I always find it interesting watching the extent some people go through to preserve the life of their Show Kite.
The Show Kites we take to events are packed dry and that is about it.
Our kites are designed to fly in the toughest of conditions. It is not uncommon when the wind gets strong to watch everyone pull their kites down but will leave their PLK Show Kites flying.
This is possible due to the Rip-stop nylon system that Peter installed into our Show kites. This system is where reinforcing lines are sewn into the kite for extra strength. Peter was the perfect person to test this system out. It often looked to me that he was deliberately trying to destroy his kites, but in the end, he created something that made his kites per size, stronger than anyone else’s. The Rip-stop system became the new normal and is now used by designers all over the world.
The general rule was if the kite could handle Peter, then it would be OK for anyone!
This extra strength has come at a cost, meaning the Rip-stop material gets put under a lot more pressure than it normally would be able to withstand. And if there is a part of the kite that flaps this part will do so a lot more ferociously. The first sign of wear from this is usually cracking in the coating of your material.
Other things to contend with is Saltwater, dirt and grease, all of which we have managed to cover our kites with over the years. I have seen photos of customers washing their kites after use and hanging them out to dry. I am sure salt water will damage your kite eventually, but washing our kites is something we have never done.
There is a lot of things that can harm your kites but in my opinion one of the worst things that seems to kill Nylon Show kites is Hydrolysis.
This is where the water moisture creeps into the coating and eventually removes it from the core of the cloth. This resulting in porous material. The most common way for this to occur is kites being put away damp or wet then stored somewhere hot like in the car or attic.
With kite flying, not storing damp kites becomes very difficult as we generally fly to the end of the day so are putting away damp kites or we are rushing to put away our kites as it has started or is about to rain. The thing that is most important is if you have done the above is get your kites out and dry them properly as soon as you can and before storing them away.
To conclude Peter is still the most damaging thing to kites, but storing wet kites will also shorten the life of your kites.
I hope this helps and you have many years of enjoyment from your kites 😊