How to Attach Your Lines to a Kite
It takes time to set up a kite. But if you don’t pay attention to your kiteboarding lines, you can put your life in danger. Learn how to lay the flying lines out and attach them to your kite before launching.
Attaching the lines to the kite takes all your focus and attention. One tiny error can lead to an accident, making it essential to adhere to the safety guidelines. Wait until the wing is wholly inflated before you attach the lines.
The rules are straightforward — the lines in the front and center keep your kite in the air, while the back lines control, steer, power and depower it. The connection between kite and line is often called “pigtails.”
Different manufacturers may have various line colors to make it easier to connect the dots. The “kookproof” system simplifies attachments on some kites and decreases the chance of mixing things up.
The Downwind Method
The first step to attach a kite bar to a harness is to remove the bar from the ground and draw lines in the sand. If you want to do it using the downwind technique, here’s how:
- Stand next to the kite facing downwind.
- Place the end of the kite lines on the sand and start unwinding them.
- Walk away from your kite, heading downwind and unwinding the lines.
- Place the kite bar upside down on the ground, making sure you check the manufacturer’s codes if it is color-coded.
- Keep your feet and lines aligned. The two center lines should be between your legs, while the back lines should be to your right and left. You can either use your hands or a kite organizer to separate them.
- Return to your kite and straighten any twists or tangles.
- Keeping the center lines in the middle, place the ends of all lines on the sand.
- Check everything one more time.
Attaching the Kite Lines 101
After correctly placing the kite lines on the sand, it’s time to learn how to tie them. Use a lark’s head knot, also known as a cow hitch knot:
- Grab the loop on the kite string and pull it.
- Take the other end of the loop and pull it through the bottom.
- Pinch your thumb and forefinger together and cross the loop.
- Connect your frontlines to the leading edge and your backlines to the trailing edge.
- Tighten the loops and slide them towards the knot.
- Return to the kite bar and lift the line to check your lines again.
- Make sure your kite bar is upside down when running the lines to fly properly.
Pre-Ride Safety Check
Before you get out on the water, it’s important to triple-check everything to make sure you’re completely safe. Go through the following pre-ride checklist before you head out on the water:
- Check your kite for tears and pinholes, and listen for bladder leaks, especially around the valves.
- Check for scuffs or tears on your leading edge.
- Look for knots, kinks or fraying in your lines and pigtail connections.
- Test your safety systems to ensure they’re in good working order.
- Check the length of your lines for the wind conditions — you’ll want shorter lines in high winds, but you can lengthen them if the wind is quieter.
Remember that the center lines should run to the leading edge and the outside lines to the trailing edge. Ensure there are no overlaps or crosses between the two sets of lines.
Lines Don’t Feel Normal?
Your lines should all be the same length, making your kite bar straight when you connect all the lines to a specific point. If any lines are longer, consider taking them to an expert for repairs.
If you’ve tried everything and your lines still don’t feel right, the safest thing to do is to get new ones. The manufacturers pre-stretch them, but you’ll still need to board for a few hours before they’re completely stretched.
Still Need Help? Not Sure Which Lines to Get?
When it comes to kiteboarding safety, it’s not worth taking chances. Come see us at the Elite Watersports shop, and we’ll take you through setting up your lines with a kiteboarding lesson and advise you about any repairs or replacements you need. If you need to upgrade your lines, check out our range of new and pre-owned options.
Whatever you need, we’re open seven days a week, so let’s get you out on the water safely today.
Leave a comment