Pre-flight check

The purpose of a pre flight check is to make sure that when you launch your kite you are 100% sure that all your lines are connected correctly.

Make sure you always perform a pre-flight check as part of your setup ritual. Do it before you launch any kite for the first time. It will save you time and energy but most importantly it could save your life.

  • Once you have connected your kite lines walk back to your bar calmly. 
  • When you are standing back at your bar pull your lines out straight so there is a little tension. Lift one of the outside lines up to check that it is connected to the outside of your kite and that it is not crossed over with any other lines.
  • Do the same to the other outside line.
  • Lift up the centre lines and check that they are connected to the centre of your kite and are not twisted or crossed with any other lines.
  • Check the main safety system on your bar by releasing it to make sure it works as it should do and is not damaged, worn out or clogged with sand.

Controlling your Kite

  • Your bar has to be pulled in at least half way to have good control of your kite.
  • Try to keep your bar flat and in line with the horizon while holding your bar, similar to the handle bars of a bicycle. 
  • Do not twist your bar, twisting your bar has zero effect on your kite.
  • Pull the right side of your bar towards you and the kite moves right, pull the left side of your bar towards you and your kite moves left.
  • The less you pull the left or right of your bar towards you the slower your kite will turn.
  • The harder you pull the left or the right of your bar towards you the faster your kite will turn.
  • When you first fly your kite use your fingertips and be gentle. 

Power and depower

  • Your control bar moves forwards and backwards.  When you push your bar away, your outside lines which are also known as your steering lines become slack and the angle of your kite decreases. 
  • When you push your bar away, the wind passes through your kite resulting in a gradual loss of power. This is called depower. 

On most modern kites, if you push your bar as far away as you can or let go completely then you will lose all power as well as control and your kite will fall from the sky. 

When you pull your bar towards you, your steering lines have tension and the back of your kite is pulled down so it catches the wind, giving you more power.

There are two ways to control the power of your kite

  • Pulling your bar in or pushing your bar away.
  • Flying your kite in different areas of the wind window.

 Finding the sweet spot Power is important in Kitesurfing because you need power to pull you through the water. However you do not want to have power all the time, especially when you are moving your kite around when you are launching and landing, walking on land or putting your board on in the water. You can fly your kite holding your bar in many different positions but there is an ideal place to hold your bar to give you the most control but with the least amount of power.  This is called the sweet spot. Try to think of it as similar to a clutch biting point of a manual car transmission.

The sweet spot can be in a different place every time you fly your kite depending on how much wind there is, how your kite is set up and even how your kite is designed.

As a general rule the sweet spot should be when you bar is positioned somewhere around the centre of depower rope. Pulling your bar in or pushing your bar away just a few inches or centimetres can make a huge difference to how much power you feel and how responsive your kite is, so it is important that you first practice finding your sweet spot in the safety of the water. 

You can deal with gusty wind by pushing the bar away as soon as you feel any unwanted power. If you have pushed your bar away and your kite is in the no power zone and you still feel power then you are overpowered and need to put up a smaller kite.

Control of your kite made simple

  1. Pull your bar in for maximum control.
  2. Push your bar away to have less power and to find the sweet spot.
  3. Let go to stop the power immediately.

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