Kite Setup/packing & Terminology

Kite Setup/packing & Terminology

In this 20 Minutes Video, we will learn how to Setup and Pack up your kite Safely. You will also learn about all your Equipment terminology.

Kite Setup/packing & Terminology video transcript:

Once you have assessed the wind conditions and chose the correct kite size, find an open flat area to setup your kite

Make sure you have 25 meters of space downwind so you can easily setup your lines.

Once you pulled your kite out of the bag, unfold it perpendicular to the wind making sure the leading edge is upwind and the trailing edge is downwind.  Grab your pump and connect the pump’s safety leash to the center of the kite. This leash is essential to prevent your kite from blowing away as you inflate it!

Find the inflation valve in the center of your kite. Clear and blow away any sand from the valve to ensure it seals correctly.

In this case, we need to screw the valve in place. This is one type of inflation/deflation combo valve.

Here we have separate Deflation and Inflation valves.

Here we have a Nozzle free inflation/deflation combo valve.

Sometimes you can have a deflation valve away from the center of the kite.

Pumps usually come with a few common Nozzles, so make sure you have the correct one that fits on your kite.

If you have any doubts, check your kite manual or ask the person or shop who sold you the kite.

Before inserting the pump nozzle, pump up and down a few times and tap the nozzle to remove sand from inside the hose. Over time, doing this will avoid accumulating sand inside your kite’s bladder.

Insert the nozzle in firmly, place both feet on the pump, tension your leash and start pumping. Long up and down strokes are most efficient.  Almost all modern kites on the market are equipped with a One pump system so the air automatically flows to all areas of the kite.

As you inflate the kite, make sure it takes a normal shape without twists. If something doesn’t look right, stop pumping and fix problems before you put too much air in

Take some time to check the bridles. If they are tangled, untangle them so they are not wrapped around the kite. Fixing twists or tangles is much easier when the kite is not fully inflated.

Keep pumping until you start to feel some resistance from the pump. The most accurate way to test the kite pressure is to use a simple folding test. There you can see how easily the leading edge is bending, which means it’s underinflated. An underinflated kite will perform poorly especially during water relaunching. Here you can see how difficult relaunching the kite is, simply because it wasn’t pumped hard enough.

Keep inflating the kite some more until the kite becomes difficult to bend in half. You should have a hard time to fold it in half, which is now the correct pressure.

You can now remove your pump hose, remove the pump leash while holding the kite, seal the inflation valve and protect with the Velcro cover if you have one

This is the only safe way you can hold and carry an inflated kite on the beach, simply grab the leading edge in the center of the kite, the wind will naturally keep it in the air with no effort.

Always avoid holding a kite too close to the wing tip, this will make it very unstable and can easily slip out of your hands.

Let’s take a minute to go over the main parts of the kite.

The large inflated part of your kite is called the Leading Edge

The back edge of your kite is called the trailing edge

These are called struts

This is the kite’s canopy

These are the wing tips of your kite

These are the bridles of your kite

Before securing the kite, we need to close all the struts valves of the kite. This will isolate the air between the Leading Edge and all the struts. For this you need to squeeze these clips all the way down to the last notch.

Also check that each strut is fully inflated.

Here is how the strut valve mechanism works.

The reason you want to close these valves is in case of accidental puncture or leak, you will still be able to have floatation in your kite.

You can now secure the kite on the beach by lifting it up and flipping it over. Now place some sand on the kite’s canopy close to the leading edge to weigh it down and prevent it from lifting and blowing away accidently. The windier it is, the more sand you want to use. Make sure the center of your kite is facing directly upwind

You can also use a weighted bag to secure the kite. Some people use their boards, however, be careful as fins can easily damage your kite.

If your kite is not facing directly upwind, one your wing tips will catch wind and your kite may blow away! Here is a correctly secured kite

Grab your bar and lines and head downwind of the kite.

Remove the Bungees around your bar ends to free the lines.

Gather all the line ends

and place them underneath your kite.

On a very windy day you may want to put a bit of sand over the line ends to prevent them from blowing away.

Now unwind your lines simultaneously off the bar ends while walking downwind.

Once you’re done unwinding and the lines, make sure the bar is clear of any lines

Bars have a color coding to avoid confusion between the left and right side. The color red is universal for the left side. Simply put you want to align the red side of your kite to the red side of your bar.

Since you’re downwind of your kite, the left wing tip of the kite will be on your right side. You must flip the bar over to correctly match the left side of the bar with the left side of the kite

If you ever make a mistake during your setup, you will notice colors don’t match.

With your bar placed on the ground, step between the lines

Grab each back line and walk towards the kite to untwist them.

Once the back lines are free of twists, separate them clearly by moving them sideways towards the wing tips of the kite.

Now head back to the bar and check the front lines for any twists starting from the bar.

Now walk the front lines towards the kite to untwist them as well. Once at the kite separate them clearly

You could also untwist all four lines at once, but this method generally requires more experience and also that you wrapped all your lines very neatly around the bar.

Before you make any line connections, take the time to check each bridle from the kite. Make sure each bridle is clear of any tangles and that the pulleys are sliding freely.

The bridles are likely to be tangled from time to time. If they are take the time to untangle them

Launching a kite with tangled bridles could easily lead to an out of control kite

With clear bridles, you are now ready to connect your lines. For this you will need to create a Larks Head knot. Line connectors are universal. These are called pigtails and these loops will eventually become Lark’s head knots.   To create the Lark’s Head, you simply need to push the line inside the loop. Slide the larks head past the pigtail and start closing it. Pull the lines hard to ensure you have a solid connection.

Some kites may have different pigtails on the Back Lines so you can adjust the amount of power. Longer Back Lines will give the kite less power. Shorter back lines will give the kite More power.

With the first back line correctly attached, you can now attach the front lines. You will notice that most of the time, the front-line connections have reversed connectors. This is done on purpose to prevent you from connect the wrong lines at the wrong place. If you had different pigtails for your front lines, power adjustment will be the opposite of your back lines. Longer front lines will give you More power while shorter front lines will give you less power.

Connect the front lines Lark’s head to the pigtail pull hard to secure it.

You can now connect the remaining lines. Note that the order in which you connect or disconnect the lines is not important.

To avoid accidents and bad surprises, it is important you spend a few second to double check everything. Check each knot and each attachment point to the kite and make sure it’s all connections are secured and tangle free.

Now head down to your bar to perform a final pre-flight check. Pull slightly on the bar to tension the lines and spread the back lines apart to check for twists or tangles. By lifting the bar up and tensioning the lines you can have a clear visual confirmation that your lines are all tangle free.

Let’s take a minute to go over the bar terminology

The part below the bar is called the chicken loop

This is the chicken loop finger

This is the safety Line O-Ring

This is the safety leash

This is the chicken loop quick release or QR1

This is called a swivel

And this is the Safety leash quick release or QR2

These are the bar floaters

These are line bungees

This is the left back line (usually colored Red) and the right back line

These are the front lines

This is depower rope of the bar throw

This is the safety line, usually colored in red

This is the trim strap

Here is an overview of all parts of the bar.

In the next few videos, we will learn about the functionality of these parts.

You may notice some other kiters setting up their lines Upwind of the kite. Even though it’s possible to connect your bar and lines this way, this method is almost obsolete. Beginners should avoid connecting their lines upwind simply because when launching the kite, the kite is directly exposed the Power Zone.

In the next video we will learn how to pack up the kite .

Kite packing video transcript:

Once someone has landed and secured your kite, unclip your safety leash and unhook your chicken loop from the hook. Before wrapping your lines, pull your bar and lines downwind of the kite and start tensioning your lines. Make sure that all lines are tangle free just like you would do in a pre-flight check after setting up your kite.

Push the chicken loop down so that the bar touches the chicken loop.

Fold the bar floaters in and gather all your lines in one hand.

Start wrapping all the lines around the bar ends in a figure of 8 motion so that your lines are crossed in the middle of the bar. Make sure you don’t wrap over the bungees at the bar ends otherwise you won’t be able to use them to secure the lines later.

Keep good tension in the lines all along to prevent them from falling off the bar ends

When you get close to the kite, stop wrapping the lines and pull the bungees over the bar ends to temporarily secure the lines while you detach the knots.

You can now detach the lines One by one. There is usually a small extension at the end of your lines which you can use to create leverage, which will make detaching lines much easier and quicker.

Detach the remaining lines in any order you like.

Once all lines are detached, grab your bar, remove the bungees and get tension back on all your lines to finish wrapping them.

Once you get near the end of the lines, grab the remaining lines and pull them hard around one bar end. Wrap all those lines horizontally next to the bar end and hold them down. Secure them with the bungee so they can’t fall off or tangle.

The end result should look like this. Carefully wrapped lines make a big difference in how quick and tangle free your next kite setup will be.

Go upwind of your kite and flip it over. Open up each strut valve to allow the struts to deflate when you let the air out of the leading edge.

Open your kite’s main deflation valve, this should get the majority of the air out very quickly.

With your kite laid down flat, place the bridles inside your kite. Get to one the wing tips and begin rolling the kite focusing mostly on keeping the leading edge in a straight line. You can also try to push the air out the struts. It’s preferable that you avoid rolling the kite too tightly.

Stop rolling once you get to the middle of the kite and repeat the same process from the other wing tip of your kite.

Now overlap the two sides on top of each other and Fold the kite in half. Squeeze more air out of the kite. If you have a very large kite or a small bag, you can fold the kite in 3 parts.

Another method to roll the kite, is to fold the kite in half first, then roll from both wing tips at the same time towards the middle of the kite.

Grab your kite bag an insert the kite in.  Kite bags are made to be large, so you should have no difficulty to fit it in. Avoid catching the canopy with the zips.

When you’re finished for the day, it’s a good idea to rinse the sand and the salt off your bar and lines with Fresh water. We will discuss more maintenance tips in the equipment maintenance video.

In the next video, we will learn about the wind window.


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