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LEI with short lines

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lightwind
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LEI with short lines

Postby lightwind » Wed Apr 29, 2020 1:31 pm

Hi,

I have question about short lines combined with LEI kite. I’m foiling most of the time with 600 cm2 free ride foil, and usually I’m ok with my 9 m surf kite. But I don’t like riding overpowered so some 7m kite will be perfect to have for those higher teens days. Since I’m not in situation to buy any kites I was wondering how much of high end will I gain if I put my 9 m on a short lines bar. Let’s say 15 meters or even less. Does that have sense? I have the old bar and I was thinking to shorten the lines so I can ride my 9 in higher winds. Does anyone have experience with foiling on LEI with short lines?

Thanks

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jumptheshark
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Re: LEI with short lines

Postby jumptheshark » Wed Apr 29, 2020 2:19 pm

I use different line lengths all the time. Have used 27, 21 and 17m extensively over the last three seasons. I used to use the long lines all the time. They gave me better bottom end and made most of my transitions and little airs easier. As I progressed, I shifted down to 21 as my most used set and only pulled the long lines out for the occasional really light wind day when I simply didi't want the struggle. The long lines just made the getting up and foiling maneuver easier as you had more time with each dive or loop. Anyway. last year, I began switching down to the 17m set and now clearly prefer it. Everything is quicker and more direct. I haven's used the 27m lines since mid last summer and now will toggle up to the 21m lines only for light wind days. Have a few new kites to test the low end on and might pull out the long ones for that just to see, but even though they make a lot of things more challenging. I still prefer the short lines.

Short lines will definitely improve the top end experience of your foiling, but only to a point. With foiling you can mitigate too much power in a few ways. You can dig in and just ride super powered and super fast (I don't do this). You can point really far upwind and find a balance point between moderate speed, high upwind angle and relatively high kite position to make the upwind comfortable and then bomb downwind (which is not so bad with too much kite in the air). I do that one mostly. Its a pain when you really want to play in improving swell as you can't really cut back upwind very hard. Fun for straight downwind riding. You can also put a long really slowly in pretty much any direction you want with the kite really high making sure you limit apparent wind by keeping your speed intentionally low. I do this one for survival purposes at the very top end and it obviously takes most of the fun out of riding..... heartbreaking to be out in big rolling swell, but unable to do anything with them.

In the end, despite trending toward 17m lines for all my riding, the real answer for foiling in more wind is a smaller kite. You can learn lots and still get out with your 9m on short lines, but eventually you will come to the same conclusion and see the need for a 7 and maybe a 5 then maybe a 3 !

Long lines definitely make learning transitions, foot switches and strapless airs WAY easier. Going down in line length for me was mostly prompted by the desire to do more drift launching at treed in locations and currently to get out away from spectators tempted to socially police my kiting. I fully encourage you to try short lines, but I have outlined the trade off your dealing with.
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lightwind
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Re: LEI with short lines

Postby lightwind » Wed Apr 29, 2020 3:43 pm

Thanks jumptheshark, I practice your 3rd way of handling overpowered conditions. Kite high and going as slow as possible. Not fun at all, but gets you back to shore.

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Re: LEI with short lines

Postby Herman » Wed Apr 29, 2020 4:20 pm

If it were me, for a typical 9m I would experiment with 14m and make up some 2m extensions just in case you need a stepping stone. Shorter than that is obviously possible but the deminishing size of the window starts to have an impact on the patterns and surface loops that you can fly.

If you have a long line set you could fly the kite on doubled lines to see what you think of the feel of a small window!!
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Re: LEI with short lines

Postby vakiter » Wed Apr 29, 2020 5:14 pm

i agree with jumptheshark. i use 18/24/27m lines on one bar, and prefer the 18m. highly recommend trying. i think windshear (wind speed change with elevation from water) can alter the effect of line-lengths on power also.
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