KITESURF TIPS – TAKE CARE OF YOUR KITE
Is it important to take care of your kite? Your kite’s lifetime depends a lot on how you treat it when you are not flying it.
My name is Petar Pavlovic. I love sharing my Kitesurf Experience with you and in this episode we will see how to take good care of your kite with some extra kite maintenance tips.
- The way of pumping your kite.
- What about keeping your kite in beach position.
- How to Clean your kite and some
- extra maintenance tips.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR KITE WHEN: PUMPING THE KITE
I see many kiters who love pumping their kite with a compressor. However, it is not the best for a good kite maintenance. I personally experienced the explosion of my kite.
It happens because, most of the compressors are blowing out super cold air in warm weather conditions. Therefore the air in the bladder expends and can cause the bladder to explode.
In addition, many compressors have a super strong blow for the kite to inflate faster. During some time, eventually, this can easily damage the functionality of the valve and even damage the inside bladder. Lastly, you should know that some compressors can blow out some water or even oil which is definitely not supposed to be in your kite bladder.
So I personally prefer to pump my kite with a simple kite pump as it is as well a warm up before my session.
Before connecting the pipe on the kite, make sure to blow 2-3 times on the side to make sure you dont blow sand or anything else in your bladder.
Most of the time I pump my kite super hard as in most cases it’s flying better. I never experienced my kite bladder exploding while pumping my kite with a normal kite pump.
Anyway, you have to know that it may open some sewings and if you dont fix them in time it may cause a bigger damage. Some kites are showing the recommended PSI.
Non the less I prefer to decide myself when the kite is inflated enough. I’m doing it by simply pressing with my hand the front tube, next to the inflate valve.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR KITE WHEN: KITE IS IN BEACH POSITION
It is always important to secure your kite while it is in beach position! On a sandy spot of course you can use some sand to secure your kite. The send however, is not the best option for the canopy.
On some kite spots there is no sand. In that case the solution would be to use your board with the fins facing up. But I do not recommend to use your board if there is strong wind.
Due to strong wind there is a chance your board might flip over and damage your kite.
The best solution would be to have some bags or bottles, that you can fill up with sand or small stones. It’s important to avoid having your kite in beach position for a long time. Especially on strong wind, the canopy and the trailing edge flapping aggressively on the ground is definitely damaging the kite. And of course the sun as always is not good for your equipment.
I see many kiters leaving their kites on the beach while going for a drink or even to have a launch break. In just a few minutes the wind can increase or even change direction and blow your kite away.
In addition, it could get accidentally damaged by other kiters on the beach. The kite might suddenly start loosing air. It can happen because of small holes in the bladder, or in older generations of kites, because of unglued valves. That’s a common problem in warm conditions.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR KITE WHEN SETTING UP
In case you are setting up your equipment for the first time after a while of not using it or if it is a rental equipment, I always recommend to first pump you kite before setting up your lines.
By doing so you will have 5 to 10 minutes before launching your kite. As we said before it is not the best for the canopy but at least you can realize in time if your kite is loosing air.
However, if you are already pretty sure that everything is good with your kite and there is not too many people on the beach who could mess up your lines, I recommend to first set up your lines so the kite is staying as less as possible in beach position.
And of course when you finished your session, make sure to pack your kite as soon as possible.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR KITE WHEN: CLEANING THE KITE
I would not say that it is mandatory to wash the kite with sweet water. I’m doing it just if I know that I will not use the kites for more then 2, 3 months. I may wash them if I’m ready to sale them.
Definitely I want to make sure that I have nice weather and enough time to dry them properly. In general it’s never good to pack a kite when it’s wet. It is way worse if the kite is wet with sweet water as mold could kick in.
If you pack your kite wet with salty water, you don’t have to be afraid of the mold. But definitely you want to dry the kite as soon as possible in the following days. I recommend drying it where there is not much wind, and if possible in an open air space in the shadow.
Never use a brush for cleaning sand off the canopy, it will definitely damage it. Always make sure to dry your kite properly first, then just shake the sand off off the kite.
EXTRA TIPS FOR KITE MAINTENANCE
How to handle a kite without the bar, you can see in my previous episode about how to be an Assistant Kiter.
So whenever your kite is inflated and you want to move it from a place to another, always carry it in smile position. Being lazy and just dragging your kite on the beach is definitely damaging.
I do not recommend to leave your kites for too long in the car, especially in warm weather conditions. Due to high temperatures the pipes connecting the struts with the leading edge could melt, stick to the kite canopy and break. On older generations of kites the valves can unglue easily.