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Ageing foil kites

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neilhapgood
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Ageing foil kites

Postby neilhapgood » Sun May 31, 2020 2:58 pm

Hi folks, slightly meandering post here.

My 12m soul is about 3 years old and the fabric is feeling fairly worn, certainly well past having any crinkle!

In my earlier life sailing little dingies once your spinnaker felt like my kite it would be considered fairly shot. Is this the case with foil kites?!

My kite still performs fine so thinking does it matter less with a foil kite as the wind is flowing far more over it than into it like a spinnaker so porous material not so important? Equally does it matter less as the bridles keep the shape so worn material with more give doesn't matter as much?

Any thoughts?!

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Re: Ageing foil kites

Postby jakemoore » Sun May 31, 2020 4:04 pm

Thank 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 2004. 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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Re: Ageing foil kites

Postby tkaraszewski » Sun May 31, 2020 5:28 pm

jakemoore wrote:
Sun May 31, 2020 4:04 pm
Thank 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.
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:

Image

I've self-resuced into the beach with it semi-full of water a couple of times, which I feel like must be bad for it, because just trying to move it when it's got water in it puts a ton of stress on everything.

But the kite and fabric still seem quite good. It still holds air quite well and doesn't deflate quickly. I have had one small repair done to it where a seam tore, and I've puit spinnaker tape over a few small holes in it that I'm sure are the result of those unfriendly launch sites. I think the bridles are a bit out of tune, and I'm not sure exactly how to fix that (the long mixer test adjutsment still hasn't quite straitened it out).

Overall I've been quite happy with it and as my riding style has evolved, it's become my favorite kite for under 20 knots (on a hydrofoil).
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Re: Ageing foil kites

Postby slide » Sun May 31, 2020 7:32 pm

I have a speed2 10metre delux black and gold , and I have flown this again and again and some more and the material is holding up very well- Is the new soul material not as strong as the old delux material then

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Re: Ageing foil kites

Postby neilhapgood » Sun May 31, 2020 8:33 pm

I haven't had any problems with it at all and it still flies great and holds air really well. It is my first foil kite so I am not sure if it makes a great difference once the material loses its crinkle or if you can still get years from it at this point?

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Re: Ageing foil kites

Postby wheat » Mon Jun 01, 2020 12:10 am

I am interested in hearing real world results.

I stumbled across this video from OurKiteLife. At 4:00min, they are interviewing Armin Harich, founder of flysurfer, and discussing fabric porosity
He states the older material in FS kites had a 500 hour life. The PU silicone material in the soul kites has a 2500 hour life.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYXqPgO0Dc4

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Re: Ageing foil kites

Postby TomW » Wed Jun 10, 2020 10:00 am

i have a Ozone Hyperlink V1 that has 250+ hours on it. Use it a lot. Ive noticed the fabric is somewhat looser, softer, and does not repel water well.
So today i am coating with Grangers Fabosil waterproofing. after coating one side and only an hour drying i can tell its going to help. Wonder how well it will work on water and how long it will last..
Figure the 30€ is worth it if i can get another year out of it.

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Re: Ageing foil kites

Postby nothing2seehere » Wed Jun 10, 2020 1:17 pm

Sounds interesting (though I suspect you refer to Fabsil?). Interested to hear how long it lasts. Would you mind weighing before and after to see how much extra weight it adds?

'He-who-must-be-repeatedly-banned' used to advocate watered/thinned silicon sealant. I'm guessing this helps keep it more air-tight, something that a lot of technical jacket proofers just don't need. I'm guessing a tent doesn't need that breath-ability either.

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Re: Ageing foil kites

Postby slide » Wed Jun 10, 2020 4:26 pm

fabsil the stitching is the idea as far as tents go ,so as to make it rainproof

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Re: Ageing foil kites

Postby Adventure Logs » Wed Jun 10, 2020 7:10 pm

My Soul 6m has had a lot of use and wear and tear, I am not easy on my gear. It's gotten to the point where the decals are wearing off (the "Soul" on the wing tips). The fabric for me has held up great, no noticeable airtight issues. I think the only places you can really tell is at the stitching, it's not as tight. I think though with such a airtight fabric, this isn't really a problem.
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