Rigging Your Kite

Rigging your Kite

Caution: This is intended for editorial purposes only. I can not stress enough how important it is to have taken a lesson with a professional instructor.

Now that you have taken a lesson and learned how to rig a kite, your are ready to rig your kite on your own for the first time! This article is designed as a reminder you can use your first few times setting up your gear.

Unrolling the Kite :

Lay the kite out downwind with one tip into the wind and the other tip straight downwind. Pile sand on the upwind tip between tip and the first strut. This will hold the kite while you pump up the struts.

Pumping the Kite :

Start with the first strut on the upwind side and work your way down wind to the last strut. Pump the struts firm, so when you flick them you should hear a 'ping' sound. The stopper ball in the valve should seal the valve when you remove the pump hose (don't try to pinch it off). If the valve does not seal, try tipping the valve to face down before pulling out the pump hose. Make sure to insert the stopper and velcro it tight. Once you finish the struts, move over to the leading edge. Attach the pump leash to the leading edge so you can pump without worrying about holding the kite. Make sure the "deflate" valve is closed and sealed tight. Pump the leading edge. The wind tips will begin to rise off the ground as the bow takes shape. Pick the kite up and knock the sand off the tip, turning your back into the wind so the leading edge is across the wind. Continue to pump till firm. Make sure the leading edge is pumped correctly, or the kite will not fly well. Seal the final valve and flip the kite over LE down and sand it.

Laying out Lines :

Start where you want to launch your kite form (the location the kite will be in) and unwrap the lines as your walk directly across the wind (i.e. if the wind is blowing north, set the lines out east/west). Once you have them unwrapped, set your bar down so it is in flying position (i.e. the "right" on the bar is on your right). Step into your bar so that the center lines are between your legs and the end lines are outside your legs. Pick up the lines with the center/rear lines running through separate fingers. Walk down your lines toward the ends, keeping the center lines between your legs and the rear lines outside them. When you reach the end of the lines, work right to left and set the left rear line down, walk a few feet, set left-center down, walk a few feet, set right-center down, walk a few feet, set the right-rear down. You should look down and have a clear view of what line is what.

Attaching your Lines :

Carry your kite over to you lines and set it LE down on top of them. Work left to right again, attaching your lines. The outside lines go to the rear of the kite, the center lines go to the center of the kite. Use the lark's head knot to attach them. Remember when attaching your lines, that the knots on the rear line affect your kites angle of attack. Using the upper knots on the rear lines makes the kite have more power, the lower knots on the rear lines make the kite have less power. It is best to use the middle knot until you are comfortable tuning your kite.

Checking your lines :

Take one more walk back along your lines and make sure they are not kooked!

Hit the water!