Steering Lines Definition in Kiting

The steering lines are also called backlines or depowerlines.

The steering lines are attached to the right and left, to the respective attachment point of the front tube or to the bridle lines. They converge in one line, usually in front of the adjuster. The kiter is connected to the front lines via the chicken loop. The pull of the kite affects the body of the kiter by means of the harness. If the kite tends to backstall, the frontlines might be too long.

The lines of the bar are attached to the bridles of the kite with so-called ‘pigtails’. This is done with a very special knot, the so-called “cat’s claw”. There is a knot on one side and a loop on the other side. By pulling the loop through itself and putting it over the knot, the loop stays tight around the knot. When the kite is in the air and creates pull, this will tighten the lines even more and tighten the knot. During your kitesurfing course, make sure that the instructor explains how this works.

A kitesurf line is almost always made of Dyneema. Dyneema is a very robust material with the main raw material polyethylene, one of the most commonly used plastics. The beauty of Dyneema lines is that they float on water, are waterproof and even stronger than steel! Most kite lines can carry 300 to 500 kg.

The power lines are usually a bit thicker as they carry and transfer the biggest load. After a few years the quality of a kite line can deteriorate. So always check your lines when you start your session, look for weak points (which you will notice by looking for a color difference) and make sure you replace your lines/bar in time to avoid accidents.

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