Author Topic: Pinholes and spare bladders...  (Read 1693 times)

burchas

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Pinholes and spare bladders...
« on: September 02, 2021, 01:18:44 PM »
Rough day today. Managed somehow to decommission 2 wings ::)
Damn pinholes, couldnít figure out where the leaks are. Still got 4 hours out of it.

Now wings back at the shop. Not sure how long thatís going to be but
That brings me to the questions:

How many of you keep spare bladders?
How common are these pinholes?
in progress...

Dwight (DW)

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Re: Pinholes and spare bladders...
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2021, 01:42:20 PM »
sand spurs, donít rig in grass with them


sflinux

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Re: Pinholes and spare bladders...
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2021, 02:36:54 PM »
Coming from kiting, there were certain beaches where I was surprised if I escaped without a pinhole, as it happened so regularly.  I suspect it was usually from launching and landing, or perhaps just from laying inflated on the beach.  Foil kites were a better alternative for those beaches.  At the time, I was going out 4X a week.  I ended up stocking up a spare kite for the downtime.  Else you have to leave a pump on the beach to reinflate.
I never had spare bladders.  Bladders tended to be expensive, usually more cost-effective to buy a used kite at a sweet price. 
The pinholes are easy to fix.  The hardest part is finding them.  My preferred technique is soapy water on the inflated leading edge/strut.  Then pull out the bladder in the location where the leak is, and submerge it in water to locate the pinhole.  Dry.  Mark with a sharpie.  Clean with rubbing alcohol.  Then apply a patch of relatively inexpensive Tear-aid.
But if you are paying to have the bladder fixed, maybe a used bladder becomes competitive in price. 
But the process of removing a bladder and reinserting a spare is not much different in terms of labor compared to patching a bladder imo.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2021, 02:43:57 PM by sflinux »
Quiver Shaped by: Joe Blair, Blane Chambers, Kirk McGinty, and Bob Pearson.
Me: 195#, 6'2"

808sup

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Re: Pinholes and spare bladders...
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2021, 08:35:43 PM »
Longtime kiter. Agree with all that was said above. I would add checking for stickers that can still be stuck in the leading edge. When you have located the general area by using the soapy water, remove the bladder and repair the pinhole but also feel inside and out the leading edge with fingers or some cheesecloth or similar material. ( it will snag on the sticker if still penetrating the LE.) You may make the bladder repair and reinstall it and find that the sticker is still there and it will Leak again. Donít ask me how I know 😬
Ps. Sand inside the bladder or between bladder and LE can eventually cause a leak as well.

juandesooka

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Re: Pinholes and spare bladders...
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2021, 09:14:16 AM »
GRRRRRR.....pinholes are such a drag!  Especially when you pull the bladder and can't find them.

My rule is if you can wing it 1.5 hours without a re-pump, then just ride it.  But that rule gets sketchy if you want to do downwinders, where you need to trust your gear to work for more than 1.5 hours.

I recently had to replace a kite bladder, the kite was out of production, had to get bladder custom made, a little $$$.  I had a thought....when you buy a wing or kite, when bladders are available and fairly cheap, it would be smart to get a spare at that time.  Because it'll probably come in handy and if you sell it, that should add value to the deal.

Anyways, for bladder repair noobs, first rule is always test the rubber connection points first with soapy water, they fail and that's a super easy fix.  Then test the inflation valve...sand in the rubber gasket will cause a slow leak.  Then test all seams to see if you can isolate roughly where the leak is. For fixing, you can use tear aid or a dab of aquaseal.  Or tear aid with a glob of aquaseal around its edges for max airtightedness.

burchas

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Re: Pinholes and spare bladders...
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2021, 07:54:55 AM »
Great advices all around! With these wings taking beating for 2 years from foils and owner's usage as pool noodle
Never even occurred to me I need to worry about the micro stuff. Twice in one day is a rude awakening.
in progress...

sflinux

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Re: Pinholes and spare bladders...
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2021, 09:43:31 AM »
I've heard ants can put holes in bladders.  They are usually attracted to moisture, especially when it is hot.  Be mindful of storage.  I have never caught one in the act in my gear.
https://kiteforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2409369&p=1131640
Quiver Shaped by: Joe Blair, Blane Chambers, Kirk McGinty, and Bob Pearson.
Me: 195#, 6'2"

burchas

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Re: Pinholes and spare bladders...
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2021, 08:36:27 AM »
Thanks to all great tips here managed to fix those 2 bladders 8) Was fairly easy to do. Luckily I didn't even have to submerge the bladders or use the soap to find the pinholes.
Inspected the inflated bladders in a quiet place managed to locate all. I had 2 on the 3.5M and 4 on the 6M.

Tear-Aid works like magic! I bought the roll which is inexpensive https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001OPO13M/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_image_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Judging by the usage for this fix. This should last for a lifetime. Luckily the pinholes were only on the leading edge bladder on both cases.

Now looking for good source for replacement/backup bladders for my F-One wings. Any suggestions?
in progress...

Hwy1north

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Re: Pinholes and spare bladders...
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2021, 02:03:01 PM »
20 plus years of kiting, maybe 2 pinholes: used the kit that came with for repair.  One valve stem came off, used contact cement that came with the kite.... 3 months of winging and 2 blown leading edges in 2 days!  One from the leash tearing open the leading edge on a brand new wing and the other from a twisted bladder.  Sent to Airtime as the mfr. has no spares.  I think the storing of a wet wing has the bladder fold onto itself and fuse just enough to cause inflation problems when it dries out. I don't think that would cause pinholes though.  Without anything obvious, pinhole is probably from rolling up on top of thorns.  Go barefoot when packing up!

Try Airtime in FL or Hood River for repairs and spares.

burchas

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Re: Pinholes and spare bladders...
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2021, 09:20:59 PM »
.... 3 months of winging and 2 blown leading edges in 2 days!...Try Airtime in FL or Hood River for repairs and spares.

Sadly I know how you feel. Sucks to be on the sidelines when everyone else is playing.
Self repair was really easy though. It feels like the leading edge is usual suspect in many cases from what I hear?

Is Airtime the only game in town?
in progress...

 


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