How to repair tears in the kite canopy

Kiteboarding
Kite repairs: learn how to fix tears and holes | Photo: Ozone

A large majority of kitesurfing kites are made of ripstop nylon. With time, small rips begin to appear. Learn how to fix a tear so that it won't spread throughout the whole fabric.

It's easy to damage your kite. Whether you're packing, transporting, or riding, the kite's ripstop fabric will be in contact with multiple surfaces and objects.

It could be your nails, but it can also be a rock, sand, and water.

If you found a very large rip on your kite (more than ten centimeters), you should let a professional fix it.

However, if you feel you've got what it takes to repair the damaged area, then let's do it properly.

Materials

Here's what you'll need to apply a patch to your kite sail:

Ripstop Tape
Scissors
Iron
Alcohol Wipes

Repairing Kites 101

Now, follow these steps carefully:

1. Lay the damaged area out flat in a clean space with no sharp objects to work on;

2. Clean your kite with alcohol wipes and remove any traces of water, sand, dust, or glue;

3. Cut two generous patches of ripstop tapes of different sizes so that they never match edges;

4. Round off the corners to prevent peeling;

5. Apply both patches, one on the top side and one on the bottom side;

6. Press them firmly;

7. If you find large tears or blown out internal ribs, make sure to patch and sew them with a zigzag stitch;

8. Use the iron to apply a gentle heat over the patch so that it becomes welded to the kite's fabric;

Kite Repair Kits

Leaks in the leading edge bladder require more time to fix, but the process is similar.

Remove the bladder, mark the hole with a pen, cut the patch corners and press it on to the puncture.

There are several kite repair kits in the market.

KiteFixTear-AidAirTime, FixMyKite, KiteAid, and Dr. Tuba offer complete solutions for patching tears and holes in your kiteboarding kite.