Industry Insight: Control Bars in Issue 69 of IKSURFMAG looks at the almighty control bar. Possibly the most overlooked and underrated bit of equipment in your quiver, the control bar is the connection between rider and kite. To find out more about this crucial piece of equipment, we reached out to the most knowledgeable designers on the planet, including Frank Ilfrich from CORE. Here’s the full interview!
What do you consider the most important feature on your bar?
The overall package is key: low weight, high-quality components, the feel, the grip. The self and auto untwisting feature is also a very important one as it guarantees that the lines are clear at all time, so the safety will work even after dozens of rotations.
Above the bar or below the bar? 4-lines, 5-lines, or 6-lines? Why?
Above the bar adjuster because it is simply the most ergonomic position. 4 lines because you don´t need more. The Impact is the only exception with 5 lines.
How do you find a balance between features & simplicity?
A good feature means simplicity. Our bar is 100% clean and functional with no unnecessary gadgets.
What will be the next big breakthrough in bar technology?
I will not tell you 😉
Does it matter where the split in the front lines occurs?
Hell, yes! It changes everything. Each Y height has its advantages and disadvantages, and this has to be considered in kite and bar design.
When it comes to all the different features and components, is there something on the bar that consumers really fuss about that actually doesn’t make much of a difference? What about something on the bar that riders don’t think about or ask about that makes a huge difference?
Our adjuster is pretty awesome as it is a 4-to-1 design, which means you can adjust very precisely with very little effort and the rope will never get stuck in the clam cleat. 2-to-1 feels like the stone age to me.
Adjustable bar length: here to stay or passing fad?
It is a feature– for some people it is very important as you can use one bar for big and small kites. So, I would say it is here to stay.
How do you take care of smaller riders when designing your bar?
We asked small riders to test the bar and listened to them. The truth is that most of the, “I cannot reach the adjuster” complaints come from slipping harnesses.
We’ve come a long way, or long way to go — can you explain briefly what we started with in terms of bar design, and where we’re going next?
There will be a new safety norm coming up, so everybody will have to reach that new standard. We are working on several ideas for future bar designs, but I cannot go into details.
What’s the most challenging part of designing a bar?
To make all customers happy and have a safe a reliable product.
Follow this link to find out more about CORE’s control bars: corekites.com.
Sun 17th Jun, 2018 @ 11:17 pm
By Lindsay McClureLindsay is a pro rider from Hood River in the USA, she works for IKSURFMAG as our Features Editor and is an integral part of the team. Lindsay is really into wakestyle riding and can be found in the Hood River Slider Park during the summer months, she also travels all over the world with the World Class Academy helping younger riders develop through kiteboarding!