I have some serious problems with North Vegas 2011 12m² kite. I share this story, to get ideas about possible solutions.
I bought this kite in Thailand from KBA Hua Hin in May 2011. Kite was used very gently, maybe 20 times on water (5 in Hua Hin, 5 in Russia and 10 in Vietnam). No damage at all. No repairs of canopy, except one small hole (5mm diameter). No repairs of leading edge. One repair of bladder in Hua Hin in May (strut blowed when pumping, maybe due to impoper fitting inside on factory, since there was no knot outside).
Few sessions on Boracay I've noticed, that kite is falling on its left side, when it is sitting in zenith. Kite is balanced when you steer the bar with right hand +5-10cm, or when it is 5-10° from zenith. When you put kite in the zenith, balance bar and release hands from it, kite starts to turning left side very quickly and falls down in 5-6 seconds completely.
I use standard Trust Bar 2011 25m, no special tuning (depower line is replaced due to wear). Bar lines are ok. I use this bar with my 9m²/7m² Vegas kites, no falling to any sides, kites are well-balanced. I have measured line lenght of lines — they are equal. I have tried another Trust Bar 2011 — same behavior, kite is falling to left side very fast. Lines on the kite itself (pigtails) are equal too.
First I thought it is a matter of twisted bladder, since few times I've seen it twisted inside and I fixed it with my hands. I brought the kite to Boracay's best kite doctor Mr. Serban, who is also riding North Vegas 2011. We fixed the twist, but kite was still falling left side.
It became obvious, that problem is not with bladder, since we get it out and put inside with baby powder. Problem is with LE material, since it gives this kite its wrong shape, which lead to kite falling to one side. If you look on the kite, you could see slightly different shape on its left side. Also, if you put the kite on the ground, you can see small distance between LE and ground on the left side, so kite doesn't touch the ground. Right side is ok.
Since there was no damage to this kite, it was used properly and carefully, I conclude that it is manufacture error in material or how it is sewn together.
My friend told me story of problem with another North kite's material. Kite was falling on one side. When kite doctor from Mui Ne (Vlad Kosichka) measured LE, he figured out, that one side of LE is longer than another. Material of LE got stretched on one side → kite lost its balance → it was falling on one side. I will check this tomorrow.
1. Any ideas, what could be the reason of such behavior? What should I check?
2. Could it be the warranty case? Kite was used properly, very fresh looking, no damage. I couldn't repair or sell it in this condition.
3. If I can try to replace it by warranty, who is responsible for it? Seller? North?
Last edited by dandaka on Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
KBA Hua Hin has declined my warranty claim on following points:
1) "Kites are very delicate thing. This imbalance is common thing with kites, that are more than 1 month new. This imbalance happens to all brands."
I kindly ask experienced riders and people involved in kite repair to confirm / deny this statement. From people that I have talked about this problem, this kite behavior is very strange and not common at all. Even for very used kites.
2) "North kites do have only 3 month warranty."
This is strange, since it is stated in the User guide of Vegas, that North kites have 6 month warranty time.
3) North +6 months extended warranty is started in August only. So mine kite isn't covered by this warranty, since kite was bought in May.
4) The only way to fix this kite is to put shorter/longer pigtails on the kite, so it will balance it. Or to sell it to somebody else (anyone?) and buy a new one from KBA.
Also I have asked KBA about missing serial number, and the answer was "they come like this from the factory".
I'm very dissapointed to say the least. I'm waiting to North reply, since they've contacted me about this issue. But I'm not expecting a lot.
I think this will be my turning point about North brand. If kite that flies this way is ok, if these North dealers are ok, if this warranty is ok, than I need to find some brand, that shows some more respect to its customers.
3 kites (Vegas 12/9/7)
1 kite my sister is buying and waiting for my advice
1 kite my friend is buying and waiting for my advice
2 boards (Team Series and Jaime)
1 ION wetsuit
Its normal that in 1000 kites one can be with some kind of problem like with all other parts. But the brand needs to give you a new kite because that is clearly not in the specs of the kite and a production error.
The dealer dosent want to take care of the problem so you need to talk directly with the brand
When You fear, You will not achieve a lot, You are right. Because KBA is no North dealer, but there is one in Hua Hin. You decided to buy the Kite from KBA, because You saved around 150,-- Dollar compared to he price oft he North Shop! Now You got the bill! When they tell You, North kites have just 3 months Garantie and they came without serialnumber from the factory, You could even without a Master Degree smell that it stinks. When I consider the problems of Your Vegas I could imagine that this kite came frome some dark channels in China!!!! Such a bad deformed kite will never come out from a North faktory !!! As soon as You recognised, that this kite has no Serialnumber You should know, that You didn´t buy a real Northkite. ( This is my hope!)
Thaiki, do you always pay maximum price for all products? No problem.
I prefer to pay least possible, when all other characteristics are comparable. KBA told me this is the same kite as everywhere else (with warranty and so on). Since I've never had such problems, I never cared about serial numbers and everything else.
Now it is clear, that they are selling them wrong way, without North warranty, serial numbers and proper service (maybe from black market at all). I wanted to buy a new kite from them (also as my 3 friends). Now they all be warned to stay out of KBA shops (not only in Hua Hin, actually). I will do my best to imform all my contacts in Asia about this story.
Thaiki wrote:When You fear, You will not achieve a lot, You are right. Because KBA is no North dealer, but there is one in Hua Hin. You decided to buy the Kite from KBA, because You saved around 150,-- Dollar compared to he price oft he North Shop! Now You got the bill! When they tell You, North kites have just 3 months Garantie and they came without serialnumber from the factory, You could even without a Master Degree smell that it stinks. When I consider the problems of Your Vegas I could imagine that this kite came frome some dark channels in China!!!! Such a bad deformed kite will never come out from a North faktory !!! As soon as You recognised, that this kite has no Serialnumber You should know, that You didn´t buy a real Northkite. ( This is my hope!)
There should be a limit of posts that someone needs to make on this forum so that they are allowed to talk BS.....
Love the one time users of this forum
I think Thaiki has a relevant point, although it was not made very well.
If the kite is indeed not a genuine North product, I don't see how North should be liable for the construction of it. North is a solid group and I am sure they will offer help of some type, but I do not see how they should be expected to in any way other than out of the goodness of their heart.
It sucks, but you need to verify that you are buying genuine gear from genuine dealers when you buy it. If you do not, then eventually, it will work out like this and you should pay considerably less than what genuine gear costs. It would suck to pay almost full retail for non-genuine gear.
If the deal seems too good to be true...then it most likely is.