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)

    • Two centre lines attached to chicken loop and leading edge of kite for depower, by changing the angle of attack of the kite

    • Two outside lines attach each wingtip of the kite to the respective end of the bar.

      • These lines power up the kite and turn it.

      • Left bar end and line ends are usually colour coded yellow or red.

      • Right bar end and lines are usually colour coded black.

5 line bars (not so common)

    • As per the 4 line system, but with a 5th line (usually) attached on the leading edge to de-power the kite and assist in relaunching it.

2 line bars

    • These are found on training kites and some light-wind kites.

    • They usually have a wrist leash attached to one of the lines so that the kite will depower when the bar is released.


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

    • Depower adjustment is above the bar, which keeps it out of the way, but can make it difficult to reach.

Cabrinha IDS 2011 control bar

Cabrinha IDS PowerDrive bar 2010

Below the bar depower

  • Depower adjustment is below the bar, which make it easier to reach, but may be more difficult to adjust

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

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See also