Kite control bar: the steering wheel of kiteboarding | Photo: Shutterstock

You can only fly a kite using a control bar. Learn the functionality of this steering and powering/depowering system.

Control bars harness the power of the wind and provide steerage. Nearly all kitesurfing manufacturers have developed their own designs, but they all serve the same purpose.

The kite control bar allows you to turn, accelerate, jump, and slow down. The most advanced models offer high-end safety systems that bring the kite down is a couple of seconds.

Modern kite bars are made of carbon and aluminum, and they're covered with soft rubber grips that won't hurt your hands. Today, brands sell color-coded bars for increased riding orientation, especially in freestyle kiteboarding.

There are basically two types of control bars:

4-Line Kite Bars: a simple control system that is less likely to tangle. The safety leash is connected to one of the front power lines;
5-Line Kite Bars: an advanced control system that can easily depower a kite. The dedicated safety leash line provides additional safety;

Kite control bar: the bar, the quick release system, the chicken loop, the safety leash, the trim system, the stopper ball, the floaters, and the winding posts

Because you spend most of the time connected to the bar, it's important to know how it works. A control bar is comprised of the following parts:

1. The Control Bar: the steering wheel for the kite;
2. The Quick Release System: a mechanism that when pushed, pulled or twisted will quickly depower the kite and release the rider from the wing's power;
3. The Chicken Loop: an essential ring that dettaches the pilot from the kite via the harness. It allows the rider to depower rapidly, and is usually marketed in two different concepts: pull systems and push away systems;
4. The Safety Leash: a strong spring-loaded cord connected to the safety line on the kite that you keep your wing close to you even after releasing the chicken loop;
5. The Trim System: a system that allows the rider to reduce or increase the kite's power without moving the bar, i.e., sheeting out or sheeting in;
6. The Stopper Ball: it allows to set the bar at a specific power level without having to bear any load on your arms;
7. The Floaters: two sponges that provide flotation for the bar and protect the rider from getting injured with the lines;
8. The Winding Posts: two pieces that allow the wrap up of the kite lines;

Learn everything you need to know about kite lines.

Anthony Vandenberg has once again participated in the Shackleford Challenge 2018 in Cedar Island, North Carolina. This time, he had a close encounter with a shark.

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