Does Kiteboarding.com have a stick on replacement valve for my kite?
Kiteboarding.com has all Fixmykite Self-Stick Valves in stock from the classic 9mm and 11m valves to the new larger Boston inflate/deflate screw valves. These valves stick on any bladder and in most cases are the original OEM valves from the various kite manufacturers so you are repairing your kite with original factory parts.
Why are my valves coming off?
Valves are attached to the bladders by a glue and heat welding technique. If you store your kite in a hot place like a car, garage, or storage unit, the heat weld will start to break down. To prolong the life of your valves store your kite in a climate controlled area. If your valves start to delaminate, self stick valves will replace you factory valves.
How do I install a Fixmykite.com self stick valve?
- Valve Removal: Carefully peel off the old valve. Using a hair dryer or heat gun to heat the valve and area can make removing the old valve much easier. If the old valve does not peel off you can cut around circumference of the valve to remove it from the bladder. In the case where you need to cut the valve off the bladder we recommend purchasing a MEGA valve. The MEGA valve has a larger patch size to accommodate cutting off a valve and make the repair job easier.
- Cleaning: Wipe the area of the bladder where valve will be placed with the provided alcohol swab. ALLOW THE AREA TO DRY COMPLETELY before installing the valve, otherwise the valve will not stick.
- Peel and Stick: Lay the bladder out flat. If possible, have a friend hold the bladder on table or other smooth even surface, lightly spreading out the bladder so there are no wrinkles or lumps in the area where you will be sticking the valve. Peel the paper backing off the self stick valve, center the valve over the hole, and place the valve on bladder.
- Press: Starting from the center of the valve, press outwards to remove any air bubbles and ensure proper adhesion to the bladder. Make sure there are no creases in the bladder under the patch, otherwise air might leak out of the little channels.
Valve Repair Videos
- How to Install a Valve on a Kite Bladder
- How to Replace a Valve
- How to Install a MEGA Valve
- How to Replace a Large Screw Valve
- This is why you don't re-glue old valves
How do I find a hole in a bladder?
There are a few different methods that can be used to find a hole in a bladder
- Soapy Water Method: The soapy water method is very handy to find the source of the leak but can be messy if you are attempting indoors. It can also be done while the bladder is still in the kite to help pinpoint the general area of the leak before you remove the bladder (plus as a bonus it can also clean your kite!). Basically you make some soapy water with some basic soap like dish soap, then spray it in on the bladder, and then wait to see if any bubbles are formed from air leaking out of the bladder. These leaky spots can be marked with a sharpie so you know the spot that needs patching after the bladder has been cleaned and dried.
- Submersion Method: The submersion method requires pumping up the bladder and holding it under water, looking for any streams of bubbles coming out of the leaky area. This requires a large tub/tank of water or swimming pool to have enough water to hold the bladder under.
- By Feel: You can also locate leaks by feel, pumping up the bladder and then holding it close to your face, feeling for any air moving as you slowly rotate the bladder.
Can my bladder be patched/repaired?
In most cases, even the worst hole or blowout can be patched. Tear Aid is the bladder repair material of choice, sticking to nearly every type of bladder.
Bladder Repair Videos
What size sail repair I can do myself?
For do-it-yourself sail repairs you can fix cuts 2" or smaller yourself. For this size of damage you can use Ripstop sail tape or Dacron tape. For sail tape or dacron tape we recommend rounding the corners of the patch and applying patches to both the front and back sides of the kite. If the cut is larger than 2" you can either use Kitefix Fiber Fix or send your kite to Fixmykite.com to be professionally repaired.
Does location of the sail damage matter?
Yes, the location of the sail damage does matter. If the cut is close to a strut or to the leading edge, the tension on the sail is higher in that location when the kite is flying. In higher sail tension areas, there is a greater chance for the sail damage to spread quickly and it should be repaired by a professional kite repair center like Fixmykite.com.
How does most sail damage occur?
Most sail damage occurs from the sail coming in contact from shells or other debris on the ground. Crashing your kite is the most obvious potential source of damage, but it can also happen while packing, pumping, launching, or improper storage of your kite. Any sharp objects on the ground can cut the sail of your kite or if you put your board on top of your kite in the car or on the beach to stop the kite from blowing away, the fins can also cut the sail. Another frequent source of sail damage happens during launching if your kite is dragged along the ground while being flipped over or held against the ground while you get in position to launch.
How do I inspect the sail on my kite?
One of the easiest ways to inspect your kite sail is to hold it up to the light. If you have a cut you will clearly see the light come through the kite. Another technique to check for sail cuts is to pump up your kite in a non-windy area and check the entire sail for any damage.
How can I prolong the life of my sail?
The best way to prolong the life of your sail is not let you kite sit out on the beach for long periods of time. The sail material will wear out from flapping in the wind and also the sun's UV rays will slowly break down the kite materials. Over time with exposure to the elements, the sail will lose its crispiness and become more thin and silky-feeling. To increase the life of your kite the best thing to do is pack up your kite as soon as you are done riding. If you're just taking a break between sessions, put a sand weight bag on the sail to prevent the it from flapping in the wind. The worst flagging damage we have seen was a customer who pumped his kite in his back yard to dry it in the wind for hours. Within a couple months the material was so worn out that we could poke our finger the sail with no resistance.
How does Fixmykite.com repair sails?
There are two main techniques to repair kite sails:
- Panel Replacement: A panel replacement uses an exact match of sail material to replace the area around the cut. If you had a 3" cut in the sail, roughly a 4" square or rectangle of the sail around the location of the cut is replaced. Well-done panel replacement repairs are hard to see in the sail due to matching the color and type of sail material.
- Sail Tape: Large blow-outs are typically fixed with sail tape that helps to reinforce the sail. Black sail tape is used on black sails and white/clear sail tape is used on all other colors so it blends better with the color of the kite. Sail tape is applied to both front and back sides of the sail and then sewn down to stop it from peeling up and strengthen the sail.
Kite Repair Videos
- What and How to Inspect your Kite
- How to Inspect your Kite
- How to Pack your Kite
- How to Prolong Kite Life
Leading Edge and Strut Casing Repairs
Can I fix my leading edge or strut myself?
It really depends on the size and location of the damage. If the damaged are is larger than 2" we recommend getting it repaired by a professional repair center like Fixmykite.com. Leading edges and struts are more prone for small damaged areas to spread very quickly due to these areas being under pressure from the inflated bladders.
How does most leading edge and strut damage occur?
Most leading edge and strut damage occur from the leading edge or strut coming in contact with shells or any other sharp debris. This mostly happens from someone launching your kite and dragging the leading edge or strut on the ground. Another source of leading edge and strut damage is from self launching on an area with objects that the leading edge and struts can get cut on. Crashing your kite is another main cause of damage to your leading edge or struts. Another source of leading edge and strut damage is from over-inflation. When a kite is overinflated the stitching starts to cut into the dacron and then eventually the dacron rips open causing a blow out that also damaged the bladder.
How does Fixmykite.com repair leading edges and struts?
Two layers of dacron are used to repair damaged leading edges and struts. We unstich the leading edge or strut seam, apply one layer to the inside of the casing, apply one layer to the outside of the casing, and then stitch the dacron to the casing before closing the seam again.
How can I prevent damage to my leading edge and struts?
Always check your launching and landing area for any items that could cause damage to your leading edge or struts. Also make sure that whoever is launching and landing you does not drag your kite on the ground. If you are trying to learn new tricks and crashing your kite alot, make sure you are in an area that doesn't have objects that will damage your kite.
Bridle, Fly Line, and Pulley Repairs
When should I replace my pulleys?
Pulleys needs to be replaced if they look look worn or the wheels aren't rolling freely. Worn pulleys have a higher chance of breaking and if the wheels aren't rolling they can prematurely wear out and break your bridle lines. Either of these situations could result in a dangerous situation.
What is bridle line made of?
The line is called either Dyneema or Spectra which are two different names for the same type of line. Dyneema/Spectra line is made of polyethylene and is very light, strong, resistant to abrasion, and has extremely low moisture absorption. There are two types of Dyneema/Spectra that are used in the kiteboarding industry. Leader line is a full braided line that is 7/64" (2.77mm) in diameter and usually will have a pulley runnning on it. Sheathed Dyneema is a line with a Dyneema/Spectra core covered by a protective sheath that typically makes up most of the bridle lines of a kite.
What kind of pulleys are used on kites?
There are various types of pulleys used on kites, Ronstan being the main manufacturer of quality pulleys. Ronstan Bridle Pulleys are the most common and basic model found on most kites. Ronstan Large Pulleys are typically found on foil kites. Ronstan Orbit blocks are the top of the line pulleys with smoother rolling action and increased durability. Ronstan Shock Block Sheaveless Pulleys are relatively new and have no moving parts or wheels to wear out.
Is it possible to fix a broken flyline?
Broken fly lines can be fixed using a Microhook Braiding Tool. This kit allows you to sleeve each end of the flyline into each other and includes a pigtail to extend the shortened line to match the unbroken ones. This kit is perfect for traveling, especially if there is no repair center in the area.
Control Bar Repair Videos
Foil Kite Repairs
What is the most common repair on a foil kite?
The most common damage to foil kites is a blown baffle. Baffles are the internal "walls" of the cells of the kite and help the kite keep its shape. Crashing a foil kite leading edge down can cause the baffles to break. The kite is filled with air and when you crash it leading edge down there is no way for the air to escape so the pressure blows out the baffles.