On 2002-09-29 13:17, Blow Me wrote:
Hey Guys. I was wondering, I have what loox like a slight twist in the bladder of my Leading Edge. My First question is how do I fix this? And Second, as you might know, I'm a Newb as well, so how the Hell do you change these Bladders? Also, I don't have locks in my valves, was wondering if down the road I can get new bladders with locks for a 11.9 RRD?
ThanX in Advance!
Twists come from inflating techniques as well as deflating and folding techniques. How to change them should be easy enough to find on here, just do a search on the forums.
If by locking valves you mean the ones with one way valves on them, like with a little ball in the valve, they suck imo. Sure they make it easier to inflate the kite, that is when they are working right, but they also make it a bitch to deflate the kite. Pinching the valves without the balls in them will become second nature for you. Soon you will be losing no air at all. At the end of the day, it's so much nicer to just walk along your kite pulling the valves out and watching it deflate while the others are all bent over their kites squeezing on their balls. FUN FUN!
When you inflate your leading edge, grab your kite by the middle and turn your back to the wind. This allows the kites wingtips to blow downwind aroung your grip on the kite, more into their natural position. By holding it this way, the bladder wont be pushing and working so hard to try to bring the kite into it's shape as it inflates. Weighting down one wingtip while you inflate the leading edge will cause bladder twists in a short time.
When you deflate your kite, pull the valves and let as much of the air escape naturally as you can. That is if you don't have one way valves. Rolling or folding up a kite while having to force a bunch of air out of the bladder causes twisting. Your deflated bladder is laying loose in your kite, and every time you have to squeeze on it, it is quickly reinflating sections of the bladder and can cause twisting. If you do get to a point where air must be squeezed out, take your time and push it out slow and gentle. Don't try to force it out as fast as you can. Another good reason to avoid one way valves, unless you have a second valve for releasing air.
On the new 2003 Fuels, you'll see 2 identical valves on the leading edge. This is for a couple of reasons, mostly dealing with twists. For one, it gives the bladder a second 'locking' point to the kite, making it harder for it to twist. Another reason is it makes it quicker to deflate and easier to get the air out of without having to put pressure on the kite. Again, this helps reduce twisting. Another useful feature I guess is if you could find a sucker to help you inflate your leading edge with you, he will have a place to connect a second pump.
I never have twisted bladders, but I have fixed several for people. It's really isn't that hard. It's basically the same as changing the bladder. But I imagine if you inflate and deflate as I do and have described, that you won't have many more problems with a twisted bladder.