Choosing the right equipment for kitesurfing is important, as it depends on how much freedom we have to navigate. However, for beginners it can be difficult to choose these elements. What gives you freedom without becoming dangerous? Today we will tell you how to choose your kitesurfing lines.
What are kitesurfing lines?
Kitesurfing lines are the strings in charge of holding the kite to the bar so that the wind can carry you. They are made from thermo specific plastics that are melted into fibers, being its main component a high density polyethylene called Dyneema; this has a very low water absorption and great buoyancy, which makes it ideal for kitesurfing.
In addition, kitesurfing lines have the following characteristics:
- 1 – 2 millimeters in diameter
- 750 – 1000 pounds of tensile strength
- Less than 1% stretch
Generally, kites have room for 4 or 5 lines, but this will depend on the type of kitesurfing kite.
Parts of the kitesurfing lines
On the other hand, there are several kitesurfing lines, each with its own location and function. In this sense, when we talk about the parts of the kitesurfing lines, we speak of
- Pre-lines: they are the ones that connect the lines with the bar system.
- Rear lines: they are in charge of powering, depowering and directing the kite.
- Front lines: their job is to keep the kite in the air.
- Pigtails or connectors: they connect the kite and the lines.
- Fifth line: a safety system that stabilizes the front tube.
- Bridles: a set of lines and pulleys that balance the kite; they can be configured to boost or depower.
Length of kitesurfing lines
Kitesurfing lines can have different lengths, but you must take into account that this will define the kite’s flying radius. You can opt for short, standard or long lines, all of which have their own advantages.
Short lines: the flight window is short and the kite has less power, so it is more agile and direct; if the wind is light, it is used for teaching.
Long lines: the window is wide and the distance and speed of the flight also increases; allows better upwind in light winds.
Standard lines: offer good balanced kite characteristics and good upwind performance.
The standard size is between 22 and 24 meters, but this will depend on what you intend to do; in this sense, you can use the following guide:
|Lines legth||flight characteristics||Use|
|9 – 12 meters||Small flight window, very direct steering.||Ideal for learning. It can also be used to make radical KiteLoops.|
|12 – 22 meters||Direct kite response, precise steering.||Ideal for learning and radical KiteLoops, also suitable for freestyle.|
|22 – 24 meters||Flight window with large radius, balanced direction.||Ideal for FreeRider. Suitable for all other disciplines.|
|> 26 meters||Very large flight window, indirect direction.||Ideal for racing or light winds.|
Characteristics of kitesurfing lines
In addition to the length of the kitesurfing lines, they also have other characteristics that are important to know in order to guarantee your safety.
Many kitesurfing line manufacturers make kitesurfing lines color-coded to make it easier to separate them. Generally, the line on the left will be red or orange, while the one on the right will be blue; however, it is possible for the manufacturer to do it differently. Some even color the pre-line, float or bar end a different color.
These lines are found at the end of each line and are usually thicker; their function is to protect the kitesurfing lines from constant opening and closing to make connections. The most important thing to know is that these are usually replaced.
To avoid mistakes when making the connections between the kitesurf lines and the kite, manufacturers have two systems:
Color coding: to differentiate left and right, the kite and kite line connectors use the same color code.
Alternating knots and loops: each knot at the end of a kitesurf line will go with a loop on the kite; in this way, you cannot interchange the center lines with the directional lines.
I’m Sergio Turégano and I’ve been practicing kite for 10 years. Since I was little I was passionate about the sea and I started to jump into the water with boards since I can remember, I’ve tried body, surf and windsurf but kitesurfing is my passion. I was champion of the Kitesurf TT:R Open World Championship in 2017 and I have been runner-up of Spain in the Junior category. Now I dedicate my life to enjoy kitesurfing as much as I can and teach others how to practice this amazing sport in Tarifa. I love to write about it and share all my tricks, tips and secrets about the kite world.