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Hi fellow Kitesurfers,
I am fairly new to our game and just finished lessons and started to ride on my own gear a few weeks ago on 3rd ave. I bought used equipment at a shop and as it is customary I ended up with a whole bunch of different brands. So my kites are from Airrush (DNA 8m2) and Slingshot (Rally 12m2) and my c-bar is from Best.
Now what happened is that I got in trouble after punching out from my 12m2 at the lower landing beach last week. The Kite would not depower completely, but rather stay on the edge of the wind window powered and pushing me towards the rocks. The waters were shallow and I was able to wrestle down the beast, but nevertheless I do not consider this to be acceptable behavior.
So I did some research and what I found out is this: Kites from Slingshot and Airrush are designed to flag out on one front line only. They must not be used with a c-bar from a brand that design their kites to flag out on two front lines (as Best does).
Now I called the shop where I bought the gear and I was told that this is not right, every 4-line kite will work with every 4-line c-bar. I think this is not true with respect to the release system and thus it is dangerous to think that.
Who is right?
Also I think it should not be to hard to mod a Best bar to flag out on one line, has anybody done that?
Thanks for your comments,
We are offering another Saturday safety clinic next week to check your gear, familiarize yourself with your safety systems and refresh on using them including self rescue.
September 28. Coffee and donuts will be served.
Benicia Kite and Paddle Sports
238 1st Street
Benicia, CA 94510
IMO you got poor info from the shop...if your kite is meant to fly with all lines evenly tensioned, then most control systems will work...that means that you can fly the kite.
HOWEVER, just because the kites will fly on the controol system, it DOES NOT mean that the safety systems will work properly as designed.
Asssuming you had a conversation with the shop to ensure the kites you purchased would work properly on your bar, I would contact the shop OWNER and/or MANAGER to make things right.
Would you have purchased the kites knowing that they would not work on your bar? Would you have purchased a new/used control system if you knew yours wouldn't work properly on these kites? Would you have purchased different kites that would have worked on your control system if you had the proper info?
It is my understanding, at least on a limiteed basis, a one line flagging system will work properly on either a one or two line flagging kite, but not the other way around.
If, after you have the necessary conversation with the shop and they do not properly resolve your issue, come back to the forum and let us know the name of your shop. If they resolve the issue, then you might also come back to the forum.
The Airush DNA's bridle (V3 Bridle) is equipped with pulleys and will flag-out on both dual-line & single-line systems. The Slingshot Rally's bridles are pulleyless and are designed for a single-line system only.
What version model/year is your Best c-bar? The 2013 Best c-bars are a single-line system and should work perfect with both of your kites. I'm not sure when Best switched to a single-line safety, so maybe that's recently new for them.
Same for Airush too... their c-bars from 2012 and older are a dual-line system, but they went to a single-line system this year to lower the V point on the front lines for better performance and easier self-landing.
The shop that sold you the gear should have known that not all 4-line bars work with 4-line kites because of the differing bridle designs. However if the Best c-bar is a 2013 model (or whenever Best started making it single-line), it should work fine with those kites, but if the Best c-bar is an older dual-line, then you're right and the shop is definitely wrong and needs to correct this immediately.
I have had a lot of trouble with this over the last few years. I have an f-one bar from 2010 that has the two line depower, that I ride with an f-one bandit. Every time I punch out I have to fight extremely hard to pull in one of the steering lines to essentially force it to flag out on one line. There is no way to do the normal self rescue technique where you wrap the safety line around the back of the bar, as its pulling too hard.
I have complained about this a few times and even had the rep from f-one try it out on my kite. He got dragged into the beach and I had to run and grab my kite... He couldnt self rescue at all with the way it was still powered but still seemed to think nothing was wrong...
Recently I decided enough was enough and went to buy a new bar. The north bar was recommended to me as a good replacement. Even though it has a two line depower, I was told it worked much better than the f-one bar and the kite would flip onto its back. First day out with it, my canopy ripped in half up at sherman. Even with a gaping hole, the kite was pulling far too hard to do a normal self rescue.
So I just picked up the Naish bar which has a single line depower, and I am hoping it works better.
The Cabrinha two line depower has worked fine for me on cabrinha switchblades, but I think kites with a more curved leading edge are more likely to retain their shape, stay powered, and refuse to flip onto their backs. Assuming the single line depower works, I dont think Ill ever go back to the two-line depower, regardless of what they say. I want 0 pull when I punch out.
I recently posted about my negative experiences with my RRD Obsessions which use the two-line supposed "depower" system:
"Is a Kite That Flags Out on Two Lines Dangerous?"
Like you, I found that the kites barely depower at all and have had several sketchy situations, including major damage to my 12m. My kite went into the water in light wind--when I punched out, I struggled for about ten minutes to get it to settle down, to no avail. The kite was still powered up, flopped around, rolled and tumbled, and got itself wrapped in the lines. When I pulled to keep it from heading into obstacles, I popped the leading edge. The result: $300 worth of damage.
I highly recommend that if you're buying new gear and are not absolutely certain about what you're getting, you do extensive research to ensure your safety system works. Don't take the word of a dealer who is selling you mix-and-match gear; they are not completely objective, they are trying to move the stock they have on hand. Don't rely on the word of one or two friends who say their setup "works fine" but have slightly different gear or ride in different conditions. Kiting is dangerous enough as it is--it's not acceptable to be out on the water with a kite and bar that don't allow you to self-rescue safely.
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