philm63

Line Lengths for Beginners

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New to kite flying, got some questions about line lengths for various situations. I currently fly an ITW Spider with 65' lines (stock polyester lines were 80' - cut them down to 65' and equalized them after a few flights). Kite seems a little more responsive now (= a little more fun for me). I also have another line set - Dyneema 90# - was supposed to be 65' but came to me at 100'. I'm looking to cut these down so I can use them (I've flown them and they just put my itsy-bitsy Spider so far away...)

I wish to improve my knowledge on line sets before I do anything further to be sure I'm not just butchering line sets and ending up with a bunch of scrap. So let the questions fly...

With smaller kites, can you go shorter than 65’, or should you stick to longer (65’ to 80’) lines because smaller kites can be faster/twitchier and it’s better to maintain some distance/reaction time?

If you’re just flying casually (not tricking), should you go with longer lines?

If you are flying fast and hard (not tricking), should you go with shorter lines?

Assuming you have the appropriate kite and wind conditions for doing tricks, and all else being equal, what are the advantages/disadvantages of using shorter lines vs. longer lines?

What line length is best suited for beginners learning to do tricks (again; assuming the appropriate kite and wind conditions)?

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80' should be okay. Not long at all. Most people fly STD stunts with 25-32 meters lines.

The length of the lines impact the size of your wind window. The longer they get, the bigger the wind window that you will get.

You are right that with shorter lines the kite will become more responsive, but for a begginer this might be a disadvantage, since longer lines mean a more forgiving behavior.

Try to get used to your 80' (or better 82'). This is also ITW' recommended length.

BTW - consider reading about cutting lines and how to do it the right way (you should use sleeves)

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I think most flyers have a variety of both lengths and weight lines to match a variety of wind and location conditions. A short set of 20'-30', a medium length set of 60'-90', and a longer set of 100'-125'. Each length sets in both 50# and 90#. Might even have a set of 150#. Some have even more variety than that, but you get the idea. Definitely use a high quality line with very little stretch or creep, such as Laser Pro Gold, Climax Protec or Skybond.

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90 lb X 85 ft should serve you for most situations.
A set of 50 lb lines will come in handy once in a (light wind) while.

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How important is it to have 50lb line for light winds. I am going to be picking up a low wind kite soon, and will need to purchase line to go with it. I have been back and forth between 50lb and 90lb. I fly 150lb with my Quantum when the winds pick up...usually 13 and above, but have no problem using 90lb for the 8-12 range. Do you really need to drop down to 50 for the 2-7 range? Does it really make that much of a difference with drag?

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What lengths?  Some don't like 50# much, too easy to snag on grass and damned near impossible to undo a knot. 90# will work pretty well as shorties, but there is a difference in the lighter lines, the longer you go! So it really depends on your favorite length, on the need for lighter lines.

Even as a quad flier, I use 50# for several line sets in light winds - 30', 50', 85', and 120'. All but the 85' are my solo lines, 85' are my team's choice, along with an SUL. YMMV

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light wind kites need 50# lines to fly. if the line is to heavy you will not have lift or the drag will be to much. all the time is a "play" between kite, lines and conditions. for Quantum 5 to 12 MPH you may use a 90#  line but above that chance with 120-150#.

 

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20 minutes ago, Wayne Dowler said:

What lengths?  Some don't like 50# much, too easy to snag on grass and damned near impossible to undo a knot. 90# will work pretty well as shorties, but there is a difference in the lighter lines, the longer you go! So it really depends on your favorite length, on the need for lighter lines.

I'm thinking 75'-100'. This is what I usually fly, this is what I like.

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That long - I would suggest - yes, get at least 1 set of 50# in a length you like and will use! A lot less drag and can even lower that low wind capability for you a bit!

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If your fifty pound lines begin to sing or some say whine, it is a sign.  Now personally I love to hear that magic sound.  But if you hear it while flying fifties you better fly to the side & land.  Time to switch set ups.  Heavier lines, which may still sing, or different kite/line set up may be in order.  Plan on breaking fifties, it will happen.  Then you just make shorter sets out of the broken lines.  Be careful not to get even a half knot accidentally somewhere in your lines.  It will be a weak point.  One good pop or gust will snap it if the pressure is on.  If you get your line snagged on a weed or even Velcro try to smooth it out if it is frayed at all.  Ninety pound lines are quite a bit more resistant to issues & I fly them much more often.  Some have given up on light lines in frustration.  Anyway, I have broken fifty pound lines with tiny kites like this one.

large.598a317cc4e6a_PrismMicron1.jpg

I actually am kind of proud of that.  Gives me braggin' rights.  SHBKF

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Are 50# lines that fragile? Why would anyone choose to fly with them?

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I use them in low wind. Less than 2 mph. I buy 1000 foot spools of line, sleeving material and I bought a $4 sleeving tool that works way easier than my homemade one. Make the lines at whatever length I want and use them in light winds where there isn't anything to snag them on. Haven't broken one Flying yet but inspect them and replace as needed.


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for dually line 50# or less I found power pro super8 slick fishing line is a good choice. Yea I know it's not kite line but for a light dually line, so what, its a 8 strand spectra line made under compression like skybond and its even coated like skybond with a slick feel to it. It even comes in yellow. and its cheap, 150 yds cost 20$. I can make at least two sets for that price. I even made up a 20# line x 120' for 1-2 mph. I may make it shorter later, just wanted to start out long, see how that works. 100' might be better, I can always make it shorter. The Powerpro line is available from 10#- 80# in 10# increments. I would not use it for quads because I don't know how it works in team situations, I don't want to take a chance of damaging someone's line, but for a dually,, My boy's had a 50# line break once in flight, it was with his original light wind itw swift kite. The wind picked up just a little too much, snap and the kite went into a tailspin. No damage to the kite, we were lucky. you have to inspect the lines regularly. That was with the line that came with kite not the powerpro. I don't worry about the powerpro breaking so much because it's so cheap. But no problems so far, No breaks no bad spots, yet, fingers crossed.

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Are 50# lines that fragile? Why would anyone chose to fly with them?


I use #50 x 100 feet for my Seven SUL. It's an 8 foot wing and use it until early double digits (km/h). It's not fragile but definitely becomes springy under too much wind load.
Don't forget, 2 #50 lines means a load capacity of roughly #100.


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1 hour ago, SparkieRob said:

Don't forget, 2 #50 lines means a load capacity of roughly #100.

 

 

This is true. The weight of the pull is being distributed between two lines giving double the strength.

I tend to fly at the beach 99% of the time. I live at the shore and it provides the most wind and cleanest wind...especially when the winds are from the N S or E. But winds can pick up pretty quickly and dragging line across the sand for a couple hours...just not sure 50# is going to be the best choice for my flying conditions. Guess good ol trial and error will be key here.

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I have lots of different lengths and weights. The majority of the time I only use one set- 75ft* 100# Skybond- for all my dual line flying, from the Nexus in high wind to the Shadow when the wind is low.  First, I am lazy like that, second, I'm not good enough at tricks to notice the difference. 

I would recommend making a short set(from a broken or worn set) to practice ground recovery. I used 40ft lines. I know the practice lowered my time spent walking to set up a crashed kite on longer lines.

I would also recommend upgrading from the stock/included lines. I have not had good luck with them.

*New, it was 75ft. I broke a line flying a Quantum in winds much too gusty. It is now 73ft and showing signs of wear.

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1 hour ago, Kansas Flier said:

I would also recommend upgrading from the stock/included lines. I have not had good luck with them.

I'm pretty sure the lines that came with the Prism Quantum are quality lines...Dyneema 90#. I could be wrong though. 

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You may have a great set of stock lines. I have had bad luck with the stock sets. After the third stretched line I swore off stock sets. 

I am by no means a skilled pilot, but I can tell the difference between using stock lines and better quality lines. It's mostly noticeable when you have several twists in your line.

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Dyneema line is made from spectra fibers. It is fine for dual-line kites if you fly alone. If you fly with others and cross lines, or fly a quad which has four lines by default, you will notice that it begins to bind up sooner when the lines are twisted. The looser weave allows them to stretch more and feel spongier than those with a tighter weave. The lines commonly used for quad kites are made of a different weave pattern and weave density. They are palpably smoother and a bit thicker for the same strength/test for this reason, and therefore preferred for quad and team flying. If your lines bind up it will drastically limit the effectiveness of any inputs you give the kite.

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On 8/8/2017 at 1:37 PM, Wayne Dowler said:

That long - I would suggest - yes, get at least 1 set of 50# in a length you like and will use! A lot less drag and can even lower that low wind capability for you a bit!

Picked myself up a set of 50# and 100# lines today. 

Now I have 50, 100 and 150 # sets.

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two lines of 50# rarely means 100# by distribution. this is happening just at launch till strait up over the head. any left right movement put the pull on to a single line or some percentage on second one so... be carefully and do not count on the sum of two lines.if you make tricks you must to have the full load on to a single line and add to that initial pull you give to create the movement.that actually add  some more to the full pull of the kite. 

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