A lot of people would save money if they can use a standard bar instead of buying the original one from the brand of the kite. For example if you already own a bar from a different brand or if you just can buy (and/or prefer) another brand means you save easily a couple of hundred Euro’s. Assuming this standard bar has the same amount of lines, same length, same width and more or less the same safety the only question which remains is; does it really need to have the same height of the split point as it would have had on the original bar from the brand of the kite?
North (we picked North since they have one of the highest split points on all their recent bars from at least 5 meter to the bar) claims it tests and designs the kites each year to work best with their bar with quite an extremely high split point. There must be a reason they do that, so we asked North about it. The designers claim that their 4 line kites (Neo and Dice for example) “will get more slack on the lines when used with a low V. This slack is something the Dice and Neo is not designed at”. Which is a bit unsatisfying answer to our opinion.
We know of a few kiters both deliberately take a different split point for their kite but on the other hand also ones that got into serious issues dealing with a low V bar on a North kite. It would be interesting to know both sides of the story,
Kite Attitude, represented by Donatien Rogier, is convinced the height of the split point is of no issue. So to our poll he would answer Yes, no problem. He even came up with a video with someone on a Dice with his standard (low V) Attitude bar, which was quite happy and riding a Dice without any problem. He also pointed out that “…the French “best tricks” champion, just won the Martinique Championship with the universal Attitude FreeStyle bar on a 15 m2 North Juice. The Juice is considered to be the big version of the Dice.” He argues. For us the North Juice indeed is -normally- used with a North (high V) bar, but if whether it is a big Dice remains questionable.
A closer look to the description on the North wake-style bar shows a lower V is preferred for more advanced tricks generating more power release delay, more slack, more pop and a delay in steering that makes doing doubles or holding grabs much easier and un-matched by the stock Trust Bar. Which is a clear hunch that changing the height gives a different kite (feel).
When looking this issue up at several forum topics (for example on Seabreeze or kiteforum) you will soon discover their is loads of discussions going on with a wide mix of opinions on the amount of difference. Both stacked with theoretical and practical knowledge. The dozens of posts just makes things blurry even more. What to believe? How much difference do you actually notice when kiting?
We are in doubt about mixing up kites designed for a high V with a bar with a low V (or vice versa). Rather be safe than sorry, and in case you use a different split point bar first test it. Of course not everybody is able to test this first, so that is why we let everybody who considers to have some experience vote on it and let the majority of votes tell us the answer to one of the most extreme examples we know of; a low V on a (recent) North Dice. Hopefully this will give us an idea if this issue we raised is supported by a majority of our readers.