After you have found a suitable spot for your kitesurfing session it is time to setup your kite.
The video and instructions below are specific for a 4-line leading edge inflatable kite and the kite setup is done downwind. It is pretty much the same for a 5-line inflatable kite, you just need to make sure the 5th line travels freely and untangled from the control bar to its respective connection point on the kite. We will provide a kite setup segment for setting up your kite upwind in the near future.
It is a good idea to follow a structured manner to setup your kite. This will minimize the possibility of something going wrong and roots your thinking in such a way that you will always maximize safety. Below is a list of easy to follow step by step instructions:
- Find out the wind direction by turning your head from side to side until you feel the same breeze in both ears, you are now facing straight into the wind. Unpack your kite with the exodus (outer side of the canopy) against the ground and the leading edge perpendicular to the wind direction.
- Attach the leash on your pump to the center of the kite, connecting the leash to the available ring (depends on the kite and the leash on your pump).
- Connect the hose of the pump to the inflation valve on the kite using the matching mouthpiece and make sure all valves on the kite are open except the deflation valve(s). This ensures that air can flow into all parts of the kite.
- Pump until you have a good amount of pressure in the kite. If you have a pressure gauge, around 7 PSI should be enough. Another way is to try to bend the leading edge, if you can do it easily there is not enough air, if you need to use a bit of power to make it bend you have the right amount of pressure. If you are strong, dont go overboard, a normal person male or female should be able to bend the leading edge with a little effort.
- Once you have the right amount of pressure, remove the pump, close all valves and turn the kite upside down and place it on the ground perpendicular to the wind direction. This way the kite won´t fly away with the wind.In strong winds you can put some weight (sand for instance) on the kite to secure it .
- Grab your control bar and and free all four or five lines. Take all four/five lines in one hand and put them on the ground, downwind from your kite and its connection points. Now walk downwind away from the kite and unwind the lines from the bar keeping the bar in one hand and using the other hand to help the lines come off in a figure of eight.
- When there is no more lines to unroll, put your control bar down on the ground. Most control bars are marked with red to indicate the left side of the bar. This could be the color of the bar, the floater or the left steering line. When we setup the control bar downwind from the kite ( the safe way) we need to have the red side of the bar on the right side. This may sound counter-intuitive but the kite is upside down and when you launch you will notice that the bar is the correct way.
- When the bar is laying on the ground, first grab the steering lines in each hand, then step with your feet in the middle with each steering line on the outside of each leg and the power lines between your feet. Now grab all lines and separate them by taking all but the leftmost steering line in your right hand and separate the lines between your fingers. Start walking upwind towards your kite and keep the lines separated. It helps to keep your left hand in front of you with all four lines going over your hand as you walk. This makes sure the lines don’t hang loosely and tangle as you walk.
- Once you have reached the end of the lines you should be at the kite and have all lines separated from each other. If you are unsure you can walk the lines one more time, it should be much easier now with the lines untangled. When you are sure the lines are free, you can connect the steering lines to the wingtips of the kite and the power lines to the bridles on the leading edge. Make sure the color codes on the bar and the kite match. This will confirm that the setup is correct.
- Double check that the connections are right and the lines are free.