Last updated 3-8-2024

Should I mix kiteboarding control bars?

Small changes make a big difference.

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Kitesurfing control bar compatibility

This is a common question for new kiteboarders. Especially those who are on a budget. Or anyone shopping for a kiteboarding package deal. In 2024 there are loads of options to choose from. Every kiteboarding brand seems to have a range of control bars. You can choose from high-end auto unswivel bars to simple cleat bars with a rope.

The good news, is all the major kiteboarding brands offer a great kiteboarding control bar in their range. Most safety systems are universal, and for the most part, there is a lot of compatibility.

There are some things to be aware of when mixing control bars. Especially if you are looking at used kiteboarding equipment. Modern kiteboarding gear doesn’t change that much year to year but over 5 years there can be some big changes.

You also want to consider the brand and the designer. Some kites are made for a high v while others are made for a low V. It’s best to use what the kite designer intended.

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Table Of Content

  • The saftey system
  • The pigtails & kiteline attachments
  • High V vs Low V control bars
  • The age of the bar
  • What do we think of mixing kiteboarding control bars?

kiteboarding control bar saftey systems.

Most kite control bars will flag the kite out on the front line. If your kite and bar are newer than 2021 chances are the safety system will work. It’s best to check the user guide or brand's website to see how their safety system works.

Older control bars did use different systems so there is a chance you will lose some depower if you gamble on an older bar

Kiteboarding Control bar systems we use often 

  • Airush Team Bar 
  • Core Sensor 3s Bar
  • Core Sensor 3s Pro
  • North Navigator bar  
  • Naish Torque Bar 
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Make sure you are not using a 5 line kite. These are not that common but some brands do have a fifth-line safety system. Make sure the control bar is modern. Do not use an old bar to save money. Older bars can be worn down. Lines can get fragile after a few years of hard use.

We also encourage kiteboarders to use modern control bars because most modern safety systems are going to be compatible with a four-line control bar.

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Kiteboarding control system pig tails 

Not all brands will be compatible where the lines connect. Naish and Core have knots that will not match. The good news is you can sometimes get around this by taking the pigtails off and moving them from the front lines to the steering lines.

You can also an overhand knot on the front lines of the naish bar to make them match! 

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The pigtails on a kite control system are not a big deal. There are many ways to make them work. You can also get aftermarket line adapters. Pks has some great universal pigtail adaptors.

With these line adaptors, you can match any bar with any kite. There are other things to consider like where the front lines spilt.

High V Vs Low V control bars

Also called high Y or Low Y. Some kite designers build their kites specifically for a high V control bar. There are some pros and cons to this. Riders who use high V kites swear by them. They are more difficult to self-land the kite or do some light wind relaunch techniques.

Some of the pros with a high V is they have a fast pivotal turn and lighter bar pressure. You can use this to your advantage on a non high Y kite.  

It’s best practice to pair a high V control bar with a High V kite. Likewise, always use a low V bar on a low V kite. Sometimes riders will use a high V control bar on a Low V kite.

Some Kiteboarding control bars and their split 

  • Airush Control Systems - Low Y
  • Core Sensor 3s  - High Y
  • North Navigator - Low Y
  • Naish Torque - Low Y
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Depending on the brand, it probably won’t hurt the performance too much. Mixing a low V bar on a high V kite can reduce the performance the designer intended. Call the shop and we can help you out on this one.

The age of the kite and kiteboarding control bar.

This is the most important consideration when mixing kiteboarding gear. Technology changes fast. What was industry standard a few years ago, could be out of date now. Safety is important as well. Used gear is perfectly safe to use and often a good choice if you are on a budget.

It’s best to get used gear from your local kiteboarding shop. You don’t want to get something old off the internet. I’ve seen lots of new kiters find a deal that is too good to be true. Later they discover that the equipment is vintage and doesn’t even work anymore.

Why chose a modern kiteboarding control bar 

  • Saftey - Old bars can be dangerous. 
  • More likely to be cross compatible. 
  • You get modern componets and features. 
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At Elite Watersports we inspect all of our kiteboarding gear to ensure it’s safe. We can also help you mix and match kiteboarding control bars between brands and years. This is what we do and it’s generally best to consult with an expert.

Check out our used control bars here

What do we think of mixing kiteboarding control bars?

There is nothing wrong with mixing control bars but it's ideal to match brands. Matching your kite bar with your kite is the best way to make sure everything flys as the designer intended.

 If you do decide to mismatch some gear, chances are everything will work just fine. Use this blog as a guide so you can ensure the bar and kite are a good match. 

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If you are unsure, give us a call at the shop. We can walk you though the best pairings or help you decide if a certain bar will work with your kite

We do have a wide vareity of new kiteboarding contol bars in stock. These will always be the safest and have the most ongevity. 


Control Bars

Many years in the making. Every brand has their own style and design but thanks to the innovations in the industry of kiteboarding they have become much safer. The brands we have all have quick release systems and also flag outs for you to connect your leash to. 

We also specialize in custom bars that many professional racers and freestyle riders have come to love. 

Shop Kiteboarding control bars 

Need help with gear or booking a lesson?  

 Elite Watersports has served the St Petersburg area for years. They offer kiteboarding and wingsurfing lessons. They also have a retail shop equpit with all of the latest kitesurfing gear. 

If you need help give us a call. .

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Ryan "Rygo" Goloversic


Kiteboarding Tampa

Kiteboarding control bars

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