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One good way to rig lines on a 4 line kite.
Disclaimer: There are many good ways to rig a kite, probably also better ones than the one described below. The procedure below works very well for me but I do not claim that it is the only and the best one. Also it is better shown than described, just see me at the beach in Alameda and Iíll demonstrate.
It is a long time ago that I learned kiting. At that time there were no kook proof rigging systems, nor was line rigging covered in lessons. It was luck to find a lesson at all.
So in my early kiting days I rigged my lines wrong way too often. Crossed front line with backline, the most dangerous mistake. And so it happenend once in a while that I got yanked around badly when launching.
Until that one magic day when this nice dude showed me an almost fool proof method to rig. Here it is:
1. Rig downwind. It has a lot of advantages vs. rigging upwind. The most obvious one is that when you rig upwind and it is very windy then the backline which is on the windward side can get blown over the kite. An inexperienced launcher will not notice the fact and you get your lines twisted from the start. I saw that often. The backline can slip over your rig and this way twist with the center line.
2. Pump up the kite and roll out your lines downwind (= you start at the kite and walk downwind). The lines are NOT connected yet to the kite.
3. Turn the bar upside down. This is important. You have to do this when you rig downwind. Make sure that you know clearly which side of your bar is left (red) and which is right. At this moment the left bar side (red) would be lying on the ground on the right side (upside down).
4. At the bar take the center lines between your legs and have the backlines outside.
5. Take all four lines in your hands and walk towards the kite. You have 2 lines in either hand. Always keep the center lines between your legs and always make sure you have all 4 lines in your hands, on either body side you walk the backlines. (Some people at this point also ìcombî the center lines with their fingers to take twists out. I personally untwist those later).
This way you always know where your lines are in relation to each other and they stay there as long as you hold them.
6. Never put the lines down, never let your hands off the lines until the lines are connected at the kite, always keep them in your hands (people walk over lines and bars, this can mess them up if you lay them out on the ground). Try to always keep your lines under your control.
7. Now you are at the kite...walk still with all lines in your hands and the center lines between your legs up to the right side of the kite to the pigtails. Attach at first the center line. Then the back line. Make sure the backline is "above" the center line.
Once BOTH lines are safely attached step out of that 1 center line which is connected now.
8. You still have (hopefully) one center line between your legs and the other backline in your left hand.
Walk to the left side of the kite and attach first the front (= center) line. Then the respective backline above it.
9. Now do the double check. If someone chatted you up while rigging or you had a great party last night you may still have confused center and backlines, right and left. Thatís why you do the control-walk.
At the kite: Take the center lines between your legs, the backlines in your hands and walk towards your bar. When you arrive at the bar you see whether the lines are clear or not. This walk back also can be used to untwist center lines (moderate number of twists). While you walk towards the bar work any center line twists towards the bar. The lines meet at the chicken loop. When you arrive at the bar you unspin the collected twists at the chicken loop.
Also very helpful:
Color-code your lines. (I use Q-pro-line, yellow and orange)
Use only Fool proof pigtails and line attachments.
SUPER IMPORTANT INFORMATION!!!
I always rig my kite with my kites in this mannor with my kite UPWIND. In this mannor I can lift my bar and CLEARLY see my back lines are set up correctly and there are no twists etc...
The only thing I might add is: I always turn my bar in the direction of the kite being turned over (no twists). I also always say to my launch partner, "Dont let go tell I give you a thumbs up, OK?".
Using this setup proceedure also has the added advantage of reducing HOT LAUNCHES.
Thanks for the submission!
Greg, you're right - always wait for the affirmative thumbs-up signal! You had a great story, that many can learn from, about someone you gave a launch to at Sherman Island, which may have been the basis for your subsequent approach to always wait for the signal. That was a good story.
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