A lot of bars from most major brands easily exceed the 500 Euro mark nowadays. And some of us don’t even prefer these bars. So a very common question is Can I mix up a bar from brand A on a kite from brand B? A quite interesting and easy way to safe some money, Since there are alternatives which are not even 300 Euro’s .
We wrote about it before but again we shortly sum up all details. From obvious (and agreed on) to more tricky (and less unanimous) to make sure that your kite will fly as it is intended to:
Make sure the original and the alternative bars have:
- The same amount of lines (usually 4 and get some pig tails for a few euros to get the knots right, if necessary)
- The total length of the lines (every couple of meters difference gives a clear difference in reaction time for example)
- Roughly the same width of the bar (usually not big of a deal, but don’t be too far off. In general a bigger kite works better with a bigger bar)
- The same safety system (or advisable to have a single flag out system)
- F-one standard bar hasn’t got it, but most major brands from roughly 2015/2016 onward have it.
- Same split point? That isn’t so clear!
If you really need to have a bar that has the same height or distance where the power (front) lines split. For example:
- Best, Slingshot, Cabrinha, Airush and Naish usually have low split points
- F-one medium height (around 4m)
- North one of the highest (roughly 6m)
We wrote before that it isn’t such a good idea to mix up a North Dice with a low split point (since North has one of the highest split points, also called “V” or “Y”) bar. But some people did not agree on that. So we asked you guys to vote on it by setting up a poll.
Split decision on the split height.
75 people reacted; And some interesting results came up. First of all not much people (almost half) seem not to know about the different split point heights. Seconds, and this may just confuse those people more, the people that do know about it are split up about how important it is to get an equal height with the alternative to the original bar; 45% of the remaining voters that have an opinion on it wouldn’t advice to use a low V bar on a North Dice, but the other 55% don’t think it will be any issue. So a split decision on the split point height…
A few final tips we will give you on this split subject are;
- Up to a couple of meters difference probably doesn’t matter too much
- It is very likely you will need to alter the length a few cm. So make sure you have some pigtails around and test the kite in some moderate winds.
- Lowering the split point usually make the kite a bit more steady but also slower and more fit for freestyle moves.
I had the same issue with a Switch C4X bar. Solution for me was to undo and re-do again the knot on the flag line so it will go through the hole on the iron heart.
I bought the Kite attitude universal bar. I guess this or last year’s model, but the larks head knot attaching the central lines to the elastic line does not fit through the safety mechanism, meaning that the kite doesn’t flag out when released. I tired it three times on two different kites and with some kite experts and all agree that the bar is not safe to ride with in this condition. I contacted the manufacturer, who say it is normal and will release under tension, but I am not satisfied with this response. When I asked around I was surprised how many people don’t check the safety release system when they buy a new bar.
I didn’t try it (no need to yet :). But out of the blue – a couple of suggestions to keep a ring on one of the power lines (without tying a knot on this line of course) at the desired height of the split:
1) Thin plastic tube, few inches long, with a couple of holes, which the power line goes thru. The tension should keep the tube on the line. The ring is attached to the tube.
2) Glue in (sic!) few inches of a short line to the power line. This short fragment holds the ring, and the tension is again on the power line, so it is not effected
If the ring is held at the desired height, both power lines just should go thru it, providing the split at this height.
If not 1 or 2, there are so many tricks people connect things, something surely should work. The pulling force to move the ring down is going to be very small, because of a very sharp angle (above the ring) between the lines.
Hi Andrey, I think it does need some more details to see it exactly should be fitted? Dave
We Test Kites
To convert any low split bar to high: a solution: pull both power lines through a small steel ring, and do something to keep the ring at the desired height. Not a knot sure, still I can think of a couple simple “designs” to do that, because there won’t be much force to move the ring up or down.
I meant “Keeping aside”
For the shape of the canopy, the only geometric factor is direction of pull vectors. Keeping how fast kite turns with different line lengths etc, it is easy to get exactly the same pull vectors just by adding line length (with extension lines). I mean if you have a split point on bar A 2m higher than on bar B, add 2 m lines to bar A, and you get the same pulling forces as on bar B.
This tells me that the kites that are offered with different line lengths are not sensitive to split point (like Naish I believe), while those with the only length option (North) are.
Hi everybody! I have F-one bandits (8 and 11) and Ben Wilson 6m. And i don’t like f-one bar becouse its doest’n have stopper for tricks like a deadman and it hardly untwist the lines without help. I bought the North quad bar as a solution to these problems, but all 3 kites flyes badly with it. Not as responsive as they were on (v-bar from F-one or Slingshot – i tried it aswell) . May be that will help anyone to avoid my mistake. Sorry for my English )
Thanks for the added comment. You have seen it right; The Kite Attitude bar has a split at around 1.50m above the depower rope.
We Test Kites
To add to my last comment, the Ozone bar has a no split length, the front line connect directly at the end of the de-power rope. I watched the video on the Kite Addicts bar and would consider it to have a fairly high split in comparison to the Ozone bar.
Very helpfull thoughts, many thanks!
We Test Kites
A bit of my kite history – I have been Kite surfing since 1999, first attempts were on open cell foiI kites Flexifoil sky tigers, Flexifoild Blades on handles and then moved to LEI’s. I have been kiting ever since and had many hours flying. Currently I fly Ozone Edges 7 & 11 V8, also I use a 2014 10mtr Dice and a 2016 7 Mtr Dice plus a 2016 7 mtr Evo, all for diffent days and wind & water conditions. I use my Ozone bar on all of these kites, a 50cm for all kites except the Ozone 11 Edge. I do not notice enough difference to say that the low split makes a noticeable difference on any of these kites. However I would say that the difference is in the way the kite is supported on the front lines, this would alter the the span of the kite, If a kite is designed with a low split as in longer front lines this would have a set arc and wing span based on the split. A kite designed to fly on a low split set up would be more affected by flying it on a high split set up as it would cause the kites span to change bringing the wing tip in closer together. This would for instance would make the Ozone Edge’s arc deform from its intended design. So therefore in short terms, most kites will fly on a Short Split set up but not all will handle a High Split set up.