I would bet a little exposure by the kite publications and a dash of consumer protest would prompt a miraculous solution instantaneously! Im a marine technician by trade - this kind of thing comes up in every aspect of my work. inflatable boats, sails, buoyancy devices etc all have similar issues and im often surprised by the elegant solutions manufacturers can find, given the right motivation.
reading kite magazines and online media you would hardly think theres such a thing as a bad kite, or a weak construction method, or B.I.O. Almost every review is either glowingly promotional, politely moderated or simply abstains from direct criticism. they would do us a big favour by exposing this valve problem, though manufacturers might not be able to offer new ranges every year (I doubt the design improvements justify this anyway).
here's the rub: the first manufacturer to guarantee their valves against bond failure will sell me a kite immediately. is anyone doing it?
the thing about these valves is that in the first two years it is very rare to have a failure but after five or so years pretty much every kite will have several valve failures. Valve failures by the way is one reason a lot of people use foil kites. I really doubt it is a conspiracy, because you are looking at a component that does not fail immediately which you do need at least two years probably three years between experiments on new valves to know if it will work.
Agree the incentive is not there for the kites to put more research into the problem because the way they do it now the valves usually work for a while.
OK, so it is not a conspiracy….they just know that the valves will last for a short while, they will then fail just out of warranty and they don't care…..? What would you call it? how about really poor customer service bordering on arrogance. But since they continue to get away with it because we are too lazy to deal, I say we just call it good bushiness sense and move on to something more interesting.
I don't know about the new valves, but valves pre-2008 work fine. The key is too keep them away from heat, which will cause them the delaminate, which will require a re-glue. Tips: Store your kites in a cool place (i.e. not in a car ) Store your kites under a radiant barrier (i.e. aluminum/mylar blanket ).
sflinux wrote:Tips: Store your kites in a cool place (i.e. not in a car )
that would be virtually impossible to do and still take advantage of the conditions in and around the great lakes and I am sure there are many other places that requires you to be ready at a moments notice in order to get our a reasonable amount of times per year.
Not everyone lives where the wind is predictable and occurs often.
Thats a fact, kites are by nature exposed to all sorts of elements and extremes - thats sort of the point of the sport. Durability is probably the second most important design parameter after aerodynamics, no way this has been overlooked. Knotwindy you sound like a fellow sufferer, someone who doesnt think gluing skills and airconditioned kitebags should be part of the game!
its not done on purpose. but they buy them all from more or less the same vendors in china.
there used to be very toxic pu-glues out there a few years ago which have been banned from production menawhile. the replacement is better for the workers, the environment and the users, but the bond is not as good as it used to be. add to the fact that every one and then some supplier feels the need to change the formula of the plastic granulade without notice and then you end up with bladders that fail after some time, even though they had it dialed a few years ago....
all of that is somewhat interesting but i really do not give a rats ass. For $2,000 i just want a valve that works and keeps working without me having to "fix" it. Or charge me less up front so I can have it fixed Or every time i have to replace a valve return some of my money.