Power Kite Forum

Leading Edge Stiffeners

Snake - 2-23-2019 at 03:14 PM

So I picked up those Elf Jokers that we're listed on here a few weeks ago. When I looked them over I noticed that the leading edge stiffeners are bent. Some of the bends look quite severe and almost all of them have some level of bending. I have tried gently bending a few of them back but they just spring back to the bent positions. I have talked to the seller and it seems like they may have gotten bent during shipping. I was going to test fly them but only have time on weekends and there is currently no wind.

Will the kite fix itself when it gets inflated? Are there ways to fix the bends without replacing the stiffeners? Will the kite fly poorly if the leading edge is distorted from the stiffeners? I might just be paranoid, but I would like your guys opinion on the issue.

tomdiving - 2-24-2019 at 05:51 AM

perhaps they could be heated up a bit with a hair dryer and bent back into shape.

B-Roc - 2-24-2019 at 01:16 PM

My guess is it will have no noticeable effect on performance that the causal flier would notice. If you were racing for titles, maybe but just flying, probably not. Could there be cosmetic deformities, sure but noticeable performance... probably not as long as the cells inflate.

What are they made of? Probably fiberglass rods which may be available in hobby shops and use to be widely available in kite shops which are now mostly no longer around.

markite - 2-24-2019 at 03:26 PM

Some of the leading edge stiffeners I have seen are the same as heavy gauge weed eater line. If it's kinked I'd try to smooth it. Making miniature kites using fishing line as spreaders etc we wrap fishing line around a pan or board and cook in the oven for a while to take the coil out of the line and stiffen it. Heat would work or maybe look for a replacement weed eater line, cook in the oven to straighten and replace ... As an option

Bladerunner - 2-24-2019 at 05:07 PM

Are the stiffeners bent or crushed at 180' ?

If they are crushed 180' I think it could be an issue? Pointy and all? If they are crushed there may be too much stretch to take out? I can see something less being renewed with heat. Rather than risk burning maybe hot water would work.

Randy - 2-24-2019 at 05:59 PM

I'd fly it first before doing anything else.

Feyd - 2-25-2019 at 07:01 AM

Those stiffness are pretty resilient. Fly it and see if they sort out a bit. I doubt that you will see much in the way of negative affect to flying.

They can be bent back if needed.

smiler8401 - 2-25-2019 at 07:55 AM

fly it first, I feel like it will follow the leading edge profile when wind fill up .
though mine a bit different. I am fly my liquid force elite 15m without the stiffener on 2 cell without issue . it were detached for sometime until I see it laying on the bottom those cell.
i take out and don't feel the urgency to fix it , i find it really troublesome to reinstall.

Snake - 2-25-2019 at 11:21 PM

Here are a few images of the bends


The first two are of the kite laying flat with no tension in the fabric. The third is one of the more severe bends and there are quite a few more like it. The last one is the kite inflated with a fan the be around flying pressure and there is still quite a deformity on the leading edge. Pretty much all the stiffeners have bends about as bad as shown in the first two pictures.

I have not flown the kites yet but will try this coming weekend, if the weather cooperates. The leading edge is one of the most important parts of a kite (that's why the stiffeners are there) and my main concern is that the indents and wrinkles will cause one side to turn all other kinds of unforseen issues. Removing them and replacing them as a last resort is definitely possible, but would be a major PITA.

Feyd - 2-26-2019 at 05:48 AM

Again, fly it and see. I wouldn't stress too much about it yet. ;)

Chook - 2-27-2019 at 04:42 AM

Hi I have an 18mtr Joker 7 Elf and yes if they are not packed correctly they wrinkle up. It's not a big deal as they are forced back into their correct position when the kite inflates to full pressure and after flying in warm air for a while they assume their original profile.
Just concertina pack it if your pedantic about it. I only concertina pack at the end of the season before storing it away for a period of time. Same for my Ozone R1's.

Regards Chook

B-Roc - 2-27-2019 at 08:59 AM

Quote: Originally posted by Chook  

Just concertina pack it if your pedantic

WTF, who invited the linguist to the conversation? Now I need a dictionary and thesaurus to read PKF posts :dunno: :duh:

Please, talk to me like I'm in 5th grade... :rolleyes:

... or maybe 2nd :D

Chook - 2-28-2019 at 02:09 AM

Quote: Originally posted by B-Roc  
Quote: Originally posted by Chook  

Just concertina pack it if your pedantic

WTF, who invited the linguist to the conversation? Now I need a dictionary and thesaurus to read PKF posts :dunno: :duh:

Please, talk to me like I'm in 5th grade... :rolleyes:

... or maybe 2nd :D

Being a burnt out farmer Im very far from being a linguist but thanks for the compliment.

Ha ha. You and me need to sit down over a beer or two, as I'm very keen to adjust, so I fit back in here.
Cheers from down under.