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What To Look For When Shopping For A Second Hand Kite

Kites vary in price from cheap to very expensive. Brand new kites, in particular, can be costly. Fortunately, various avenues offer second-hand kites. This article takes an in-depth look at the world of second-hand kites. 

When shopping for a second-hand kite, kites that have been in use for more than five years should be avoided. Older kite-flying equipment will be difficult to fly and may require spare parts shortly after purchase.

How Do You Know If A Kite Is In Good Condition

Kiting is a popular sport that brings joy to people of all ages. The first step newbies take is getting a kite of their own. Brand new kites, however, can be costly. It doesn’t mean that those on a budget can’t enjoy the sport. The availability of second-hand kiting equipment makes this possible. 

However, aspiring kite flyers need to do their diligence before purchasing second-hand kites. It is to avoid the pitfalls of buying kites that aren’t brand new. Identifying the condition in which the kite is in is necessary. 

How old is the kite at hand? That is the first question one should have in mind. An older kite will result in more issues. Additionally, learning about them will be difficult, finding spare parts will be a hustle, and finding more information about them will be tough (Source). 

Kite flyers know to steer clear of kites that have been in usage for more than five years. While exceptions do exist, this should be the guiding number. Valve delamination affects kites older than five years which means you will face repairs soon after your kite purchase.

Essentially, valve delamination is when the glue that attaches the valves to the kite’s bladder fails. Areas that are hot and humid suffer most from this issue. Calling in an expert could be costly, and doing it yourself could take time.

The repairs made on the second-hand kite should also be evaluated. While it isn’t uncommon to have repairs on a kite that has been in use for a couple of years, sellers should be willing to lower the value accordingly (Source).

Repairs offer insight into how the previous owner treated the kite. Some of the things to look at are the frequency of the repairs rather than the size. Also, were the repairs done by a professional, or was it a rush job by a rookie? 

Several repairs could indicate a kite flyer who isn’t careful with their equipment. Kites with several repairs make the kite weak. Also, poorly done repairs could result in the kite flying the wrong way. Testing out such equipment before making purchases, therefore, is essential.

The kite line conditions should also be taken into consideration. To be successful when kite flying, the specifications of lines and how they have been handled matter greatly. Kite line integrity is affected by knotting, repeated use, UV rays, and chemical contact. All these should be looked at (Source). 

How Do You Inspect A Kite?

Some kites utilize safety systems. For these, the security systems must be modern and work properly. Check that with two steps; you can dispose of the kite. The first step is opening the quick release, which will leave only one line connected to you. The kite will fall to the ground, incapable of pulling you (Source).

It is good that the remaining line is connected to your harness with a safety leash. It’s necessary that you can quickly and completely disengage from the leash. Having a kite that doesn’t abide by these rules could risk your life.

Other areas to look into include connections and bridles and Dacron reinforcements. Discolored connections indicate significant usage of the kite. For Dacron’s, seams should be inspected to ensure they haven’t yielded thanks to UV rays or several crashes (Source)

Kite bags that are dirty, discolored, and moldy indicate poor maintenance. It will most likely directly reflect how the kite was treated. To establish the absence or presence of air leaks, inflate the kite and leave it for some time. 

Online transactions tend to be trust-based. However, there are essential questions that should be asked for clarity. Such questions include what year the kite is, the amount of use, if it has undergone any repairs, and if it will be accompanied by its lines (Source).

Stretch and stress on the cloth are indicators that the kite has not had light use. Crinkles, in particular, should confirm this. The idea is you get what you pay for. If negotiation is necessary due to the kite’s condition, you should do so.

Some sales involve the kite alone, while others have additional equipment. These include bags, bars, and safety leashes. When preparing for purchase, consider this and factor in additional cost if you buy all items separately. 

What Kind Of Kite Should I Get For A Beginner?

Size is an essential factor to consider when purchasing kites. Overly large kites, such as large deltas and novelty kites, are challenging and fun to fly. However, they require large storage spaces for their lines and sail. 

Also, to ensure safety, these kites require adequate space both in the sky and on the ground. Launching them also takes time, and one may spend half of their kiting session trying to get them in the sky. New kite flyers can find this process frustrating.

Beginners are better off starting with small kites, then slowly getting into larger kites once feeling comfortable with small kites. They will have the capability to handle such kites with ease. When emergencies occur, they can also bring them to the ground fast. They can graduate to flying overly large kites (Source). 

When faced with the decision to pick stunt kites or single-line kites, beginners should go for single-line kites. These lines are controlled by a single line and easy to fly. There are a variety of designs of this type ranging from Diamond and Parafoils to Deltas and Classics. 

Stunt kites need someone who’s experienced and has more skill. These kites need a light touch because of their speedy and responsive nature. One wrong move will have them smashing into the ground fast (Source).

What Is A Good Kite Brand?

The quality of the product should also determine whether to purchase a product or not. Quality kiting products are usually linked to specific brands. Some brands include Slingshot, Liquid Force, Naish, and Cabrinha (Source).

Summary

Successfully buying a second-hand kite can be a rewarding experience, mainly because you get to enjoy your kite flying sessions every time the winds allow. Therefore, shopping for the kite should be done with the seriousness it deserves. It is to avoid pitfalls such as wasting money or injuries.

There are several ways to approach purchasing kite gear. It applies to whether the equipment is brand new or second-hand. First, one needs to determine what they need from the latest gear and their expected performance. 

With available information on the internet, gaining the necessary expertise will assist in narrowing down the kite you’re looking for. Datasheets, evaluation reviews, and brochures will assist in determining the right equipment (Source). 

Other factors are warranty deals and any assistance post-purchase. Also, how easy will it be to find the spare parts for a particular product? A cheap product whose spare parts are difficult to find will prove stressful in the long run

Sources

  1. Adventure Sports Kitesurf Australia, https://www.kitesurfaustralia.com.au/blogs/articles-faqs/buying-second-hand-kitesurfing-gear#:~:text=The%20first%20thing%20you%20want,and%20to%20find%20information%20about., Accessed April 1, 2022
  2. Kitesurf Culture, https://kitesurfculture.com/tips/40/8-Tips-to-buy-used-Kitesurfing-Gear-avoiding-Bad-Surprises, Accessed April 1, 2022
  3. Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kite_line, Accessed April 1, 2022
  4. Get a Kite, https://www.getakite.uk/hints-on-buying-a-used-kite/, Accessed April 1, 2022
  5. Kitesurf Culture, https://kitesurfculture.com/tips/40/8-Tips-to-buy-used-Kitesurfing-Gear-avoiding-Bad-Surprises, Accessed April 1, 2022
  6. Sea Breeze, https://www.seabreeze.com.au/Articles/Kitesurfing/About-Buying-Second-Hand-kites_3539609.aspx, Accessed April 2, 2022
  7. All Things Kites, https://allthingskites.com/10-things-to-consider-when-buying-a-kite/, Accessed April 2, 2022
  8. Kitesurf Culture, https://kitesurfculture.com/tips/40/8-Tips-to-buy-used-Kitesurfing-Gear-avoiding-Bad-Surprises, Accessed April 2, 2022
  9. Surfer Today, https://www.surfertoday.com/kiteboarding/the-best-kitesurfing-kites-in-the-world, Accessed April 2, 2022

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