The main purpose of your kites trim system is to help give you less power.

What does being overpowered actually mean?

You are overpowered if your kite is pulling you downwind when it is in the no power zones at the edges of the wind window at positions 9, 10, 11, 12, 1, 2 or 3.

This is when you should pull in your depower trim system because doing so will give your kite a little less power.

Note: If you can not walk backwards with your kite at 12 with your bar out and your trim system is fully depowerd then you are dangerously overpowered and you need to land your kite immediately, let and or release your main safety system.

How your trim system works

Your trim system works by shortening your centre lines so when you pull in your trim system your outside lines become slack. This changes the angle of your kite in the same way as pushing your bar away and simply means that your kite does not catch as much wind. 

The downside to pulling in too much trim is that the more you depower your kite, the slacker your steering lines and the less responsive your kite will become. The downside of having no trim (maximum power) is that your kite will be more prone to backstalling.

The dreaded back stall happens mainly in light wind when you have your kite trimmed for maximum power and pull your bar in. Basically your kite angle is too much for the light wind so collapse’s.

Know your trim system as they are all slightly different. Is it a strap? Is it a pulley? Is it spring loaded? Is it a clam cleat? Where is it? Is it above the bar or below the bar? Find out how it works and that it is functioning properly before you fly your kite.  Many kites have a colour coding system. Red usually means emergency and should be pulled if you have too much power. Some kites are marked more power and less power. 

This is a clam cleat safety system and is the most common as it is the most simple, effective and reliable system that has been used in sailing for many years. To release the system pull the rop towards you to release it from the teeth THEN move the rope to the side so you can pull in more rope for less power or let out rope for more power.

As a guide here is how to use your trim system for normal riding

In strong wind you may want less power so you would pull your depower rope in.

In light wind, if you become underpowered and you could not stand up on the board or stay upwind letting out your depower trim will lengthen your centre lines and tighten your steering lines giving you more power.

In extremely light wind to prevent back stalling, pull your depower trim system in all the way towards you for less power.

This shortens your centre lines and helps prevent over sheeting which is where the angle of your kite is too aggressive for the strength of the wind resulting in your kite falling from the sky which is called a backstall.

You can also use your trim system to adjust where maximum power is. If you have short arms you can pull in more depower so maximum power is closer to you and if you have long arms and a preference to have maximum power further away from your body then you can trim for more depower. If you have your kite on maximum power remember that you can make your kite backstall.

Top tip – When trimming your bar, use only small adjustments as maximum depower or maximum power can have a negative effect on your kites performance. Whatever the conditions and as a general rule, most kites work at their best when they have the trim system pulled in a little so your kite has a little depower. 

Trimming your kite made simple

  1. Make sure you understand how your kites depower system works before you fly it. 
  2. Shorter centre lines mean less power and longer centre lines mean more power.
  3. Most kites fly best with a little depower.

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