I would like to attempt my first bladder repair on this RRD Obsession kite . I watched some videos on youtube but none of them worked with a kite which has this inflate valve on it . I'm wondering how to get it out from the kite so I can remove the bladder and not finding anything out there except it looks like this valve system has been used since 2014. Has anyone patched/removed one of these bladders or know where to find out how to do it ?
I'm afraid to try anything else at the moment for fear of breaking something .
Please let me know if you have experience /ideas or links to information that could be helpful here.
Many thanks !
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This style of single fast inflate & dump when the entire plug is removed is called a Boston valve. Typically it's secured on the inside perimeter of the valve shoulder with a ring of Velcro. Sometimes the manufacturer will have the kite factory put a little webbing pull tab sewn onto the side of this Velcro ring nearest the LE access zipper. One of these pull tabs makes separating the Velcro far easier.
Put a hand inside the access zipper and feel across to the valve shoulder. Peel away the Velcro bond between valve shoulder and inside perimeter of the valve's hole in the LE. To get the centre section of LE bladder out you will also have to disconnect the centre strut's 1-pump hose and push that valve off the lip holding it secure on the LE pocket.
So far, I'm off to a good start and both posts + link have been helpful . There is in fact a zipper for the bladder and I haven't yet found a pull tab on the inflate valve. since I know where the hole is , I may try to remove only the affected part of the bladder , inflate , confirm location and then patch. This might involve (i think according to the video ) pushing the strut inflate valve through so I can get the bladder out . going to bring to my kite sport and see if anyone knows or has other ideas.
Thanks for the help guys ... baby steps but progress is being made
Well I got the bladder out, patched it and got it back in . Attaching a string helped a lot . I put it in twisted a couple times and then got it just perfect . When I inflated it , it took air , it sounded right and then when I went to flip it over , the end blew out . Now I have a new problem and that is how to best crimp the end of a bladder ? I'd rather not have to get a replacement but if it's that time, I'll do it .
If you have knowledge or experience with welding or bonding plastics ( the bladder is made from thermoplastic polyurethane ) welding up an end won't be too difficult. TPU film was originally developed to thermally bond to woven nylon or polyester fabrics to make them waterproof and so it responds very well to thermal processing and will easily stick to itself, maybe too easy to melt being so thin ( over-welding is often a common issue when figuring it out ).
If you don't have thermoplastic welding / bonding experience, probably quicker / easier to find some help or outsource it ( i.e. send the bladder to a professional repair shop to weld it up ).
If you are going to DIY, test / learn on a scrap piece of bladder film first before working on your kite's LE bladder.
So on either ends of the bladder , I used duct tape... alot of it and sealed both ends , folded them over and sealed them again. Now I know to fold the ends into the pocket of the kite and velcro them in. On the actual bladder, I found numerous holes and patched them with type a patches. The ends seem solid and I still have to test all of the type a patches . Once I get it back together I'll let it sit and do one more soap and water test . I have a feeling a couple folks might not be super keen on duct tape anywhere on a kite , but it seems to work. A friend of mine who is a sailor also fixed his kite with it years ago and it still flies.
Hah, never mind all of that .. I think I'm going to get a replacement bladder from airtime. Seems the patches I put on the bigger holes didn't hold and I would hate for the kite to deflate while I'm out there . It was a great learning experience though . Thanks for the help !
I've been having super bad bladder luck the last couple years.
I hate to say it but replacement bladders are the only way to go. No guessing if the patch will hold or if your seal is tight. I've tried the iron trick, the type A trick, the only one i havent tried is the impulse sealer don't really know the settings but would strongly recommend using a test piece before attempting on a repair only good for certain repairs. like end blowouts or seam blowouts
I got a pin prick from a cactus on my brand new kite first time out on it. put 5 type A's before it held. (still have a bladder coming in the mail. for a backup) They say it bonds immediately and well does feel sticky and seems to hold I strongly believe it needs to cure for a minimum of 24 hours before pumping hard and soap testing. after 5 tries this worked an is still holding but feel better having a new bladder in.
This latest one is very interesting. I have blown this kite up dozens and dozens of times and being lazy always let the the pump unroll my kite well this time it didn't unroll and twisted like they do. so I stopped unrolled and continued pumping til hard and POP end blew out. upon inspection the bladder was 2 feet from the end where it should've been. My only thought was the twist pulled the bladder end out of its casing on the end and blew no more being lazy on pump up.
They must fill the entire leading edge or they will pop everytime. make sure you have ample amount of bladder at the ends and tuck it in and make sure the ends are secured with however they do it on your kite. slingy had a zipper on the ends lots of others have a folded end with velcro. bladders are designed to be larger and longer then your leading edge which is like the tire on a car and the bladder is the innertube if the inner tube isnt held all the way by the tire excessive pressure is exerted on that one spot and POP goes the bladder.
The bostons use velcro backing to keep it centered. the other thing with BOSTON's are to guard them very closely to blowing debris when you roll up at the end of your sesh VERY IMPORTANT. bits of sand get in the bladder with no way out. the constant rolling and laying on the LE will put pressure on the bladder and if there is sand and rocks they will eventually pinhole sections of your bladder ask me how i know been there done that on another kite with a boston.
Split the bladder in 2 halfs when inserting and keep them zig zagged perfectly straight as you insert each side you will rarely if ever get a twist if you take your time and keep it straight. I always tie a knot in the ends and have a kite string with a larks head for pulling make sure to undue the knot when you pull through the ends an don't use the holes provided with the bladder ends you'll probably rip the bladder.
Airtime has been great and always gets you going again. double check that every thing is closed before going full pressure and at half pressure massage and make sure there are no twists anywhere.
If I lived close to a repair facility i would certainly use them, shipping is a killer anymore if your not close by.