Tending to your kiteboarding kites prevents damage and prolongs the life of the kites. As with so many things, a little precaution and care will prevent damage to your investment. Be sure to learn the proper way to take care of your kites and you will end up replacing them less often.
The material of a kite that is used for kiteboarding is very thin and can be easily damaged. Much of the other equipment that is used in conjuction with the kite has edges and parts that can easily damage that thin fabric. Protect the kite by always storing it in its bag when it is not in use. This will prevent the edge of the board from nicking or tearing at the fabric.
A kite that is packed away wet will turn moldy. This can be a smelly problem. If you are careful to only pack your kite away dry, you will solve this dilemma. Similarly, salt from salt water can damage the hardware and fasteners on your kiteboarding kite. It’s not really necessary to wash your kite every time you use it, but it is helpful to rinse it with fresh water if you will be packing it away for the season.
The elements can be hard on kites. Protecting the fabric from prolonged exposure to the sun is important. When it’s not in use, your kite should be packed in its bag. A bag offers the additional protection of keeping the thin fabric from catching on things as well.
Sand, small stones and shells can also wreak havoc on your kiteboarding kite. Launching your own kite can contribute to damage because the fabric of the kite will drag along the rough sand and debris on the beach. Try to enlist someone else’s help when you launch in order to avoid the damage of dragging the kite. It’s also a good idea to keep a brush in your gear to brush any sand that inadvertently gets on the material.
Inspect your kite regularly-- it may sound like common sense, but many people forget to check on their kite. Often, they get to their launch location and find that the kite needs repair or is otherwise damaged. Eliminate these setbacks by taking the time to go over your kite and determine if repairs are needed prior to packing up for your session. Knots in the line will weaken it dramatically, so watch out for those. It’s also important to wash the bar after surfing in salt water to prevent the salt from damaging the lines.
Try not to carry a pumped up kite very far. It’s ideal to pump and launch from the same place. Carrying your kiteboarding kite very far increases the risk of drag and damage. With a little planning, you can determine a good place for pumping and launching your kite.
With some care common sense, you can prolong the life of your kiteboarding kite. Over time, this will save you money and keep you surfing longer. While the material is thin and somewhat fragile, caution and maintenance will prevent damage.