How to Cut Down Kite Lines during an ITG


“Whenever you have a kite knife, you can easily make short training lines”.


Sometimes the host school does not provide enough short lines for the ITG (which they should), and if their bars do not have “line breaks” (like Airush’s “School” bars) or detachable extensions (Like Best bars), then you should ask the host for some bars and lines that you can cut down


It is recommended to make this task into an exercise with the ITG Candidates,

and have them assist the Examiner with shortening the lines.


CAUTION: Don’t cut too short for the safety to work;

When you are about to cut lines down, be careful not to go too short or the safety systems may not work. Double check your measurements before you cut the lines.


The Overall process is quick and simple:

  1. Cutting the lines,
  2. Making loops in the line ends
  3. Moving the pigtails or connections down.
  4. Attaching the pigtails with larks heads,
  5. And checking the line lengths.


Example: Cutting down Cabrinha Lines.

  1. Measure 10m back from the ends,
  2. (if a 22m bar, leaves you 12m on the bar).
  3. Cut all the lines equally ,
  4. Then tie off the ends into four equal loops (using double figure-eight knot),
  5. Then you can move the pigtails down,
  6. and attach to lines with a “larks head” knot.
  7. (keep the cut line for extensions or for “kite-instructor” leash extensions.),
  8. Check the lines for length by attaching to a fixed point.



Benefits of teaching these techniques:

Because ITG instructors are required to use short trainer length lines, it is important that they know how to safely set up some short trainer length lines. Many candidates have never see this done before. So this is a good skill that they should learn.


Added benefits:

When you do this exercise during an ITG (or AITG), You also have the added benefit of leaving the host school with some properly shortened and tested trainer bars.

ITG Clinic – Demonstrate How to cut down lines.


When? Usually on the first day of the ITG:

A good time to do this exercise is, After discussing the different bar types, and after understanding the function of the different safety systems,

then it is a good time to cut down any extra lines as needed.


Make it interactive:

Ask the class what can be the minimum length for the lines for the safety to function in relation to the length of kite’s span (or chord): have the candidates do as much as possible, and demonstrate as little as possible. If you have several sets to make. Do the first one together as a demonstration, so that the candidates can see the entire process in detail. Then you can have the candidates break into small groups to cut down any remaining sets themselves. Make this an opportunity for creative interdependence and team building.


Think Ahead:

The bar need to work on all of the school’s kite sizes or it might be a problem later. Pick the largest Kite size that will be used in the school, and measure the kite’s Span or Chord (according to the type of the safety system).



How to Cut Down Kite Lines


Measuring the Kite’s lines against the Kite’s Flat Span.



How to Cut Down Kite Lines


The flat span of a deflated kite is greater than the inflated span. So lines should always be longer than your largest kite’s longest measurement, in this case the Flat Span. (Here we are measuring the flat span of the Naish Park 12m):




We cut the far end of the lines (closest to the kite). After cutting the Kite lines at equal lengths, we will tie figure eight loops into the line ends:

Teaching the candidates to tie the Figure eight loops (for larks heads).




How to Cut Down Kite Lines



Making loops in the ends of the lines:

This is how to tie the figure eight loop:

Bend the lines over with about 5inches of spare.

Kink all the lines at exactly the same length:

Make a first loop in the lines


Keep turning the bight (kink) all the way around the back of the loop




Next, Put the bight of the line through the back of the loop:


Then, Pull the knot tight, but keep the kink in exactly the same place:

Note: It doesn’t matter exactly how big the resulting loop is, as long as the kink stayed in the exact same place.


How to Cut Down Kite Lines


NEXT STEP: Checking the lines.

Check the length of the lines by putting them on a harness hook.

Then put tension them gently to seat the knots:

Tensioning and stretching the lines (on a harness hook).







How to Cut Down Kite Lines


Attaching larks-head knots



Attaching the Pigtails using Larksheads, tied into the figure-eight loops.



Making the lark’s head knots:

Start with the loop you just made,


Put your fingers through the loop, (like a bird’s beak)


Reach outside and grad the two lines with your finger tips,

Squeeze your finger tips together,


Pull gently on the lines to form the “lark’s-head” knot,






NEXT STEP: Attaching the pigtails:

Put the desired end of the pigtail through the loops of the larkshead knot,

Carefully tighten the Larkshead,


Seat the knot right behind the knot on the pigtail,



Pull on the knots and pigtails to tighten everything,





How to Cut Down Kite Lines


NEXT STEP: testing the Line lengths:


Checking the final line length:




Quick Line check method:

  1. Secure the end of the lines together.
  2. Hold the bar vertically near the ground,
  3. Drag the end of the bar to make a mark on the ground,
  4. Flip the bar and check the other end of the bar,
  5. Both ends of the bar should go into the same mark on the ground,
  6. If the two sides are different, you will have to adjust the lines until they are equal.



NEXT STEP: Go Fly a kite and have fun with them.