Stunt Kites :   Tips and Tricks  

Stunt Kite Bridle Adjustment

Once you've selected your flying field you may want to try experimenting with your kite's bridle adjustments before you head out to it. Bridle adjustments can mean the difference between a frustrating day and a fun filled kite flying day! Before you head out to the field, take the time to carefully assemble the kite in the comfort of your home.
Make yourself familiar with the way the bridle is adjusted and try moving it in small increments of no more than a quarter inch. It's a good deal easier to discover how the bridle functions when your kite is not blowing in the wind at the field.

NOTE: If there isn't already a reference mark on the main line, place one at the point where it goes through the swivel ring before executing any bridle modification, this will establish a place to return to just in case you encounter adjustment problems.
Stunt Kite Tips and Tricks    

This is a diagram of a typical swivel ring on a delta stunt kite, many manufacturers have chosen to use a tow point loop instead of a swivel ring but the idea is the same.

The bridle lines run to the attachment points on the kite. Note that one of the lines is able to slide through the swivel ring. By sliding the long (main line) through the ring you are raising or lowering the bridle setting. This is very important to the way the kite flies (or doesn't fly).

Bridle adjustments let you choose whether your kite will fly very accurately with little pull or fly more radically with sharper turns, better trick-ability and more pull . By raising the tow points you are moving the nose of the kite into the wind  creating "lift" and forward speed.  Lowering the tow points moves the kite's nose away from the wind reducing lift and forward speed while making the kite more responsive .
The General rules for fine tuning bridle adjustment are as follows:

("raise" means to move toward the nose, "lower" means to move towards the tale of the kite.)

-The kite flies but has little or no pull...lower the bridle.

-The kite flies but pulls too hard...raise the bridle.

skywave2.jpg (14486 bytes)-The kite turns too sharply....raise the bridle.

-The kite turns too slowly...lower the bridle.

-The kite won't take off in a normal wind...raise the bridle.

-The kite won't climb...raise the bridle.

-The kite climbs too fast or too far...lower the bridle.

-Low wind...raise the bridle (for lift).

-Medium wind...lower the bridle (for performance).

-Note: Flying in winds or gusts near your kite's maximum wind range may require you to raise the bridle settings to reduce stress on the kite.

Why bother with all these adjustment options if your kite is flying OK ? 
Fine tuning the bridle (angle of attack)  will enable your kite to have many different personalities and allow you to enjoy several different flying techniques.   If you  want to improve your kite's performance, spend half an hour experimenting with different bridle positions and you'll learn a lot more than reading the above list. It will give you a sense of pride as your kite's performance slowly improves thanks to your input.

Still confused? Check out the next bridle adjustment page.