Last updated 7-07-2024

Make your kites last!

Proper care goes a long way.

Kiteboarding North Beach Fort Desoto.jpg__PID:e080a275-2145-460a-a54c-e883e5eda367

How do I make my Kiteboarding Kite Last?

The best thing about kitesurfing is that the wind is free, and compared to other watersports like wakeboarding, the gear is affordable. A kiteboarding kite might not cost as much as a boat, but it's still an investment, and steps should be taken to care for it to prolong its lifespan and performance.

A kite can perform well for years if well taken care of, while a poorly stored kite will cost you in repairs and time. With neglect, it's possible to reduce the performance at worst or discolor and fade your kite at best.

At Elite Watersports, we've been kiteboarding for 20 years. In our kite repair shop, we've seen almost everything regarding older kiteboarding equipment—blown-out kite bladders, worn-out canopy, micro tears that end up much bigger, eventually tearing the kite in half.

Many of these issues are preventable with small steps. Follow these guidelines to maintain your kiteboarding kite, control bar, kiteboard, and more. This guide will share how to care for your kiteboarding equipment on the beach and in short or long-term storage.

How do I make my kite last longer 2.png__PID:021cc5e8-d049-464e-ab33-77cedaa6b9d5
How to fold a kiteboarding kite.png__PID:4746b779-08d9-4ca9-b86e-11ed79a8845b
Caring for your kiteboarding kite.png__PID:0ae35fc2-4746-4779-88d9-9ca9786e11ed
Store your kiteboarding kite.png__PID:5fc24746-b779-48d9-9ca9-786e11ed79a8

Table Of Content

  • Kiteboarding kite Care On the Beach
  • Store your Kite after a Session.
  • How do I Store my Kiteboarding Kite Long-Term?
  • Inspect and Repair your Kite
  • Why Elite Watersports

Kiteboarding kite Care On the Beach.

Sun Exposure:
Leave your kite pumped up on the beach only as long as necessary. Limiting unnecessary exposure is the single best thing you can do for longevity. Sun and sand are abrasive; just like a person who gets too much sun, it's not good.

In warmer climates, the sun can be harsh, and the colors might fade over time. The two or three hours you are riding is not something to be concerned with, but if you leave your kite or another kite set up for several hours, your kite gets three times more exposure than it usually would. That means the fade and wear you would expect in nine years would happen in three years.

Use the shade: This step is excessive but can help if you want to keep your kites as fresh as possible for as long as possible. It's unnecessary, but you can keep unused gear out of the sun and in the shade. Avoid bringing extra gear, leaving it in the hot car, or baking in the sand if you can park your car in the shade, that will do a long way.

On a hot summer day, cars can get very hot, and extreme temperatures do put wear on gear. Bags left in the sun are prone to fade overtime.

Kitesurf Fort Desoto North Beach.png__PID:c60ae54c-e883-45ed-a367-648771d59efd

Flapping in the Sand: If your kite is flapping in the sand, it will wear down and weaken the fabric over time. Think of lightly rubbing sandpaper on it every day. It won't be noticeable for a while, but the material will be much softer and weaker over a couple of months or seasons.

Use a sand bag: If the trailing edge of the kite is flapping on the sand, weigh it down with sand or a sandbag. Kites are designed to be exposed to sun and sand, but Like sun exposure, this takes time, and you'll unnecessarily speed up the wear process.

Store your Kite after a Session.

Wrapping up your Kite Control Bar: Rince your bar with fresh water after each session and pack it away dry. Most bars won't rust, but salt water can be rough on gear, especially if it's going to be sitting for a while. Wrap your bar up neatly. Here are a few tips on wrapping kite lines up clean.

The Chicken Loop: Pull the chicken loop tight to the bar if you have a flexible main line. If not, let it dangle slightly. Do whatever makes wrapping cleanest on your specific bar.

Wrap the clutter: Gather the mainline, the trim, and the bulky parts of the lines. Some bars you can start wrapping with the line winders. With others, you might have to figure-eight the clunky parts once or twice around the bar.

Figure-Eight Wrap: When you can reach the finer lines, make a tight figure-eight pattern on the winders. This method prevents the lines from twisting and getting messy, making your next rigging session quicker and easier.

Wrap the Ends: When you reach the ends, wrap the lines around the tips of the bar. Tuck any long ends underneath to keep them secure.Secure with Bungee Line Keepers: Use bungee line keepers to ensure the lines stay in place during storage or transport.

Proper packing and storage go a long way. Make sure your kite is clean and dry. If you live somewhere with extra-fine sand, keep a towel and soft brush on hand in your vehicle. Never pack your gear wet or store it in a hot vehicle or garage longer than necessary. A well care for kite will stay cripy much longer. 

Folding your kite for longevity: 
Lay the kite out upside down and pull the deflate valve. As the air starts to escape, focus on the wingtip. Use the first strut as a straight edge and fold the kite over to push all the air from the leading edge and struts. Pay attention to the seam and ensure it's folded over neatly.

Avoid Twists: Make sure the leading edge does not twist or fold in odd ways while doing this. This is important for extending the life of the bladder. The first fold should be about the width of your kite bag. If your kite is a delta shape, the first fold will have a triangle shape. Use the trailing edge and fold the tip to the first strut. This first triangle fold, keeping the trailed edge lined up, will make the rest of the rectangular folds uniform.

Avoid Microfolds: A common mistake during packing is creating small, uneven folds in the canopy. These microfolds can cause permanent creases and wear the kite over time. To avoid this, take your time to make straight, clean folds.

Fold the Same Way: By folding your kite the same way every time, you'll notice the leading edge almost becomes 'trained.' This means the kite will naturally fall into the perfect fold with minimal effort, making the packing process faster and easier each time. As you reach the last fold and the center strut, squeeze out the remaining air and perform a tri-fold. This ensures all air is expelled and the kite is compact.

How do I store my kiteboarding kite long-term?

Take care when storing your gear.  Short term is easy but take extra steps for long-term storage. This is the time to clean, inspect and make repairs if they are needed. 

Temperature is critical:
Keep your kite in a climate-controlled room if possible. A temperature between 45 F and 79 F is fine. Kites can handle weather extremes, and we use them in the snow or on hot days in the sun. That's not a concern. This issue is that excessive heat in storage is bad for the materials over time.

Picture a wet kite sitting in a 100-degree car or garage for days or weeks. That is going to wear the glue and other materials excessively.

Many of our bladder repairs are from a kite left sitting for extended periods baking in a hot Florida Garage over the summer.

Use the Kitebag: Keep your kites in their corresponding bags and put the bar in the special pockets. If the kite bag doesn't have a pocket, keeping the bar on top of the kite in the main compartment is fine.

Clean the kiteboard: Use fresh water and rinse off the salt and sand from the board. Pay extra attention to the screws and any metal componets. Use a towel and dry the board off.

Use a Board Bag: When transporting and storing your kiteboard, keep it in a bag. Most gear gets scratched in the car, not on the beach. Kiteboards are an investment, and you should take the extra steps to keep them looking nice.

Buy a kiteboard bag here.

Kite storage: Your kite should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. UV rays can degrade the fabric and weaken the lines. Use our tips from short-term storage and keep the kite somewhere climate-controlled. Avoid Damp Areas: Moisture is your kite's enemy. Choose a storage spot free from dampness to prevent mold and mildew. Use a dehumidifier if your garage, attic, or basement gets humid.

Check up on it: Even during the off-season, it's a good idea to periodically check your kite and other equipment. Kites left in storage for years might or might not have issues. Pump the kite up every six months. This way, the bladders will not stick together for years.

Long-term kiteboarding storage:
Clean Your Kite Thoroughly: It's essential to clean your kite properly before storing it for a long time. Saltwater, sand, and debris can damage it over time.

Rinse with Fresh Water: Rinse your kite with fresh water to remove salt and sand. Pay special attention to seams, valves, and any areas where debris can accumulate.

Dry Completely: Make sure your kite is completely dry before storing it. Moisture can lead to mold and mildew. You can use a towel and leave it in the grass in the sun to evaporate all the water.

Fold Neatly: Use our tips from earlier and fold the kite well. This folding method keeps the kite fabric crispy longer and prevents unsightly micro folds.

Inspect and Repair: Now is a great time to inspect your kite for wear from the season. If you find anything, you can address it now rather than later. It's no fun to pull a kite from storage and miss a few sessions waiting for

Look for small tears: Inspect for worn-out areas, small holes or damaged valves. Kites can get micro holes from shells or sharp plants over time. These holes are easy to miss and can be there for weeks to months without issue. As you crash your kite repeatedly, these micro holes can get bigger or even tear your kite unexpectedly.

Repair: Repair any issues immediately to prevent them from worsening. Use a kite repair kit to patch small tears or holes.

Leaks: Check that the Bladders are not leaking. Spray your kite with soapy water and look for bubbles. If you see any, you'll likely need to patch or replace the bladder.

We fix kites! use our repair service here. 

Buy patches and repair kits here. 

Why Elite Watersports.

Choosing the right kitesurfing gear involves understanding your riding goals and options and testing them for yourself. Leveraging the shop's local expertise is imperative, as they have years of experience trying different gear.

 It's tempting to talk with random people on the beach or online, but chances are they are too hyped about their tribe to look objectively at gear. You can learn a lot from talking with everyone but try to see things for yourself with unbiased eyes. Always try kites when shops and brands put on demos so you can stay well-rounded and knowledgeable.

In 2024, we live in a time of abundance; all kites from major brands are great but have their own flavor. The only essential brand loyalty is your community and finding what works best for you.

Where can I buy a kiteboarding kite?

The expert team at Elite Watersports is here to serve. If you have any kiteboarding related questions call us. We can build custom kiteboarding packages, book kiteboarding lessons or simply offer helpful advice. We're your one stop shop for kiteboarding knowledge.
Swing by the shop and you can try on different kiteboarding harnesses and more. 

If you need help deciding on your first kiteboarding kite give Elite Watersports a call. We're happy to set you up with your first kiteboarding kite.



Rygo Profile.jpg__PID:5d039a79-240c-47cc-a20b-f005324f9f96

Ryan "Rygo" Goloversic



Store your kiteboarding gear

Want To learn more about kiteboarding?

Follow us to receive the latest update on our journey experience