Line Length? questions

Why have lines, especially with race kites, become shorter over the last few years ?,

5-6 years ago 25m was the norm….at NABX Stephan van Bommel and Dirix Mano were on 10m…..when I got my Prodigy kites, I was told 16m were the perfect length for these kites,  So what are the advantages of the shorter lines?


  • Laurent Calatayud – reduce traction, get kite bigger, have to ask to schapman or jensen, they ll have the best response 🙂
  • Arend Geerlings –
  • 1. Longer lines have more resistance and more weight.
  • 2. Due to the higher resistance is the efficiency of the pilot bearing.
  • 3. The kite with shorter lines, the higher efficiency, more speed development.
  • 4. With shorter lines have less burden of peddling.
  • 5. If the resistance is due to longer lines will be larger because of the decreasing efficiency, left, right and up smaller.
  • 6.Hoewel the wind window is smaller, the wind window just seems bigger because the kite has become slower and he also must travel a greater distance from left to right.
  • 7. The pilot is within a smaller window wind more in the power zone of the wind than in a large wind window. The time in the power zone, and therefore takes longer so the kite will exert the same force.
  • 8. If you come for wind power shortage, then a longer line length, and thus a smaller wind window, the solution. The kite is a longer time in the power zone.
  • 9. An important consequence of the increased efficiency and a larger wind window for shorter lines with the kite is that you can ride upwind better.
  • 10. Short lines can be beneficial in a hard wind, because the kite is shorter than in the power zone. You could use them here if you’re a little too large kite in high winds would continue to monitor.
  • 11. The shorter reaction time, the line length is shorter. Less time to correct so. Short lines can result in a (too) high winds so unfavorable.
  • 12. With little wind to play a negative role in longer lines faster because of their greater resistance and weight.
  • 13. Longer lines can cause you to greater heights can use more and cleaner air, less turbulent.
  • 14. With less or gusty winds, especially in the interior, longer lines to make sure that your example with a slightly undersized pilot can still fly a kite or buggy ride.
  • 15. With longer lines running the kite slowly.
  • 16. The kite reacts with short lines faster and more directly to steering commands. The effect may be that the rapid reactions may be explosive.
  • 17. Longer lines can cause a too bright kite in a strong wind still easy to control, because the kite a bit slower, less explosive, is.
  • 18. Intermediate pilots flying with shorter lines can have the disadvantage that they are in a larger wind screen but with a smaller flying distance, is not able to provide their maximum performance. The smaller flight distance can ensure that the maximum speed and power is not achieved.
  • 19. High performance kites, such as race mattresses, are inherently faster than intermediate pilots. They also accelerate faster. With shorter lines, these high performance racers usually still quite capable at a shorter distance their maximum speed and optimum power to achieve. These kites are therefore more advantage from shorter lines.
  • 20. In flyboarden and kitesurfing, the lines are longer than the chosen buggy ride. Longer lines result from these activities longer the same force and the “hang time” is longer.
  • 21. You have longer lines with more flying space.
  • 22. The length of the lines has an effect at the moment of inertia of a kite. The moment of inertia can be calculated using the formula: I = m * r2. In this respect is the moment of inertia I, m is the mass of the kite and r is the length of the lines. From the formula it follows that the mass moment of inertia increases quadratically with the length of the lines. It goes without saying that, because of the mass moment of inertia of the speed of movement of the kite is strongly influenced by the length of the lines.
  • Arend Geerlings – Last post was from Ad Branger on translated with Google translator.
  • Arend Geerlings – For the record….my former Vapors and now my new Z3 kites are awesome on 14 meter, but I always have 16, 18 and 20 also in the bag if I need them (but I take them never). But also the 10m2 is flown on 14m.
  • Craig Hansen – In short you have better LTD of the unit, sum of the kite and lines.
  • Carlos Fandango – LTD ?
  • Craig Hansen – NASA have some excellent info on this. LINK,  However that is for Speed. For Jumping and terrain riding short lines can be  “can be” a hazard and take the fun out of it, in dunes for instance there is no wind in the holes between the dunes and you need long lines to reach up in to the wind.
  • Marcus Livermore – Long lines slow kite reaction short lines speed it up ! As for line dragging thro the wind this is kites we are talking about isn’t it ? You guys are on another level ! Personally I use 750lb flexi lines but then again I like to no I’m not going to land on my head when one breaks 25m and 30m all the way !
  • Stuart Mcgougan – Shorter lines means less difference in power between a parked vs swooping kite.  With short lines you can throw kite about, putting it where you need it, without getting overpowered.  Tacking is easier as kite does not power up so much when you raise it.  Going from 20m to 15m lines lets you fly about one size bigger.
  • KiteBuggy BagMan – longer lines better when less wind as well, more window for kite,  manufacturers might prefer you to have shorter lines as well as there is less of a differential between kite sizes = more kites!
  • Adrian Lavelle – In regards to racing the reduction in line length was for one major reason, manoeuvre time.Most turns involve you getting your kite to or near to the zenith, your kite fly’s at the same speed on any lines so the longer your lines the further it has to fly to get to the zenith so more time in the manoeuvre.

    25m lines from sand to zenith is 39.2m
    20m lines from sand to zenith is 31.5m
    15m lines from sand to zenith is 23.5m

    so its roughly 25% faster getting the same kite to the zenith on 15m lines as it would be on 20m.

    Manoeuvre time.
    Kite is responsive.
    Less line drag.

    Window is smaller so working kite is less effective so you need to chose the right size kite.
    In offshore or inland conditions wind conditions at lower heights tend to be less stable.
    Everything happens quicker including collapses.

  • KiteBuggy BagMan – yes it does make a hell of a difference there is no doubt about that
  • Stephen Berry – So what length lines on what size kites, could i use 15m on 2.5 and on 7m and so on.
  • Davis Cheek – I fly at a large polo field and the perimeter on 3 sides is pine trees. I like short lines, less time packing up. But sometimes I have to use a 30m line set to get to the wind because of the trees disrupting the air flow. I believe that a longer line set will give you a bigger window to work your power. Better for park and ride, pain in the butt to pack up.
  • Garry Box – Boy i remember when 25 metres was considered short!!  Race rules allow 45 metres from handles to back of kite as that was the norm when rules drawn up.