Here are some great tips from Fiona Tarr, of the daily.com.au – from ‘downunder’ – they will make sure that your kite surfing is enjoyable and trouble free. Words of wisdom that apply whatever your latitude north or south.
The kites are flying again and soon our kitesurfing season will be up, up and away.
With that in mind, it is also time to pull out your kite gear and check it over. Some tender loving care now will ensure you enjoy your kitesurfing season with minimal interruptions.
It is also a great time to consider trading up with most kite shops still offering fantastic deals on 2008 kites being run out ready for the 2009 season stock.
So what to look for on your gear to make sure you don’t have any major “kiteastrophies” while you are trying to make the most of the wind. Kites have a variety of wearing parts, so make sure you give it a thorough check.
- Pulleys are a very common wear point, causing the bridle to “fluff up”, making the pulleys jam or the bridle lines break, both of which can cause hassles.
- Chicken loop release and secondary leash release need to be working freely, check they aren’t stuck up with sand, salt or anything else. A working safety system is critical to ensuring your gear will perform in an emergency.
- The pigtails and larks head knots which join the lines to your kite will also need a check over.
- If they look worn, replace them as they are well- priced and a better option to having the lines go and finding your kite in a tree or worse.
- The depower strap and other lines and cords will need checking and could require replacing, depending on the age of your kite.
- The canopy seams need to be checked to ensure there is no pulling which might need reinforcing. “A stick in time” is really true with kites.
- Once the bladder seams give way you won’t just have to sew the kite, you will have to repair or replace the kite bladder too.
- Any small tears or mouse chews need to be patched before you fly, otherwise they will just rip open and cause you a major repair.
- Most kite shops keep sail repair tape which makes these kinds of repairs very cheap and cost- effective.
- Now to your board, check all the screws are done up tightly, if necessary add a bit of “locktite” or similar and re-screw them in.
- Check there are no worn parts.
If you are unsure about any part of your gear, take it into your local kite shop for a pre-season check over. The kite shop can arrange professional repairs for you and is a wealth of handy advice on how to get the longest life out of your gear.
Just one important tip is soaking your bar and line in fresh water if your bar gets time to dry, otherwise the salt crystals can make short work of the lines and depower straps.
Keeping your gear in top condition will keep you on the water, so you can make the most of every breath of wind.
Yes its that time of year again in Australia and with this useful guide we hope you will have a great season. I have included a video from YouTube, thanks to sjmsimon for showing us what can be expected -enjoy.