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Flat Kite Preventative Maintenance

Forum with lots of safety info - a must for newbees


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Toby
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Flat Kite Preventative Maintenance

Postby Toby » Wed Jan 10, 2007 1:58 am

Kite gear breaks, right? Yup, you bet it does and with the loading and wear some bits may break sooner than others. Things like BRIDLE LINES for instance. This article deals with this consideration alone, there are still other aspects of kite gear that demand regular inspection and preventative maintenance. If a bridle breaks at a minimum your kite might stop flying or worse it might continue to fly, spiraling out of control and perhaps even with some power. Ideally if you sheet out the power should go if things work as planned but who needs to experiment with this stuff particularly in powered conditions? Short answer, no one, don't mess with it and avoid bridle breakage.

The following ideas were collected from discussions with Paul Menta with The Kitehouse, Garry Mink with Cabrinha and Thomas Gaehwiler with Best R&D.

Check gear EVERY TIME you tear it down, POST-Flight inspection. In the rush to ride, guys may not bother to take the time to do this right during PRE-flight checks.

1. Paul says to look at bridles for fraying, change in diameter and color loss. Compress line together and look closely at braid for evidence of wear.

Some industry reps say based upon riding frequency and conditions, plan to change out bridle lines every 3 to 6 months and based upon condition.

2. Pull line back and forth through pulleys to check for function, lack of binding.

3. Thomas, Paul and Garry all say to ALWAYS WASH OFF METAL PULLEYS AND LINE WITH FRESH WATER. The accumulated salt cake, sand and grit can severely reduce the useful life of pulleys.

4. Examine pigtails using techniques described in #1 above. You may need to replace them along the same time schedule as bridals.

5. Look at line attachment points on control bar assembly for wear or fraying and replace if necessary.

6. Look at chicken loop line for wear, fibers sticking out horizontally, replace before failure!

7. Carefully examine flight lines for wear points. Regular tricks can wear lines at specific points with repeated twisting under load.

Other considerations follow:

1. Consider where you ride and how. Are there rocks that can nick or fray bridle, leader or flight lines? Do you solo launch and land to where added wear may occur? Do you ride in higher or lighter winds? All these factors need to be considered in estimating wear and replacement intervals for bridle, leader and flight lines.

2. Every 6 months PLAN on having to replace bridle, leader and flight lines and pigtails. Depending on the above factors and other considerations you may need to replace them more or less frequently.

3. Check flight lines for relative length at least once every 3 months.

4. Examine and wiggle pulleys every session, replace if binding or excessive wear occurs.

5. Garry suggested keeping your bar and lines attached to your bow kite. He described carefully winding your lines up on your bar tightly in figure 8's right up to the center of the kite. He then loops the built in bungie over one end of the bar and line. The other bungie is looped through the pump leash attachment point on the leading edge of the kite. You then roll the kite up conventionally leaving the bar inside. Garry has faster and easier setup using this technique and if you need to you are already setup for boat launch or assisted launch from the shallows in areas without suitable beaches.

Do replacements cost? Sure they do but a small fraction of what your kite set you back. Best to take care of both and the rider too while you're at it.

FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi

SpaceRacer
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Re: Flat Kite Preventative Maintenance

Postby SpaceRacer » Mon Oct 06, 2008 4:19 am

Good topic. I try to do this often but not after every session. Maybe it's not enough. Although I am obsessed with safety and check my equipment often, it's when I am lit on a 7m that I think, "What if an outside line snaps right now?" Sometimes in these situations, I ride with one hand on my QR. So what constitutes a line that needs changing? Obviously frays. But you mention color? What about smooth, compacted, shiny spots where leader lines rub against rubber or plastic? I am not an expert but use common sense. But is that enough? Should lines be changed out even if they are 6 months or a year old but are not ridden every day? How about hours? Kind of confusing. Don't want to be dangerous but don't want to waste my money and add to the landfills. sr

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kitezilla
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Re: Flat Kite Preventative Maintenance

Postby kitezilla » Mon Oct 06, 2008 3:52 pm

I like the application of safety "redundancy" where ever it is feasible. Here is an example on this type of innovation as seen on Best kites:

Pulley "safety belts"..........

http://media.bestkiteboarding.com/manua ... _loops.pdf

These safety loops can be added to almost any pulley in a manner I suggested on this thread, on page 3 and 4. I have been testing these safety loops, as shown in the pictures, for a few months, now with no problems. I have reduced the size of the loops, so that they hug the top of the pulleys. Here is the link to the thread:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2345960&start=30&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&hilit=belt

I think that all manufacturers should follow Best's example and supply these "safety belts" on all kite pulleys.

Regular inspection of pulleys is a good maintenance practice, but these safety loops will protect you, even if a small crack in the pully housing goes undetected and the pully breaks, while you are using the kite.

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Starsky
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Re: Flat Kite Preventative Maintenance

Postby Starsky » Mon Oct 06, 2008 4:36 pm

I think the word is preventive.

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kitezilla
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Re: Flat Kite Preventative Maintenance

Postby kitezilla » Tue Oct 07, 2008 12:23 am

I thought that was the case for a number of years, also, but then, discovered that both words are acceptable (synonyms). See:

http://www.bartleby.com/68/66/4766.html

SpaceRacer
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Re: Flat Kite Preventative Maintenance

Postby SpaceRacer » Tue Oct 07, 2008 3:22 am

Last I knew, this was a safety thread for kiteboarders. Not the Cambridge Review. Maybe you can skip the bullshit on the semantics and either contribute or move on.

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Re: Flat Kite Preventative Maintenance

Postby afflatus » Tue Oct 07, 2008 5:50 pm

RickI wrote:...If a bridle breaks at a minimum your kite might stop flying or worse it might continue to fly, spiraling out of control and perhaps even with some power. Ideally if you sheet out the power should go if things work as planned...


RickI wrote:...Imagine, being dragged by a looping kite at high speed periodically being lofted 30 ft. off the water for over three miles; or

- being dragged about a mile at high speed in three other separate instances by a looping kite; or

- being dragged over 1000 ft at speed in two other separate instances by a looping kite

... with all six riders dying and apparently not being able to do a damn thing about it. In many cases, under similar circumstances, there is STILL nothing we can do about it.

Even the rescuers in the few cases when there were rescuers, were hard pushed to be able to figure out how to stop it. Most of these guys made other serious mistakes but despite that they were taken for these intense final rides.

Those are just the more recent flat and high depower kite looping fatalities, add to that the DOZENS of high wind fatalities where Emergency Depowering wasn't accomplished. Then how about the much higher quantities of guys just messed up or scared half to death but got free of things...


"Perhaps even with some power? Ideally if you sheet out the power should go if things work as planned" ??

eh?

depends on the mood of the transcriber I guess?

So Toby,

Is this the fix, you asked me to wait for?

Maybe you meant next Friday? I'm easy, but I'd like to sort you out..

Lately your patter has been a bit disturbing...

Best Regards
fo

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Re: Flat Kite Preventative Maintenance

Postby Kosh » Wed Apr 15, 2009 6:54 am

The kitecompanies should work on making it a lot easier to quickly replace bridle lines.
This is an example of how it should NOT be done (line sewn around pulley):
Image

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Toby
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Re: Flat Kite Preventative Maintenance

Postby Toby » Wed Apr 15, 2009 8:32 am

if you cab buy it as spare with the line attached, it can be done quickly and makes sure the pulley does not get separated from the line...I assume that would happen if they find an "easier" way...that might be a lot more dangerous.

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Re: Flat Kite Preventative Maintenance

Postby Kosh » Wed Apr 15, 2009 9:41 am

True, but the idea is that it should be easier to replace stuff without the need to get special items. I.e as much usage as possible of easily accessible parts. Getting spare parts quickly for a specific kite is a very very difficult task, by experience :)


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