Oooooo!.....Gotta get in on this thread. I ignored it because of the title up until I saw it went to 5 pages. Then I had to read it.
Small bars are like a dime a dozen on Ebay/Ikitesurf/CraigsList. Longer bars.....well I am pretty sure I am headed toward making my own bars again as I can't find a bar long enough for my use without paying an arm and a leg. Why are they so expensive/unavailable?
kite users need to "tame" the steering speed on smaller kites up through the intermediate stages of learning. They do this with a smaller bar, and so did I - back in the day. After these stages, most kiters develop instinctual feel for a range of kite sizes by static pull
(easy) and change in angle/change in pull
(very high level of "feel"). So a smaller bar is no longer necessary after getting out of those earlier stages. And I say "most
" because I actually had an instructor tell me that you need to always watch the kite to see what it is doing. I am still trying to process that one. Personally, I kite by feel and virtually never look at the kite unless something is terribly wrong. And I do this with the biggest bar (58cm) from 13.5m to 3.5m kite. Again, a long time ago, I used a smaller bar on smaller kites. But now I use a large bar on all kites.
Reguardless of designer input, foilheadio is right. Bigger bars turn the kite faster and have a higher "ultimate differential" between the length change of front lines and back lines. The reason for smaller bars is mostly a crutch to not turn the kite as fast.
There is a situation where advanced through pro riders use smaller bars - unhooked wakestyle tricks. Taming the turning speed allows a greater margin of error on bar turning angle when twisting around or handle passing.
Toby wrote: ↑
Thu Aug 23, 2018 6:51 pm
Every kite reaches a stall point when you pull on the steering lines too much. This stall point sets the lower limit of the steering line length and forces the designer to either, increase the tip area or choose a smaller bar width.
I grew up on foil kites. Both depower and non-depower. Accessing tip stall via oversheeting on a longer bar is the best way to loop in the back of the window while shedding power in the kite at the same time. This allows a redirection of the kite without paying for it with too much upwind loss. If you kite powered in waves (or snow features), this is a great way to turn around where you want to, even with inflatables. And this mostly unused property of a "small kite on a long bar", is advantageous for most as you go smaller in size with modern inflatable kites.