Tied to the Sky / Canadian kite shop
Kite line Sleeving
(You can find this article in our Kite Resources section too!)
Line sets are an important and costly necessity of flying your multiline sport kite, so it is important to make sure that you take steps to protect your line sets to maintain performance, increase longevity of the line and save you money.
Sleeving is like a tube sock that we put on the ends of spectra kite lines or any place where we tie a knot. Sleeving is made of hollow braided Dacron and is usually positioned at either end of each line where the line connects via a Larkshead Knot to the flying straps or to the kite tow point.
Spectra kite line, while stronger than steel, has a relatively low melting point. Wherever there is a knot in the line this is a place of friction which creates heat and will significantly reduce the strength of your spectra line and will be the point of a line break.
This sleeving material acts like a heat diffuser by reducing and diffusing the heat generated by friction at the knot.
Sleeving Your lines.
At Great Canadian Kite Company, all of the sport kite spectra line sets we sell comes pre-sleeved. We are pleased to offer a variety of quality kite line that provides good braid braid, performance and kite line life. That being said it is possible to purchase line sets that are not sleeved, or perhaps you wish to buy bulk kite line and make your own line sets and then a kite line sleeving kit is a valuable tool.
To make your own line sets you will first want to stretch your lines and make them equal length. With cheaper line (even cheaper spectra labeled line) you can expect lines to stretch as much as 12-15% where quality line sets may stretch 4-6%. The point is line will stretch with use and it may be necessary to equalize your lines from time to time.
Once your lines are stretched and measured you are ready to sleeve each end. Our Sleeving kits come with simple instruction, two different colours of sleeving and a sleeving tool. Here are the basic steps to sleeving your spectra kite line:
- Sleeve one end of the line at a time making sure that you use the same colour of sleeving for both ends of the same line. This is really helpful to help you keep straight which line goes to each side of the kite and which its corresponding flying strap.
- Insert the sleeving tool through the sleeving. Pull the tool a few centimetres through the sleeving.
- After the tool is inserted through the sleeve carefully take a lighter and melt the ends of the dacron for a clean looking sleeving job. This will keep the sleeving from fraying.
- Thread your Spectra line through the end of the sleeving tool and pull the tool back through the dacron sleeving bringing the kite line with it.
- With the sleeving now on your line, you can remove the sleeving tool.
- Slide the sleeving towards the end of the line being careful not to go too far or you will have to reinstall the sleeve using the sleeving tool.
- Tie a knot in the very end of the line (including the sleeve).
- Stretch the sleeving back up the line so it won't bunched up.
- Tie another knot at the end farthest from the end.
- Bring these two knots together and make a loop as shown below. Make sure this loop is big enough that you can easily tie a Larkshead knot to attach to the kite or flying straps. Ensure these loops are the same size on each end of each line.
The end of the line is now sleeved and you can repeat the process for each of the other lines. Remember: make sure you have the same colour sleeving on the ends of the same line.
Once in a while we get a call from a customer who comes across a American price on a kite and thinks they are getting a great deal... until they get their credit card statement!
Some of these folks don’t understand how exchange rates work and when the smoke clears, what they thought was a great deal ends up costing them much more than they bargained for.
What's the scoop? Well, kites generally trade in US dollars, and as such, when our Loonie is soft it makes kites a little more expensive. This being the case, buying kites in Canada can help you avoid credit cards surprises and customs costs and delays.
Of the many things we are proud of at the Great Canadian Kite Company. we take pride that we can compete well with often larger US kite retailers. Sometimes though, Canadian kite shoppers believe better deals are to be had south of the border, BUT we are working hard to make sure that we are your first choice for quality kites and kite accessories!
Before you make that purchase from the USA, consider:
Current exchange rate + Credit Card Exchange Fee x Cost of item in US Dollars = cost in Canadian funds.
As indication only, here is the Bank of Canada's Online Currency Exchange Calculator
Shipping Cost - Free Shipping on US sites usually mean in the continental USA, and don't usually apply to Canada. In general, the shipping costs (in adjusted currency) are very similar and often you will receive your kite sooner from us. Unfortunately, your order from the States can be at the mercy of Canada Customs and their processing volume.
Import Costs & Fees - Many folks have expressed surprise of having to pay more for their item at time of delivery. Many report Sales Tax (GST or HST) payable at time of delivery. Some have been hit with broker costs and processing fees from $25 - $80 depending on how their kites are shipped.
After-Sale Service - We pride ourselves on "being there" even after the sale is done. Don't misunderstand me, many US kite retailers are great as well, but as your home-grown Canadian Kite Shop, we can generally address your concerns, part requirements, etc. and get them delivered to you faster and always at a competitive price.
Returns & Exchanges - Great Canadian Kite Company has one of the most generous return and exchange policies and making your exchange or return is faster and easier than doing so back to the USA. Shipping costs are often significantly less and turn around times much faster!
Special Orders - We have a good inventory of in-stock kites and accessories. Many of these are elite kites from some of the Best Kite Makers in the world. We choose our suppliers very carefully and have endeavoured to build good relationships with them. As such, if we don't have that special kite you want in stock; we are often able to special order. Quickly and easily!
Canadian Jobs & Canadian Economy - We are a family owned and operated Canadian Kite retailer based in Taber, Alberta. We support kite events and charities in Canada. When you buy from us you are supporting Canadian small business, who in turn invest in the local economy.
They will also tell you that developing hobbies and things to do together (aside from work and racing the children) allow you to make time to have fun together! Kite flying is one of those activities that have provided many hours of fun for them.
Mike enjoys launching the larger single line kites and making a bit of a display. He
enjoys his dual line and quad line sports kites as well. Andrea tends to reach for her quad-line Revolution kite. It’s not unusual to find them flying in a local soccer field, or a provincial park somewhere.
The two like flying together and are working away at some semblance of a quad line kite team - which usually ends with laughs and one or two oops! It has been good for communication, even if that communication involved a few colourful metaphors!
One lesson Mike had to learn was to relax more with his kites when flying with his family. It took him a while to realize that kite flying needs to be fun for all involved and getting too uptight about the kite getting damaged, or how involved the family was tended to suck a lot of joy out of the family time.
Mike came to realize that kites can be fixed, and with the right attitude even untangling kite line can be a Zen experience too. It is so great to help your children and friends learn to fly kites. The big smiles as they complete their first loop is worth the effort!
Mike and Andrea snuck away last evening to a local park with their Rev kites - and even being eaten alive by mosquitos - they had a great time.
It was especially good for Andrea. She has a stressful job in healthcare with long hours. She has found flying kites is a great way to unwind, deal with stress and have some fun! “Even setting up the kite, attaching lines is relaxing.” She said.
Great Canadian Kite Company is owned and operated by a Canadian family of kite flyers - people who enjoy kites - together. Running one of Canada’s best online kite stores is just an extension of that passion.