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How do you seasoned riders think about when to refresh kites?

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bkkite
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How do you seasoned riders think about when to refresh kites?

Postby bkkite » Mon Aug 17, 2020 10:06 pm

I'm 4 years into riding 30-40 sessions / year, and I made a switch in brands of kites from Slingshot to Core about 2 years in. I bought used XR4s at the time because of the discounts, and I've been really happy with them. Its now been two years and change of really solid riding, and I'm wondering how more experienced riders think about changing out their kites?

If I'm locked into Core, should I go for new kites? How frequently should I be changing? Is there a particular approach that helps get the most value out of your old kites, so you can put that towards new ones?

I use my 15m the most, so I'm thinking of starting upgrading with that one, and then my 12m later in the year. Thanks for any guidance.

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edt
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Re: How do you seasoned riders think about when to refresh kites?

Postby edt » Mon Aug 17, 2020 10:14 pm

Your valves generally deteriorate after 4 years. 3 years is a good time to swap out. Don't refresh your whole quiver at once is my advice. Refresh your most used kites often and your least used kites never. So for instance around here I use my 14 every other day 100 times a year and my 7 five times a year. The 14 has to be refreshed 15 times more often than my 7. With my 7 when the valves go I just do a restick and fix it rather than replace. Some kiters refresh every 1 or 2 years not because their kites are old but to stay fresh. If you are a team rider or influencer you have to be in new gear so refreshing every 1 or 2 years is necessary.

As for how often I think about changing out my quiver every day. Then I remember how much it costs.

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Re: How do you seasoned riders think about when to refresh kites?

Postby Osprey1 » Mon Aug 17, 2020 10:18 pm

Depends on how often you use your kites. As I kite in mountain lakes and then in Gorge I switch out my 9 and 12 most often. Mostly every 2 years and my bar and lines every year (especially since I just got into mega looping :))

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Re: How do you seasoned riders think about when to refresh kites?

Postby bc-sf » Tue Aug 18, 2020 12:59 am

I agree your most used kite will wear out faster (um. yeah). Add to that, the most abused kite wears out faster (the one i crash most often, roll up with sand etc)

When to upgrade depends on a lot of factors. What kind of extremes are you getting into - places where gear failure has consequences. Sometimes it's a change in riding style/goals that fuels the shift to new or different kites.

A lot of people go for the 2 year and sell routine, as a kite still has some resale value. After 3 years, the price starts to crumble, and after a few more you look delusional thinking someone will pay decent money for worn out sack (even an old unworn out kite as the hoses and valves are a risk).

Canopy material gets stretched under high wind loads, and worn down by uv and flutter, but the newer materials and designs in theory should allow it to hold its intended shape longer, and withstand more general abuse and 'last' longer (you still don't hear kite companies boasting about the longevity of their glue and hoses).

To maximize the cost/benefit, go for a 2 year old gently ridden kite for about $600-750 (probably more for core due to the initial outlay and perceived value from that), and then ride the hell out of it for 2-3 seasons, so you get it at about $300/year.

If you aren't image conscious and still liking your kite, and don't suffer serious fomo, keep riding it until it bites the dust.
Personally, after 3-4 years I'm itching for an upgrade and the current kite becomes 'available to anyone who can make use of it'.

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Re: How do you seasoned riders think about when to refresh kites?

Postby kjorn » Tue Aug 18, 2020 1:20 am

My mates give honest reviews of their kites. When they are impressed (e.g. the new rebel is a real step up in performance) then I start to think about it.

And like edt said - valves suck. When one goes, they all go.

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Re: How do you seasoned riders think about when to refresh kites?

Postby FLandOBX » Tue Aug 18, 2020 1:36 am

If you have access to steeply discounted prices on new kites (some do), then your best financial strategy is to change your quiver every year. After a year, you'll be able to sell your kites for what you paid or, depending on the kite and your initial purchase price, more than you paid. I know a number of people who do this.

Personally, I keep my kites until I tire of them or find something that I like better, usually resulting in a quiver change every three to four years or so. For me, it's kind of a hassle to change gear (selling is more of a hassle than purchasing, of course), especially if I'm using kites that I really like. I can't see selling my favorite kite after a year or two, only to purchase the current model of the exact same kite. But if breaking even financially is the most important thing to you, then definitely trade at least every two years (every year is probably optimal).

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Re: How do you seasoned riders think about when to refresh kites?

Postby edt » Tue Aug 18, 2020 1:50 am

Too much of a hassle switching kites every year. I have friends who do this they are buying and selling pretty much year round. Joe asked me why I didn't do this and I told him I don't enjoy buying and selling like he apparently does.

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Re: How do you seasoned riders think about when to refresh kites?

Postby knyfe » Tue Aug 18, 2020 2:31 am

Only switch out when a kite is really dead and beyond repair or a safety hazard for you.

Examples: my old C kite let go of all of the valves / my other Edge was ripped a few times but the cloth got so frail that I didn’t repair the last tear as I didn’t want to dangle 10-12m and something let go / other kite the struts started popping due to wear on the cloth / just on the weekend a guy with a nexus had all bridles worn out down to the core of the lines , all of them, but then his line snapped. What a surprise- I would not want that going out or stuck in waves.

If your kite feels good for you and looks ok you are good.

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Re: How do you seasoned riders think about when to refresh kites?

Postby PullStrings » Tue Aug 18, 2020 2:33 am

Think of it often then look at my bank account
Got 6 kites 9 years old and 2 kites 7 years old
:cash:

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Re: How do you seasoned riders think about when to refresh kites?

Postby TheJoe » Tue Aug 18, 2020 2:48 am

I had an old RPM 12m that really got the hell beat out of it blow out on me this past season. It got used for 2 years maybe a little more. It was older as I had got some xr5's while I was recovering from some surgeries. During my swim back in with a ruined kite I decided 2 years and it's time for new kites. Replaced the XR's with a new quiver and will stick to 2 years from here on out.

But I would agree with others. Stagger and replace the most used kites.


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