There's nothing worse than missing out on a session because your gear is being repaired. Here are a few simple tips that might keep you on the water:
Number One. Storage
Never keep your gear in a hot car. It can cause glue to melt. Almost everything is glued, including board laminates, bar rubber, kite seams, bladders, valves - it can cause a lot of problems. Its a difficult repair too. Park in the shade, or keep your gear at home!
Number Two. On The Inflate.
Before pumping up your kite, dust sand off valves and nozzles, to prevent any getting inside the bladders. This can really affect kite performance.
Once deflated, close any valves to stop sand making its way into the bladder once in the bag. We all know that sand can get anywhere.
Number Three. Respect.
Before rigging, walk around the set up area, and remove any sharp shells, driftwood, or rocks. Your gear will thank you, and other kiters will love you. Tangled lines leading to a loss of kite control, ending in a kite dragged along the beach is a common cause of damage.
On the water, always be aware of those around you. Stay away from shallow water, or exposed rocks. I know- Nick Jacobson makes it look really easy, but let's leave that to him.
Always have a buddy to launch and land your kite, and before launching, check that lines aren't crossed. Take your time, and get it right.
Number 4. Maintenance.
Keep pulleys lubricated. Check lines every time you lay them out. Get yourself a roll of repair tape and some isopropyl alcohol wipes- any time you spot a pinhole on your canopy, quickly clean it off, and apply a patch to both sides. A small patch will stay stuck for years on a nice clean area. I use this tape. Costs next to nothing, and lasts ages.
Most importantly, every time you pack up, rinse your bar- test the safety mechanism, and give it a good wash.
We'd like to get your opinion on something.
Kite washing, who's in to it? The best comment earns a roll of my favourite repair tape.