too...
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... line sponge is real and I think the heavier you are the more obvious it becomes.
Have you ever gotten a new set of lines and put them on an older favorite kite, its like magic, the old girl flys great again. It intreged me so much that I did some expereiments swapping back and forth and at the end of my tests and adjustments I concluded the sponge or spring in the lines was more on the older lines. My experiments included new bar, 6 months old bar and 2 year old bar paying attention to keeping the lengths are all equal.
I got the kevlar race lines North experimented in releasing and they made a difference immediately, even the missus noticed the kite flew 'nicer' and in trying to work out why there was a noticeable difference I narrowed it down to the less 'sponge or spring' in the lines. Every little nuance was felt, and ironically I felt the most difference on a race kite. The unfortunate thing, with the less give in the lines, they tend to break too. I experimented by putting the new kevlar lines against new 'normal' lines on the same kite on the same day and every time the kevlar lines felt better. The kite is more reactive and if you have a direct steering kite like the rebel then it becomes really obvious to you.
Yes, I don't think line characteristics have been discussed at length (no pun intended)...if lines get spongy over time is this a bad thing - maybe a few like me would say no as long as it suits their riding style (i.e. older man with tendentious lawn mowing)