Forums > Kitesurfing Foiling

Kite Line Lengths

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Created by Scanno 2 months ago, 28 Aug 2018
Scanno
NSW, 103 posts
28 Aug 2018 2:01PM
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Been playkng around with foil kites for a while now usually run standard line lengths 25m.

looking at changing it up i understand dropping length gives u less power due to the travel distance when diving the kite is there a limit to how short u go or long anything else u need to worry about

snalberski
WA, 586 posts
28 Aug 2018 12:29PM
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Scanno said..
Been playkng around with foil kites for a while now usually run standard line lengths 25m.

looking at changing it up i understand dropping length gives u less power due to the travel distance when diving the kite is there a limit to how short u go or long anything else u need to worry about



I use 20m lines on all my kites. Shorter lines will make the kite turn quicker and (I think) give you a higher upwind angle. I think it's not uncommon for guys to regularly use as low as 17m on foil kites.

airsail
QLD, 293 posts
28 Aug 2018 2:59PM
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Tried shorter lines on my 12 mtr foil, about 17 mtrs. Killed the low end, just not a big enough window to get speed and power, changed back to 23 mtr lines, all good. Probably ok for powered conditions.

bigtone667
NSW, 977 posts
28 Aug 2018 5:53PM
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I tried 50m race lines on the weekend and was seriously powered up when diving the kite or sining. The line weight caused the kite to sit back in the wind window, so upwind performance was average, but the power was huge.

Will be interesting to see what minimum wind strength I can get going on with a 13.4 Cloud and XL Naish wing.

ActionSportsWA
WA, 594 posts
28 Aug 2018 5:04PM
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Hi Scanno,

Lighter winds are usually best with longer lines. 30m is probably optimum to preserve the upwind performance. Although longer lines (30-50m) do offer more power, the resulting power is far more downwind in direction and the steering becomes very "squishy", in other words, your upwind will suffer and heaven help you should the wind strength suddenly increase rapidly. With longer lines and faoiling, it is worth noting that, you only need the longer lines to get you water started and up onto the foil. Once on the foil, apparent wind should kick right in and you won't need that much power any more.

For tube kites/inflatables, between 17m and 25m is probably ideal, but you can run even shorter if your needs warrant it. The shorter your lines are, the more control you have over the kite, easier to edge it to neutral, easier to deal with gusts, easier to launch and land and more responsive and playful due to smaller wind window when surfing or doing more manouevreable type foiling requiring quick changes of direction. Downside (or upside depending on the wind strength and your kite size) is that the entire wind envelope your kite works in, is pushed up the wind scale which means you can use a larger kite in stronger winds.

When racing on fast foils and using ram air kites, 24m is considered very long. Drag is a big issue, as is upwind angle and kite responsiveness. Drag kills upwind angles and speed. Most guys are running between 10m and 13m for their flying lines, but remember, race foil kites tend to have 3m of bridle line so a 12m race line set on a ram air kite is realistically a 15m distance from bar to canopy. Inflatables have either no bridle, or very compact bridles so need a bit more length to have a usable initial power stroke.

Race ram airs on short lines are easier to handle on short lines, easier to tack, faster to turn and go better upwind, they also repond faster to gusts. The rider also needs to "stall" the inside wing to manage a downturned power stroke without hitting the water and crashing the kite. This is similar to a pivot turn on a inflatable, but is managed by pulling the leader line on the inside turn side of the bar and stalling the inside turn side of the kite by "braking" the trailing edge and allowing the "unbraked" half to fly faster in the turn. The kite usually doesn't create power until sheeted out at the completion of the turn. This is the opposite of an inflatable kite where you pull the bar in for more power.

We will be doing free clinics and training on "foil kites" this year if you are interested in trying these efficient beasts.

DM

RAL INN
VIC, 2587 posts
29 Aug 2018 7:18PM
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As a side note.
using longer lines and smaller kite helps the early days Foiler who has trouble with a larger kite dropping down low and overpowering the rider.
left in an out of control acceleration that would require bringing kite back up. But at already fully sheeted out the need to bring bar in to regain steering to get kite up, is crash city.

i don't use foil kites so this is for inflatables. If it does work for mattress kites then so be it.

Scanno
NSW, 103 posts
29 Aug 2018 11:20PM
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ActionSportsWA said..
Hi Scanno,

Lighter winds are usually best with longer lines. 30m is probably optimum to preserve the upwind performance. Although longer lines (30-50m) do offer more power, the resulting power is far more downwind in direction and the steering becomes very "squishy", in other words, your upwind will suffer and heaven help you should the wind strength suddenly increase rapidly. With longer lines and faoiling, it is worth noting that, you only need the longer lines to get you water started and up onto the foil. Once on the foil, apparent wind should kick right in and you won't need that much power any more.

For tube kites/inflatables, between 17m and 25m is probably ideal, but you can run even shorter if your needs warrant it. The shorter your lines are, the more control you have over the kite, easier to edge it to neutral, easier to deal with gusts, easier to launch and land and more responsive and playful due to smaller wind window when surfing or doing more manouevreable type foiling requiring quick changes of direction. Downside (or upside depending on the wind strength and your kite size) is that the entire wind envelope your kite works in, is pushed up the wind scale which means you can use a larger kite in stronger winds.

When racing on fast foils and using ram air kites, 24m is considered very long. Drag is a big issue, as is upwind angle and kite responsiveness. Drag kills upwind angles and speed. Most guys are running between 10m and 13m for their flying lines, but remember, race foil kites tend to have 3m of bridle line so a 12m race line set on a ram air kite is realistically a 15m distance from bar to canopy. Inflatables have either no bridle, or very compact bridles so need a bit more length to have a usable initial power stroke.

Race ram airs on short lines are easier to handle on short lines, easier to tack, faster to turn and go better upwind, they also repond faster to gusts. The rider also needs to "stall" the inside wing to manage a downturned power stroke without hitting the water and crashing the kite. This is similar to a pivot turn on a inflatable, but is managed by pulling the leader line on the inside turn side of the bar and stalling the inside turn side of the kite by "braking" the trailing edge and allowing the "unbraked" half to fly faster in the turn. The kite usually doesn't create power until sheeted out at the completion of the turn. This is the opposite of an inflatable kite where you pull the bar in for more power.

We will be doing free clinics and training on "foil kites" this year if you are interested in trying these efficient beasts.

DM


Cheers thanks for the Info pretty helpful.

Im currently riding the Moses Vorace HF with the 11m Ozone Chrono V2 UL love the power it produces on the upwind tacks.

I just finished Splicing an old set of lines together off old broken bars. Pays to not throw things away now ive got some options. either the 25m or one bar 15m on another had some extra line left over so i made up some 7m extension. Now just gotta wait for that perfect day to try them out.

alverstone
WA, 470 posts
4 Sep 2018 1:25PM
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Select to expand quote
ActionSportsWA said..
Hi Scanno,

Lighter winds are usually best with longer lines. 30m is probably optimum to preserve the upwind performance. Although longer lines (30-50m) do offer more power, the resulting power is far more downwind in direction and the steering becomes very "squishy", in other words, your upwind will suffer and heaven help you should the wind strength suddenly increase rapidly. With longer lines and faoiling, it is worth noting that, you only need the longer lines to get you water started and up onto the foil. Once on the foil, apparent wind should kick right in and you won't need that much power any more.

For tube kites/inflatables, between 17m and 25m is probably ideal, but you can run even shorter if your needs warrant it. The shorter your lines are, the more control you have over the kite, easier to edge it to neutral, easier to deal with gusts, easier to launch and land and more responsive and playful due to smaller wind window when surfing or doing more manouevreable type foiling requiring quick changes of direction. Downside (or upside depending on the wind strength and your kite size) is that the entire wind envelope your kite works in, is pushed up the wind scale which means you can use a larger kite in stronger winds.

When racing on fast foils and using ram air kites, 24m is considered very long. Drag is a big issue, as is upwind angle and kite responsiveness. Drag kills upwind angles and speed. Most guys are running between 10m and 13m for their flying lines, but remember, race foil kites tend to have 3m of bridle line so a 12m race line set on a ram air kite is realistically a 15m distance from bar to canopy. Inflatables have either no bridle, or very compact bridles so need a bit more length to have a usable initial power stroke.

Race ram airs on short lines are easier to handle on short lines, easier to tack, faster to turn and go better upwind, they also repond faster to gusts. The rider also needs to "stall" the inside wing to manage a downturned power stroke without hitting the water and crashing the kite. This is similar to a pivot turn on a inflatable, but is managed by pulling the leader line on the inside turn side of the bar and stalling the inside turn side of the kite by "braking" the trailing edge and allowing the "unbraked" half to fly faster in the turn. The kite usually doesn't create power until sheeted out at the completion of the turn. This is the opposite of an inflatable kite where you pull the bar in for more power.

We will be doing free clinics and training on "foil kites" this year if you are interested in trying these efficient beasts.

DM


Count me in ... once I've got one ;).



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"Kite Line Lengths" started by Scanno