Post general kiteboarding discussion topics here!
What period of time do you consider a useful life span for your control bar and lines? To put another way, for how long do you use your bar (assuming regular use, riding at least once or twice a week) before you start worrying that things are wearing to the point where you need to make a change? A year? Two? More? At that point, do you upgrade as needed, replacing individual flight lines or the trim line, or do you just invest in a whole new bar? How often do you upgrade because stuff is wearing out vs. there's a new model with features you simply must have?
I try to replace my bar & lines every year, two years max. But I ride between 80 and 100 times a year, mostly in the ocean where a broken line, swivel, pigtail, etc. could be really BAD...
I suppose one could simply replace the lines without changing the bar, but the kite bridles are made of the same stuff and they wear too, so I also change kites every couple of years, to keep everything as strong as possible.
The kite is your friend, especially in the surf, as it will get you out of some gnarly situations. As we all know, things go from 'all good' to 'I'm totally screwed' really fast in this sport. Keeping my equipment fresh makes me feel like I can rely on it when things get intense.
Same as Kirk bc riding mostly coast and/or crissy
If 3rd / Alameda / Sherman was main spot I would push the wear a little longer as the swim in isn't as bad
You got me interested with the term "useful life", as that's a catch phrase in my field (reliability). The common definition of useful life is the length of time till there is a 1% chance of failure in a year (keep in mind that's for consumer electronics, inverters, solar panels...). [Geek alert!]
I'm in agreement with the others who already chimed in that you get 1 or 2 seasons before your useful life is up.
Of course there are things you can do to extend this period:
1. wash your lines after use. Sand is abrasive and will wear on moving parts
2. Don't ride with lines crossed for any longer than absolutely necessary (they will wear on each other)
3. replace items at first signs of wear (especially depower line that goes thru bar)
4. Don't crash your kite or lines on rocks (seems obvious, but those barnacles are hella sharp)
5. don't leave your lines laid out before after kiting (esp at Racetrack where people will drive/ride over them)
My rule-of-thumb is I'll do 3 repairs/preventative maintenance on something like a bar before giving up on it. After 3 repairs you are getting into the wearout period and will just have to deal with frequent repairs.
Well Rob, that's certainly one way to keep anyone from buying YOUR used gear here on the BAK classifieds!
The bar itself will last a long time. I'm on season 3 on my main one. Everything gets replaced as it shows signs of wear.
Trim line: 3-4 times a season at $5
Leader lines: once a season at less than $10
QR safety line 1-2 times a season at $5
Flying lines: got two seasons out of the last ones but that ended in a swim at Waddell so now I'll likely replace them annually if not before just as a precaution.
Still on the original trim strap, floats, and chicken loop/release as they are in fine shape. Will ride the bar until the grips come off.
Mostly coast riding, many days a year (never counted).
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The bar goes forever if its well made. Only stupid materials will break in case they safed some bucks and used aluminum instead of stainless steel.
Lines on the otherhand are A clear consumeable device which need replacement. Jsut watch your lines( all lines) And replace then when they look frail.
This got me going for many years now. Main line are replaced typically one a year or lAter or earlejr, depending onhow much you ride.
I am up for a set of new main lines. ... G
Interesting feedback from all---thanks! Sounds like the general consensus is that the easy-wear stuff (lines) should be replaced every two years max, or even a year or less depending on usage.
I bought a commercially-packaged trim line last year and it cost me $25 or $30. The DIY route obviously is a lot cheaper. So the question is, where and how does one gain the skills to set up the lines, get all the attachment points modified correctly, etc. ?