Parts of a kitesurfing bar
Over the years kitesurfing equipment has changed a lot. Bars have become much safer to use due to the addition of safety systems. If you’re buying a second hand bar, always make sure it has a depower system and a quick release.
The chicken loop is the connection between you and the kite. This loop is attached to the hook of your harness. All power is transmitted to your back rather than your arms. To kitesurf you don’t need to have a lot of power in your arm, contrary to what many people think.
Without the donkey dick, the chicken loop could come out of the hook when your lines lose tension. The donkey dick is place between the loop and your hook and prevents the chicken loop from coming off.
This is an essential part of your safety system! NEVER buy a bar without a quick release! The quick release is always above the chicken loop and is usually red. Almost every quick release on the market has a push away mechanism. However, there are exceptions so make sure you know how your works before you go kitesurfing. To activate the release, always let go of the bar first. When you activate the quick release, you leash will pull on one line, which flags out the kite.
Back line adjuster
Most modern bars have a trimming option for the back lines. You can use this option if you feel your kite has a deviation.
Standard/ suicide mode
Every modern bar has a depower line with a ring the leash can be attached to. There are 2 ways to attach the leash: standard and suicide mode. Unless you are advanced and do unhooked tricks, always use standard mode. This way in case you activate the quick release, the kite will flag out and all power will be gone. Suicide mode is made for unhooked moves. In this case you open the chicken loop and put it through the ring. This way your kite doesn’t flag out if you crash and let go of the bar. As a beginner NEVER use this mode as it is not safe.
The depower strap allows you to adjust the angle of the kite and give you less power. There are bars with below the bar and above the bar depower systems. Usually when you see a piece of cord hanging it means the kite is depowered.
After making a rotation your lines can be twisted. Some swivels turn back automatically but some have to be turned back by hand.
This essential part of your safety equipment usually comes with any new bar. Make sure to put your bar on standard safety mode and always connect your leash.
There are different bar widths on the market. In general, a smaller kite flies better on a smaller bar. A bigger kite needs much more input to move so the added leverage of a wider bar might come in handy. Modern bars usually have the option of adjusting the width of your bar up to 10 centimetres.
4, 5 or 6 lines
Most kites are flown on four line bars There are however high performance free ride kite that use 5 lines. Some freestyle specific kites even use 6 lines.
The length of your lines has big influence on your kite. Bigger kites are used in lighter wind and having longer lines increases the size of the wind window and you can make a bigger power stroke. Smaller kites may require shorter lines, as they are much faster.
The shorter the line, the more direct the kite reacts and the less power you have. The longer your lines the slower the kite react and the more power it has.