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Super cold temps causing kite failures?

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Super cold temps causing kite failures?

Postby droffats » Sun Feb 04, 2007 4:25 am

I've heard speculation that the super cold temps can cause:

A: bladders to burst

B: Kite fabric to rip months latter.

Anyone have any experience with either?

On A, the kites weren't crashed hard. It was one of those "I was just flying along" and the kite got soft.

On B, a guy told me several kites that had been used one winter when temps were often below 15 degrees all had catastrophic tears etc. that summer. Many different brands, foils too. The guy is extremely reputable and a nearly pro rider. But without other experiences, I'm not sure I can draw a direct connection from the winter riding to the kite failures.



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Postby Craz Z » Sun Feb 04, 2007 8:04 am

Sorry This sounds like a myth to me.

A. IF you crash it and its cold you have just as good of a chance of breaking the bladders as you would on a beach. Actually Sand that made its way under the dacron material would be far more abrasive than anything the cold could throw. The materials definetly change and get much stiffer during xtreme colds.

B. The Fabric usually will not rip unless something other than the air has touched it. I would defnitely watch for stoppers to rip off in the cold they can break very easily.

At the kite rodeo in montana we were flying in -20+ temps I've flown in the summer and winter on my same set of kites no probs.

I think it really boils down to how you treat your equipment. A pro rider wants to be safe but do they care about every small detail NO just ask for another kite. Most pro's are fitted with free kites if they make it a season they are dumped on the open market as a Pro-demo kite.

Just be careful leave you're main struts inflated from a warm enviroment if possible then go rip it up dude.

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Postby SD » Sun Feb 04, 2007 4:17 pm

Sounds like a myth to me too. I've flown my foils countless times over the last 3yrs below 10°F with no issues and the inflatable kiters I know that do the same have no issues like you describe.

I could see how the burst strength of the bladder might be reduced slightly as the elasticity of the material will be somewhat reduced by extreme cold, but this would apply only in high impact crash scenarios, not just flying around.

I bought my first LEI about a week ago and flew it for the 1st time at around 5°F. I noticed the stopper ball didn't seal all the way from the cold (cap took care of the rest). This didn't suprise me.

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Postby sq225917 » Mon Feb 05, 2007 1:58 am

if your canopy gets iced up and you crash hard then the edge of any ice can act as a really big stress riser, potnetial leading to later failures.

but theres no inherant temp problems with kite fabrics, we test all our snowkites down to -26.

the valves get stiffer, thats it....

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Postby bay surfer » Mon Feb 05, 2007 2:42 am

First, who would want to fly a LEI when it gets real cold thats when a foil is the best. I hate taking my gloves off when it gets below 5 degrees F.

Two, I never had a LEI Bladder blow when its cold, But I do know Nipples are stiff, and other's have broken,split them.

Three, leading edge does wear when LEI is riding face down on a screw.

Personal experience all my LEI's are used on snow every one has never failed the next summer.

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Postby wreknball » Mon Feb 05, 2007 5:06 am

I have had couple of things go wrong with my inflatables just because of cold temps, If your kite isn't clean of snow when you put it away it can cause the kite material to thaw then freeze togehter in little folds on different areas of the kites, There usually small and hard to notice when your pumping up, but after the kite fills with wind the material rips apart leaving little tears all over,

and if your a guy that leaves your struts inflated watch out if your going form cold air to warm air, if you leave struts inflated and your car heats up they can burst,

Also, I have had vavles fail when it was -15 below, They get pretty brittle when it gets that cold,

My suggestion, Get a foil for days like that, you'll never have a problem.

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myth buster

Postby BK » Tue Feb 06, 2007 3:38 am

nah, at least not one failure due to cold since '02 with lots of snowkiting on nothing but blimps. In fact, Bolt has kited the last 7 days straight (I caught the first five with him) in nothing but wicked cold single digit stuff with wind gusting into the 40's. Not exagerating and here is video from nothing but the last 6 days: ... entry14674

And I can tell you that the gloves don't come off and not a nipple is touched with the Airlock Valve and SPRINT system.

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