Greenturtle wrote: ↑
Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:36 pm
It would totally work. By far most whitewater rafts etc are bladderless with all glued or welded seams and they are tough as hell. If the material weight was scaled down and optimized to kite lightness etc it could be great.
I don't think you can say: it works for boats so it will works for kites.
Not only are the weight constraints totally different, the material is different AND types of forces on whitewhater raft and kite are not comparable.
You need to attach the bridles somewhere to the leading edge and that needs to hold a LOT of pulling load.
Same for the actual canopy to leading edge attachment, lots of pulling load although probably less extreme / problematic.
You might really need stitching through the material to disperse that load over a wider area.
Also whitewater rafts products and lineups look totally different.
Scaling down the technology to smaller surfaces and tighter curves might be a problem.
Also guessing they only sell a few models of rafts and have those production lines running for maybe 10-20 product years if not longer.
Maybe it can be done with kites but I imagine the costs will increase significantly.
My guess is that the current system, although consisting of more pieces, is pretty cheap to do.
A factory mass-produces the bladders (I asssume some fully automated press/molding thing).
The dacron part can be sewn in any shape (unique for each kite model/size per year!) in a low-wage country with easy/familiar tech for those workers.
Moving the dacron/whatever to a new material with some high tech seaming systems that needs to be absolutely perfect each time (no leaks!) seems seriously more expensive to me.
But I don't produce kites so what do I know, maybe it is very doable