It's that time of year. The wind is beginning to pick up, the sun is out & the water is crystal clear and warm. But.....Your kite has been in storage for a few months and before you head out for your first big session, it might be time to do a little maintenance.
Things to Check
Check your kite for small holes. If there are any pin holes, patch them now with some sail repair tape.
Check the stitching on the leading edge & struts. Is it worn? Are there any loose threads? If you are not sure, bring your kite in for a check up in store.
Check your pulleys, leader lines & pigtails for general wear. Ensure the pulleys are running freely and there is no fraying of the attachments on the kite.
Check your bar. Does the release work? Does the depower/trim rope need replacing? Are the lines in good order?
Check the kite pumps up. It might sound simple, but you would be surprised how many people get caught out at the beginning of the season. Some older model kites that have been in storage might have valve leaks and it's the worst thing to find when you rush down to the water & pump up on that perfect day only to find your kite won't hold air. While checking valves, check hoses, hose clamps & valve connections for leaks, damage or missing zip ties (collars).
Need a New Kite?
The most cost effective time we have found to change your kite over; especially if you kite regularly, is after 2 full seasons. This is around the time you might find you need to replace depower ropes, lines, wearing parts like pulleys etc. Make these our problem, trade in your kite while it still has a good resale value and grab the latest gear for trouble free kiting this coming summer.
Alternatively, add a smaller kite to the quiver to take the load off your main kite. We have a good selection of used kites to choose from but even better, there are often some great clearance bargains this time of year as the new season equipment arrives.
Grab your board and a screwdriver. Tighten all your fin screws, pad screws and generally take a close look at your inserts, pads and straps for wear and tear. There is nothing worse than having the best session of the season ruined by a broken or unattached foot strap.
Surfboards need maintenance too. Strip off the wax and start fresh, replace damaged deck pads and check your fin boxes for any signs of stress. Why not try out a new set of fins this season for improved performance and snappier bottom turns. Fins really do make a difference in the surf.
Harness, leashes & other equipment
Check the cleats on your harness. It's been left unused for a while and the cleats might be seized up with salt and corrosion. Many models have replacement cleats as spare parts.
Does your safety leash work? Is it full of sand and need a good soak? Test it out & invest in a new leash if you need to. It's what ensures your kite doesn't end up in the trees if you have to go to safety in an emergency, but it also needs to work properly in the surf in case you have to let the whole kite go to avoid damage in a wave.
Check out a few of our most recent wear and tear discoveries.
Your kiting gear is like your car. It needs regular maintenance to offer you trouble free use. Your car needs a service and oil change to ensure it won't let you down when you really need it. If you are not sure where to start with kite equipment maintenance, then bring your gear into the shop & get the team in store to take a look for you.
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