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Types of Trainer Kites

Kiteboarding Trainer Kite Buyers Guide

Check out our Trainer Kite Reviews to compare trainer kites and find the best fit for you!

A trainer kite provides a safe way for you to experience, learn, and master good kite flying skills and kite control. Finding the best training kite for you depends on your kiting interests and personal criteria.  There is no one size fits all.  

  • First, are you interested in learning kiteboarding, snow-kiting, or kite-landboarding? 
  • Second, what are the wind conditions in your area? 
  • Third, what kite compliments your physical condition and personality?

There are 3 types of trainer kites:  2-Line, 3-Line, and 4-Line.

2-Line Trainer Kites (Least Expensive)

Price Range: $80 to $200

Two-line kites are the least expensive trainer kites on the market

These kites are a fixed bridal foil kite, or as some will refer to as a ram air foil kite.  There is a top and bottom skin attached by fabric ribs, creating cells that flow from the front (leading edge) to the back (trailing edge).  2-line trainers are open cell foils and, therefore, cannot be used in the water.

Two-line kites are the simplest in design and were the first trainer kites to become popular among a rapidly growing number of people wanting to learn how to kiteboard.  Many instructors and people still choose these kites to learn good kiting skills before learning to rig and fly a full size kite.

Some of the 2-line kites like the HQ Rush V 200, 250, & 300 are designed to be bomb proof and are super high quality kites.

Pros: Low cost and intuitive ultra-simple set up with one line on the left and one line on the right.

Cons: No integrated 3rd line. Cannot reverse-launch which makes it more difficult to re-launch. Also no dedicated depower line.

The Bottom Line:  If your budget is tight and you are looking for just a basic kite, a two-line kite will get the job done.

Two Line Trainer Kites

3-Line Trainer Kites (Most Popular & Easy to Relaunch)

Price Range:  $200 to $500 

Three-line foil trainer kites are moderately priced  and were introduced primarily so a person could easily relaunch the kite without the assistance of a second person. The integrated third line has two important functions:

  1. It provides a safety line, giving the pilot the ability to instantly depower the kite. The 3rd line is mostly slack during normal flying but is activated when you let go of the bar. It's like a kill switch that causes the kite to fold inward and fall to the ground.
  2. The third line provides a simple way to relaunch the trainer kite after a crash. If your kite crashes nose down, no problem. The third line allows you to easily reverse relaunch your kite.

Three-line trainer kites have become the most popular models for beginners wanting to learn how to kiteboard, snow kite, or kite landboard. Because of safety and easy self-relaunch capabilities they are usually the kite of choice. 3-Line kites have allowed manufactures to expand into larger sizes with more power (HQ Scout) as well as some models like the HQ Hydra that can be used on the water and are water relaunchable.

Pros: Easy self-relaunch, easy setup, depower third line, moderately priced, and bigger sizes. Bigger sizes can be used as a beginner kite. Great trainer kites for families!

Cons: Costs a little more than 2-line trainers.

Bottom line:  Three-line kites are a great middle ground, easy to use, quickly depower, and have more sizes and options. With snowkiting and landboarding they can also be used as a beginner's kite. HQ offers the most complete line 3-line trainer kites and each model expands how the kite can be used. Investing in a good three-line trainer kite is definitely worth the little extra change.

Three Line Trainer Kites

4-Line Trainer Kites (Closely Simulates a Full-Size Kite)

Price Range:  $380-$800

Four line trainer kites are the most expensive trainers, and most closely simulate a full size kite

Some instructors do not consider 4 line kites trainers because of the added risk that comes with having to hook into a harness. This is required because 4-line kites are sheetable and will not operate properly without being hooked into a harness. As a warning, larger size 4-line trainer kites can quickly become more dangerous, so, hopefully, point well taken!

Four-line trainer kites are best suited for a person who wants a kite that rigs and flies like full size gear, therefore, providing the best experience of how an actual full-size sheetable kite is rigged and operates.

Today, kites are becoming more and more safe. Because of this, the difference between 4-line and beginner kites are beginning to blur.

Ocean Rodeo has recently come out with the React 2m 4 line trainer kite.  It comes complete with kite, fly lines, bar, and harness so you have everything you need. For an adult, this is a safe smaller size kite that provides a nice tool to experience and learn how to rig and fly full size gear.

HQ, Ocean Rodeo, and Ozone all offer 4-line trainer kites. In the past and still today the biggest hold back is safety and cost. A 4-line kite is the most expensive when comparing equal sizes. Plus, with most you have the upfront cost of having to purchase a harness and control bar. This makes them a little pricey for the average person.

The main benefit of a 4 line trainer is that they rig and operate much like a full size kite. This makes them a valuable tool for learning. In the smaller sizes (approx 2m) the risk is minimal.  However, with larger kites, a smaller person, or in stronger wind conditions, there is an added element of danger whenever you hook into a harness.

Pros: You can learn rigging and understand sheeting in and out, master kite skills and control much like full size gear.

Cons: Cost and added risk of being hooked into a harness. 

Bottom Line... With a smaller size kite the risk is greatly reduced.  If the extra money doesn't bother you then a four line kite can be a fantastic learning tool.   But the main goal of a trainer kite is to build experience and practice good kite control.

Four Line Trainer Kites

Next Step 

Go to our Trainer Kites Review page to find out what specific kite brand and size would best fit you.

Questions? Give us a call.  We are always happy to help.

 

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