Sure it seemed super straightforward when i had an instructor walking me through the kite setup but it took awhile for me to feel confident i was doing it right on my own.  There’s a few different ways you can set up and It’s really important that the lines get attached to the correct sides of the kite.  What helped me to be sure i had it right was to systemize my setup, doing it the same way every time.

I find it the most straight forward to run my lines out upwind from the kite.  Running your lines upwind of your kite means the bar gets positioned exactly the same way as it’s used to fly the kite, red on the left. From there you can look downwind at your kites’ leading edge and know that the left and right on the bar and the kite as you see them are true.    

Here’s my system for setting up my lines, i’ve broken it up into 7 simple steps:

1. Start beside your kite

  • Start beside one of the wingtips to get the right length for the back lines to attach.  This saves dragging your bar around or having to move your kite forwards to reach

  •  I always walk my lines upwind, or slightly upwind so the bar will be laid out exactly as you’ll be using it to fly the kite.  Red side of the bar will  be on the left, just like it’s used when your flying the kite

2. Walk into the wind

  • Gather all 4 lines- holding the bar in one hand, unwind the chicken loop line, undo the bungee cords and gather all 4 lines in the other hand

  • Your lines are wound in a figure of 8 kind of way

  • Direct the lines across your body and place them down vs. shaking out the bar

3. Lay out the bar-RED on the left

  • Lay out the bar so it’s ready for your session, red on the left, chicken loop ready to hook in to and adjust the depower to the conditions  

  • Running out your lines upwind of your kite the bar will be positioned exactly as used in flight: red on the left.  Red is colour coded to ‘Port Side’ in sailing and always stays on the left


4. The 2 outside lines to either side of the kite

  • These are the kites back lines or steering lines and attach to the wingtips.

  • I like to focus on the back lines first rather then fumbeling around with all 4 lines at once.  Step over the lines to keep the 2 centre lines between your legs and pick up the 2 back lines.  Holding them infront of you they should naturally want to untangle as you walk towards your kite.  Don’t stress about the centre lines we’ll be back for those in a moment

  • At the end of the lines, leaving the centre lines infront of the kite, take the back left line to the outisde of the left wingtip and take the right all the way to the outside of the right wingtip

  • It’s important the back lines stay clear of, and not crossed over a centre line (which is why I like to walk out my lines in 2 passes)

5.  The 2 centre lines

  • These are the front lines of the kite

  • Put yourself between each line and walk them out to your kite 

  • Place each line in front of the leading edge 

All 4 lines should now be running parallel with each other from the bar to the kite and are ready to attach to the kite

The lines attach to the kite using a ‘Larks Head Knot’, one line has a loop and the other a knot.

The line with the loop doubles back through itself to make it adjustable, slip it over the knot and pull it tight.  Tension keeps the connection which is why they won’t come apart during flight.

6. Attaching the back lines

  • Before attaching, look down the line to visually check it isn’t crossed over a front line 

  • If your kite has more then one knot, sometimes there’s 3 options, make sure each side is attached to the same one, especially if someone else is helping you

  •   For example: both back lines are attached to the middle knot

7. Attaching the front lines

  • Before attaching the front lines pull the bridal out from under the kite to check the pulleys can roll smoothly and aren’t tangled… or jammed up with any seaweed  

  • Remember to do the same on the other side

All 4 lines should now be attached and running parallel from the bar to kite 

When you hook in to the bar double check red is on the left and all 4 lines are running straight, with no criss crosses from the bar and are attached to the kite before you move into position to launch.  This is the final pre-flight check, If something doesn’t look right now, put the kite down to address the problem or concern before you try and launch.

It’s good to make your own habits & routine to get your setup down, please remember to be mindful of other peoples equipment.  As a general rule of thumb, try and find your own space to set up and when you’ve come in from your session wrap up your bar & lines to leave the area clear for others.

Use this as a guide as many times as you need.