All about kite line extensions and lines length.
Kite lines length matters.
Different lengths of kite lines will change the performance of your kite. The longer the lines the longer the kite travels through the wind window, which equates to more power generation, higher jumps, more forgiving - slower steering. In the other hand with shorter lines the kite has smaller wind window – less power, faster steering and more responsive handling.
What’s the difference?
Longer lines main characteristics:
Better low end – worse high end because the kite travels through the wind window longer – it’ll generate more power for longer period of time. The other factor is wind gradient – wind speed increases with height. Usually, you can gain anything between 1 to 3 knots with longer lines (depends on extensions length as well as your kite spot).
Slower steering - More room for mistakes
When longer lines are useful:
Light wind kiting
When learning new tricks
Freeride – when you’re in the middle of your wind range, but want to get some more air.
Shorter lines main characteristics:
Better high end – worse low end – for the same reasons as longer lines have better low end.
Fast steering – more direct feeling – lower loops, but less room for mistakes
Explosive jumps – you can send it quicker, that’s why acceleration at the beginning of the jump is higher.
When shorter lines are useful:
Hydrofoiling (racing, not for light wind foiling) – you can go better upwind and downwind, but it’s harder and less room for mistakes. Some races go as low as 11-14m lines length.
Crazy low kiteloops
So, what’s the sweet spot?
Short answer – 18-22m lines length + 2m and 4m extension lines. E.g., if you get 20m lines with 2 set of extension lines (2m and 4m) It gives you 4 different combinations - 20m, 22m, 24m and 26m.
Testing, testing, testing. Extensions, extensions, extensions.
You should try different lines length in different conditions with different kites and see what you like.