Maintaining your kitesurfing equipment is easy as long as you do a little bit consistently over time to avoid major problems or deteriorating your gear.
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Salt and sand can be the most abrasive substances on earth, especially when left unattended over time. They can destroy anything, including your lines, board, kite, harness, bar, and pretty much anything you bring out for a sessions, including your clothes.
Before your kitesurfing session
Before launching, remove all the sand that’s accumulated on your bar and lines. Pay special attention to high-friction areas like your bar’s center power line, pulleys, quick releases and line connection points.
Always keep your pump clean. A dirty pump will put debris straight into your bladders which, as you can imagine, is not how you want your kite bladder to be. Give the pump a few strong pumps before connecting for inflation and that’s usually enough to clean the hose’s nozzle and keep it clear of sand.
After your kitesurfing session
If your kite is wet, regardless of it’s state, let it dry before packing. You want to store it as clean as possible, which includes minimizing humidity along with all the other physical elements that might be stuck to your kite. If you can, give your kite, bar, harness and board a freshwater bath after every session. Wet gear can mildew or rust, so dry thoroughly. This’ll make sure you’re riding more and repairing less.
Did you know… the sun’s UV rays and heat exponentially impact your kiteboarding gear’s life? Storing a kite in a hot car for a day can age seals and seams by a year. Even with materials built into kites and boards to prevent UV damage, UV rays cause material breakdown. Keep your kiteboarding gear young by storing it in cool shade when you’re not riding.
Inspect thw area where you’ll be launching your kite before unpacking. Anything sharp including shells, twigs, rocks, and trash can lead to more holes, tears and breaks than anything else. If you’re in a ‘dirty’ area full of sharp edges, clear things before rigging or explore your options nearby. Also, look out for things lines can hang up on. If you snag your lines before starting it’ll get you off on the wrong foot, and at the end of the day it can leave a sour note to an otherwise awesome riding experience.
Three more tips to maintain your kitesurfing gear:
- When carrying kites in light winds, they need help avoiding the ground. Simply running will help keep everything airborne. In general, try to be gentle with your gear to prevent damage.
- Avoid using rocks (unless you have them in a protective bag) and kiteboards with sharp fins to hold down your kite.
- When turning your kite over, avoid dragging wingtips across the ground. If needed, just pinch the leading edge in to prevent dragging.