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Do you have a weak bladder?

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Qman
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Do you have a weak bladder?

Postby Qman » Fri Aug 10, 2018 5:43 pm

Has the quality and thickness of kite bladders has lessened as companies go for lighter kites (read: lower production costs)?

Are all kite brands bladders of the same quality / origin?

I have kites less than a year old, all have suffered from sand getting between the leading edge / struts and bladders which has caused tiny holes, hence the kite slowly deflating.

The holes are also really difficult to find as they are so small.

This was not an issue on early kites I have owned.

Hugh2
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Re: Do you have a weak bladder?

Postby Hugh2 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:11 pm

I wonder about this issue with my 2015/2016 Naish Pivots. I love the kites, but the 2015 9m central strut started leaking. I was amazed how thin the bladder walls were, it seemed very fragile compared with my older Best kites. I eventually gave up on trying to fix it and got a far more robust replacement bladder, if I recall correctly, from Airtime.

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GregK
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Re: Do you have a weak bladder?

Postby GregK » Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:41 pm

Maybe 5 or so years ago almost all kite companies were using 0.005 inch / 125 micron thick TPU film for struts and LE bladders. Now almost everyone is using 0.003 inch / 75 - 80 micron thick film primarily to save weight, as I suspect difference in bladder material cost is relatively insignificant compared to the labour and machine time ( CNC fabric panel cutting, CNC stitching of repetitive features like bridle attachment points ) costs.

I think Boardriding Maui Clouds may be the only kites still with 125 micron bladder film - and still super light kites.

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GregK
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Location: Comox, BC
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Re: Do you have a weak bladder?

Postby GregK » Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:43 pm

To keep the 80-micron bladders durable, some kite co's will put doubled-up covers on the front and backs of struts, and wingtips of LE bladders.


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