Easyline

Many people enjoy flying large delta or foil kites but this comes with the challenge of handling a line that can be under very high tension, with the risk of serious burns if it slips through your fingers.

The danger is even greater when using high performance Dyneema or Spectra lines which combine exceptional strength while being very thin, making it impossible to grip and handle even with tough gloves.

Line burn

Line burn

Easyline was initially conceived as a project to enable the safer handling of braided Dacron and Dyneema-Spectra lines and is now available a commercial product. The tool was inspired by the rack used by climbers to descend rope pitches in a controlled manner. Similarly, easyline enables kite line to be paid out in a smooth and regulated way either from a reel, a bag or a spool. Also, line can also be quickly locked and then used to tether a kite securely and hands-free to a fixed anchor. 

Post tethered

Post tethered

Waist tethered

Waist tethered

Stake tethered

Stake tethered

There are five aluminium friction bars and two smaller steel bars which guide the line through the device. As with the climbers’ rack, easyline acts as a friction multiplier with only a light finger pinch being needed to control the feed rate, even when the tension is very high. During a flight the number of bars that are engaged can be changed to counter the varying line tension and to achieve a smooth and safe pay out. A handle is used to orient the device, while a nylon wrist strap transfers the pull of the kite to your arm. Always place your wrist through the strap to hold against the line tension. Do not pull against the tension with the handle.  The pictures here explain how it should be used:

Place hand through strap

Place hand through strap

and hold easyline like this

and hold easyline like this

Maximum Friction is achieved by wrapping the line around all five bars, with the line entering and leaving to the left of both guide pins. Always start a flight in this mode, then later if there is too much friction and the line does not pay out easily, unwrap one or two bars to reduce the friction.

Max friction

Maximum friction

Medium Friction operates when line is wrapped around three bars, again with the line entering and leaving left of the guide pins.

Medium friction

Medium friction

Minimum Friction uses only the two friction bars near the end of the device, with the line entering to the right of the lower guide pin but still leaving to the left of the exit pin.

Be aware that if the tension suddenly increases then you will need to quickly return to a higher friction mode in order to maintain control.

Minimum friction

Minimum friction

Once your kite has settled at the height you want then the line can be prevented from paying out using either of these two methods:

Quick Lock is achieved by simply wrapping the line in Figure-of-8 style over several of the bars and the guide pin nearest the handle. It is important to keep a hold of the handle to stop the tool rotating and allowing the line to unlock. 

Quick lock

Quick lock

Safe Lock is always used whenever a secure, hands-free lock is needed for tethering via the wrist strap to a waist belt or anchor. First engage maximum friction by wrapping over all five aluminium bars, then form a loop by twisting the input strand clockwise through 180º with the fingers of your free hand.

Drop this loop over the guide pin and fifth friction bar as shown and draw tight to complete the lock. If done correctly the line will be unable to escape. It is best to practice the Safe Lock (and the various friction modes) until these become second nature before launching your kite. 

Lock 1

Lock 1

Lock 3

Lock 3

Lock 2

Lock 2

Lock 4

Lock 4

Dyneema Modes: As mentioned, Dyneema-Spectra line presents a particular challenge, especially since it is smooth and slides easily.

The next set of pictures show a different way of using easyline which has been shown to be effective when flying with this fibre.

Dyneema high friction

Dyneema high friction

Dyneema low friction

Dyneema low friction

Invert the device so that guide pins are beneath, then re-insert your hand into the wrist strap. Friction is now adjusted by wrapping the line at least once around each of the five friction bars that are now positioned on the left hand side. The guide pins are no longer involved. It is important to start with the maximum friction and only unwrap to reduce the friction if the line does not feed freely.

Dyneema Safe Lock is achieved in a similar manner to that shown earlier by making a 180º loop with the input strand and dropping it over the bar on the opposite side. Again it is best to practice this lock before launching your kite.

Dyneema locked

Dyneema locked

Easyline is now available as a production item in left and right-handed versions, namely models EL-LH and EL-RH. Each is designed with a handle rotated specifically such that the device is correctly oriented when held in an outstretched hand.

Please bear in mind the following when using an easyline:

  • Always use the wrist strap, and not the handle, to brace against the pull of the kite.
  • Rapid feeding of highly tensioned line can cause easyline to become hot, risking damage to the line. If this happens, stop paying out and wait for the device to cool.
  • When using Quick Lock keep a firm hold of the handle to prevent the line disengaging. Always use Safe Lock when tethering to a (hands-free) anchor.
  • Maximum permitted line tension is 100 lbs or 45 kg.
  • Device is not to be used for climbing.

If you are interested in acquiring an easyline then please enquire in the first instance via the CONTACT page.

Model EL-RH

Model EL-RH