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Author Topic: Which line for what windspeed?  (Read 1459 times)
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Makalu1
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« on: February 04, 2012, 10:31 AM »

Is there a rule of thumb for which line-pound rating to use in a certain wind range?  Kites makers seem to give wind ranges as part of the standard info but I have not seen the same from the line vendors.  Looks like 50#, 90#, 150#, 200# etc are among the standards for weights, but how do these correspond to a wind range?  And how do the different types of line effect this calculation?

It's blowing between 5-20 mph here in Salt Lake today and my E3 is my highest rated kite for those winds and it got me wondering about how to best figure this one out.

Thanks,

Scott 
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Scott Madsen
zippy8
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« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2012, 10:47 AM »

Is there a rule of thumb for which line-pound rating to use in a certain wind range?
There is not, beyond "more wind = more pull = stronger line".

Quote
It's blowing between 5-20 mph here in Salt Lake today and my E3 is my highest rated kite for those winds and it got me wondering about how to best figure this one out.
Your line should be comfortably able to withstand the maximum load likely to be placed upon it but remember that it has other effects on the kite. Stronger line is thicker and will produce more drag to slow the kite down but at the expense of some lack of control finesse. Certain kites are (in)famously light on the lines, such as some of Lam Hoac's designs, whereas others will give you something to lean back against.

In general, start with 150# line - it'll work across a wide wind range. If the lines are singing, go up a weight. If they are arcing across the sky in great curves of uselessness, switch to lighter lines.

Mike.
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RonG
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« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2012, 10:50 AM »

There are no standards because line weight depends a great deal on the amount of pull the kite generates.  That differs quite a bit depending overall kite size, design, vented/non-vented, etc.

If you want to talk in very broad terms, for say a full-size (7 1/2 to 8 foot), standard (not UL or vent) dual-line kite:

90# line is generally fine in a kite's "sweet spot", which for most is going to be in the 6-10mph range.

150# line will usually take you from 10mph up to the point where you're beginning to question whether you still want to fly a standard kite.  We'll say around 15mph, maybe more, maybe less.

I consider 200# line the measure of last resort for a standard kite.  You are either stubborn and refuse to stop flying despite the shuddering, distorting frame, or you're in competition and have no choice but to fly.

Now for a UL or a vented, obviously the above guidelines are adjusted as needed.  The only thing I'd say is that I've never personally seen a practical reason for flying a UL on 150# line, or a vented on 50# line.

Then there's the personal preference factor.  In my case, I'll generally stick with a lighter lineset for as long as I can get away with it.  I fly 90# line when most around me are flying 150#.  I feel less connected to the kite with heavier line, as the line has much more a "life of its own" as its diameter increases.  I'm willing to take the risk of line breakage for what I perceive as greater control.  A lot of that comes from competition experience, and feeling it better to be a bit overpowered than underpowered.

All of this is just from my own experience.  I'm sure lot of other folks here will post to tell me how many ways I'm wrong  Grin
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 10:52 AM by RonG » Logged
ko
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« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2012, 11:05 AM »

many times i have thought I was pushing my luck with 90# but have not broken a lineset. this is top of the line,line. Using 50# i have only broken it at the knot I am not getting into the old sleeving "to do or not to do"thing LOL anyway I also like 90# x 85ft. for most conditions
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have fun kurt
Gamelord
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« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2012, 11:15 AM »

I agree with all the above.  I use 90# line 99% of the time.  This only changes for two reasons:

1) The kite requires more line (Thors Hammer, NSR, Hawiian....) then I will switch up to the appropriate line either 150# or #250 (Thor)

2) The wind is nuts strong and line weight will make no difference.  Most of the time in these conditions, 150# is plenty for vented kites.

If flying indoor or SUL conditions, I may switch out to 50# line but I hate to use 50# because is is so flimsy and tangles are so much easier to get.  If I can get away with it, I will fly my SUL & UL kites on the same 90# lines.  If that doesn't work then out comes the single line indoor gliders.

Of course this does not apply to large SLK, lifters, sleds, etc...  For those, I usually lean to overkill on line strength as line drag & weight is usually not a huge factor.
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Makalu1
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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2012, 11:18 AM »

I figured it had to be more complicated than that.  Sounds like a spidey sense or feel kind of thing more than anything else, which I am getting a pretty good feel for.  My go-to line is also the 90# 85 footer.  And I sleeve most of my lines except for the SUL.

Thanks guys, there's some useful food for thought there.
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Scott Madsen
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« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2012, 12:09 PM »

An advantage of flying lighter lines....

The lines will start to hum when they get really taut.

It is a pretty and unusual sound.

The line will sound the highest and prettiest just before it breaks.  Huh
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John Chilese: Las Vegas, NV
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sugarbaker
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« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2012, 12:50 PM »

my most recent line break was due to the fact that I grabbed the wrong bag.  ended up flying my Shadow with 50#, 75ft laserpro gold... a mistake as the wind was about 5mph.  the kite was handling fine, but I ended up breaking the line approx 3 feet down from the knot after a quick snap stall during a gust of maybe 7mph.  It was a pretty spectacular descent even when I let go of the unbroken line.  Had to walk a good 800 yards to retrieve the kite and untangle it from the Nevada sage brush that grows outside of almost all of the manicured fields I've found to fly in. Wishing now that I had had 90# in that bag (and strange that I didn't, but I had just changed a bunch of kites out and didn't get it put back the way I'm used to).  Now my 50# laserpro gold is a 70ft line instead of 75!

The other thing I notice is that some line is thinner than others regardless of their advertised weight.  My 125# Prism Modulus set feels about the same as my 100# blue line set. 
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Hadge
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« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2012, 02:29 PM »

I carry 3 basic linesets ( well 4). 50lb/ 65ft for the Shadow in very light winds < 5mph. 90lb/80ft (x2) for 90% of my flying and 150lb/100ft when the wind gets over 20mph.  The 50/90lb lines are all Climax Professional and I've never had a breakage even when used in highly inappropriate winds, the 150lb is a standard Hq Dyneema set but due to get upgraded soon.  Remember with most lines the breaking strain quoted in usually a minimum b/s and they'll usually take quite a bit more ( though knots will always be a weak spot). Climax lines are particularly thin though the pro lines are yellow which not everyone likes.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 02:34 PM by Hadge » Logged

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Ca Ike
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« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2012, 06:18 PM »

At this point I use 90# for  everything and only vary the length depending on wind.  Light winds (2-5) on a ul I use 50-120 depending on the kite, std 75-120 foot, sul( vapor, ozone etc and sometimes my solus ul) 20-50 foot.  NOw keep in mind this is good line I used either laser pro gold or shanti skybond.  FOr cheaper spectra like excel, laser pro regular, berry blue that doesn't have as tight a braid, line weight comes more into play due to thickness and the drag caused by it.  I do keep a 150# linset around just for flying my old school kites like my prophecy which have substantially more pull than newer designs.
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kiteking
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« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2012, 06:48 PM »

I fly with the lightest line I can get away with, I tend to uses weight well below what most people use.

Agree with John about singing line.... At KP a couple of years ago the wind was almost nothing early in the day.

I was flying a Griffin UL on 50# and doing fine... took a break, the wind came up so I took out my 7-stack of Nexus, launched, made a ground pass, and the lines sounded like a orchestra.. I forgot to change out the 50#..

Agree with KO on good line, any of my line (less than 10 years old) has only given me problems at a knot, or when catching another kite.



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Makalu1
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« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2012, 08:15 PM »

Well, I got out there, launched the E3 in 5-10mph winds and then the wind flat out quit.  We went to another field and I put the Sea Devil SUL up in 2-5 mph winds with the 90#, 85 ft lazer pro lines and had a great afternoon.  Got the fade pretty much wired, did my first ever lazy-susans and first ever yo-yos and I'm happy as hell!  Finally making some progress thanks to some of you guys, a lot of work/play and that Freestyle Pilot video.  What a day for me!  None of which has anything to do with lines. 

Thanks again for you thoughts on lines!
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Scott Madsen
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« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2012, 09:07 PM »

  the kite was handling fine, but I ended up breaking the line approx 3 feet down from the knot after a quick snap stall during a gust of maybe 7mph.  Now my 50# laserpro gold is a 70ft line instead of 75!

Be willing to bet your line had an issue already at that spot.  I easily flew your kite in 15mph with the same length and weight.  The kite was racing but the linset held and I have one of the heaviest sets of hands known to man. Cry

Jim
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johnfarl
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« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2012, 02:31 PM »

There is another consideration in line weight.  Braking.  You might get away with 150 lb lines as far breaking strength but you might want to go up in line strenght to take advantage of the braking effect of the larger diameter line.  This is a major characteristic.  If you are flying long lines with large diameter you will be slowing your kite down and that can good in heavy winds.  Another solution is to usw extra large leaders 20 feet with large diameter.

It also works on the other end.  In light winds use the thinest lines possible.

Take note of the belly in your line as it goes out to the kite.  That belly is line braking.  Too much is very bad as it will act dead zone or backlash on your inputs.

If the line is .06 inch diameter versus .03 in. diameter and the length is 1200 inches or 100 feet. There is in effect a 36 in sq extra brake on the kite.  That is substantial.
 Math is (.06-.03)*1200=36
John
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thief
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« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2012, 02:34 PM »

i use 150# on all of my outdoor kites.....keeps it simple....
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