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Author: Subject: When good lines go bad

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[*] posted on 7-19-2019 at 10:17 AM
When good lines go bad


Thought I might post about something that happened recently.

I brought out a few kites, my usual best ones for 5Bf. Anyways, the all flew like dead ducks. None of the cells would inflate and subsequently they would just flop around and not turn or behave at all (and no traction to speak of obviously).

Another kiter who happened to be on the beach (sound guy) suggested tying a knot further up the power lines, and lo be hold - fixed! Huge power and flying a long session afterwards.

So my point - have others come across this stretching of power lines and the ruining of their kite geometry as a result? I've probably had the same line for 6-7 years and only ever use the same set for all kites, but only probably get out less than 10 times a year (max).


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A worn set of 4 lines with slack in the power lines!
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[*] posted on 7-19-2019 at 03:17 PM

Many, many people have no doubt experienced line stretch, either from time to time or regularly. HOWEVER, tying a knot in the line is not way to go about things if by that you mean you tied a knot in the long line itself. If yes, you have really reduced the strength of that line.

I'm assuming here that you are talking about fixed bridges flown from handles. If yes, the lines you want to put knots in close to your handles are the thick pigtail leaders coming from your handles. Tie simple overhand knots in these pigtails close to the handles for your power lines and move the larkshead knots of the power lines up to them, effectively shortening them. Alternatively, work knots out in your brake line pigtails and move your brake lines down farther away from your handles, effectively lengthening them. What I'm getting at here is that you are trying to change the relationship between brake and power lines.

There, properly mansplained. :D

If you meant the pigtails then please disregard.

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[*] posted on 7-19-2019 at 04:42 PM

Another option if the leaders on your handles/bar is not long enough to add some knots and shorten the main power lines. You can add some to the brake lines. I have a bunch of pre made pigtails made out of strong line, loop on one end to larks head to the line on the handles, and a knot every 2-3 inches along the lines for about 1 to 1 1/2 feet. If the lines are stretched beyond tuning on handles, just add the extensions to the pigtails that require more length. Keep some of these pre made in your kite bag and you will never be caught out with a poorly tuned kite.

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0.7m / 1.4m / 2.0m PKD Buster I
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[*] posted on 7-19-2019 at 05:46 PM

Yep all great advice above guys. :thumbup:

The power lines shrink over time as they ingest sand and salt. My "Q-power pro" front lines have shrunk a measured 240mm from new so far. Measured with a steel tape. (I was a "Doubting Thomas" too, so have been monitoring them very closely since I bought 3 sets. They most certainly shrink.

I make new steering line pigtails to replace the originals from 2mm hollow core dyneema and splice the "pigtail" full length using a 1 mtr length folded in half. (500mm back up through the centre leaving a small loop at the bottom for connection to the line.) Old line set dyneema is perfect for these pigtails as they are only used on steering lines anyway. So breaking strain isn't such an issue.

For splicing fids, grab some "double ended stainless steel knitting needles" off Fleabay and by cutting them in half with a 45degree cut, (I used my Dremel with a cutting disc and a small tapered round file to clean up the burr) you will have 10 sets of 11 sizes to share with your mates.


On the end of the dyneema run a bead of super glue up 15mm of the dyneema and when it's fully dry, cut a taper through the glue with a sharp blade and insert this taper into the end of the fid and retain it with 20mm of sticky tape covering the end of the fid/dyneema join.

I add knots every 50mm or so and end up with 5 figure 8 knots. I use figure 8 as they are larger and there is less chance of the larks head slipping off when powering up/launching. I mark the knot with a texta that I usually use just for a reference.

When flying my depower foils the bonus with making these pigtails is, when your over powered on a kite that's too large for the current wind conditions and you have run out of trim, just land and let your steer lines out another 50mm and you have just reduced your kite size by about 2m2 making it comfortable to ride still.

As you use these pig tails and adjust over time towards the end knots, just remove the knots ahead of your setting to regain more overall length. (This is where the figure 8 works in your favor by adding more length as it's removed).

The tapered awl is also an invaluable tool when working on lines and kite bridles. It's always on my workbench.

Grey (short pigtails) are standard Ozone below.

Lines.jpg - 207kB

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