Today r3 designs released their back line trimming kite control bar at the Surf Expo. I could not be more excited, after having worked on this since 2009.
Normally, 4 line kite surfing kites are trimmed by the front lines. Shortening the front lines depowers the kite a bit, while lengthening the front lines powers the kite up. When conditions change, kite surfers like to trim their bar a bit to keep control of their kite and to maintain a comfortable riding stance. Trimming the front lines has become the standard since the introduction of 4 line kites to the surf industry some 15 years ago. Front line trimming systems are far from perfect. For instance, the pull on on the front lines is 95% of the total pull from the kite, meaning that trimming happens against this force. If a front line trim system fails, the kite will default to full power, which can be dangerous during a heavy gust. From a designers point of view, front line trimming systems impair further development of safer and more functional kite gear.
The Stick Shift bar incorporates a back line trim function that allows precise and comfortable trimming from the bar. The patented core includes a single moving part as micro winch, engineered around the sand, salt and debris usually found in and around kite gear. Power the kite up by twisting the small yet grippy winder, depower the kite just by nudging the winder knob out for 1cm of depower trim or by pressing the winder knob out for full depower trim.
I am super proud to see how all the work results in a rock solid and safe product, and I have so much enjoyed all the design sessions together with the r3 designers. Thanks guys!