Yesterday, at the end of my second 2 hour session overpowered on my 12m TD I had a little accident. Botched a simple roll and the last thing I saw was my kite headed straight down. The kite was totally deflated when my head popped up and I swam in to shore to assess the damage.
The leading edge, near one side, totally blew tearing through two types of fabric. The destruction continued, with a tear in the canopy material along the leading edge for about 1.5 feet and then down a seam from the leading edge to the trailing edge. The split in the leading edge includes tearing half of a strut off (the strut did not pop). Most of the fabric is torn right next to a seam.
I'll have pictures soon as it's almost funny to see how bad it looks, but my questions are?
Is this repairable, or is the kite now trash?
If it's repaired, will the kite perform significantly different?
Has anyone seen such damage from a powered, but not extremely bad, face plant?
I've seen a lot of powered kites hit the water over the years and I've never seen anything like this happen. Perhaps I just got lucky...
Send the pics to Grandpa Don and see what he thinks. I've had him do some repairs for me and so have a ton of my friends. He's made the kites look great and fly like new every time. Plus the amazing part is he is a good price. His cell number is 904-613-1861. Haha I keep it in my cell since me and my buddies destroy gear so regularly from riding hard.
Hey Will - Sorry to hear about your kite - I've had some problems recently and Denise has been hooking me up with some really well done repairs - I'm sure you see her around but if not I can give you her email - I've sent kites out in the mail and got them back the same week - Alot sooner than I thought
You might see her with a 9 Waroo that I really messed up - I didn't think it was repairable but shes flyin it again - Anyways, Good luck
If you like the kite but think it's not worth repairing you might want to try doing your own repair. Just need some kite material (NOT sticky back), and AquaSeal. I have an entire panel held in my 12.0 that way. Still my favorite kite.
I think it boils down to whether you still like the kite and the condition of the material. If the material is too brittle, the stitching won't hold.
Here in hawaii, we've got a guy who does an awesome job repairing kites. When I first started kiting, I was trying to swim my kite through the shore break and got thrown through the canopy. Ripped the kite in half and tore off a strut. On another kite I had a kite leading edge explode on me. I had both kites repaired and I didn't notice any difference.
The repair guy told me he lines up the grid on the rip stop fabric which gets the material very close to what is was. I was surprised that replacing the blown bladders was more expensive than kite repairs.