How to control a 4 or 5 line kite

In this article we are going to explain you how a “real” kite works. The only thing we will be explaining here is how to learn to control a big(ger) kite while standing in the water. Note that this article is pure a reference after your lessons. Never go work with a kite without proper instruction!

Explanation video (dutch)

The big difference

You have mastered the control of a 2-line kite and now your ready for the big kite. This kite can be send to the left and to the right like a regular 2-liner as well as give you the ability to power or de-power the kite.

How does ‘power’ and ‘de-power’ work?

By pulling or pushing the bar you can play with the angle of the kite in relation to the wind. If you’re pulling the bar towards you, your sheeting the kite in, the kite will start building up more power. When pushing the bar away from you the kite goes flat, resulting in less power or the term “de-power”.

The cons of de-power

When pushing the bar away from you, your kite de-powers. This is very nice and safe if you want to discharge power. The downside is that there’s less tension on your rear lines (back lines). This makes the kite react a lot slower or not at all.

The sweet spot

What you want to do is find the right combination of power and handling. You pull the bar as far towards you so the back lines have enough tension to control the kite safely. To much tension and the kite is a lot faster and more powerful.


And then… The wind.

Your sweet spot is always different cause the wind changes. Strong winds pushes the lower end of the kite further up which means your bar will move more upward resulting in a different sweet spot. With low winds this is the opposite and the kites easier to steer if you pull the bar more towards you.

How do I feel this?

Lots of experience has taught us that the most common mistake with 4-line kites is people thinking they need a lot of upper body power or arm strength. You can control the kite however with just 2 fingers because the powerlines (front lines) are attached to your harness. Try pulling on the bar with 2 fingers until there’s tension on the back lines without feeling to much power. That’s the moment your kite flies the most stable.


Together in a kitesurflesson we are going to explore the 4-line kite with you. The moment you have enough control is the moment you can start with your first independent bodydrag with a 4-line kite. At the end of a 3 or 4 day course you are able to independently control a kite with different wind speeds.

We hope this article was usefull and that you enjoyed it. If you have any questions feel free to mail us anytime,