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 Torrin Bright from Ozone. Here’s the full interview!
What do you consider the most important feature on your bar?
This would have to be our latest innovation – the Click-In Loop. The design of our new release system was based on the principle of the car seat belt. In the same way it has become a natural action when getting into a car to click in the seat belt, we believe kiters should activate and reload the release system before and after use. This is an important safety check often missed, ensuring the release system is set up and functioning as it should. We developed the Click-In function to be simple and intuitive, so activating and reloading will become second nature and easy to do before/after a session.
Above the bar or below the bar? 4-lines, 5-lines, or 6-lines? Why?
We prefer to keep it clean and simple, with an easy-to-use cleat trim system positioned above the bar within easy reach. Our Water and Closed Cell Foil kites fly standard on four lines with a proven front line flag out, keeping it simple and hassle-free. Our Snowkite-specific range has a unique Internal Re-Ride Release System, which stalls the kite with an internal line, this is connected to a 5th line.
What will be the next big breakthrough in bar technology?
We believe an industry standard will become the one step functionality on release systems, such as our Click-In Loop design. Bars should be simple and intuitive to use. We will likely see new ideas for the connection between the bar, release system and harness/spreader bar.
Does it matter where the split in the front lines occurs?
The position and rigging of the lines can have a major effect on a kite’s performance and characteristics. Our Water kite range is designed without pulleys and to fly with four lines. The control systems have four lines all running direct to the trim system and leader lines – there is no V/Y/split in the front lines. This offers a crisp, direct feeling from the kite without losing feeling through pulleys or different types of line rigging. The same goes for our Closed Cell Foil kite range, all flying on four lines connected directly to the bar. Our Snowkite specific range has a unique Internal Re-Ride Release System, which stalls the kite with an internal line; this is connected to a 5th line.
Adjustable bar length: here to stay or passing fad?
We find with adjustable options some feeling can be lost through the connection of the line/leader line to the bar. In some cases, it also compromises strength. We design with simplicity, feeling and strength in mind – our bars are fixed length with a stainless steel pin running through the bar. This creates an ultra strong and direct connection between the control bar and flying lines, offering the best feeling from the kite.
How do you take care of smaller riders when designing your bar?
For those with a shorter reach we offer the Compact Control System. This features a compact de-power throw to bring the trim closer to the rider and to stop the bar from becoming out of reach. The small size molded Harness Loop also brings the system closer to the rider.
Follow this link to find out more about Ozone’s control bars: ozonekites.com.
Sun 17th Jun, 2018 @ 11:18 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!