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Line and kite saftey after long term storage.

Posted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:20 pm
by Iceni

I was at one point an avid kiter. I was out on at least a couple of days a week flying, and did land-boarding and a lot of buggy work.

I flew from 2000 to about 2010. Then I moved to a more inland location, Got rid of my car, and the kites went into storage. All of my kites have been mine from new. None have repairs, none were ever abused.

The storage method was kites in there bags, having been cleaned and dried. Lines wrapped to the handles or bars, and wrapped inside the kites. Then all of the bags were placed in the loft. It's been totally dark, Cool in winter and warm in summer for them. It's been 8 years since they have seen light.

I got the kites out because we are having a reunion of kite flyers in a few months. The kites have been checked over and look as good as when they went away.

The lines look as good as when they were stored. There is a mixture of branded lines. FF, PL, Ozone, HQ. Between the kites. Some of the sets have been flow a lot, Others are situational sets like a 40M set that was for slow summer wind with the 9.0M blade.

Does anyone know how Kite lines break down over time and what I need to look for in addition to the regular inspections. The fibres look good, And the lines are free of knots and discolouration. Non of the kites were ever used on water, but I did used to fly on the beach at every opportunity.

All of my kites have the correct safety features. Kite killers, QC loops on bars, So I'm not worried about just throwing them up. When we go to the reunion I doubt any of use will do more than fly a wind appropriate kite for the day. Probably either the venom since it can cope with just about any wind, or the 9.0M blade since it's the most gentle kite capable of creating traction in a knats fart, You could skud in 0 wind by walking backwards then looping it.

The kites I've dug out for the reunion are.

Bullet 2.5, Bullet 4.5, Blade II 4.9, Blade II 9.0 with crossover.
PL venom 1 13M.

I know all of the kites very well. So there is no need to warn me about how snappy the bullet 2.5 is, Or how the blade II 4.9 can be very dangerous. The Blade 4.9 was an absolute beast for dune riding in the buggy, More time was spent holding on for dear life and keeping it low than attempting to use it for jumps... An traction monster in the right hands.

Re: Line and kite saftey after long term storage.

Posted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:45 pm
by edt
fabric lines bridles control bars will all be 100% ok none of these degrade with time.

However, all of your valves inside the bladders will have to be restuck due to plasticization migration. Pump up the kites you'll notice they all leak at the valves. It's also possible that some valves will snap off entirely (depends on the plasticizer used and how much it migrates out of the valves). there's no real danger here other than having to swim in because the kite goes flat.

Re: Line and kite saftey after long term storage.

Posted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:54 pm
by Iceni
There are no rubber valves or bladders bud.

Venom is an PL arc. 100% ripstop no bladder. The Kite inflates using a ripstop folding valve system.
The others are foils, Again no bladders.

LEI's at the time I was flying were a bit twitchy. Perfect for over water, but prone to bladder rupture over land. And since I mostly flew over land I avoided them.

You've answered my question about the lines and bridles tho. I'll give them a few goings over and check them all out in low wind conditions first, I'm not planning on sending myself into orbit making mistakes a new flyer would!

I only ever broke 1 line and that was 100% my fault right at the start of my flying.

Everything should still be safe tho. All kites have the correct brake lines and bridles. And even the FF basic bar I have has a QC chicken loop and a kite killer on the brake lines. All of the handles I have have a set of killers as well. After getting spanked once I invested in the correct saftey gear for the time period, and it's basic enough that it should all still work.

The PL bar has 2 saftey systems I think. I drops the kite to a single brake leader, the other dumps the whole kite and bar.

Re: Line and kite saftey after long term storage.

Posted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:29 pm
by edt
Oh sorry didn't remember that those were all foils. Yeah I remember the arcs. Nice kites! If you don't have any inflatables there's nothing that will wear out from being in storage. I've flown lots of old kites you should be 100% ready to go. Have fun! If it were me I would probably buy a new control bar, they are so much nicer today than they were 8 years ago. The QR's release more reliably and they are easier to put back together now. For my foils I sometimes run the quick release on a 4 line system going to a single line (makes awful spaghetti of your lines) and sometimes 5 line mode, but that requires you have the center line attachments on your foil kite.

Re: Line and kite saftey after long term storage.

Posted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:15 pm
by Iceni
I'll read up on the new safe systems then. I've seen some of the new designs already using a mechanism rather than a pulled pin.

I need a few essentials anyway like ground stakes, so I'll put an order for them into a decent shop and price up new parts if needed at the same time :D

The trick to avoiding spaghetti lines is to be sensible when selecting the days kite :D Most of the incidents I witnessed were caused by mistakes done right at the start of the session when a bigger kite was pulled out rather than working a smaller one. It's easier on land as you only have rolling resistance to break, and there is always the fear of landing head first in the dirt.

Re: Line and kite saftey after long term storage.

Posted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:40 pm
by edt
be sensible? Never!

Re: Line and kite saftey after long term storage.

Posted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:01 am
by Iceni
be sensible? Never!

When I first got the Blade 9.0 it was initially set-up as a 2 line on a bar (100cm!). Brake bridles removed, Crossover installed. I used a a few times like this then decided it wasn't fast enough without brakes.

So I put the brake bridles back on, swapped over to handles, But left the crossover on.

Well on it's maiden flight as a 4 liner we went to a kite meet up in Redcar in the NE of the UK. And Rob Hills was there as a Flexifoil sponsored rider. So I had him give the bridles a quick look to make sure they were set-up correctly. The wind was not 9.0M blade 2 weather. 20-25mph on shore smooth as butter. He looked at the bridles, Walked to the handles and launched it, Directly downwind without a care in the world... He didn't even skud on the launch....

He then stole it and went buggy jumping with my kite for a good hour before I got it back.

That was the day I realised some people have larger balls than others... And mine were not the large type :D

Re: Line and kite saftey after long term storage.

Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 9:15 am
by slide
hi there , I too have blades , and love the b2 4.9, its my fav , I have 17 in all , but never got the b2 9metre , the b2 6.4 is slow enough ,so I never got any bigger, I do have an unused cross over kit but I like the feel of handles and a roller, the b3 8.5 is my biggest blade , and if you don't have a blade3 , you are missing out b3's have huge glide , the best of all the blades ,jumps last forever

I have lots of gear and old lines , as I started in 2003 and its does not degrade in any way , and I was told by sylenz that he saw rob do a buggy jump on a blade3 10.5 and kite looped it , and he said it was the biggest jump he had seen and he had seen many , as everyone at Brancaster was jumping buggies as they all learned together ,and that's where I came in as i was learning to kite watching these guys , and I remember watching mark everitt doing a very smooth rotation and thinking ,I know how they jump , I've worked it out and that's how I learnt ,but I was landboarding

Re: Line and kite saftey after long term storage.

Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 1:28 pm
by Iceni
The crossover kit speeds up the turn speed quite a bit on the B2 series. If you have an old kit and the correct kite to put it on then I would test it with handles, The combination of the faster turn + brakes makes them liven up a fair bit.

I did try the B3's. But went with arcs instead. At the time we had a community of landboarders and I was the only buggy user. So they went through the early depower phase sabres/frenzies and most settled on the guerilla II models (they were a little slow for the buggy). I got the chance to test the Venom 1 13M and knew it was the right kite to replace everything I owned bar the bullet 2.5M, and B2 9M. Wind range and speed were easily enough for me to get traction in all wind speeds in the middle.

The B2 4.9 is also a favourite. In good conditions it was an unrivalled buggy engine for freestyle. In poor conditions it was a monster.

The B2 9M is actually bigger than the B3 10.5 It has a longer wingspan and more projected area. A totally different animal in the air.

Re: Line and kite saftey after long term storage.

Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 7:57 pm
by slide
you get the same kind of effect as the crossover kit with handles by adding some brake on the turn ,handles are my preferred choice on all blades