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Kiting Hygiene? How not to take the beach home?

I’m getting back into kiting and I don’t know of any sport that seems to make you want to take so much of the beach home with you!

What are the best tips to finishing up your session at Kite Beach (with little grass, and few showers)?

And what’s the best way to fold up the kite? Does a messy fold job hurt the kite?

And it’s not only the equipment that has sand. I literally feel like every orifice in my body has sand in it after hanging out at Naish Beach! And the sand somehow seems to stick requiring extra attention in the shower.

I don’t have scientific evidence to support my assertion, but I think it’s a good idea to keep your kite packed loose in your bag once you’ve rolled it up and hopefully gotten all of the sand out of the kite. My understanding is that if you tightly pack up a kite that has sand and debris in it, that it will be more prone to abrasion and the development of pinholes. Also - generally speaking not a good idea to leave a kite on the beach, flapping in the wind for a long time. I’ll admit that I’ve guilty of having done this in the past, wanting to have options in case the wind came on stronger.

  1. Don’t pack the kite wet and definitely do not stretch it wet. it will screw it up quickly. Fly it on the beach until it is dry, which you can determine by reaching up and feeling the wettest part of the lines, generally the dyneema. wait until that is dry.

  2. Sand gets in the crevices more than the outer fabric. So first thing you should do when letting air out is flip kite over and let wind blow the wingtips together, folding kite in half and protecting inside and struts from sand. Roll kite in such a way that you can brush off sand as it you reach it., before you roll it into kite this entails the following steps.

    1. Learn the self landing technique I talked about earlier. With practice you will be able to land the kite +/- 6 inches of exactly where you wanted it, which could include grassy patch.
    2. Land it and if you had to land it wet (which you shouldn’t do) pick it up so center of leading edge is highest point and wingtips are nearest the ground but not touching it. This angles leading edge so that you can brush off sand without getting it in struts.
  3. Flip sand-free kite upside down so it is hovering in wind, and in one motion, without letting it hit ground, release air and rotate kite 90 degrees so you are holding the center strut at the trailing edge in one hand, and in the other hand you are holding the leading edge near the center strut. this lets wingtips symmetrically touch folding kite in half, still in the wind not touching the ground. (note: your bar should still be attached to you and the kite at this point. after you self land it but before you walk over to kite, start wrapping bar in figure 8s while walking to kite, and with ~8 feet of line unwrapped, stuff bar in your harness or something and proceed with step #2.

  4. Bar should not have touched ground at this point so should have zero sand no matter how wet. Sand should have come off lines as you wrapped it. Depending on how hard wind is blowing (ie is sand blowing?) put your bar either inside your kite bear center strut (if sand is blowing) or on top of kite (if sand is not blowing). Advanced variation of this: I always land my kite within a few feet of the kite bag. So instead of putting bar on kite, I unzip bag and put bar straight in bag and rezip (lines coming through zipper opening) to eliminate chance of sand on bar or lines.

  5. Put some weight on top of folded-in-half kite, which is currently orientated so that center strut is upwind, wingtips are downwind, and center strut is perpendicular to wind (so wingtips blow downwind). A kite bag that contains your bar and pump works well for this in most wind, stronger wind will also require you to take off your harness at this point and plop it on your kite near the inflation valve. Kite is now secure and totally free of sand except for one half of the outside canopy, which is touching sand.

  6. Walk to wingtips, and start to fold kite from wingtips to center. Brush off sand as you do this.start rolling the kite in sections that are roughly 75% as wide as your bag, so that by the time you finish folding it, it will have widened to about as wide as your bag you will hold it in. Note on #6, it is helpful to push out air from struts before folding

  7. Starting at trailing edge, fold kite in the other direction, from trailing edge to leading edge. when you get to the bag, which has your pump and bar, take it off kite as you are holding kite now and it is folded to only about 1.5x1.5 feet.

  8. Obviously keep brushing sand off as you fold it in other direction, and when it is small enough to put in bag, hold kite so it doesn’t blow. take pump out of bag and re-attach pump leash to leading edge. leave bar attached, and at bottom of bag, put the kite in bad right on top of it, and pump on top of that with hose aligned into gap. When you go to set up next time, simply open bag, take out pump, step on it so kite doesn’t blow away, and open kite and start pumping. Leave bar attached until kite is fully inflated and ready to launch, then simply walk upwind unwrapping lines and self launch.

Total breakdown time for completely sand free kite: 3 minutes. Total setup time from when you start pumping to when you are in the water: 90 seconds.

@justin, if you want, I really want to make a video for all this and could use your help.

1 Like

This is awesome @vin - would love to see this in technicolor motion! I’ll help next time I’m in Maui if you guys don’t get to it before then.