Be nice to your Kite - How to take care of your Equipment
Cross your heart, do you really take care of your equipment.
I ask because I know most kite surfer don’t.
Do you rinse all your equipment after salty sessions? Do you check your bar and lines regularly?
Today we talk about kite equipment and how to take better care of it.
Kite Maintenance Part 1: The Kite
Most kite surfers wash the kite at the end of a holiday, and that is where the effort ends.
And by the way, you can stop washing your kite -
but more about that later.
It is so easy to treat your kite well, just follow these 5 tips:
1. Never pack your kite wet!!
(If it can't be avoided, make sure to dry it as soon as possible and leave the bag open
meanwhile to avoid dampness and molt.)
2. Check where you park your kite.
The material is very sensitive, a sharp stone, shell or spiky plant can cause wholes in both, the spinnaker
and leading edge as well as in the bladder.
3. Inspect the kite regularly for (micro) holes in the spinnaker.
These little holes do not affect the performance of the kite,
but they are weak points and will eventually lead to a rip. Fix them with a patch, which is normally provided in the repair kite. If you don’t have this patches, ask your local kite shop or kite friends.
4. Don’t be lazy!
Don't let the kite sit on the beach. Pack your kite away while taking a rest.
Firstly, the UV light is a killer for every material, also for your kite.
And we are not even yet talking about lines and kites landing on top of it, other kiters stumbling backwards on your parked kite. Free running dogs,
kids and careless fellow men.
In one word - it is not worth the risk - always pack your kite always.
5. Use only professional kite repair. If it happens and your kite has bigger damage, don’t try to stitch or patch it yourself. Ask the local kite repair. They will fix it professionally.
💡 DID YOU KNOW? You do not need to wash your kite.
"But the saltwater!!" you say?
Well, fact is, the kite is made from material for sailing. Ask a sailer if he washes the sail of his boat …
Your kite is made for the sea, and salt water does not harm the material at all.
What does harm him, though, is the sand you roll the wet kite in,
like it was a “Wiener Schnitzel” and we are back to rule 1.
Don’t pack your kite wet1
It does make sense to wash your the tubes and valves sometimes,
though. Spray them with fresh water and let the kite dry properly before
packing it away. Molt does only appeal from sweet water.
Salty water kills these mushrooms.
You see, your kite does not ask for much attention.
This is different with the bar and lines.
Kite Maintenance Part 2: The Bar & Lines
Too often overlooked but essential for your kite to fly properly.
And when I say bar, I mean the lines.
When did you last check your lines? Don't answer, I can guess. :-)
Lines will receive some attention only when the poor flying
ability of the kite is no longer to ignore.
Your kite flies funny? Back stoles in light wind?
It is hardly ever the kites fault, it is the line that causes the problem.
Check your lines or have someone experienced take a look at it. It takes only 5 minutes.
💡Did you know that lines should be checked after 30 hours of flying? How many hours have you used your lines…?
It is time to give your bar the attention it deserves.
3 Tips for bar maintenance:1. ALWAYS rinse your bar after using in salt water.
Let the bar sit in a bucket of fresh water for a couple of minutes, make sure to rinse the quick release from the inside.
2. Check the line length. All 4 lines should be exactly the same length.
Mostly, the length of the lines will vary between back and front lines.
💡 Interesting fact: Kite lines do not stretch with the time - they shrink.
Kite lines are pre-streched but tend to shrink due to saltwater, sun and time. Luckily, it is super easy to fix and stretch the lines again to an equal length.
Let someone show you how to do it and in the future you will be able to fix your bar yourself and help other kite girls with their bars.
3. Check the lines for knots.
Kite lines are super, super strong, but knots can be the killer. Knots in the lines are a weak point and if not removed, will be the point where your line can break.
Check every time when you run your lines - you can feel the knots and remove ASAP.
How to remove the knots from the lines:
Even though it is a far spread myths that chewing on the knot will open it, please don't do that.
Use a tool (pointy but bot sharp) and a lot of patience to open it properly.
4. Check the bar, quick release and de-power system for damages
in the plastic part, lines or other material regularly.
My personal safety tip:
Open and close the quick release before every session
as al routine for your safety.
Kite Maintenance Part 3: The Board
Have you ever lost a screw of the binding while kiting?
There was a time when this happened to me regularly. I just didn't care enough about the condition of my board - to get ready for the session was my first and only thought.
Now I spend 2 minutes before the session, and it saves me a lot of time, hassle and dangerous situations.
Here are our tips to take care of your twintip kite board:
The kite board is the one that needs less maintenance, but there are a few things you should do
to have your board longer and in a perfect condition and enjoy sessions more.
- Rinse your board and bindings after the session
- Dry the bindings before packing it away in a closed bag.
- Keep the board and bindings sand free.
- Don’t let the board sit in the sun. Do you like the color of your board? Then don't expose your board unnecessarily to the sun. The UV rays will attack the material and the colors will fade or change.
- Tighten all screws regularly!
BIG BLUE Tip: Tighten the screws of the bindings before every session.
Use a fitting screwdriver, or you will damage the screw head.
- Check edges and fins after the session and see if a small hit or friction has
damaged the outer foil. Have it repaired as soon as possible.
Don’t use it before fixed.
- Pack your board carefully when traveling and remove the fins when flying.
This is more for your board bag and everything in it. Fins are surprisingly sharp.
Potential risks can be avoided by cautiously handling your gear.
Only proper working equipment should be used for kiting.
Take care of your equipment and you will have fun with it for a longer period.