There are always questions going around on how to care for your kite. While caring for your kite involves very little maintenance, following a few simple guidelines will increase the longevity of your kite.

1. Sand. The number one enemy. Before packing down your kite, be sure to wipe off all the sand from your kite. Sand causes abrasive wear on kite materials and can result in worn through kite cloth.

2. Don’t pack down a wet kite. Washing your kite isn’t really that necessary – but if you do decide to wash your kite every now and then make sure your kite dries properly before packing it down. Packing down a wet kite can cause mildew and smelly odors, and in some cases even cause the colors to run.

3. Rig and pump up on the beach. Walking towards the beach from a soft lawn usually means you’ll encounter tar, lamp poles, dustbins and walkways on the way to the beach – all posing a threat to your kite. Kite lines snag around poles, kites scrape on tar – this all adds up to unnecessary hard wear on your kite. Rigging on the beach will keep your kite in much better shape in the long run.

4. Avoid Self Launching. Self launching on bows and C shape kites add a lot of wear to your kite in the long run. Each time you self launch your kite, contact is being made when your kite briefly scrapes along the surface of the beach.

5. Kite pump. When packing down your kite pump, remove the hose and store it seperately. Storing the hose with the pump normally puts the hose at risk from bending and forming holes on the bend, causing a leaky hose.

6. Bar and lines. Keep your lines knot free, and wash your bar in fresh water after each session. A knot in a line weakens the line by more than 50% and puts you at risk for a line break. Washing your bar in fresh water prevents the salt water from eroding your lines.

7. Avoid bladder twists. Make sure your kite is laid out flat before you start pumping up. Letting your kite unroll itself while you pump up is a bad habit as this causes bladder twists to form in your leading edge.

Also make sure to not put the pump nozzle too far down your kite valves as this stretches the valves.

8. Use your kite bag. Don’t store or transport your kite without its bag, especially when it’s in your car. Board fins and any other objects easily pierce through kite material. Use your bag to keep your kite at bay from sharp objects.

9. Waves. If you drop your kite in the waves, let go of your kite. If you don’t the waves will stretch your material, and if the wave is big enough it will tear your kite. As long as you put tension between yourself and the kite there is a good chance that the wave will tear your kite – let go and enjoy the swim.

10. Sun and wind. Don’t ever leave your kite flapping in the wind, and don’t leave it in the sun. Too much sun causes your kite to become brittle and loose its color, whilst a flapping kite causes surface fatigue.

For many different reviews on kites, boards, and accessories check out the Analyze This section of The Kiteboarder Magazine.

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