Picture of Simple Stunt Kite Control Bar
One of my passions is dual line stunt kites. This is a quick instructable for making a "kite bar" which is used to control the kite and is a heck of a lot of fun.

A Little Something About Stunt Kites....
Whereas a typical kite uses a single line, a stunt kites uses 2 (or 4) lines with which you can steer the kite and do tricks and spins. Takes flying to a whole new level. Once you get a feel for the kite it's a lot of fun and very addictive but it can be tricky to learn. There's a video at the end that give the idea. Although it looks very difficult, stunt kites are actually easy to control but difficult to master. Pull one line and not the other and the kite turns. that's it. It's tricky because things happen fast. the amount you pull changes the turn. pull light and the kite does a gentle turn. pull hard and the kite does a spin.

The Kite Bar Idea
My kids have been trying to learn but they get frustrated after a couple nose dives. I had an idea for simple handle to use as a teaching aid. My hope is that this will help them get a feel for kite and learn to read the wind. My inspiration is a "kite bar" that is used by kite surfers. I've never kite surfed but thinking about all that's involved it seems like you would want the controls to be as simple as possible so that all your focus can be on surfing rather than the kite.

I love it, but will help my kids learn?
My thought was that my kids would use this a few times just to get started with kiting but what i didn't expect is how much fun I would have using it. I really like using this and will be using it often. it's a different kids of flying. The kite is really responsive to the bar movements. You can't really do the advanced tricks....at least i couldn't, but i could do easy snap turns, axels and side slides. I haven't been able to teach my kids yet so I can't report yet on how well it works as a teaching aid. I love flying in the fall....at least in Cleveland. Blustering fall days with their constantly changing wind patterns are a lot of fun. With trees loosing their leaves, areas where you couldn't fly before are not open to you. My kids don't really share these feelings so it may be spring before i get them out.

Making the Bar
this took about half hour and used stuff I had in the garage. All of my kites use wrist straps so this bar is made for that. if your kite has different handle or finger straps, this may not work but I think this can be easily modified for different handles.

2'-0" - 3/4" diameter dowel ( broom handle )
2'-0" pipe wrap insulation for 3/4" pipe.
Scrap 1/2" plywood
electrical tape
1 1/4" screws

utility knife
drill / bits
sand paper
I kiteboard. Yes, there is a _lot_ to keep track of. You directly control the board's orientation in three dimensions (all three are important), as well as two degrees of freedom on the bar (pull in for more power), as well as your weight distribution (how tall you stand, and how far you lean in a couple of directions). That's 9 or 10 degrees of freedom to coordinate.

With those inputs, you indirectly control the kite's position in the sky, the angle you're going through the water, your momentum, and the kite's momentum. That's at least five things to keep track of, plus the wind, and the wave you're about to hit, and other kiteboarders.

It's kind of amazing that it works at all. And yet some people (not me) can control these kites one handed while doing acrobatics in mid-air. Humans are awesome.
zazenergy3 years ago
great instructable. i love flying kites -- i should try this out!
dimtick (author)  zazenergy3 years ago
thanks. kite flyings a lot of fun. always good to get more people into it
Kiteman3 years ago
Regarding step three, if you're planning on crashing a lot, go for a soft or frameless kite, such as a Flexifoil Stacker 6 or Buzz.

(Thanks for the mention as well.)
dimtick (author)  Kiteman3 years ago
i think my next kite will be a parafoil. i've got a couple single line parafoils but not a 2 line. i fly on a narrow beach mostly and don't have the room for a big power kite but there are some smaller short line parafoils that look fun.