I was checking out the Bandit V9 last week and I couldn’t help but notice how extremely expensive kites are nowadays. The last time I bought new kites was in 2013 (Bandit V6) and I will ride those a bit longer because two new kites (including a 35% discount…) cost more than my car did! But luckily there are loads of used kites available, which you can buy via a shop or school but also via certain websites and groups on Facebook etc. But, what should you know about buying second hand kites? I will give you some tips and tricks to keep in mind when buying a used kite so that you’ll buy a kite that will give you awesome sessions for years to come!
Score the best secondhand kite gear with these 6 tips
- The canopy – Always check the state of the canopy. If it is washed-out or faded in certain spots you’ll know that the kite has been used intensively. The canopy is still fresh if it crackles in your hands.
- Repairs – These aren’t always a big deal, but make sure that the kite is professionally fixed if it has had repairs. Don’t pay to much for these kind of kites, because a repair has a big influence on the price. If there are loads of repair over multiple panels of the kite you’ll have a fair chance that the characteristics of the kite are damaged.
- Production year – Don’t buy a kite that is too old. Kites from before 2007 hardly have the option to depower and relaunch is a serious pain in the ass (trust me, I’ve been there). Besides those reasons, a kite that old is seriously worn.
- Leading edge – Make sure that the Dacron isn’t worn and thready, this points to many hours on the beach. Plus, if the leading edge needs repairing this is hard to do yourself and costly to get fixed.
- Tubes – Bring a pomp and pomp the used kite for a check-up. There is a chance that there is a leak in the tubes. After you’ve pomped the kite you can check the bar and lines. If there is a leak, you’ll notice that it deflates slowly in the time you need to check the bar.
- Bar and lines – Check the grip on the bar, this can get loose and a bar without decent grip will give you blisters. The lines can be stretched so it is important to check if they have the same length. Besides that you’ll have to check for knots and wear, this greatly influences tensile strength.
Last but not least, try to meet at the beach so you can fly the kite for a bit and feel what is up. In the end you’ll always have to go with your gut feeling. If it feels right there is a match, if not… Plenty of other used kites in the sea!