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Anyone have experience experimenting with shorter lines? Chime in. Likes? Dislikes? Ive toyed with line extensions in light wind and its amazing what 3m extensions make on 24m lines. Sluggish yes, but generates a lot more power, gets u through the holes better, but what about the other direction. I fly a quiver of wainmans (7.5, 9, 12, 14.5). The line sets are designed with line extensions. I believe the total length of the lines are (17+7) 24m (correct me if im wrong).How drastic of a change would it be to drop those 7 meter extensions. Im aware the power zone will "shrink" and the kite will be a lot more responsive (they already are amazing!). Ive been focusing on riding strapless surfboards lately and like flying the kite as opposed to parking it. I also want to be able to get the kit in and out of the power zone much faster, and i know dropping the extensions would acheive that. Im just curious to hear other peoples first hand opinions and experience, not speculation or physics and engineering breakdowns. Real experience only. My thought is that you get more depower by both sheeting out as well as getting out of the power zone faster, but you benefit of that grunt when your in that powerzone that you may not get as much by just flying the crap out of a smaller kite. I may give it a shot tomarrow.
I used to fly Wainmans... just before I switched to different kites, I started using shorter lines. I haven't once used longer lines since then. There are only a very small number of conditions that would make me go back. Now that I fly kites that are quite a bit faster than the Wainmans, the smaller power zone is not much of a concern.
I wouldn't say the kite is more responsive on shorter lines. It still turns at the same rate. It just gets where it is going to faster. I don't notice any extra depower, except for spending less time in the power zone when cutting the kite across it. But I wouldn't describe that feeling as more depower - you just have power for less time. One thing that is a little tougher on short lines is slacking the lines. If you manage to put 2m of slack in the lines, that has a greater chance of presenting problems on short lines.
My experience of shorter lines (all riding strapless surfboard) is that it is a huge amount of fun. It offers a lot more options in a turn. Often, I have to find ways to slow the kite down to make the turn I want to. But all that speed is there if I want it.
Anyway, in my opinion you should definitely try it - at least once. It sounds like our riding styles are similar and as I said already, I probably won't switch back.
cleepa and others,
When you say shroter, what lengths are you riding?
I'm on about 20m now but I have a set of lines that frayed out at one end. I can cut them down to a shorter set. I'd like to try it out but only get one shot at cutting them.
p.s. 95% coastal wave riding strapless....
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I had to go shorter, I believe down to 20 m, as one of my kites was just dead at 23m. Making tha change totally changed the performance of that kite, which is a 9m, for the better. My 7m's performance was only slightly affected, but it took me a while to get comfortable with the 13m again. The 13 m behaves better on 23 meter lines, its just more predictable, but I fly It rarely so that's why I keep my lines short. I use the same bar for All 3 kites.
Got to ride the 7m & 9m Wainman's with Lou's 15 m pulley bars when he was here in May and June.
Super sweet. Pulley bar is AWESOME. Fun and totally different experience.
Benicia Kite and Paddle Sports
4562 East 2nd Street, Unit J & K
Benicia, CA 94510
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