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Can someone shed some light on the differences, pros and cons between above the bar and below the bar system?
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I've head people complaining about their knuckles being beat up by the flailing plastic handle when they ride depowered on ATB.
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I believe above-the-bar vs. below-the-bar depower tend to be personal preference. Most kite brands choose one vs. the other - it's rare for a kite company to offer both. I believe the above-the-bar option is new for the Naish brand in 2013. Previously, Naish has gone with below-the-bar depower in their most recent bars.
I ride mostly in the ocean; I prefer my depower rope/strap to be out of my view while riding the wave. With this under the bar, there is less junk dangling in my line of sight. I ride Slingshot kites and their "CompStick" bar is only available with depower below the bar. I believe Naish and Slingshot have been the two major proponents of below-the-bar depower systems - at least until Naish introduced above-the-bar option this season.
Some kiters find the below the bar systems harder to depower when they're overpowered, since you can't just reach up and pull straight down on the rope/strap to depower the kite in an above-the-bar system. Whenever I'm in this situation, I just fly my kite up towards 12 0'clock (where it isn't as powered) and depower the kite by pulling in on the trim line a few inches.
Correct me where I'm wrong, guys...
I use Slingshot 2010 and 2011 Compstick bars which have BTB depower. The only downside I've experienced from BTB is that the depower seems to be significantly more difficult to pull than above the bar depower. Like hard enough to the point I have to push the bar away as far as possible and sometimes rest the kite at the edge of the wind window in the water to pull the depower with two hands. I'm not sure if this is an issue specific to Slingshot or not.
Previously I used a Cabrinha bar with ATB and I've got no complaints. It worked fine and I didn't have any knuckle issues. I can't say that I've heard that complaint before from anyone else.
I think a better way to judge bars might be bar construction and safety. You want few complicated moving parts, easy safety release, and easy to put back together once released. Some bars I've seen (Wainman and Flexifoil) have chicken loops that are no longer attached to the bar after safety release, so you have to always remember to pass your kite leash through the chicken loop.
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Other things to consider:
1. If the ATB depower straps have any hard or heavy plastic ends, they can whack you if you're depowered so much that the ends reach your hands/knuckles.
2. On some bar brands, the "Y" where the front flying lines attach is within arms reach of the bar (Slingshot, Naish). Other brands (RRD, F-One, North) have the "Y" many feet up the front flying lines where you can't reach one individual front line.
This comes into play if you're ever in a situation where you want to self-land your kite. I really prefer being able to reach up and give the upper front line a yank to get the kite to sit down on it's front edge on the beach. I don't think this maneuver is nearly as safe with a bar where you can't easily reach above the "Y" on the front lines.
[Self-landing, particularly when it's really windy, is an advanced move and is NOT recommended for beginners.]
See this thread for more on the topic:
I think it's purely a matter of personal preference. I've ridden both, and personally prefer ATB. I find it is much easier to pull the trimmer, as you can use a lot more muscle strength to pull on the line at a distance, and also, when fully trimmed, the slack doesn't get stuck on your bar as much. There's also less "stuff" in the way of the chicken loop release in case you need to access it.
With BTB, you can't exert as much force, and the slack gets in the way a little bit.
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Here's another gem from OP over in KF:
I hardly ever even use my depower strap. I use SS bar and it does seem a bit hard to adjust sometimes, but that's probably because the only time I'm yanking on it is when the wind boosts and I'm super OP'd.
I have reservations admitting that I seldom depower even when launching/landing as I don't want to foster bad habits. The OP appears to be particularly impressionable and seems to think you can learn all this through academic methods.
I would reinforce two things:
-Trying to learn this sport without taking lessons is just pure stupid
-Buying equipment solely based on price is pretty dumb too, and I'd square that if you're buying cheap equipment without taking lessons.
Sorry if that sounds harsh, but if somebody is selling equipment real cheap it's often because it didn't work for shit or has something wrong with it. A good instructor will help you not only pick the right equipment but will tune it for you to make sure it's flying right.
I know that's not what you want to hear, but maybe if we carp on it hard enough it might get through. I've learned plenty of other "high risk" sports over the years, and there's not a one of them that deserves as much respect as this one. Lots of ways to do it wrong, a few ways to do it right. Trial and error approach and autodictactic method not ok. Good equipment not only helps your learning curve, but helps prevent you from killing yourself. You will have a kitemare. Everybody does. Knowing what to do when the kitemare happens is literally a life and death thing, and the life you are dicing with is maybe somebody else's. You can tell we all feel pretty strongly about how unacceptable that is.
Alameda is a great place to learn, but only if you have basic skills in hand. Tomahawking your new kite on bystanders will get your lines cut. And you will tomahawk.
Get a trainer kite, learn to fly it, take some lessons, listen to their advice about equipment.
The attitude.....dude, one of the reasons this sport is pretty cool is because the community supports each other. Don't blow it by being agro and just thinking that you're entitled to do whatever you want. The community support you'll see then is people shunning you.
Point out to me where I have said that I even remotely consider purchasing used or old equipment
I have a trainer kite 2.5m foil, used it, not that different from a 4 line NASA ParaWing 9b kite I made a few years ago.
I think f.o.g means this constructively and not for anyone specific other than newbies looking at getting into the sport.....
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Hmmm maybe I got that impression from the fact that you stated you have limited funds and don't want to shell out for lessons, and that you only want to get by on one kite.......you're taking the cheap approach, which is unavoidable if you don't have the dough. If you're thinking skipping lessons will allow you more to buy newer equipment.......you'd be ahead buying used equipment from a trusted source (like an instructor) since you're going to trash it anyway, and you should have more than one kite to avoid placing yourself in underpowered/overpowered position.
It is my observation that the smartest people often do incredibly dumb things. Taking the cheap approach and thinking you can figure it out all on your lonesome via observation/advice from kindly strangers/untrained buddies is a bit of Darwinism. In my opinion.
Since your reply indicates a tendency to be doggedly and arrogantly argumentative rather than just accept free advice, I'm going to say I'm done with this one. Best of luck to you......
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