Best Replacement Kiteboarding Flying Lines Sets

Male holding kiteboard while using bar to control kiteboarding flying lines

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Have you ever had your kite line break? I have and had no clue how to replace them. Do I buy new lines or can I fix the broken line? As a proud outdoor nerd, I did what every member of Outdoors Informed does. I began a comprehensive search for the best kiteboarding flying lines. My search included asking local kiteboarders and scouring the web.

Factors To Select A Quality Set Of Kiteboarding Flying Lines.

What was the results of my search? Well here is a basic outline of what to look for in a good set of kiteboarding flying lines. First, look for kite flying lines with a high breaking strain/load of between 700 lbs to 1000 lbs. Second, confirm the use of materials like UHMWPE (Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene). Also known as Dyneema or Spectra by different manufacturers. It yields the highest strength to weight ratio with the best abrasion resistance. Third, ensure the flying lines are pre-stretched, sleeved and coated.

When buying kite flying lines, you have three options.

  1. Ready made line sets from most major kite brands
  2. Standard kite-grade line sets from kite parts vendors
  3. High quality UHMWPE line spools in bulk. Which you put together yourself using splicing and sleeve tools.

The DIY option is best for experienced or expert kiters though. For most kite riders the first two options are best. To help you make an informed choice I found five great flying line sets. Plus I have included a DIY choice if you are comfortable assembling your own lines.

Also, if you don’t know what kiteboarding lines are, there is a guide at the end of the article. You can either navigate via the table of contents or read on. Anyways, lets “send it” and get started.

We updated this article in July 2020 to ensure that the kiteboarding flying lines sets we recommend meet our current standards. For this year a new package of lines hits our “best of” article. Read on to discover which of these six kiteboarding lines sets for 2020 is best for your needs. 

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Table of Contents

Comparison Chart: Kiteboarding Fly Lines

Maelstorm Kite 4 Line Set: Best Overall

Purple label with gold anchor stating Editor's choice
Maelstorm 25m Kite Line Set With Pigtail Connectors
  • Material: UHMWPE Fibers
  • Breaking Strain: 1000 lbs / 453 kg 
  • Dimensions: 4 X 25 M / 82 ft
  • Diameter: 1.8 mm
  • More abrasion resistant than high carbon steel, resistant to UV light
  • Pre-stretched and Pre-sleeved
  • Both ends are stitched with sleeves and loops
  • Other available lengths (meters): 10, 18, 20, 22, 24, 27
What We Like
What We Do Not Like

Why Choose Maelstorm Kiteboarding Flying Lines?

I chose Maelstorm kite lines as best overall because the quality to cost ratio is amazing. Where else can you get Four UHMWPE kite lines, with a breaking strain rating 1000 lbs under $100? Plus they include 4 pigtail lines for free too. This package of kite lines is such a great deal!

So who is Maelstrom anyways? They are a kite and kite accessories company founded in 2007 and based in China. Don’t let the fact that they from China scare you off though. This is because China produces 90% of all kite sports equipment. Headquartering there allows Maelstrom to ensure the highest quality at the lowest cost. Thus passing those savings on to you.

I like that the lines are pre-stretched and sleeved, it makes installing them a breeze. The lines are also my preferred diameter of 1.8 millimeters. I use this diameter line because it is slim enough to keep “air drag” as little as possible while still being strong. Likewise, Maelstrom makes a wide ranges of lengths so you have many buying options.

As for colored lines, well this actually doesn’t do anything performance wise. The visibility of the lines aid other kiters seeing you. As well as stop you from mistaking left for right and vice versa.

The only little downside for the lines is that they are pretty stiff out of the package. But don’t worry, the first time your kite lifts into the air the line straightens out.

Ultimately, these are great lines for an even better price.

Best For Cabrinha 1X Control Bars

Cabrinha Kiteboarding 24m Flying Lines
  • Material: Dyneema
  • Breaking strain: Info Not Available
  • Dimensions: 2 X 24 M / 79 ft
  • Diameter: Info Not Available
  • Ideal Use: Cabrinha single line flag out bars, commonly called "1X"
  • Other available lengths (meters): 20
What We Like
What We Do Not Like

Which replacement kite lines to buy for a Cabrinha 1X control bar?

Are you are a brand loyalist? If you are and ride with the Cabrinha 1X control bar then here are the replacement fly lines to match. These are a set of two 24 meter rear lines which work with Cabrinha single line flag out bars.

If you have been living under a rock and don’t know who Cabrinha is, then here is a some quick info. It has been around since 2000, started in Maui by Pete Cabrinha along with the Neil Pryde group. Pete has a masters’ status in surfing, windsurfing, and kitesurfing. Over the past 15 years, their sponsored riders have crushed professional kiting records almost every year. Simply put, they are one of the juggernauts in the kitesurfing world. Huh! kitesurfing? Yes but remember kiteboarding or surfing are just two different styles of the same sport. So the fly lines are the same.

On to these lines, I have never owned them but I know some people feel comfortable staying true to “their brand.” So I included them in this article anyways. The price point is fair for Dyneema lines of this length and you can buy them in 20 meter lengths as well.

What I don’t like about these lines is how little information I could find about them. Some brands don’t give out the technical specs about their lines for fears of copying them. This is a nuisance but if you are a brand loyalist you may already know what to expect from these lines anyways.

So if you want to match the rear lines to your original 1X control bar these are the lines for you.

Top Budget Friendly Pick For D.I.Y. Kiteboarders

green budget friendly label
Emma Kites UHMWPE Braided Cord Spool
  • Material: 100% UHMWPE
  • Breaking strain: 900 lbs
  • Dimensions: 1 (roll) X 15 M / 50 ft
  • Diameter: 1.8 millimeters
  • 15 times stronger than steel by weight ratio
  • Other lengths available: 100 ft
What We Like
What We Do Not Like

What kind of line can I use to make my own kite lines?

The best line you can use to make your own kite flying lines is 100% UHMWPE. This abbreviation means Ultra High Weight Molecular Polyethylene. It has massive strength with the lightest weight. In fact this material is 15 times stronger than steel by weight ratio. Plus it floats in water, great for dragging in lines after finishing a long session.

For my budget friendly choice in 2020, this cord spool is tough to beat. Experienced DIY riders will appreciate the low elongation/creep rating of 4.5%. When I first touched the line I noticed how the braid of the cord is very tight, good sign of tensile strength. The 1.8 millimeter line has a good 900 lb breaking strain rating, thus it will tackle your kiteboarding needs just fine.

Another bonus is how resistant it is to abrasion and wear. While also preventing Ultra Violet deterioration. Also, this line is ultra slippery which is great for reducing drag but a bit of a pain to work with. One thing I should mention, some have found the black color to not hold up and turns gray over time.

For any thrifty DIY kiteboarders, the Emma Kites UHMWPE cord has an awesome price and works well.

Perfect Match For Cabrinha Rear Lines

Cabrinha Kiteboarding 16m Flying Lines (Rear)
  • Material: Dyneema
  • Breaking strain: Info Not Available
  • Dimensions: 2 X 16 M / 55 ft
  • Diameter: Info Not Available
  • Ideal Use: Match with Cabrinha 24 meter rear lines and the single line flag out bars, commonly called "1X"
  • Other available lengths (meters): None
What We Like
What We Do Not Like

What size front flying lines should I buy for a Cabrinha 1X control bar?

Like the 24-meter lines from the same brand, these 16 meter lines from Cabrinha are a great pick for their “1X” bars. They are also the perfect match for the 24-meter lines, recommended by Cabrinha.

I did confirm that Dyneema material makes up the lines but beyond this the brand gives out almost no info. Riders obviously trust the brand because they make good stuff, but they charge a premium. When you match these lines with the 24 meter lines the price is double what Maelstrom charge for a 4 line set.

If you feel it’s best to match replacement flying lines to original equipment, these kite lines from Cabrinha are a great match.

Top Marks: Custom Line Lengths

top marks label in blue with yellow check mark
PKS High Visibility Kiteboarding Fly Lines
  • Material: Dyneema
  • Breaking strain: 700 lbs / 318 kgs
  • Dimensions: 4 X 25 – 27 M / 82 – 89 ft
  • Diameter: Info Not Available
  • High Visibility: Standard red, blue, grey colors
  • Pre-stretched
  • Ends are stitched with sleeves and loops
  • Other available lengths (meters): 10, 15, 20 – 25, 30, plus custom lengths
What We Like
What We Do Not Like

Do any kiteboarding brands make custom kite line lengths?

Yes! The kiteboarding accessory brand called PKS or Prokitesurf does. Ever spent time searching “kiteboarding gear” and found “” it’s these guys.

Born out of a small kite company started by Jeff Howard, the brand is rider-owned and operated. Operating in Corpus Christi Texas, they also run “Fixmykite” which is a full service repair and warranty center. You can rest assured that they know what they are doing when it comes to kitesurfing/boarding gear.

Why I gave these lines “top marks” was because they will customize the lengths for buyers. As a result you can have custom length based on you own local conditions, no onsite fiddling needed. Now that’s convenience!

Like my best overall pick, these lines come pre-stretched, sleeved and looped at both ends. The lines are Dyneema and have a coating applied to them to reduce fraying or twisting. Likewise, they are high visibility, great for times you hit big air and wind obstructs your vision a bit.

So they sound great, why are they not my top choice? First their breaking strain of 700 lbs is lower than the Maelstorm set (1000 lbs). Second is the price, they are almost double in price to my top pick. Yet if you are like many other kiteboarders who rely on their popular website the price might be fine for you.

Like all gear choices what you pay is completely up to you. For me, these are an excellent 2nd place choice.

Correct Match For Slingshot Compstick Bars

Slingshot Sports (4-Lines) Kite Line Set
  • Material: Dyneema
  • Breaking strain: 800 lb / 362 kg (Inside), 500 lb / 227 kg (Outside)
  • Dimensions: 4 X 20 - 27 m / 66 - 89 ft
  • Diameter: Info Not Available
  • High Visibility: Standard white color with red and grey pigtails
  • Compatible Products: 2010 - 2015 Compstick bar & 2016-2019 Compstick w/Guardian & w/Sentinel
  • Other available lengths (meters): 23 & 27
What We Like
What We Do Not Like

Compstick Bar Fly Lines Replacements?

Look no further, these are the correct kite lines for Slingshot Compstick bars. While the photo seems odd, these are Slingshot Compstick lines. To be specific these lines will fit the 2010 – 2015 Compstick bar. Plus either the Compstick with Guardian or Sentinel from 2016-2019. Founded in 1999 by brothers Jeff and Tony Logosz, Slingshot Sports is a popular brand for kites and bars. This package of kite flying lines come in three different lengths; 20, 23 or 27 meters.

The color of the lines are white and come with a set of four pigtails. Two of which are the color red and the others are gray. I wish the lines were different colors for better visibility on the water.

In this package you get all four lines which include:

  • 2 front lines with a breaking strain of 800 pounds
  • 2 rear lines that have a breaking strain of 500 pounds

I haven’t tried these lines myself, but lots of riders are brand loyalists. To aid in these customers research, I have added them to my 2020 list. I couldn’t consider them for any of the top spots due to the lack on information Slingshot provides. I had to search through many forums to confirm the lines are dyneema/spectra material.

However, this is all I could confirm about these lines. Beyond the lengths and compatibility, Slingshot doesn’t provide a lot of technical specifications. It’s unfortunate but I notice many brands don’t give out information of flying line due to copying fears. It’s annoying but for loyal customers they already know what to expect from these lines.

If you use Slingshot Compstick bars and want to replace you lines these are a perfect match. While the cost is more than others, remember you receive all four lines.

2020 Guide: Kiteboarding Flying Lines

What are Kiteboarding Flying Lines?

In general, these are string-like cords that the rider uses to control the power and handling of a kite. To better understand what these lines are, it’s best to look at them a singular part in the kite-boards system. The flying lines are a like a bridge that interacts with two other parts in the system. These two other parts are the control bar and the kite itself. One end attaches to the control bar (via leader lines) and the other end to the kite (or pigtails).

While flying lines may seem simple, they are actually a complex and high-tech product. Due to the fact that the flying lines have to withstand massive amounts of tension during use. They also have to stand up to abrasion, line crossing, impacts, as well as salt and sand exposure. Most riders control their kites with either 4 or 5 lines depending on their preferences.

Girl controlling kiteboarding flying lines with a waist harness

How to choose the best kiteboarding fly lines?

As mentioned in the intro of this article the main consideration to look for is breaking strain/load. To help resist breakage, the best flying lines use a strong man-made fiber of Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene. Also known as Spectra or Dyneema, which provides a very high breaking strain rating such as 300 kg – 450 kg.

While this is the most important factor, there are other key features to consider:

Line Diameter

In general, between two lines made of the same material, the thicker line will be stronger than the thin line. The issue in kiteboarding is that the thicker a line is (big diameter), the more drag it has. More drag equals more air resistance which will slow riders down. So, kiteboarders have to find a happy compromise between thick and thin. Another consideration is that front lines versus rear lines have different needs. As a result, each of their diameters can be different.

The most versatile line diameters are 1.8 mm for all-around or if needed you can lower to 1.5 mm for rear lines.

Pre-Stretched Lines:

It’s a fact that all kiteboarding lines will stretch. Either under load known as “elongation” which is reversible. Or over time known as “creep” which is irreversible. To combat these effects, quality line and kite makers will pre-stretch their lines.

Abrasion Resistance:

Since these lines are quite small in diameter they can get damaged from impact abrasion and sand. So the best line makers add a special slippery coating, which is less prone to abrasion. Coating types are in fact a key identifier between each manufacturer.

Sleeved Lines:

To add to the strength and abrasion resistance kite lines can also have sleeves. A sleeve is a bit of material tightly encased around a part of the line. The downsides of sleeves are that they increase the diameter of the line adding drag.

Weight & UV/Water Resistance:

Kiteboarding flying lines need to be very lightweight and be able to float in the water. Ultra Violet or UV can degrade the surface of lines, so having UV protection is important too.

What is the function of each line on a kiteboarding kite?

For this article I’m explaining the 4 line bar set up as this is the most common kite control system. The other two setups are a 5 line or 2 line setup. A 5 line is like a 4 line setup except it has one more line attached on the leading edge of the kite. This is to de-power the kite and assist the pilot in relaunching it. While a 2 line setup is for trainer kites or some light-wind kites. A 2 line setup uses a wrist leash to help de-power the kite.

A typical kiteboarding flying lines setup:

The first two tabs are the actual kiteboarding flying lines that make up a 4 line bar setup. These lines are what power and steer the kite. Looking at the third tab, it explains the line that kiters touch with their hands. The last two tabs cover lines are for balancing the kite and end with the lines that protect the flying lines and bridle lines.

3 meter extension lines:

These are not a part of a brand-new setup but I thought I should mention them anyways. Many riders find them to be invaluable for providing versatility. The function of these lines are obvious, they lengthen your flying lines. Add extensions to boost power and jumping but get slower steering. Or don’t use them and maintain better wave performance, tighter kite-loops and faster steering.

How long should kite fly lines be?

photo of three kiteboarders and five kites flying above them in blue ocean

The actual length of kiteboarding flying lines is in direct relation to the size of the wind window you have available. Actual line length can make huge differences to kite power and performance. Below is a brief description of what happens between short and long flying lines:

  • Shorter lines = smaller wind window.
    • Advantages: responsive handing, tight kite-loops, fast steering.
    • Disadvantages: less ability to jump, less power.
  • Longer lines = larger wind window (bold).
    • Advantages: longer lines mean more power, higher jumps/airtime.
    • Disadvantages: steering lags plus less responsive handling.

These performance differences doesn’t mean one is better than the other. The length of flying lines is a decision of what type of rider you are, the size kite and wind conditions.

What line length is best for learning to kiteboard?

A standard set of lines for beginners should range between 22-24 meters long. As you step up in experience then you can consider adding more lengths of line for versatility.

15 – 19 Meter Lines

This range of lines are best for smaller kites in strong winds with a small wind window. Shorter lines provide less power but will make steering direct and aggressive.

Other Advantages

    • Less chance of hitting someone with your kite
    • Crashes are not as harsh
    • Good high end speed

20 – 24 Meter Lines (most common)

Many new bars will come with line lengths of 20, 22 or 24 meters. A kite with 22 meter lines will most often have the optimal balance of speed versus power. For this reason it is one of the most popular line lengths.

Other Advantages

  • Good for all round kiteboarding
  • Nice low end speed
  • Easy to steer
  • Achieve high jumping

24 – 27 Meter Lines

Kiteboarding flying lines that span over 24 meters are best for light wind days and racing. Long lines mean the kite is higher up in the air, where there is more wind exists. Thus you get to use a also play in a bigger wind window with increased potential power.

Other Advantages

  • Extra power and low end speed
  • Ideal for racing or kitesurfing
  • Suitable for bigger kite sizes of 12 square meters and over

Can I replace one kite flying line at a time?

Kite flying is all about a complete balance of the kite. If only one line breaks the result is all the remaining lines undergo a lot of stress. Which can lead these lines possibly snapping like dominoes right after the first.

Yet what if the other lines didn’t break? Well, flying lines are under constant stress, so they will stretch and shrink over time. If you only change the broken line, the rest of the lines will become uneven.

Thus, the answer is no, when one line breaks the best course of action is to replace all four lines. Some say this is overkill, if you agree then at least change the pair of lines, either the front or rear lines.

In the rare case your line breaks “clean” like slicing it on a sharp object, you may be able to have it fixed. Or you could try cutting the remaining lines to all match – I wouldn’t do this. Another option is to add or make a leader line extension with some extra Dyneema line. Keep in mind though, to attempt a possible fix you have to be excellent at splicing.

Why can’t I make my own replacement fly lines?

closeup photo of red scissors and white measuring tape

You can if you want, but I have to stress that doing so is really putting you life in your own hands. So, think before you leap into making your own replacement kiteboarding flying lines.

While DIYing your own lines may be cheaper over time, you need to have patience and knowledge to get it right. For these reasons, I always recommend you buy pre-made lines. But if you are a seasoned rider looking for a hands-on solution then get ready to complete the following:

  • You will need to buy appropriate bulk UHMWPE or 12-strand Dyneema line in spools.
  • Next, you will have to ensure the line is pre-stretched. Regardless of whether the manufacturer states it does this, you should always re-stretch it.
  • Following this, you will need to complete some very important math. You will need to confirm exact measurements of length. Taking into account every other line, any knots, connectors and splices.
  • Keep in mind when using knots that they significantly weaken the line. Therefore, it is always best to use knots as close to the ends on the line and incorporate protective sleeves.
  • For best results, instead of using sleeved knots it is always better to learn how to use splicing.

If these steps don’t deter you from making your own lines and you are an experienced rider who wants to save a few bucks. Give it a go but expect a laborious experience.

When should I replace my kite flying lines? 

In general, you should be using the old eye and feel test when it comes to replacing kiteboard flying lines. You need to check your bar and line after every single session.

For the lines: check for cuts, fraying, abrasion signs or any other damage. As soon as they show signs of wear and tear, replace the lines to avoid safety problems.

Check near your bar: Look and feel for any knots. A single knot can weaken the line by almost 50%! If you find a knot attempt to untie it, but be careful not to damage the line.

One last thing to do, always rinse your bar after every session in salt water. The reason for this is that salt water hardens on the line and crystallizes. This creates a sharp and abrasive surface, which can wear down and damage the flying lines over time.

In Conclusion:

As of now, you should be able to make an informed choice for your next set of kiteboarding flying lines. Either pick lines from a reputable kite accessory company, a trusted kite brand or try to DIY. The first two choices to buy a set of lines are the easiest approach, but not the cheapest. The last choice requires mastering some skills and lots of patience.

Whichever you choose, Outdoors Informed is happy to help with the research. We do it, so you can spend more time out playing in the wind.

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Last update on 2021-02-25

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