How to choose the right kite control bar | 2018 Learning What’s better, above-the-bar or below-the-bar depower?
You can scour the internet and forums about the right kite control bar and you’ll find plenty of threads about which is better and why. While some forum topics can get pretty contentious and opinionated, in this case pretty much everyone seems to agree with this conclusion: While each style of control bar has its pros and cons, neither one is better than the other- it’s merely a matter of personal preference.
We combed through the forums and compiled a list of the most commonly cited details about each bar type from people who have tried both. If you’re wondering which bar is best for you, this should help you make the call.
Try it for yourself: Many kiters just stick with what they learned with and what they know. While it might be a perfectly fine argument to use what you’re comfortable with, it’s is also a recipe for missing out on something potentially way better performing and safer. If you aren’t sure which system is best for you, the best way to figure it out is to give both a try and see which best fits your needs.
Below the bar Trim (Slingshot Guardian bar): 40% of our customers choose this bar mostly because it offers no-nonsense hardcore performance. Here is why:
- Easier to reach: Depower rope is close to your waist where you can grab it quickly and easily.
- Set it and forget it: If you choose the right kite size for the conditions, you really shouldn’t need to use your depower much, if at all. With below the bar, you don’t have the trip rope or cleat in your field of view, which means you can set it once and forget it’s even there.
- Declutters above the bar: No de-power rope dangling in front of your face. You get better visibility while riding. Especially important when you’re staring down the line planning your next off lip.
- “Active stopper”: Small above-the-bar component allows on-the-fly throw adjustment
- Great for short arms, easier to reach
- The main drawback: It takes some technique to use properly and can be difficult to pull the depower rope if you don’t do it at the proper angle.
Above the bar trim (Slingshot Sentinel bar) 60% of our riders enjoy the ease of use and simplicity.
- Easier to pull: The proper angle of pull is parallel with the center lines, which is easier to do from the above-the-bar angle.
- Takes less “technique” to depower: Just reach up and pull. Less chance of pulling at the wrong angle.
- Un-twist mechanism at bar: Slingshot’s Sentinel above-the-bar system features a spinning mechanism at the chicken loop, which allows the rider to easily untwist center lines at the bar.
- Good option for seat harness, which brings depower cleat closer to the hips
- The main drawback: Face-level components that can be annoying. If you pull your depower rope more than a couple inches, the end of the rope dangles in front of your face and can get wrapped around your center lines.