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Short lines for better high end

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nothing2seehere
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Short lines for better high end

Postby nothing2seehere » Wed Jun 29, 2022 3:13 pm

So I keep hearing people on the beach talk about just getting short lines to extend the high end of kites for foiling. My question is - how or why does it work (hydrofoil specific please)?

Now I understand the bit about not generating as much power as it sweeps across the window but if I'm on a 9m kite and a foil in 20 knots surely the static pull is still going to be high regardless of line length because of the reduced drag on a foil compared to a twin tip (where its used for teaching). Hence too much power is still too much? Or am I missing something here?

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Re: Short lines for better high end

Postby darippah » Wed Jun 29, 2022 4:10 pm

nothing2seehere wrote:
Wed Jun 29, 2022 3:13 pm
So I keep hearing people on the beach talk about just getting short lines to extend the high end of kites for foiling. My question is - how or why does it work (hydrofoil specific please)?

Now I understand the bit about not generating as much power as it sweeps across the window but if I'm on a 9m kite and a foil in 20 knots surely the static pull is still going to be high regardless of line length because of the reduced drag on a foil compared to a twin tip (where its used for teaching). Hence too much power is still too much? Or am I missing something here?
The way I see it having short lines does the following:

1) Keeps the kite closer to the edge of the wind window when going upwind = higher upwind angles and less pull.

2) Reduces the power stroke

3) Reduces the movement of the kite
a) from both wind gusts/ lulls
b) & changes in angle of your board. Less movement = less pull

4) Keeps the kite lower = usually less wind . Of course results may vary depending on your wind gradient

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Re: Short lines for better high end

Postby Jyoder » Wed Jun 29, 2022 4:23 pm

When you’re a beginner, you can get the overpowered feeling on a hydrofoil when riding with kite parked, with the bar pegged to the stopper and loss of steering control, we call this the death run.
But when you know how to edge the board and point upwind to bleed off speed and pull, you can ride with kite parked without much issue on a big kite, it’s when you are doing maneuvers and the kite is moving around the window that it becomes uncomfortable. Short lines allow you to get the kite to move around more quickly and so less time to accelerate and over-pull. Also, short lines are less draggy so the kite can site farther forward in the window, but this is minuscule effect.

So, shorter lines can allow for bigger kite only up to a point, and tend to work best paired with a race foil and race riding style. However, some report success using small Peak4/5s on short lines in higher winds, though generally if you are trying to drift the kite at all and carve, longer lines and smaller kite works much better.
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Re: Short lines for better high end

Postby Peter_Frank » Wed Jun 29, 2022 8:27 pm

Agree fully with Jyoder.

Static pull is about the same with all line lengths, as you figured nothing2seehere, but you lose a huge amount of low end and carving power.

If you ride very powered and race style like, you will gain upper end as you can turn and move the kite without getting overpowered.

Whereas for wave style riding, or Peak style riding, shorter lines is worse because you limit your range and options.

Very personal :naughty:

8) Peter

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Re: Short lines for better high end

Postby edt » Wed Jun 29, 2022 8:40 pm

Excellent question! I think it matters most in the loops and transitions. Long lines can pull you off the wave when you loop it. If you are going in a straight line I don't think it matters.

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Re: Short lines for better high end

Postby br44 » Wed Jun 29, 2022 11:41 pm

I tried short lines once. What a bad idea.

Longer lines - provided you have enough space - offer a very good and elegant solution to the hydrofoil power dilemma. Long lines means that a smaller kite can provide enough of a kick to start. Once up on foil, the smaller kite will not overpower you, is more comfortable and fun to ride, and likely safer too if the weather changes suddenly.

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Re: Short lines for better high end

Postby Flyboy » Thu Jun 30, 2022 12:37 am

On the suggestion of JTS I made some shorter line lengths to use with my Peaks: 14m & 17m, to go with my standard 20m lines. What you lose is some of the ability to move the kite to easily generate extra apparent wind ie. extra power when you want it. What you gain is a more reactive kite and more feel in the bar. A shorter sweep through the power zone also allows you to turn without generating unwanted extra apparent wind.

In my experience, shorter lines are great when you are nicely powered & wave riding, not so great if you are riding a little underpowered & in flat water. The kite feels more "lively" in the first situation, a bit "dead" in the latter situation. The relationship between kite size, line length & how powered you are, is a fluid one. The optimal set up may vary depending what the wind does during a session.

With my 6m kite I always use 20m lines. With my 5m I may choose 20m if it is on the light side - 12 - 15 knots, 17m if is 14 - 17 knots. Anything consistently over 15 knots I'll use the 4m with 17m lines. I consider using the 14m lines with the 4m only when the wind is strong, steady and I'm riding in real waves.

I don't feel short lines are a really effective way of extending the range - it does help with control somewhat, but I'd rather be on a smaller kite. It's true that it's possible to ride a foil pretty overpowered - you just point high &/or keep the kite high & sheeted out. Short lines help in that situation - it's not much fun however.

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Re: Short lines for better high end

Postby ieism » Thu Jun 30, 2022 7:16 am

I shortened a lineset thinking I would use it with the smaller peaks, but ended up using it on the 11m only. It gives me better upwind (the 11 is not so good upwind). And it also makes a dull feeling kite a bit more like the smaller sizes. I don't feel it made the low end much less because this kite is so slow that sending it trough the powerzone takes an eternity anyway and by that time I'm up and riding.
I hate the 5 and 4m on short lines, too much work for me.

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Re: Short lines for better high end

Postby nothing2seehere » Thu Jun 30, 2022 8:19 am

My initial reasoning was to reduce the number of kites that I own (or prevent me from needing to buy another kite anyway). It doesn't sound like its going to do that. As it is I generally prefer to be flying long lines (26-28m) on my 9m rather than normal length so it sounds like I need something different as the wind picks up.

As its easier to roll another set of lines out than pump another kite I was looking for a possible shortcut on those days when the wind picks up.

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Re: Short lines for better high end

Postby jumptheshark » Thu Jun 30, 2022 11:36 am

Well, opinions vary I guess.

I ride Peaks. Use the 6 on stock 21m lines, drop to 17m on the 5m, 14m on the 4m and 11m on the 3m.

As a result my ranges are quite different and I rig down later than most Peak riders.

Like anything (especially with small peaks) it takes getting used to. Many have initially complained about how sensitive small peeks are to sheeting and when used to a longer effective sheeting range the small peaks can feel awful until you spend enough time with them to adapt. Short lines is no different. The gains are less flutter, quicker kite positioning, less space required to launch or land, less power spike while unhooked and more consistent relaunch and swimming reset/launch. The downside is loss of low end power generation by working the kite.

As a result my personal preference is to be well into a smaller kites range when I rig down. I don’t particularly like being underpowered and use the kite to soften landings. When it comes to actively flying the kite through cutbacks and bottom turns I have a hard time waiting for kites in longer lines. The bigger the conditions the more so that is the case hence the ever shorter lines on smaller kites. As to drift, I find no real difference. In big winds Peaks drift! I respect that everyone has a different style and that line length is a fairly impactful variable in how you express yourself in your riding.

In general I think my ranges on the Peaks are shifted up 2-3 knots for each size respectively and I am under 75kg.


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