I was speaking with one of the marketing guys from SS last night and one of the things we spoke about was battens. All the 2003 are going to have the battens stitched in. what he did suggest was cutting off the bit of blue line for removing the batten, They found that this sat between the to strips of valcro and stopped a bit of the strength.
Yes, we have been finding that these battens sometimes fall out. It really only take 3 or 4 stitches to remedy the problem. The 2003 production run will already have these stitches in place.
Pete, dont cut the things off. Granted, they are prolly the reason it fell out, cut them off and it will make them harder to get out the next time you do wish to have them out.
I have actually found that if you take your time with putting the batten in, and make certain that the blue band to pull it out with is NOT in contact or between the velcro, the damn batten actually stays in....yeah, I'm saying even without sewing it in.
To get the batten in once it's out, you slide it almost all the way in. With about 1 1/2 to 2 inches of it left to go, you'll need to start wrapping the piece of velcro around the batten as it slides in. Once you have the velcro to where it's touching the kite and ready to go in, get a flat screw driver or something similar and lay it over the piece of velcro and into the little slot at the end of the velcro for such stuff. Ok...so now the screwdriver will shield the velcro from touching the other piece of velcro while you push the rig the rest of the way in. BE careful. Make sure the line attached to pull it out by is clear of the velcro. Ideally, you will want it running like up the sides of the batten. Also make certain that all velcro is free and clear of any sand or other debris that may hinder it's performance. Once you have the batten all the way slid in, check again that the remove string is out of the way of the velcro. This is your last chance to get it right in position. Once you have it in, slide your screwdriver back out and massage the hell out of the point where the 2 velcros come together.
I still think it a good idea to put a couple of stitches in it. But, I did this to one of my kites only. The others, I just did as I said above and the battens haven't come back out.
I guess you could use tape, but listen to fokiten. A job worth doin is worth doing the best you can with it the first time.