Kite pigtails: do them at home and save a lot of money

Pigtails are one of the most underrated kiteboarding accessories. They're extremely useful but also expensive. Learn how to make a kite pigtail.

Colored kite pigtails serve multiple purposes.

These small bendable items always come in handy if you're using and controlling a single kite bar with multiple brands you own or use regularly.

They will work as connection points or bridges between lines, bridles, and different knots. Moreover, they make kite lines and bars last longer.

But because they're often exposed to extreme elements and heavy stress, they can easily get damaged and worn out.

The saltwater and the sun's ultraviolet rays, alongside wind and abrasion, can quickly deteriorate a pigtail's integrity.

As a result, the kiteboarder's safety will be at risk.

Kite lines: pigtails can make them last longer | Photo: Shutterstock

What is a Universal Pigtail

A universal pigtail is a custom-made pigtail that can be attached to the end of kite flying lines or replaces an existing worn pigtail.

On one end, it has a knot and a loop; on the other end, it has a loop.

Its simple yet functional design allows it to be used in almost all kite bars and make the necessary connections to a kiteboarding kite.

They will embrace and accept a loop-to-knot or loop-to-loop setup with a single pigtail.

These one-size-and-model-fits-it-all line extensions often measure around five inches and are made of resistant synthetic materials like Dyneema or Spectra leader line.

Universal kiteboarding pigtails are easy to install and often feature the most common kite line colors - white/gray, yellow, red, and blue.

Nevertheless, you can make them all white, too.

The length of these kite line ends varies, but they're often six inches long.

Maintenance is simple - just make sure to perform a visual check for wear and tear before flying your kite and immediately after each session.

Rinse them with fresh water and let them dry outdoors under a shade.

Kite pigtails: use them as connection points or bridges between lines, bridles, and different knots | Photo: Radical Kiteboards

DIY and Save Money

As we've seen, kite pigtails are incredibly versatile and heavyweight.

They're also often better and more resistant than the original pigtails that come with a new kite bar.

But you don't necessarily have to pay up to $50 for these small cords that fit quad-line kites and control bars.

The alternative is to produce them yourself. Here's how to make your own set of kite pigtails.

If you're starting with a 24-inch ordinary line, you should expect a five-inch pigtail. Here's what you'll need:


  • 1.5 mm Line or Kite Line;
  • Fid;
  • Marker;
  • Knife;
  • Ruler;

Making a Universal Kite Pigtail 101

Now that you've gathered all the materials, it's time to do your first kite pigtail:

  1. Lay out the line;
  2. Measure and make a mark at 6, 12, 18, and 24 inches;
  3. Cut the line at 24 inches;
  4. Feed the fid through on the first mark on the opposite end of the line;
  5. You'll see a loop and loose end;
  6. Make a simple overhand knot;
  7. Attach the fid on the loose end, locate the first mark inside the loop, and feed the fid through it and up into the mark;
  8. The fid will come out on the second mark;
  9. You'll have a nearly perfect loop;
  10. Move the knot away;
  11. Attach the fid on the loose end and feed it through the remaining line;
  12. Massage and stretch the line out;
  13. Move the knot to the opposite side of the little ends sticking out;
  14. Pull out the little ends sticking out and cut them;
  15. Pull both sides of the loop so that they go inside the weave;

With this DIY pigtail step-by-step guide, you can make several units of the same size.

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