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Repairing foil kites?

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Repairing foil kites?

Postby swimmer » Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:54 pm

So I have repaired many LEI kite canopies using ripstop sail tape and then 3 step zig-zag stitching it over; is this an appropriate method to repair foil kites too?
Or should the tape method be avoided as the tape tends to pucker with time?

What are water foil kite skins made from: ripstop nylon or polyester?
Last edited by swimmer on Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Repairing foil kites?

Postby jakemoore » Tue Aug 27, 2019 4:06 pm

Mostly polyurethane coated nylon, depends on brand.

Ripstop tape is fine, often without sewing.

It may not stick to some silnylons.

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Re: Repairing foil kites?

Postby Jyoder » Tue Aug 27, 2019 4:58 pm

Since the word “foil” has swamped search results toward hydrofoil and not foil kites, it’s getting harder to find info on foil kites. Any good links on how to approach sewing repairs, ripped seams, bridle anchors?

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Re: Repairing foil kites?

Postby edt » Tue Aug 27, 2019 5:14 pm

just sew it. fabric repair choice is up to you, try to use something lighter than you would use on a tube kite if it's possible that's all. Attachment points, seams, cells it's just a sewing job. set a zig zag pattern on the machine, poly thread the usual. On a tube kite there are several places where you have a lot of stress on the kite so you have to be careful to make the repair strong but a foil kite loads pretty evenly on the whole kite so you can use lighter fabric to repair than you would with a tube kite.
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Re: Repairing foil kites?

Postby elguapo » Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:22 pm

i used a gortex repair patch on a small puncture once... worked well. complete forgot it was there
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Re: Repairing foil kites?

Postby Jyoder » Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:04 pm

I have some #69 poly thread and 110/18 needles. Is that overkill for the lighter foil kite material?

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Re: Repairing foil kites?

Postby swimmer » Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:10 pm

Thanks for the good info. The repair is for a customer's kite with a torn attachment point and seam so i am trying to do the cleanest job possible. I may need to sew a little strip of fabric along where the tear is uneven/warped before resewing everything. It looks like a straight forward job but just wanted to make sure that i would be using "acceptable" materials and repair methods. :D
jakemoore wrote: Mostly polyurethane coated nylon, depends on brand.

Ripstop tape is fine, often without sewing.

It may not stick to some silnylons.
Interesting to know they are made from nylon. I would think foil kites are made from polyester since poly doesn't absorb water, stretch and has better UV resistance than nylon.

Jyoder wrote: Since the word “foil” has swamped search results toward hydrofoil and not foil kites, it’s getting harder to find info on foil kites. Any good links on how to approach sewing repairs, ripped seams, bridle anchors?
I might make a video of a repair on a trainer kite and post it
Jyoder wrote: I have some #69 poly thread and 110/18 needles. Is that overkill for the lighter foil kite material?
#69 Polyester would probably be overkill but it would work if you have nothing else. If you are using quality bonded #69 poly, then you can can size down to a 100/16 or even a 90/14 needle to reduce the hole size.
I mainly use #46 poly and 90/14 needles for LEI kite canopy repairs.
Last edited by swimmer on Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Repairing foil kites?

Postby edt » Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:43 am

I've torn attachment points before, just cut out a bit of nylon from a webbing and hand sewed a new attachment, as it's a small enough job not to need the machine. Repair like that is almost always stronger than the original. I usually use ripstop of some kind to fix the actual fabric but if you have some polyester fabric around that matches color better you can use that too. It sounds like you might be doing more repairs than this so remember that blown out cells are the most common repair on a foil kite, but usually you don't have to rip open a seam you can almost always get to the problem by turning the kite cells inside out.

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Re: Repairing foil kites?

Postby joriws » Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:59 am

Foil kites should be repaired by using tape or glueing a fabric patch inside the kite. You are sort of fighting to keep kite as airtight as possible for best internal pressure so sewing with a needle opens new holes. No need to sew patches but sure if bridle attachment point is ripped, then you tape & sew it internally at kite. Flysurfer Lotus fabric needs it's own special tape to fix. Other Flysurfer models just use glue like liquisole to attach the fabric. Other foil brands don't know.

With LEI kite highly (compared to foil kites) pressurized bladder tries to seek weakest point on fabric and burst it open and explode. That is why you need enforcing of ripstop patch.
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Re: Repairing foil kites?

Postby Jyoder » Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:56 pm

Doable?
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