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when i came back from my last session i found something horrible on my kite. there are about 5 little cuts (less than 1 cm) on my leading edge from some nasty sea shells, the LE isn't cut through fully (still vertical fibres connecting the cut). it must have happend while the kite was secured on the ground since the holes are located near the wingtips, probably from getting dragged back and forth over the shells. i must say it was a gusty day with windspeeds ranging from 21 upto 31 knots.
so i hope some of you guys can give me some "home repair" advice on my problem since i just bought the kite 4 months ago and i don't want to spend too much in a shop again.
keep boosting... wouter
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Tears get bigger very quickly. If this was on the canopy, you might get away temporarily by sail repair stickers. On the LE I would not take the chance because it is always under stress from the tube. There are a few places that fix this type of stuff, you don't have to buy a new kite. A professional repair will either sew a patch on it or replace the damaged part.
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Elli is right. I would get it fixed before using the kite again. I'm guessing you were out at third. I have had much worse luck at Coyote Point, so much that I don't think I'll go back there. The barnacles , near the point, are like razor blades for a kite.
Elli is right about the canopy, sail repair tape works great. If the rip is bad, you could do a zigzag stitch on the tape to keep it from coming off. IMO sail repair tape eventually starts coming off (gets sand in the edges) so a zigzag stitch around the border helps to hold everything together.
For a leading edge, I would also use sail repair tape but on on both sides. This usually involves opening up the seam of the leading edge unless the rip is near a zipper. ( If opening up a seam, always remember to do a proper reverse stitch so the seams don't pop out when inflated.) It is important to put tape on the inside of the kite (don't be stingy) cause this is where most of the pressure is (otherwise your bladder will bubble out). Then I would put tape on the outside of the kite. Then I would do a zigzag stitch to secure and make a sandwich of the sail repair tapes. And lastly I would put Type A repair tape over your sail repair tape (available from boardsports). This stuff is really tacky and stays on like a champ. It will keep your sail repair tape on and act to make your leading edge water tight again. I've tried just using soley Type A on the outside, but it is too stretchy by itself, so some bubbling occurs..
If the rip on the leading edge is not that bad to begin with (like you described), Type A works like a champ to patch up a hairline rip. But if the leading edge is completely severed it will only get worse and the above detailed repair should be done.
You can do all this with a needle and thread (upholstry thread works well), it just takes a lot of patience. If you have access to a sewing machine, just be sure to use a strong needle (universal or leather gauge). And practice on something, cause you have to fine tune the tension in the machine. And always use a new needle when using a sewing machine. And beware of stickiness from the repair tape getting onto the needle, rubbing alcohol works well to get the gunk off. And remember to be patient.
4 posts • Page 1 of 1
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