WHAT IS IT?
A fifth line re-launch and safety system that also maintains and stabilises the aerodynamic shape and efficiency of the kite.
WHAT DOES IT DO?
The fifth line acts as a leash that attaches to your harness, maintains the aerodynamic shape and stability of the kite, and
helps reduce the re-launch time. The idea of the fifth line is that if the kite ends up in the water, all you have to do to re-launch is come out of the chicken loop and let go of the bar. All the load goes onto the fifth line and puts the kite on its back making for a simple relaunch.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU RELEASE?
The fifth line goes from an attachment point on the harness, up through the hole in the bar with the chicken loop, alongside the single front leader line. The front leader line splits into the conventional two front lines about half way up, and the fifth line continues up to its attachment point at the centre of the main bladder. Once the rider releases from the chicken loop and lets go of the bar, the bar slides up to a stopper releasing all the load from the front and back lines and leaving it all on the fifth line. As the kite falls, this central load turns the kite onto its back, dropping it in an easy re-launch position. All you have to do is pull in the fifth line until you reach bar. As you let go of the fifth line the kite will drift away, and with a little pull on one side of the bar the kite will re-launch.
DOES IT WORK?
Yes - the 5th Element is simple and effective. There're no complicated attachments or fiddly, delicate parts, and as well as
leaving a relatively easy re-launch, the fifth line is a system that actually has a hugely positive effect on stabilising (and adding to the performance of ) the kite. The fifth line doesn't get tangled around the front line or the chicken loop line, so there really is no impeding. It offers instant de-power too.
CAN YOU RETRO-FIT IT TO ANY KITE?
Yes - it'll fit to any kite that has a centrally located tag for a pump leash on the main bladder. Get the guys in your shop to sort your line lengths to fit the kite you're attaching it to.
North 5th Element bar (Appeared in Kiteworld in Sept/Oct 2004: Issue #11 - bar test)
North 5th Element Bar (2004)
Kitesurfing Test - Boards 2013
Shinn Monk Forever 132
Kitesurfing Test - Kites 2013
Wainman Gypsy 6.25m
Kitesurfing travel directory