kite control bar

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 best and why. While some forum topics can get pretty contentious and opinionated, in this case, pretty much everyone seems to come to the same 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.


Below the bar Trim (Slingshot Guardian bar):

40% of our customers choose this bar mostly because it offers no-nonsense hardcore performance.  Here’s why:

  • Easier to reach: The depower rope is close to your waist where you can grab it quickly and easily. If you have shorter arms, this could make your life a whole lot easier!
  • 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: Without the de-power rope dangling in front of your face, you get better visibility while riding. This is 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
  • What’s 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 riders: the depower cleat is 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.