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Leading Edge of Kite is Slowly Deflating

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ERock82
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Leading Edge of Kite is Slowly Deflating

Postby ERock82 » Mon May 18, 2020 6:03 pm

I was out riding the other day for about 20 minutes on my 2017 13.5m Liquid Force NV when all of a sudden the leading edge became slightly deflated and the kite started to fall. Luckily I made it back to shore. I tend to pump up my kite a good amount but I never heard any noise that made me think I blew out the bladder in the leading edge. I thought it would take a lot to blow out the kite and I've only used this kite about 6 or 7 times before which was brand new when I bought. I inflated it when I got home to test it and in about 30 mins it was halfway deflated.

Is it likely I blew out the kite? Could it be something else I'm not thinking of?

Any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks!

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Re: Leading Edge of Kite is Slowly Deflating

Postby Craz Z » Mon May 18, 2020 6:15 pm

i've had some weird deflates like what you describe.

First thing is did you lay the kite out tip to tip to inflate? or did you pump letting it unroll/unfold itself? as it rolls it self out while pumping sometimes it can pull the bladder tips out of the sheath and pop it.
after that age, prickles, struts etc will play a roll. Same with any debris can rattle around in these large boston valve kites and pin hole them from the inside. Protect your inflate deflate valves from sand and wind blown debris from getting in.

The trick is pump up the kite as normal grab a spray bottle with a few drops of dish soap and watch for the bubble show. then note the orientation of the damage and pull the bladder and repair or replace.

these things happen when you did nothing wrong but right when you need your kite. I used to be lazy and pump right out of the bag after a pop i ALWAYS lay tip to tip before going full pressure.

On one kite with the big valves open to the world. I found sand and small really small pebbles inside the bladder indicating pinning from the inside. I scrapped that bladder as it was swiss cheese. very slow leak like 30min. the dacron will also slow the leak.

on another brand new kite i put it into a cactus unknowingly first flight popped it.

things happen grab the soapy water and fix it don't take the bladder out until you find the issue.
Last edited by Craz Z on Mon May 18, 2020 6:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Leading Edge of Kite is Slowly Deflating

Postby tautologies » Mon May 18, 2020 6:26 pm

Does this have a one pump system on?
Most of the time there will be a leak around a valve. And most of the time you will be able to hear it if you inflate it in a place with no wind and just listen. Sometimes the leak needs the kite to be moved a bit for it to be heard. You should be able to just reglue the valve (or a new one on).

Now that said kites age even if you do not use them. Storing them properly is important even if they do not see much use.

ERock82
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Re: Leading Edge of Kite is Slowly Deflating

Postby ERock82 » Mon May 18, 2020 6:27 pm

Craz Z wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 6:15 pm
i've had some weird deflates like what you describe.

First thing is did you lay the kite out tip to tip to inflate? or did you pump letting it unroll/unfold itself? as it rolls it self out while pumping sometimes it can pull the bladder tips out of the sheath and pop it.
after that age, prickles, struts etc will play a roll. Same with any debris can rattle around in these large boston valve kites and pin hole them from the inside. Protect your inflate deflate valves from sand and wind blown debris from getting in.

The trick is pump up the kite as normal grab a spray bottle with a few drops of dish soap and watch for the bubble show. then note the orientation of the damage and pull the bladder and repair or replace.

these things happen when you did nothing wrong but right when you need your kite. I used to be lazy and pump right out of the bag after a pop i ALWAYS lay tip to tip before going full pressure.

On one kite with the big valves open to the world. I found sand and small really small pebbles inside the bladder indicating pinning from the inside. I scrapped that bladder as it was swiss cheese. very slow leak like 30min. the dacron will also slow the leak.


Thanks. I always lay the kite out fully before inflating and didn't notice any sand or debris getting in the valves. How would the soapy water leak test work if the leak is in the bladder inside?

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Re: Leading Edge of Kite is Slowly Deflating

Postby grigorib » Mon May 18, 2020 6:27 pm

On LF kites if you close the valve cap too fish it might equalize the pressure behind/after the valve and the cap won’t hold it airtight.

Make sure there’s no sand in the valve and that cap it not screwed too tight.

Could be valves ungluing or hose attachment leaking or pinholes too.

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Re: Leading Edge of Kite is Slowly Deflating

Postby syuzhak » Mon May 18, 2020 6:28 pm

Does yours have the big screw deflate valve. I had the same problem with a 6m envy, and it was slowly leaking from the valve due to the stop valve not closing fully. What I had to do was Everytime I pumped it up, I'd unscrew the valve, which would then seal the stopper with a pop and then screw it back on. Then it's all good to go no leaks. It's because the screw valve isnt fully airtight, so the stopper inside has to close to keep it from leaking, a bad design by LF...

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Re: Leading Edge of Kite is Slowly Deflating

Postby Jelle_vw » Mon May 18, 2020 6:31 pm

Looks like you have some small holes in your bladder.
Are you sure it is the LE bladder?
If you pump in up and close of the strut bladder you can check which is leaking.

Sometimes leakage is caused by sand on or under the gasket of the boston valve.
So check if that is nice and clean.

If there are punctures in the bladder you can find them as Craz Z describes.
Then patch them up with Tear aid or replace the full bladder.

Good luck.

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Re: Leading Edge of Kite is Slowly Deflating

Postby Craz Z » Mon May 18, 2020 6:40 pm

Thanks. I always lay the kite out fully before inflating and didn't notice any sand or debris getting in the valves. How would the soapy water leak test work if the leak is in the bladder inside?
sounds totally wrong i know. dacron is not airtight the bladder PU should BE!

the soap trick works every time even on crazy small pinners. blow it up soap it up and you will be amazed after you find it and pull the bladder you might need a magnifying glass to find the injury.

the old school way of pulling the bladders and tying things off and expanding the bladder can often times cause more damage as it weakens and stretches the PU material more then it is designed to. often times you will find the hole with this method but you're causing more future trouble by doing it that way.

dacron holds the kites shape bladder holds the air. bladders are not designed to blow up like a balloon as what happens when you take that next breath. POP!!!
Last edited by Craz Z on Mon May 18, 2020 6:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Leading Edge of Kite is Slowly Deflating

Postby plummet » Mon May 18, 2020 6:46 pm

Yeah, Check all connections and look for sand on seals. Lock off all struts and double check.

If thats all clear then its a pin hole.

Pump up and spray le with a soapy water. Find the location of the leak. Then extract the bladder and repeat.

PS Tiny pinholes are a pain in the arse..... I've had a pin hole leak in one of my kites for 2 years. Havent been bothered to fix it yet. I dont use that kite much and most times my session is shorter than the slow leak.,,,,,,,

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Re: Leading Edge of Kite is Slowly Deflating

Postby ERock82 » Mon May 18, 2020 6:50 pm

syuzhak wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 6:28 pm
Does yours have the big screw deflate valve. I had the same problem with a 6m envy, and it was slowly leaking from the valve due to the stop valve not closing fully. What I had to do was Everytime I pumped it up, I'd unscrew the valve, which would then seal the stopper with a pop and then screw it back on. Then it's all good to go no leaks. It's because the screw valve isnt fully airtight, so the stopper inside has to close to keep it from leaking, a bad design by LF...
The deflate valve is just a normal looking one and the inflate one is a screw on one with a neoprene velcro cover. Would getting a pump with a pressure gauge be good for the future? I didn't think the kite could be so sensitive to a possible over inflating. If I overinflated to cause this it is because of maybe 3 or 4 pumps too many. that seems like a fine line and I definitely would get a pressure gauge to prevent again.


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