Bar and lines

The kite bar is the control system for your kite.  With it you can accelerate, slow down, turn and jump.  They also include safety release systems.  Kite bars have evolved considerably over time.  There are many different configurations between manufacturers and also between years and models of kites.  Read and understand the operating instructions for your bar.

Bar and line types

The three most common bar and line types are:

4 line bars (most common)

5 line bars (not so common)

2 line bars


Always use the bar and lines that are specific for your kite.  Get replacement lines specific for your model and year of kite.  Different line lengths could change your kite control characteristics dangerously.

Bar configurations

Bar configurations vary considerably.  The two main types are:

Above the bar depower

Cabrinha IDS 2011 control bar

Cabrinha IDS PowerDrive bar 2010

Below the bar depower

Ben Wilson undertow bar

Ben Wilson Surf Undertow bar 2011

Read your kite owners manual very carefully to learn how to use the bar controls, including safety releases, leash attachment points and power/depower adjustment

Tuning lines for optimum performance

Kite lines can shrink, not stretch! 

Problems can include:

The goal is to get even tension between front and rear lines with the bar fully in.

You can adjust knot attachments on the front line attachment and under floats to compensate for differences between front and rear lines.

This video from Christian at Kitebud describes how to tune lines and bar settings.

Always rinse kite lines in freshwater after use to reduce shrinkage.

The reviews section contains reviews of some kites, boards and accessories.

See also