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Longevity of the FS Soul

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RomeUtah
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Longevity of the FS Soul

Postby RomeUtah » Sun Oct 01, 2023 4:08 pm

Curious how many hours everyone puts on their FS foil kites before selling or trading up? What kind of keep up do you keep on the kite? Looking to upgrade, wanting to upgrade, but really don't think I am needing to upgrade.
I have had my Soul 15m for 4+ years with more than 300-400 hours on it or more both snow and water. Hard to judge at this point.
I have changed out two of the yellow lines in the bridles and 2 z lines, otherwise, have not done any thing else on it besides a new bar.
Curious what everyone's experience has been like with these kites for longevity and durability.
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Chriz76
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Re: Longevity of the FS Soul

Postby Chriz76 » Sun Oct 01, 2023 5:31 pm

RomeUtah wrote:
Sun Oct 01, 2023 4:08 pm
Curious how many hours everyone puts on their FS foil kites before selling or trading up? What kind of keep up do you keep on the kite? Looking to upgrade, wanting to upgrade, but really don't think I am needing to upgrade.
My Soul 12 is about three years old. I am really happy with the quality. Also replaced the yellow spare lines.

I am using it for light wind foiling on a gusty lake.Recently had some issues when the wind twists and a very heavy gust hits the kite that the leading edge sometimes folds down and the kite goes down. The mixer is adjusted correctly but I meassured some of the lines and they shrank up to 5%. C and the outer lines the most. Did you experience that, too? I fixed this and hope it will fly like new again.

I like the robustness and that you can fix things on your own like some small holes that I had.

But I guess it is not holding air like on it's first day. When I am now 15 minutes waiting for wind while the kite is in the water it takes some time to get the water out. I think it might be the fabric and/or the seams that get worse. What do you think?

I am currently selling it (for a good price if someone is interested in europe :-)) because of our local conditions. When the wind drops to zero it is easier with a tube kite to wait for the next gust. Also thinking about buying a lighter foil kite for more low end.
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edt
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Re: Longevity of the FS Soul

Postby edt » Sun Oct 01, 2023 9:03 pm

if you use it a lot it won't last more than 3 years before it starts leaking badly. You'll see it get "Big Ears" you know how paragliders use that to brake, but it won't be because you are trying to brake but because there's no more internal pressure thanks to the kite aging. 4 years and 300-400 hours is great. Keep using it if it hasn't gone bad yet. Tube and foil kites seem to age at roughly the same rate, though they have different problems. Tube kites have valves the delam and the canopy wears out from UV, foil kites the kite quits maintaining pressure and parts of the bridle wear out.

If you are looking for an excuse to upgrade you won't get a reason from me. If it works keep using it.

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Re: Longevity of the FS Soul

Postby JakeFarley » Mon Oct 02, 2023 12:05 am

I've had my 12m Soul for 4 years as I bought it used in 2019. I replaced the depower line on the bar as it was pretty badly frayed and sealed the seams on the top of the canopy. It flies well, but I don't know how many hours it has on it. On the other hand I've had my Speed 5 since 11/2016 and the only thing I did to it was replace the depower line on the bar recently. It is my go-to light wind kite.

For maintenance on both kites I periodically do the mixer tests on both kites and check the line lengths. After every session I rinse out the bar and lines with fresh water and occasionally the mixer pulleys (I check to make sure they run freely before flying the kites).

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Re: Longevity of the FS Soul

Postby Smeagle » Mon Oct 02, 2023 8:18 am

It depends on your usage...

My first Pansh Kite, Aurora 2, lived for >300 hours in ~2 years, most of them in strong sunlight (thermal spot in the mountains) until the material got more and more porose. It started to loose pressure first in high wind, later also in mid range. I gave it to a friend and it is still in use, but it works only in low wind, for Snow/Landkiting.

I guess (or would hope) the materials of Soul are better than the cheap stuff used for Pansh Kites? But I heard from "power users", on Soul problems do come also from the seams, not only the material, and after 1 year of _strong_ use, they sell the kites because they are not as direct and pressured as when new. Sorry, don't know the hours.

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Re: Longevity of the FS Soul

Postby nothing2seehere » Tue Oct 03, 2023 12:20 pm

In the video with the Kitelife Canadian youtube vloggers, Armin claimed the fabric in the soul was good for 1500 hours. I think the older fabric in the Speed 5 etc was about half that. This from memory though but it was definitely considerably more than 400 hours.

He talked about a porosity test (basically sucking air through the fabric) to check it (you shouldn't be able to suck air through the fabric)

From talking to people at the beach, it seems the bridles are the limiting factor. I know some who have put a fresh bridle back on with really positive results. I think it depends though on your beach. If you have a lot of grass to rig up on then you would probably see lower stretch than if you have fine sand.

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Re: Longevity of the FS Soul

Postby Smeagle » Wed Oct 04, 2023 2:39 pm

nothing2seehere wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2023 12:20 pm
In the video with the Kitelife Canadian youtube vloggers, Armin claimed the fabric in the soul was good for 1500 hours. I think the older fabric in the Speed 5 etc was about half that. This from memory though but it was definitely considerably more than 400 hours.

He talked about a porosity test (basically sucking air through the fabric) to check it (you shouldn't be able to suck air through the fabric)
I know, the material is NOT porose. But still pressure is not as good as new. I was told the seams are working and get less air tight. But this is not first hand, so I cannot be sure it is true.
nothing2seehere wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2023 12:20 pm
From talking to people at the beach, it seems the bridles are the limiting factor. I know some who have put a fresh bridle back on with really positive results. I think it depends though on your beach. If you have a lot of grass to rig up on then you would probably see lower stretch than if you have fine sand.
Sure, bridles have to be worked every few hundert hours for sure. But that's not too difficult to do an can be checked.

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Re: Longevity of the FS Soul

Postby Topaz » Wed Oct 04, 2023 3:21 pm

Smeagle wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2023 2:39 pm
Sure, bridles have to be worked every few hundert hours for sure. But that's not too difficult to do an can be checked.
How do I know if the bridle needs attention?
I just got a used 10m Soul. Previous owner told me he used it for a season at the great lakes and not much since he also had a 8m and a 6m,
The kite looks very good and it flies well as far as I can tell, but this is my first and only foil kite, so I can't be sure.

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Re: Longevity of the FS Soul

Postby Smeagle » Wed Oct 04, 2023 4:11 pm

Topaz wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2023 3:21 pm
How do I know if the bridle needs attention?
I just got a used 10m Soul. Previous owner told me he used it for a season at the great lakes and not much since he also had a 8m and a 6m,
The kite looks very good and it flies well as far as I can tell, but this is my first and only foil kite, so I can't be sure.
As soon as you get problems like wing collapses, front stalls etc... Or you feel the kite is not as good as it was when it was new... ;)

many things you can fix by changing the mixer, as most load is on A it will shrink less than B,C and Z, this you can catch/fix with long mixer test. But after some time the bridle gets unbalanced, there is more force in center than in tips, so lines shrink less in center than in tips. So if you got problems with tips, you need to check the bridle.
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Re: Longevity of the FS Soul

Postby edt » Wed Oct 04, 2023 4:59 pm

the thing about the bridle is that it is self balancing, so it is pretty good at distributing the load even if both the long and short mixer fails and you can just fly the kite and figure out where to put the adjusters. So the amount of stretch doesn't matter too much if you're able to eyeball the kite and figure out where to adjust your bridle. The really worn bridles will snap tho that's when you need to replace the lines. There needs to be a video where it shows how the kite is affected by all the various bridle changes so you can learn when to shorten or lengthen a, b, c, z just by watching how the kite flies, but as far as I know there isn't. I would make one and might make one someday but I'm no foil expert like I know there are on the forum. If I made this video I would just take out the kite, shorten and lengthen each line one by one and show how the kite flies in each case, a thru z. Though of course they are all connected so changing one affects the other but still it would be a great video for how to adjust the mixer by feel and watching the kite fly.
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