Bar Maintenance Print

Keeping The Control Bar Working Properly

Bar Tuning

Bar tuning is something you should do to keep the kite flying properly, and to keep the bar steering control characteristics consistent.

Find a solid stationary object to attach the lines to.  Use a kite leash or thick Dyneema line to wrap around a tree, fire hydrant, trailer hitch or other similar object.  Then, attach the kite lines to the safety leash, or Dyneema using lark's head knots.

To the Point:
Make sure all of your lines are exactly the same length when the trim strap is a long as possible and the bar is touching the chicken loop.

Step One:
Larks Head all of the lines evenly to the stationary object.

Step Two:
Make sure the trim strap is all the way out, or as long as possible.  Test all the line lengths.  Put equal tension on all the lines by grasping the bar, walking back until the lines are tight, and lean back.

Step Three:
If all the lines have equal tension while the bar is exactly perpendicular to the lines, the bar is tuned.  Make sure by keeping the bar straight and slowly releasing the tension in the lines.  Watch to see if one of the lines starts to hang below the others as you release the tension.  If the bar isn't straight while all the lines have equal tension or if one or more of the lines hang lower while releasing tension, go to Step Four.

Step Four:
Look to see if the bar is at an angle.  Look to see if one of the center lines is hanging lower, while the other center line is tight.  If the bar is at an angle, and both outside lines have equal tension, then go to Step Five.  If one of the center lines is hanging lower while the other is tight, then go to Step Six.

Step Five:
Disconnect the front lines, so they don't interfere with the outside line tension.  You should re-stretch the shortest outside line.  Put both hands on the side of the control bar with the shortest line and pull in very hard.  Use your whole body weight to lean back.  You will not break the lines if they are in working condition, and if you do, much better that they break now than in the water or in the air.

Go to Step Two and re-check the lines.

Step Six:
Hold the center lines at the trim strap or at the connection point where they are both attached.  Grab the shortest line and pull in on it to stretch it to the length of the other center line.  If you can't re-stretch the lines so they are equal, go to Line Rotation.

Line Rotation

Rotating your lines is great if you can't re-stretch your lines enough to get them back to equal length, and/or you don't want to adjust your line length using leader line or pig tail knots.

Simply disconnect the outside lines and inside line and switch them; inside out, and outside in.  If they are connected with lark's head knots, disconnect them, or if they are connected with a larks head knot that looks like a square knot, you will have to pull the end of the line all the way through the loop to disconnect them.  Make sure to re-check your lines after rotation.

 

Line Replacement

Simply disconnect the outside lines and inside line and swap them out.  If they are connected with lark's head knots, disconnect them, or if they are connected with a larks head knot that looks like a square knot, you will have to pull the end of the line all the way through the loop to disconnect them.  Make sure to re-check your lines after replacing them.

 

Grip Repair

Use regular hockey tape on a control bar to repair its grip.  If you want to use friction hockey tape as a base layer, that's fine, but since friction hockey tape is sticky on both sides, you'll have to wrap over the top of it with regular hockey tape.  Don't use any other type of tape except hockey tape; trust us.