We have to keep in mind that our kitesurfing gear is very sensitive towards how we treat it. Often kitesurfers don’t pay much attention to the basic procedures of their kite gear maintenance, preventing it from staying in perfect shape for a long time. However, these simple rituals can prolong your kiteboarding equipment’s life dramatically.
And since we are talking about quite expensive gear, everybody would probably agree that it’s worth to spend some short extra minutes to keep it at its best. Another good reason to maintain your gear in good condition is directly connected to your safety: you can feel safe kiteboarding only when all of your gear’s parts are functioning perfectly. Your wallet and your safety are two pretty important factors for me!
We will start by listing what needs to be taken care of before your kitesurf session, while setting up our gear. Here are some basic rules:
1. Always avoid knots on the lines: these can produce very weak points (up to 50% weaker than straight parts), where the lines can easily break.
2. Check your kite’s pulleys for sand fouling that might prevent them to work properly causing bridle tearing or more dangerous tangles and consequent unpredictable kite behavior.
3. Activate all the safety releases on the beach, before going out, and clean them from any dirt such as sand: we don’t want them to be stuck in case on necessity. Also, take some time to practice the safety release sometimes: the practice will make us much quicker and more confident in activating it when needed.
4. Check the board screws from time to time to prevent involuntary detachments of pads, handle or fins.
5. Avoid self-launching and perform it only when strictly necessary: this technique will add a lot of wear in long term, and if there are some sharp objects on the beach, you can easily cut your kite.
6. Lay down the kite on the beach before starting to pump it, in order to avoid bladder’s twists and consequent misplacement or even explosion.
7. Do not force the pump nozzle too far into the valve to avoid stretching and possible leaking when closed.
8. Transport your kite in an appropriate bag, especially in the car: if you just place it uncovered in the trunk when transporting your kitesurfing gear to your favorite spot, keep in mind that there might be lot of sharp objects, like board fins, which can cut your kite’s canopy.
9. Don’t leave your for kite hours on the beach under the sun and in the wind: its canopy will lose its color and the original resistance will wear out before time. UV rays are lethal for rip-stop tissues, the material that most kite canopies are made of, so the less sun a kite is exposed to, the more resilient it is.
|Kite after many hours of sun exposure|
10. If you can’t avoid leaving your kite on the hot sand for a while, partially deflate the leading edge in order to prevent the overheating of the air in it, which might cause the explosion of the bladder inside (believe me, I have experienced it myself).
Realize that the performance of your kitesurfing gear is directly influenced by your behavior, and if you are planning to sell it in the future, here’s another reason to keep it in good shape.
In my next post we’ll talk about how to pack and store your kitesurfing gear after your kiteboarding session.
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Here you can read about what's to be done before kiting to ensure all your gear parts work properly and last long
Written by: Gabriele Fabrizio Sbalbi
Kitesurf Kiteboarding Equipment Gear Care
Date published: 04/10/2014