I have a 10m Soul that I bought new in summer of 2018 and I keep actual data on my kite sessions. I recorded 16 hours of time in it in 2018, 11 hours in 2019, and so far 25 hours in 2020. So, all in all, not that much time, really. But I don't treat it gently. I do things like launch from beaches covered with rocks and sticks:jakemoore wrote: ↑Sun May 31, 2020 4:04 pmThank you for this post! I was just getting ready ask about how the Soul with X-lite fabric and single strand bridles are holding up so I would love to see what people are experiencing..
I'm curious how much you kite with the Soul. I think its such a beautiful kite but my first impression on inspecting one is that it may be a little delicate. The new Sonic is even more of a head turner for me, so its very interesting to me to know how the Soul is holding up. How many sessions/hours a week? How powered is the riding? Is there sand at your launch? Does the sand accumulate in the trailing edge seam? How much fooling around with the bridle is needed?
Symptoms of an aging foil kite canopy include deflating faster once landed or crashed. Different brands have different air-tight construction so it has to be relative to your memory of the kite new. Sometimes you can see dimples on the leading edge with the kite depowered that were less prominent when the kite was new. Sometimes there is a tendency for a collapse. If you are reading foiloholoio posts about shoo-goo and toluene its time for a new kite. Sniffing glue and the solvents as well makes your brain go bad.
The aged cloth and bridle is more likely to break just as a tube kite ages. With an older kite I'm more careful not to kite far from the launch site where a failure would result in a big swim or walk. Would definitely be careful about high jumps over land or shallow water. That said, I think the longevity of most foil kites exceeds a tube kite by far, and they are easier to repair provided you can sew and they require a more simple field repair kit. If its flying good then keep riding it.
An amigo has been flying Flexi Blade III since 2006. The fabric looks like a faded worn out patio umbrella that has been in the sun every day for several years. Still going strong with many hours. Very unbelievable to see in person. I think one of the things that makes this kite last so long is the open cells allow faster replacement of air lost through porous fabric and stitching.
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