L

Larks head

Larks head: knot used for attaching flying lines.

Lay line

Lay line: an imaginary line on which you can sail directly to your target without tacking.

Leader Lines

Leader Lines: Short thicker lines from the control bar to the flying lines. Used to keep the pilots fingers away from the flying lines.

Leading edge, LE

Leading edge, LE: the windward side of the kite, (the forward side that the wind hits first). This is the big inflatable tube on an inflatable kite. Or the side that has the opening for the cells on a foil kite.

Lift

Lift: when flying, a kite generates lift or upward force like an airplane wing. Lift is proportional to the square of the apparent wind velocity.

Lift-to-drag ratio, L/D, LDR

Lift-to-drag ratio, L/D, LDR: a measure of the efficiency of a kite. High L/D means the kite has a high top speed and flies at a greater angle to the wind, which results most noticeably in better possible VMG to windward and faster possible board speeds. Kites are not as efficient as sails, their L/D rarely exceeds 4.0 while a good yacht sail manages 10 and sailplanes (gliders) get over 50.