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Tip8: 2 line versus 4 line kites

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  • cglazier@home.com
    [found at this web site in their FAQ section] http://www.kiteworld.net What are the differences between a 2-line and a 4-line kite? A 2-line kite has 2 control
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 3, 2000
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      [found at this web site in their FAQ section]
      http://www.kiteworld.net


      What are the differences between a 2-line and a 4-line kite?

      A 2-line kite has 2 control lines: left and right line. You pull on
      the left line to turn the kite to the left and pull on the right line
      to turn the kite to the right. That's all you can do with a 2-line
      kite. If both lines are in a neutral position, the kite will
      continue on its current flight path and fly to the edge of the wind
      window (left, right, upward or downward edges).

      A 4-line foil kite has 4 lines: 2 front lines or main lines and 2
      back lines or brake lines. The 4 lines offer much more control of
      the kite. With the use of a pair of 4 line handles, some 4 line
      kites - especially soft foil kites - also allows you to turn the kite
      to the left by pulling on the left handle and turn the kite to the
      right by pulling on the right handle (similar to a 2 line kite). This
      is actually the prefer way to turn the kite while kitesurfing as the
      turn is smoother and the kite can generate continuous power while
      turning. You can turn the kite faster by pulling on a brake line (the
      2 front lines are called main lines; the 2 back lines are called
      brake lines). You can turn the kite to the left by pulling on the
      left brake line and turn the kite to the right by pulling on the
      right brake line. Some 4-line kites can spin on the same spot if
      you pull on one of the brake line while shortly after pulling on the
      other main line. If both the handles are in a neutral position, the
      kite will continue on its flight path and fly to the edge of the wind
      window (depending on the bridle set up, some kites may not move
      forward and just hovers at the same spot. To move it forward, just
      pull slightly on both of the main lines). You can slow the kite down
      by pulling slightly on both of the brake lines; stop the kite by
      pulling harder on both of the brakes lines; or make the kite moving
      backward by pulling very hard on both of the brake lines. You can
      depower the kite by pulling on both of the brake lines to slow it
      down.

      Some 4 line kites such as the 4 line Wipika/Naish kite allows you to
      depower the kite by changing the angle of attack (AOA) by pulling on
      the front lines.

      Some 3 line foil kite such as the Concept Air New Wave allows you to
      change the shape of the kite (therefore changing the projected
      surface) by pulling or releasing the back line.

      Should I use a 2 line or a 4 line kite?

      If you have already known how to fly a 2 line or 4 line kite, you can
      select either a 2 line or a 4 line kite. If you have never flown a
      kite before, use a 2 line kite. Once you become more efficient
      controlling your 2 line kite, you definitely want to have at least
      one 4 line kite in your kite bag.

      Following are the advantages of 2 line and 4 line kites:

      2 line kites:

      Less line-tangle
      Can be used with a 2 line reel bar to facilitate launching in a
      crowded place
      Less drag
      Easier to control
      Easier to change line length
      Less expensive line set
      4 line kites:

      Easier to water relaunch (not applicable to the 4-line Naish/Wipika
      kites)
      Can depower the kite (this means larger wind range)
      Can launch or land the kite almost anywhere in the wind window (not
      applicable to the 4-line Naish/Wipika kites).
      Can spin the kite easier to untwist the line
      Can turn the kite faster (very good for keeping it out of the water)
      Easier to recover from lulls
      So the advantage of a 2-line system is its simplicity but it provides
      less control of the kite. The advantage of a 4-line system is that
      it provides more control of the kite (turn faster, go backward,
      depower, stall, etc.) and makes relaunching the kite easier but more
      complexity (line tangle, drag, etc.).

      How do I depower a 2-line kite?

      You cannot depower a 2-line kite; however, you can simulate
      the "depowering" of a 2-line kite by letting it fly to the edge of
      the forward wind window. So when you are overpowered, fight hard to
      turn your board way upwind to slow it down. The kite will fly fast
      to the edge of the forward wind window. Once it is there, the pull
      of the kite will become more manageable.

      You can also simulate the "depowering" of a 2-line kite by flying it
      higher in the wind window; however, the kite tends to lift you up and
      make it harder for you to control the board.
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