Just as important as kite size.
Pro rider Matthias Larsen on optimal line length.
Kite line length is underappreciated and often overlooked. It has a big impact on your kite’s flying characteristics and learning how and when to adjust them will make you a better kiter. We all know pulling power is dictated by kite size and shape, but few realize that line length also has an effect on kite power.
Find out for yourself with the Vario line equipped CORE Sensor 2+ or Sensor Pro bar. Both bars can easily adjust line length between 18 and 24m. Now, let’s review the main factors that affect line length choice:
1. THE BASICS
Longer lines increase the kite’s wind window and generate more power because a longer flight path means the kite accelerates faster. A faster accelerating kite generates more force. And ergo, more power. The additional power is especially noticeable with CORE’s LW lightwind edition kites that come standard with 3m line extensions.
Shorter lines, on the other hand, increases bar reflexivity, kite agility and turning speed. Although the optimal length for the majority of kiters is 24m, you won’t know unless you try shorter lines. 24m lines generate good power, turning speed and reflexivity without being too twitchy.
2. SKILL LEVEL / RIDING STYLE
Rider level and style are the most important factors in deciding line length. Beginners are better suited to longer lines as it gives the rider more time to react and more power without resorting to cycling the kite. Experienced riders will gravitate towards longer lines for bigger air as they generate more power than shorter lines. With the right technique and the same size kite, you will launch much higher with longer lines.
Shorter lines are recommended for wave riding, wakestyle and kite looping. Every wave rider has their personal preference, but most will select a line length between 20 and 24m. If your wave style includes a lot of kite movement and looping you may prefer 20m. If your wave style is more classic with lots of “drifting” and riding the wave face then you may lean towards a 24m line setup.
To get the best slack line performance out of your kite during a wakestyle session, go a little shorter like 22m. Handle passes are a little easier. And if I plan on throwing in some kiteloops, I might even go down to 20m for even faster kite response. In addition, shorter lines let me loop deeper in the window with a horizontal trajectory.
3. GUSTY WIND
Pros also look at wind consistency before considering line length. The longer the lines, the more reserve the kite has in the lulls.
Longer lines make kiting more comfortable for beginners and intermediates alike in gusty winds and, therefore, should stick with 24m lines in these conditions. More experienced kiters, though, may go shorter in squalls.
Have fun experimenting with different line lengths.
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