I suffered real bad with this last sesson and found that flying 2 days in a row i would come off the water and not even be able to use my left arm to pack up. Then i started using a 1120 arc more and more and the light bar pressure helped heaps.
I now use the RRD super types and have had no problems at all so far as these kites fly off the fronts. another kite i tried last year was the airrush and that was the same deal light bar pressure.
I also found that if flying in the chicken loop i have set the bar so that i am fully powered with about only 6" of loop left (moving the bar away from the body) and this takes stress of the elbows.
Used the strap around the elbow no real help. ice anti inflams herbal shit and deep heat tenis balls and all sorts of exercises. no real subsitute for rest and a light steering kites.
Go with powerstering (bridals) in your large size kites (you often have to sine this big kites).
You could steer the kite with your fingers!
This will take much pressure from your arms. (and speed your kite).
I also got this problem, especially on bridal-less 8.4 airblast.
Kiters elbow is probably a similar syndrome to tennis elbow - inflammation of the lateral epicondyle (knob) of your elbow, which is where the muscles which raise your wrist attach. The tension of holding the powered bar in place with the hand gripping probably causes friction over the bone and infalmes the muscle insertions.
You can over come it to some extent by shortening the range of the chicken rope to suit the kite and adding a top stopper. This means the bar bumps up to the stopper on max depower (slack back lines) but will 'flare out' and make the front lines a bit slack when pulled all the way in. You then adjust the depower strap (the static one) so that you're powered when the bar is resting on the top stopper.
You can ride like this and only pull on the bar for lulls or boosting jumps. Not so easy in very gusty wind, but nothing ever is!
You're right that some kites are worse than others for kiters elbow. I found that rest is unfortunately the only good way to fix it, but anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen or diclofenac will get you through the windy unmissable days. Incidentally, I'm selling my Airblast because of kiters elbow in favour of a front line flyer (not decided which yet).
Airblast are front line flyers. They have little back line tension without bridles too.
Try riding more relaxed. Use your arms only to jump. Use your body to hold and control the kite.
Look for your "magic" bar distance.
I have rigged a bungie loop that gives me a good assistance on holding the bar at riding distance. (AB 8.4 without bridles).
I m using it extensively and am very happy with it. You could find some pictures and a complete explanation of the bar system (100%spinning leash bar) at
I bought a Rhino 16 about 6 months ago and experienced the same problem. It flies great but after two or three days(especially if the wind is light) my elbows start to hurt. I was talking to someone in cabarete and he said they changed this on the Toro. Anyone else hear about this?
I am considering buying a new Rhino2 12 meter to replace my old RRd 12. Anyone know if the new rhino will be better on the elbows than the older version?