What kind of kite line to buy?
The answer depends on how much performance you want and how much
money you want to
By checking the
information below you should be able to come up with a good idea of what
kind of kite line you're looking for. Optimal line length for the beginner should range between 90'
and 125', this will make your kite "appear" to be moving slower as it covers
more real estate before your input is required. Having longer kite lines will give you
more time and space to react while you're getting the feel for flying a sport kite. After
getting used to your kite's characteristics you may choose to cut down your line, however,
you may find that your kite flying experience isn't quite as relaxing as with longer
kite lines. Line length is an individual choice but we don't recommend cutting down your lines
until you are sure that you will enjoy the small wind window and hyper response of short
Friction: You want to have a slippery line to allow you to spin
your kite in circles etc., yet still remain in control over it as the
kite lines get twisted
together. For example Spectra lines can generally be twisted 15 or so turns before they
start to tighten up. Spectra on the other hand has a lower melting point, meaning if they
cross with other types of less expensive line such as polyester or cotton, the Spectra
will generally be cut / melted by the less expensive line.
larger the cross sectional diameter of the line the more wind drag it has as the kite
flies through the air. As the kite's speed increases the line begins to arc up to the kite
instead of running straight up to it. This means that as you pull on the line to turn the
kite, you must first pull the slack out of the line before the kite responds.
Stretch: A stretchy
kite line such as nylon will become longer as you
pull on it to turn your kite. This slows down the response of the kite by lessening the
impact of your hand movements. The less stretch a line has the more expensive it will be
When flying with others that are using 100%
Spectra kite lines remember that if you cross their line with your less expensive lines you will
almost surely cut / melt their Spectra. If you plan on flying side by side or in a team
formation with others you should first check the compatibility of your lines to avoid
expensive line loss. If you've invested in a quality set of Spectra lines you'll want to
protect them by checking that your new flying partner has equally good lines before trying
any team flights.
Common Types of Sport
Nylon: is a very stretchy
that slows down the input to your kite. Many people feel it is totally unsuitable for
Dacron: is not as stretchy as Nylon, it's inexpensive, durable and
adequately thin for the beginner. It is fine for use as sport kite line when price is of more
concern than performance. The stretch of Dacron can be user friendly to the beginner if
(s)he tends to over-react while leaning how to fly a dual line kite. The added stretch of
Dacron slows down steering input. A simple line upgrade at a later date or with your
original order will enhance any kite's performance.
Spectra: (often no-name brand) has a tracer line braided
into the Spectra to reduce the weakness at the knot area. It doesn't require sleeving
making it very user friendly. It has low stretch characteristics (~6%).
Line: is the Shanti trademark for a
Spectra-blend kite line that has a little more stretch than 100% Spectra (about 6% stretch
compared to Spectra's 4%). It doesn't require sleeving and is less expensive than 100%
Spectra. It has a larger cross sectional diameter than pure Spectra but is an excellent
choice for those that want to start out with a good quality line without the extra cost.
likely the best
choice for stunt kite line. It is a high performance line that has very low stretch (~4%)
as well as a very low cross sectional diameter compared to other types of line. This
creates less line drag while flying your kite and allows the kite to respond to your input
quickly without having to pull stretch out of the line first. It has a low melting point
making it easily cut by other types of line but is slippery when used with teams flying
the same type of line. It is up to 60% weaker at knots due to it's molecular
structure and in most peoples opinion (including ours) requires sleeving at the knot area
to help preserve the rated strength of the line. Pre-sleeved Shanti Spectra
kite line is called