Trimming the Kite Print

Trimming the Kite


All trimming devices on kiteboarding gear have one purpose, they change the pitch angle of the kite relative to the wind.  This is achieved by changing the total line length, relative to the kite.
If the kite it tilted back with its leading edge pointed up, like an airplane taking off, wind is hitting a greater portion of the kite’s surface, creating more pressure, or pull for the kiteboarder.  If the kite is tilted forward, with its leading edge pointed straight or down, like an airplane landing, wind is hitting a smaller portion of the kite’s surface, creating less pressure, or pull for the kiteboarder.
To say the same thing in another way: When the kite is tilted forward or straight, the kiteboarder gets less power, until the kite has so little power it falls out of the sky, leading edge first.  When the kite is tilted back, the kiteboarder gets more power, until the kite stalls and falls backwards out of the sky, trailing edge first.

A kite can be adjusted with too much back line pressure or two much front line pressure which will result in the kite failing to fly in either situation.  Kite do not have unlimited range; there is a balance that is different for every kite, which must be discovered and accounted for.  With experience, you can easily tell if a kite is too far forward and it’s front lines are too tight, or if the kite is too far back and the back lines are too tight.

A kiteboarder has several options to change this pitch angle, during setup, and while the kite is flying.

 

The Pigtail Knots

The kite line connection point to the pigtail knots must be adjusted before the kite is launched.

Power

Changing the knots on both sides of the kite will change the “power.”

The pigtail knots are located where the kite lines attach to the kite.  Most kites will usually have a series of knots on the pigtails.  Some have knots on all 4 lines, sometimes they have knots only on two.  If the kiteboarder uses the front line knots furthest from the kite, or the back line knots closest to the kite, the kite will have more “power.”  If the kiteboarder uses the front line knots closest to the kite, or the back line knots furthest from the kite, the kite will have less “power.”  If the kiteboarder uses the same knots on both sides of the kite, there will be no change of “power.”

Alignment

Changing knots on only one side of the kite will change the alignment.

The pigtail knots can also be used if the bar is at an angle when the kite is at 12 o’clock, or if the kite is continually pulling to one side.  Changing knots on only one side of the kite will change the alignment.  Continue to move the kite lines one knot closer to the kite, on the side of the kite opposite of where it’s pulling, until the kite stops pulling to that side.  It will have the same effect if you continue to move one knot further away from the kite, on the same side of the kite that the kite is pulling.


The Bar Knots

The kite line connection point to the pigtail knots must be adjusted before the kite is launched.

Power

Changing the knots on both sides of the Bar will change the “power.”

The pigtail knots are located where the kite lines attach to the kite.  Most kites will usually have a series of knots on the pigtails.  Some have knots on all 4 lines, sometimes they have knots only on two.  If the kiteboarder uses the front line knots furthest from the kite, or the back line knots closest to the kite, the kite will have more “power.”  If the kiteboarder uses the front line knots closest to the kite, or the back line knots furthest from the kite, the kite will have less “power.”  If the kiteboarder uses the same knots on both sides of the kite, there will be no change.

Alignment

Changing knots on only one side of the bar will change the alignment.

The bar knots can also be used if the bar is at an angle when the kite is at 12 o’clock, or if the kite is continually pulling to one side.  Continue to move the kite lines one knot closer to the bar, on the side of the kite opposite of where it’s pulling, until the kite stops pulling to that side.  It will have the same effect if you continue to move one knot further away from the bar on the same side of the kite, that the kite is pulling.


The Chicken Loop

The Trim Strap / Sheeting StrapThis strap is located above the bar, and attached to the chicken loop.  Both front/center lines attach just above this strap.  This is a semi-permanent way to shorten the front/center lines relative to you kite, which will “de-power” your kite.  As this “de-powers” the kite, it will reduce the tension in the outside/back/steering lines, making the pilot have to steer more aggressively to get the kite to react as quickly as it did under full power.

The Trim Strap / Sheeting Strap

This strap is located above the bar, and attached to the chicken loop.  Both front/center lines attach just above this strap.  This is a semi-permanent way to shorten the front/center lines relative to the kite, which will “depower” the kite.  As this “depowers” the kite, it will reduce the tension in the steering/back/outside lines, making the kiteboarder have to steer more aggressively to get the kite to react as quickly as it would under full power.

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