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Kite advancements over the last 10 years

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Re: Kite advancements over the last 10 years

Postby tmcfarla » Tue Apr 27, 2021 4:31 pm

For general use kites, no significant changes over the past 10 years. I just replaced a 2013 kite with a new model. Nee one is a bit lighter, maybe slightly better reinforced , not sure the new model flies as well though.

There have been major changes for special-use kites though, for example, clouds or peak4 for foiling. Foiling-specific kites didn't exist 10 years ago, and no one was even thinking about how to make a 6m work well in 12 knots. So this type of kite has changed a lot.

Honestly, the only major change in the sport over the past 10 years is foiling.

In terms of buying old gear though, yeah, be very wary of buying anything that old, the likelihood of it still working well is pretty low. Fabric stretches out and valves degrade. I have 10 year old kites that I still use but no way would I buy someone else's 10 year old kite.

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Re: Kite advancements over the last 10 years

Postby Topaz » Tue Apr 27, 2021 5:08 pm

Anything older than 2012 is good for me, as long it is a good design and not something that didn't work well out of the box.
As for leaks, any kite can leak, but you can repair them.

However, I wouldn't buy a kite older than 5 years, only because 5 year old kites are very cheap, so I guess going dirt cheap is looking for trouble.
Also, a too old kite is much harder to re sell, so in the end it could costs more it you get stuck with it.

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Re: Kite advancements over the last 10 years

Postby knot_moving » Tue Apr 27, 2021 7:42 pm

Single line safety is now standard on all (almost all?) kites and bars -much more reliable depower

Bridles are more compact so fewer bridle wraps around wing tips

Below bar untwist is almost universal

There are better kite lines but that’s not universal

I think kites from 2015/16 on tend to be better balanced. A lot of earlier kites had higher bar pressure.

I still use a 2013 cabrinha velocity and really like it.
My newest kite is 4yrd old now

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Re: Kite advancements over the last 10 years

Postby dejavu » Wed Apr 28, 2021 11:31 pm

My opinion....There have been some significant advancements since 2010. I will talk Cabrinha Switchblade/Contra from a user perspective. The kite canopy material is now significantly stronger and will take little knocks and scrapes far better. The Stitching in some areas is better reinforced. The canopy has been refined to a better natural arc which makes sense to be aerodynamically better. Positioning of bridles seems to be far more optimised and Contra's without pulleys is great. The inflation system has been one pump for a while, the valves and tubes have been gradually upgraded. Bladders- no real change, perhaps some lighter materials but I think this still has a way to go. They still blow. The wing tip protector pads have basically remained the same, some material breakdown issues now corrected. The Contra is far more aerodynamic that the early models. The 3 strut shape now fly's so smoothly and the one strut is so light and nimble.
Last edited by dejavu on Thu Apr 29, 2021 12:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Kite advancements over the last 10 years

Postby mr_daruman » Thu Apr 29, 2021 12:08 am

Kite advancements?
You have post 2010ish and pre-2010ish. Bladders the same for 25 years. The rest is marketing BSish.

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Re: Kite advancements over the last 10 years

Postby kevink5516 » Thu Apr 29, 2021 4:25 pm

Thanks everyone for the comments and feedback. I wasn't aware that leaks due to age alone were so common but I guess it makes sense this would happen over time. I'll probably look at gear no older than 3/4 years old then. I'm not too worried about buying gear that will soon loose most of its resale value. At this point I'd rather be able to get back into the sport with a full 3 kite quiver suitable for my area and with my budget I can't do that with new or year old kites. Kites from 2017/2018 seem to be the best bang for your buck on the used market.

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Re: Kite advancements over the last 10 years

Postby Matteo V » Thu Apr 29, 2021 6:08 pm

tmcfarla wrote:
Tue Apr 27, 2021 4:31 pm
There have been major changes for special-use kites though, for example, clouds or peak4 for foiling. Foiling-specific kites didn't exist 10 years ago, and no one was even thinking about how to make a 6m work well in 12 knots. So this type of kite has changed a lot.
Foiling specific kites were not invented, they were discovered.

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Re: Kite advancements over the last 10 years

Postby edt » Thu Apr 29, 2021 10:57 pm

Don't buy a kite older than 5 years because you will have to end up replacing all the valves even if the kite was kept in perfect condition. That's my advice.

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Re: Kite advancements over the last 10 years

Postby Hugh2 » Thu Apr 29, 2021 11:26 pm

Let us know what you decide to go with, these threads are often frustrating because the OP does not follow up.

For my 2 cents, I have a couple of kites older than 2015 that still work, but I find I seldom use them, and I love my newest kite, a 2020 10m Naish Pivot, it is simply an excellent kite, even if pricy and not available anymore.

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Re: Kite advancements over the last 10 years

Postby Eduardo » Thu Apr 29, 2021 11:40 pm

kevink5516 wrote:
Mon Apr 26, 2021 11:58 pm
Hi All,

I'm new to the forum and apologize if I'm bringing up a topic that's been discussed numerous times already. I've seen some discussions about this in different threads but nothing specific to the topic. For background I started kiting in 2006 and was in the sport until 2010 when I moved away from kiteable locations and sold my gear. I'm looking to get back into the sport now and I've read and been given very mixed opinions on what age range is ok to consider when buying used gear (I don't have the budget to buy everything new). This has lead me to wonder just how much the sport has advanced in the last decade. For the sake of the discussion, I am looking at this from the perspective of a twin tip freerider only, I have no plans at this time to try foiling in the future.

On one hand, I've seen several opinions which say that you shouldn't by gear older than 2-3 years max because the kite performance and safety of new kites is so much better now than it used to be. On the other hand, I've read several posts with the opinion that kite design advancement has more or less stalled over the last decade and the kites coming out now are the same as prior years just with new graphics and marketed as the "latest and greatest" just as a sales pitch.

I'm surprised to see so much talk about improvements in safety system technology. Can anyone explain what these changes have been since it's not evident to me? I never felt unsafe on my old kites and even 12 years ago was able to pop the QR on the chicken loop and flag the kite in an emergency without problem. I've been watching a lot of product demo videos for kites from various brands over the last decade and I don't see any clear changes in kite safety. The biggest change I can see is that chicken loop designs have changed to now open the loop with the QR instead of detaching the loop completely from the bar. I do see how this would be helpful for easing the reassembly of everything in the water but is it any safer than the old systems?

As far as kite performance goes, I'm sure that kite design has advanced since I last rode my kites from the mid-2000s (Cabrinha SB/CB and Caution Answers). It appears that brands have really worked on specializing designs to better suite different rider styles over the years but have there been many other major advancements in kite design recently? As someone who hasn't followed the industry for many years, I don't see anything distinctively different when comparing kites from the earlier half of the last decade with ones from the last couple years. Will a 2018 kite fly and feel drastically different as the same, or a similar, kite from 2013? If the older gear is functionally very similar what's the harm in buying gear that is 5-6 years old as long as it's still in good shape?

Thanks for any feedback and input. I'm excited to be getting back into the sport soon.
didn't you see the thread that kiting is dead and everyone is winging now? :D

I think you've seen the point about leaks and I will second that. it is only a matter of time and even a well treated kite will leak. If you are really broke and can repair your own kites, then you could go 5+ years old. but to save hassle, I think 2-3 years old is the sweet spot for low price and little wear.

As for tech, for me the biggest innovation in kites is the light weight revolution in materials like Aluula and one/no-strut designs like Cloud.

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