WHAT DOES IT DO?
The CLS is a fifth line re-launch and safety system. As with the North, the idea of the fifth line is that if the kite ends up in the water; all you have to do to relaunch 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 re-launch.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU RELEASE?
The fifth line extends from an attachment point on your harness, runs outside of the chicken loop hole in the bar, and travels up to two attachment points equidistant from the centre of the leading edge 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 the rider has to do is pull their way along the fifth line until they reach the bar. As they let go of the fifth line the kite will drift away from them, and with a little pull on one side of the bar the kite will re-launch in the desired direction as normal.
DOES IT WORK?
We had a little trouble re-launching the kite until we'd tightened up the fifth line a bit - there's an adjustment for it to alter the length. Once we had figured this out the system worked really well. The de-power was instant too. The fifth line does twist around the chicken loop, but the system still released with a few twists. It's probably a good idea to untwist the leash and fifth line after a few rotations for peace of mind.
CAN YOU RETRO-FIT IT TO ANY BAR?
The CLS's multiple attachment points makes it less versatile than the 5th Element, but in theory any sail loft could easily stitch extra attachment points onto your leading edge for you.
Wipika CLS bar (Appeared in Kiteworld in Sept/Oct 2004: Issue #11 - bar test)
Wipika CLS Bar (2004)
Kitesurfing Test - Boards 2013
Shinn Monk Forever 132
Kitesurfing Test - Kites 2013
Slingshot Turbine 17
Kitesurfing travel directory