How to make universal kite mats
Mats are one of the most underrated kiteboarding accessories. They are extremely useful but also expensive. Learn how to make a kite pigtail.
Colorful kite mats serve several purposes.
These small collapsible items are always useful if you use and control a single kite bar with multiple brands that you own or use regularly.
They will work as connection points or bridges between lines, bridles and different knots. Moreover, they do kite lines and the bars last longer.
But because they are often exposed to extreme elements and high stresses, they can easily be damaged and worn out.
Salt water and the sun’s ultraviolet rays, along with wind and abrasion, can quickly deteriorate the integrity of a pigtail.
As a result, the kitesurfer’s safety will be at risk.
What is a Universal Pigtail
A universal pigtail is a custom made pigtail that can be attached to the end of kite lines or replace an existing worn out pigtail.
At one end there is a knot and a loop; at the other end there is a loop.
Its simple yet functional design allows it to be used in almost any kite bar and make the necessary connections for a kiteboarding kite.
They will adopt and accept a loop-to-knot or loop-to-loop configuration with a single pigtail.
These one-size-fits-all, one-style line extenders are often around five inches long and made of durable synthetic materials like the leading Dyneema or Spectra line.
Universal kitesurf pigtails are easy to install and often feature the most common kite line colors – white/grey, yellow, red and blue.
However, you can also make them all white.
The length of these kite line ends varies, but they are often six inches long.
Maintenance is simple – just be sure to perform a visual wear check before flying your kite and immediately after each session.
Rinse them with fresh water and let them dry outside in the shade.
DIY and save money
As we have seen, kite pigtails are incredibly versatile and heavy.
They are also often better and stronger than the original pigtails that come with a new kite bar.
But you don’t necessarily have to pay up to $50 for those little lanyards that fit four-line kites and control bars.
The other option is actually to produce them yourself. Here’s how to make your homemade kite mat set.
If you start with a regular 24 inch line, you should expect a five inch pigtail. Here is what you will need:
1.5mm line or kite line
Make a Universal Kite Pigtail 101
Now that you have gathered all the materials, it’s time to make your first pigtail kite:
1. Draw the line;
2. Measure and mark at 6, 12, 18 and 24 inches;
3. Cut the line at 24 inches;
4. Pass the fid through the first mark at the opposite end of the line;
5. You will see a loop and a free end;
6. Make an overhand overhand knot;
7. Attach the fid to the free end, locate the first mark on the inside of the loop and thread the fid through it and up into the mark;
8. The fid will come out on the second mark;
9. You will have an almost perfect loop;
10. Move the knot away;
11. Attach the fid to the free end and thread it through the remaining line;
12. Massage and stretch the line;
13. Move the knot to the side opposite the small ends sticking out;
14. Remove the small ends that protrude and cut them;
15. Pull both sides of the loop so they come inside the weave;
With this DIY pigtail step-by-step guide, you can make multiple units of the same size.