Flying lines: learn how to attach them to your kite | Photo: Shutterstock

Setting up a kite takes time. But if you don't pay attention to your kite lines, you can put your life in danger. Learn how to lay out and attach the flying lines to your kite before launching.

Attaching the lines to the kite requires all your attention and focus. A small mistake can result in a fatal accident, so it is important to follow the basic safety guidelines. Lines should only be attached to the kite when the wing is properly inflated.

The rules are simple: the front and center lines will keep your kite up in the air, while the back lines will power, depower, and steer the kite. The connections between the kite and the lines are often called "pigtails."

Depending on the manufacturer, lines have different colors to help you make the right connections. In some kites, the "kook proof" system simplifies the attachments and reduces the chances of making mistakes.

Now, the first thing to do is to unwind the bar, and lay out the lines on the sand. Here's how you should do it using the downwind method:

1. Stand next to the kite, facing downwind;
2. Begin to unwind the kite lines, laying the ends next to the kite, on the sand;
3. Walk straight downwind, away from the kite, and continue to unwind the lines;
4. Place the bar on the ground, upside down;
5. If your bar is color-coded, check the manufacturer's code before placing it on the sand;
6. Stand in between your lines - the two center lines are between your legs, and the two back lines are on either sides of your legs;
7. Separate them using your hands as a comb, or using a kite line organizer;
8. Walk back towards your kite, straightening any twists and tangles in your lines;
9. Place the end of the lines on the sand, with the center lines in the center;
10. Do an overall double-check;

Now that the kite lines are correctly laid out on the sand, you must learn how to tie a Lark's Head Knot (also known as Cow Hitch Knot) before attaching the lines to your kite:

Lark's Head Knot: a basic kiteboarding knot | Photo: Shutterstock

1. Pull the loop of the kite string;
2. Pull the other end through the bottom of the loop;
3. Pinch your thumb and forefinger together, over the sides of the new loop;
4. Connect the front lines to the leading edge;
5. Connect the back lines to the trailing edge;
6. Tighten the loops;
7. Slide the loops towards the knot;
8. Walk back to your kite bar and check all lines;
9. Lift the kite bar and the lines for a double-check;
10. Flip your kite bar over for proper flying position;

Remember that the center lines go straight to the leading edge, and the outside lines go to trailing edge. There are no crosses or overlaps between the front and back lines.

Make sure all lines have the same length and, if possible, replace the whole set if you find problems in a single line.