Kites for KAP
Before you expect to get the name of the ideal KAP kite, I must tell you that it doesn't exist. There are many kites you can use for KAP and which one you choose will depend on the conditions under which you will do KAP, the weight of your rig and your personal preferences. But there are some conditions that must be met by your KAP kite:
- it must be single-line (seems logical)
- it must be as stable as possible (you wouldn't want to loose hundreds of $/€ by crashing ...)
- it must produce enough lift for your rig to get off the ground
From my experience, I can say that the most used kites are: Deltas, Delta-Conynes, Rokkakus, Flowforms and the Dopero.
The size of the kite has the biggest influence on its lifting capabilities. All the above mentioned types are very stable. Some may say that Flowforms aren't stable enough, but I've been using a Lifter by Peter Lynn for several years and a Sutton Flowform 16 for a few months and neither has given me any cause for concern. If you want to be completely sure, put a tail on it (the Sutton is usually flown with a tail, the Peter Lynn Lifter not).
I prefer Flowforms because they are easier to transport and quickly deployed. Deltas and Delta-Conynes are also fast to deploy if you just take the spreader spar out. But then they stay clumsy for transport. If you have your car near, this isn't a problem, but as I often want to take my KAP gear on a walk with my backpack, the Flowform is better suited to my needs.
In fact, I started with a rokkaku which was very stable, but took a long time to assemble/disassamble and it was difficult to launch without help. The deltas and the Dopero can easily be launched by a single person.
People often ask what line to use. The basic rule is: stronger is better. Usually I use between 90kg (180#) and 130kg (260#) but once I tried a 40kg (80#) line with my Delta-Conyne and it was sufficient. Bad I didn't feel really safe. It's easy to see what strength you need. Let's say that you weigh 90kg. Now if the kite pulled with more than 100-120kg (OK, I know I should use Newtons instead of kg, but line strengths are usually given in kg or pounds and kiters stick with that), it would lift you. So having a stronger line is absolutely useless, unless you don't hold the kite yourself, but fixe it somewhere instead.
Taking a lighter (less strong) line might be sufficient in lower winds but you should know that: wind can vary and any knots in the line reduce its strength. That's why most KAPers use between 75-100kg (150-200#).