2023 Click and Trust bar

Behind the design with Product Manager Aron Mathes

After over three years of refinement and development, the new 2023 range of control bars comes equipped with the Iron Heart VI safety system. In this Behind the Design, we chat to Aron Mathes, the Duotone Product Designer to chat about the new Iron Heart and find out what updates and features can be found on the 2023 CLICK and TRUST BAR.

Hi Aron, can you tell us about some of the exciting new updates to the Click Bar, starting off with the biggest change, the new Iron Heart system?
The new Iron Heart VI is the biggest update on our bars for 2023. This is our first Click-In safety system, which means that you only need to push the chicken loop into the Iron Heart for reassembling, one movement and it’s done. During the long development process, we overcame several design challenges and surpassed not only the industry's ISO standards but our internal requirements for safety systems. While testing our prototypes we recognized the importance to check that the release pin is always seated in the correct position.

We added a green indicator which is visible through a small window in the red handle. With this, you can easily verify if the system is connected/reconnected correctly by checking if the green indicator is visible. If it is not visible, you can eject and reconnect again and after that, you know the system is loaded and you are safe. For the new Iron Heart VI we added a rubber grip on the handle which protects your fingers and for a better grip on the water. As you know from the past, the Iron Heart for the Click Bar comes with the ball bearing for the automatically untwist function. Lastly, we optimized all dimensions, so the new Iron Heart is smaller and we are using an axis with a bigger diameter, so the safety line can easily glide through the axis. When we talk about safety systems, our Iron Heart VI easily passes the ISO standard.

For those who haven’t tried the Click Bar yet can you try to explain the user experience and what is unique to the click bar?
Using the Click Bar brings your kite experience to the next level. But what does that mean and why? The Click Bar has a unique backline trim system which is very easy to use and to reach. To power the kite you only need to turn the winder on the right side of the bar, to de-power, you need to push the button on the right side. With the centre display on the bar you can see how powered or depowered your kite is.

The mechanism makes it possible to de-/power the kite step by step, making it possible to make the perfect accurate setting without readjusting, so no more bending forward to reach the adjuster and no more multiple tries to find the perfect setting. The Click Bar also has a PU depower line, which not only feels good in the hand but in combination with the ball bearing of the Iron Heart also makes an automatic untwist function of the front lines. All in all, the Click Bar is a very easy-to-use and precise bar for all kinds of riding styles and levels.

"Using the Click Bar brings your kite experience to the next level."

With two sizes of Click Bars available, how should people decide which is the correct one for them?
The Click Bar is available in size S (42 cm) with 20/22 m lines and size M (49 cm) with 22/24 m lines. Which bar is correct for you depends on the kite model and kite size you are using, for example, if you are using the Dice SLS you should use the small bar with 22 m lines for 10 m² or smaller and the medium bar with 24 m lines for kites with 11 m² or bigger. The best way to decide which bar size you should use is to check our website and search for the kite you are using you will find the information on which size of the bar depends on which size of the kite.

There are multiple chicken loop options, can you tell us what options are available?
You have the possibility to choose between four chicken loop options to find the perfect solution for your riding style. If you are using a slider rope on your harness, you should choose the Rope Kit. If you are using a regular harness hook, but are always riding hooked in I would recommend the Freeride Kit. If you do not want to limit yourself and you do hooked and unhooked tricks, you should choose the allrounder; the Freestyle Kit and if your focus is on unhooked/freestyle tricks I recommend the Wakestyle Kit.

The Click Bar comes with minimalist pigtails and Flite99 line technology, could you talk to us about how the kites have been designed to work with the bar tune and line technology?
The Flite99 lines have very low shrinkage. While developing kites it is very important to use an identical line length and you only get the best performance out of your kite with this standard line length. That means the user of the bar doesn’t need to check the line length before each session and adjust them for the best performance.

Due to this low shrinkage, you have a more direct steering behaviour, which the kite designers Ralf Grösel and Ken Winner have taken into account during the development process. As a user, you also feel this direct steering behaviour while using our bars. The minimalist pigtails are new, but the line under the sleeving of our old pigtails were also Flite99 lines. Reducing the sleeving has different benefits. It minimizes the weight and the drag and it helps when you are unwinding your lines, especially in the last few meters when you are setting up.

We see there is the possibility to Adjust the V position, could you tell us when a user might need this function?
We have the possibility to choose between a high V and a low V setup. The high V setup is our standard setup, all our kites are developed on a high V. Due to the new low V-Distributor, it is now possible to use a low V without any twist on the PU de-power line by removing the high V-distributor. This one also got a small update, now it’s split. Removing the V-Distributor III is very easy without pulling all lines through, you can simply remove it sideways. The low V setup and the simplicity of the conversion are especially good for schools when going from a 12 to 24 m line set-up and you can then use the Click Bar on most kites on the market.

Are there any other features or topics you think would be good to mention?
Safety is a very important topic when we are talking about control systems and safety systems. We always try from a technical view to bring all our products to the highest level of safety. As with other products, it is very important to check all parts from time to time to check if there is wear on any component, quite the same if you are owning a car: you buy it, you know it’s safe, but you need to go to the mechanic from time to time to minimize the risk of failure.

When I have a look at our bars, the most stressed component is the lines, so it's a good idea to check the lines as well as the leader lines from the floater from time to time. With the new Removable Floaters, you can easily disassemble the floater, check the line and reassemble it again. And all this with an easy twist by 180° to the right (and 180° to the left for reassembling).

Moving on, The Trust Bar shares some of the same premium components as the Click Bar such as Flite99 lines, the new Iron heart VI and minimalist pigtails, and we've seen a lot of new updates for this year. What were the design goals with the new Trust Bar?
The main goal with the Trust Bar was to implement the new Iron Heart VI. With the new design, our goal was to use the same Iron Heart for the Click and Trust Bar. The main functions of the Iron Heart were also in the past the same between both bars, but from the technical side, we had two different untwisting designs. Now the Iron Heart VI for both Trust and Click Bars has a rotating axis with bearings.

As you know from the past, the Trust Bar has a manual untwist function. For this we implemented a friction bearing, needing little effort to untwist your front lines.On the other hand, we made the decision to integrate the option of a low V. For that we needed to revise the de-power line setup, which took a lot of effort during the development process. The new de-power line setup features many new components, the sleeved safety bungee line and the new de-power line, DPL24, which we developed together with our longstanding partner Robline, make the Trust Bar unique and with that, we were able to reach our goals. 

Talk us through some of the new features for 2023.There are a lot of new components, so let’s quickly go through all the new parts. Let’s start with the Iron Heart VI: this one is a Click-In safety system where you only need to push the chicken loop into the system for reassembling after releasing. Due to a green indicator, you can always check if you re-connected to the system correctly. For the Trust Bar, we are using a friction bearing, so it is very easy to untwist the frontlines by hand. A rubber grip on the red handle gives you a better grip on the water and protects your fingers.

The second big innovation is the completely new de-power line setup. The new white de-power line DPL24 is a line sleeved with 100% Dyneema, which makes the line very durable and gives you a pleasant feeling between your fingers. We choose white as colour, because it's the natural colour of Dyneema and the colour of dyed lines wears off quite fast. After more than 100 hours of testing under rough and challenging conditions, the line still looked almost like new. Due to this new line and the design goal to implement a low V option, the Vario Cleat got a complete rework.

The new cleat is light & minimalistic. It is still height adjustable, so you can adjust it to a comfortable reach. In combination with the new Adjuster Clip, you can store the line after de-powering. No more dangling line after de-powering, this one holds the complete session. Because of the low V option in combination with the front line adjustment system, we implemented a safety bungee line with a very durable sleeving. The same story with the DPL24, after hundreds of hours on the water, you can’t see any wear.

For the low V setup, we needed to adjust our front line system and we decided to use the same (high) V-Distributor III from the Click Bar. This one sees a small update; now it’s split, so you can easily remove it without having to pull all lines through it. Last but not least we introduced the new minimalistic pigtails. Same length and functions, but they have only sleeving where it is needed. That helps when undoing your lines, especially in the last few meters and it minimizes the weight and the drag in the water. All in all, the Trust Bar for 2023 is lighter and cleaner than ever. 

What line setups are available for the Trust Bar?
This year there are a few changes depending on the bar size and line length. We have taken a closer look at the line lengths from the past and together with our kite designers and we have decided to reduce the range of line setups. Why did we do this? Due to the new de-power line setup and the front line system we had the chance to make some changes and the main point was that we wanted to get the best performance and this is only possible when the line length is taken into account during the development process of the kites. Now there are two line setups available: 22 m + 2 m extensions and the school edition with 12m + 12m extensions. The 5th line upgrade kit is no longer compatible with the Trust Bar.

What size is the Trust Bar available in and could you explain the ‘Flip Flop’ Floater system?
This year we rethought our bar range taking into consideration the bar width. Now we have one bar size available: the Trust Bar S/M. Due to the Flip Flop Floater, you have the possibility to change the bar width between 42 cm and 49 cm, which are the same widths as the past widths of the Click Bar small and medium. The flip-flop function is quite easy to use. By pushing the buttons on the winding post of the right or left side, you can easily disassemble the floater. Because of the floater's asymmetric design, you can choose between the 42 cm or 49 cm bar width. After twisting the floater to the position you want, simply push it back into its initial position. Please be aware that both floaters are set to the same setting, so wider or narrower setting. Don’t mix these settings on the left and right.