If you are wondering what the difference between a trainer kite and other power kites, this article will explain it in easy to understand terms.
A trainer kite is a type of power kite that is smaller than other power kites mostly for learning purposes.
The trainer kite is generally in the 2-4 meter range because that provides the beginning kite flyer with enough feeling in the kite to produce some traction, without being overpowered such as could happen with a larger LEI kite (leading edge inflatable). The purpose of the trainer kite to learn how a controllable kite works in different parts of the wind window. Once the control is demonstrated in different parts of the power zone, knowledge is gained and then the move up to larger power kites is natural and safe.
How many lines should power kites have?
The kites can be two to four line kites. More lines add a bit of complexity and also control. In general, a two line kite is very basic and there is less to get tangled, but the operator of it gives up a bit of flexibility as these trainer kites or traction kites will not relaunch once they are grounded. This is not typically a problem if the flyer always has another instructor or friend to launch the kite for him/her but nearly impossible to relaunch without that extra person. It is often better to have a 3 or 4 line kite for this added flexibility of solo launch and landing.
Foil Power Kites vs. Leading Edge Inflatables
Power kites are often used for traction sports such as landboarding, kite buggying snow kiting, as a kitesurfing kite or for pulling a boat. The foil kite uses a ram air type of inflation system where air is forced through the leading edge to inflate cell walls and provide aerodynamic lift. The advantages of foil kites are that they are lighter and a bit simpler to operate. They can be used in lighter winds and are ideal for all land-based power kite activities. The one disadvantage foil kites have is that if they are flown on water, once they are submerged, the cells become wet and they will not relaunch easily.
The Leading Edge Inflatable kite, solves that problem as the leading edge and the struts are filled full of air and make excellent, relaunchable kite surfing kites. The are a couple of exceptions of the foil kite than can also be used on water (most notably the HQ Hydra and HQ Neo). Both the foil trainer kite and the leading edge inflatable power kites are designed to withstand years of very hard absuse and still fly perfectly.