Leading edge bladder repair

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Leading edge bladder repair

Postby Serge » Mon Aug 30, 2004 5:04 pm


leading edge bladder of my kite has a leak. Not a big one, but just enough to make kite unusable. I found two holes pushing bladder under the water (at the Shore Line). But it still loses pressure.

Does anybody have bright ideas how to find the hole? Additional bonus if it is possible to do in a one bedroom apartment :-) (Though invitations to a big private pool can be accepted, too :-) )

Pushing bladder under the water doesn't always work (for LE) - at the ends of the bladder pressure is not enough - if I would pump it more - it can blow in the middle.

What methods did I use (except pushing bludder under the water):

1. Pump bladder inside the LE strut and listen. Sometimes you can hear the leak and it will give you an exact place. Now bladder can be removed and water or soap can be used.

2. Now I'm thinking about putting some (a few galons of) water inside the bladder at home. In such way I wouldn't need a lot of space and will be able to create enough pressure to find a hole. Removing the water doesn't look like a big problem.

Any other bright ideas?

Have a nice day,


Use dish soap

Postby jstjohn3 » Mon Aug 30, 2004 10:01 pm

Get a bucket of water with dish soap in it. Spread the soapy water over the bladder while carefully watching for bubbles to rise. When you see bubbles rise, there's your hole. Mark it and patch. Good Luck.

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Re: Use dish soap

Postby Serge » Wed Sep 01, 2004 10:19 am

My question was what to do with insufficient pressure and big size of the bladder. Thanks anyway. I found one of possible ways. May be it can be useful for somebody else:

1. get LE bladder and roll it sides to the center. pump 2-3 feets of it; now it's size is manageble and you can create pessure by rolling sides closer to each other;
2. put it into a tub and watch for bubbles; roll sides to the left(right) and examine a next segment of the bladder;

Postby BladderBoy » Wed Sep 01, 2004 11:44 am

I have found the immersion technique too cumbersome, and innaccurate.

I use a similar soap technique to jst. Inflate the entire bladder on a non-puncturable surface (like the rolled out kite), and using a spray bottle spray soap from one end to the other. With the bladder taken out of the LE you can over inflate it a bit for little extra pressure. If you spray it well bubbles will appear with the tinniest leak. Circle the offending area(s) with a black sharpie. Dry, repair, reinflate to check with soap spray, insert (always the most fun part!).

Hope it helps. Works great for me.

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