Last updated 3-8-2024

How to tune your kiteboarding kite

Small changes make a big difference.

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What do kiteboarding control bars do?

Kiteboarding companies offer many options to tune your kite. There are settings on the kite's wingtips and sometimes on the leading edge. Sometimes there areadjustable settings on the kiteboarding control bar, or options of different size bars to choose from.

You can also adjust kite line lengths for a different experience all together. Depending on your skill level and discipline this can make all the difference for your progression.

Most kiteboarders do not take advantage of the small refinements. This is a shame as it greatly affects how your kiteboarding gear performs! If you are struggling to land a certain trick or hate riding a certain kite size, these tips can change everything for you.

Regardles of the issue you are having or the trick you are working on, there is likely a solution to be found by making some minor adjustments for big results.

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Table Of Content

  • kiteboarding control bar sizes and how to pair them with a kite.
  • Benefits of small kiteboarding control bars
  • Benefits of large kiteboarding control bars
  • Benefits of medium kiteboarding control bars
  • Kiteboarding line Lengths explained 
  • More kite tuning options

kiteboarding control bar sizes and how to pair them with a kite.

Different kiteboarding brands are going to have different size control bars. Generally, you would pair two bars with a quiver of three kites. You can choose one to three sizes.
Most shops recommend something in the 50cm to 55cm range. This size bar works well across all kite sizes. 

How do I choose a kiteboarding control bar size?

  •  42 - 49 cm bars for 03m - 10m kites
  •  50 - 58 cm bars for 11m - 13m kites
  •  55 - 63 cm bars for 14m - 19m kites
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You can mix and match any size kiteboarding control bar with any size kiteboarding kite. Different size bars will change the way your kite flies. For example, a large bar on a small kite is going to be fast. Likely too fast for comfort. A small bar on a large kite is going to be slow. Unless you are a freestyle rider this will be annoying.

A common complaint among kiteboarders is that large kites are too slow. Using a large control bar in the 60cm range and setting the kite up on the fast setting will improve your experience on the water. With the new ultra pe leading edge kites that fly faster, you might fall in love with 17m kites again in 2024.

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Benefits of small kiteboarding control bars

Small kiteboarding control bars are normally paired with a smaller kite. For example, you might have one standard control bar that works fine on your 12m kite.

When the wind gets strong you would find a 7m kite to be too fast. Maybe you are crashing a lot or intimidated to try back rolls. A small control bar would solve this issue for you.

What does a small kite control bar do?

  • Slows down the kite 
  • Increase Stability 
  • Direct feel to the kite 
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On the other side of the spectrum, sometimes kiteboarders want to slow down their large kites too. This is more common with freestyle riders. Sometimes they will even modify their bar to 35cm.

Brands used to manufacture very small bars. This is less common these days. Realisticaly a 45cm bar is more than effitiant to achive the desired effect of a small control bar.

Benefits of large kiteboarding control bars

Big kiteboarding control bars make kites more reactive. If you are someone who wants a more playful kite this is the ticket. It's common for most kiteboarders to prefer their 10m kite. After all, they are fast and exciting, they kite loop well and with lots of power. Using a large bar on a 12m or 14m kite will liven things up. Loops will feel faster and easier too.

What does a large kite control bar do?

  • Faster feeling kite
  • More power via apparent wind
  • Better turning makes large kites feel smaller
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Be mindful of using these with small kites. A 60cm bar on a 7m kite is going to be dramatic. You would feel out of control trying back rolls and probably accidentally crash or pull a kite loop. If you are always puling kiteloops by mistake, a small control bar is going to fix this issue for you.

Benefits of medium kiteboarding control bars

Kite bars in the 50cm range are the most common. They also work well enough on every size kiteboarding kite. This is the size most often paired with kiteboarding kites. It's the correct pairing for a 12m kite. It will work well enough on a 7m and can be used effectively on a 17m. Chances are you already have a 50cm or 55cm bar as its the standard.

Why chose a medium size kiteboarding control bar 

  • Most practical size
  • Good for beginners 
  • One bar for everykite 
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If you can only afford one bar, this size is the most practical. Don’t feel like you need to add bars to progress. All of these tips will make a difference but they won’t make or break you as a kiteboarer. Keep reading to learn about adjustments you can make on your kite.

Kiteboarding Line Lengths explained

Generally kiteboarding kites come with 22m -24m lines. Some brands like Airsush kiteboarding have adjustable line lengths. This is done by removing segments of the line to tun your kite.

Short kite control bar lines would be anything from 12m to 20m. They have a lot of applications.They are popular for hydrofoiling and kite loops. Being so close to your kite will make piloting the kite very direct. Schools also use short lines for safety reasons.

Long lines genraly are 25m - 27m. They help monumentaly with light wind. You will have a larger power stroke to get up and ride. Sometimes the wind is better up high. Long lines can take advantage of this too. Be aware that it does slow the kite down.

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If you want to learn more about kiteboarding bar tuning, watch this video. Aaron at Elite watersports goes into great detail.

More tuning options
Some brands go a step further. The Airush lithium bridal can be adjusted with simple knots on the leading edge. This will increase or decrease the bar pressure.

Check your kite and model to see if their are instuctions and options on the steering line knots and leading edge.  


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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