sky_sentry

Are the lines still good ?

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  Hello all,

  I used to fly all the time back in the late 80's to early 90's. But I ended up taking a long break and stored everything away. I was recently thinking of taking another go at the hobby so I brought everything out of storage. Been some time since I've done this, and when I did, it was always with a trained pro. So, I'm basically beginning pretty fresh, just remembering some of the base knowledge. The old equipment, I've only gone through the lines so far, look to be in very good shape-  Was expecting ware and the like, but they look great. My question is, should the lines still be in optimal working condition based on appearance? I also kinda wanna learn which line strengths work best for which kites. I do have some really big powerful ones, down to medium/light range- Which I'm assuming 200 for the biggest- to 100 for the smallest?  I haven't grazed over the forums yet, but will after this post. But any tips for some one beginning once again would be greatly appreciated.

 

   Thanks!

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I don't know the answer to your questions, but welcome back into the sky. Glad to have you here.

Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using KiteLife mobile app

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Depends how they were stored. Cool, dry, dark place is the way to store any kind of line. If it's going on 30 years they are not likely to be up to par. The only way to find out is to test them with either a spring scale or known weights hung over a roller. I wouldn't use them to fly a kite until after I had tested them.

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Thanks for the advice! They were indeed stored in a cool, dark place. I'm not sure what a spring sale is, so I might opt for the weight test method. Would you be able to recommend the best method for using the weight to test them? I do have a 5 lb. dumb bell. Could I use something like that for the test; and how exactly would be the best method in your opinion for conducting said test for durability. Thank you again!

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4 minutes ago, sky_sentry said:

 I'm not sure what a spring sale is, 

It's when people sell stuff they have accumulated over the winter LOL. Will be following your post with interest. Got a Totl Flight Squadron 105" from the mid eighties today. Been stored well  for a long time. Everything looks fantastic but I'm real worried  the bridle has deteriorated. Going to take it to Into the Wind to get a checkup. Hopefully they can tell.  Welcome. Now go fly a kite :)

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12 hours ago, sky_sentry said:

My question is, should the lines still be in optimal working condition based on appearance? I also kinda wanna learn which line strengths work best for which kites. I do have some really big powerful ones, down to medium/light range- Which I'm assuming 200 for the biggest- to 100 for the smallest?

Spectra line is a synthetic that degrades slowly, but it does still degrade. With nearly three decades in storage it will have lost some strength. Without actually testing it you won't know how much it has lost, and testing will probably break it.  UV light, temperature, humidity, and air circulation around it would all make a difference in how well it has survived.

3 hours ago, sky_sentry said:

Would you be able to recommend the best method for using the weight to test them? I do have a 5 lb. dumb bell. Could I use something like that for the test; and how exactly would be the best method in your opinion for conducting said test for durability.

For 100# test normally that means tying one end down, attaching a force gauge (or even a basic spring scale), and pulling until it says 100 lbs.  A 5 pound dumbbell will only test to 5 pounds.

Since you can reasonably expect they're not in perfect shape, if you happen to have a spring gauge I'd gently pull them to about 75% capacity. If the 100# line can pull 75#,  if the 200# line can still pull 150#, that's probably strong enough.  If it can't, well, that means it broke during the test and you'll need to buy new line anyway.

 

The line is only one material in the kite.  Other materials will break down much faster, particularly elastics and bungees that include natural rubber or latex. They're far more likely to have deteriorated to uselessness over the years. If you have a kite shop nearby you'll probably be best looking them over together.

 

If you don't have a kite shop that can help you look them over, or if you aren't too attached to the cost (it's been in storage for three decades) you could fly with them if you aren't too concerned.  Lines break normally, you should always have a plan for if that happens in the field.  Same with the sail, if you handle the material and it feels like it is in good working order, use it, and if the kite tears or breaks down you know that all equipment gets used up and degrades over time.  Enjoy it while you've got it.

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17 hours ago, frob said:

Spectra line is a synthetic that degrades slowly, but it does still degrade. With nearly three decades in storage it will have lost some strength. Without actually testing it you won't know how much it has lost, and testing will probably break it.  UV light, temperature, humidity, and air circulation around it would all make a difference in how well it has survived.

For 100# test normally that means tying one end down, attaching a force gauge (or even a basic spring scale), and pulling until it says 100 lbs.  A 5 pound dumbbell will only test to 5 pounds.

Since you can reasonably expect they're not in perfect shape, if you happen to have a spring gauge I'd gently pull them to about 75% capacity. If the 100# line can pull 75#,  if the 200# line can still pull 150#, that's probably strong enough.  If it can't, well, that means it broke during the test and you'll need to buy new line anyway.

 

The line is only one material in the kite.  Other materials will break down much faster, particularly elastics and bungees that include natural rubber or latex. They're far more likely to have deteriorated to uselessness over the years. If you have a kite shop nearby you'll probably be best looking them over together.

 

If you don't have a kite shop that can help you look them over, or if you aren't too attached to the cost (it's been in storage for three decades) you could fly with them if you aren't too concerned.  Lines break normally, you should always have a plan for if that happens in the field.  Same with the sail, if you handle the material and it feels like it is in good working order, use it, and if the kite tears or breaks down you know that all equipment gets used up and degrades over time.  Enjoy it while you've got it.

Thank you for the very thorough explanation! I don't have access to one of those scales unfortunately. And there are no more shops. I think I may just test my smallest kite with the 200 line and see how it fairs. I'll examine all the rubber joints and other parts as well and see how they look. Thx again!

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I have a bunch of old lines I have been meaning to try and I am thinking I will just attach the flying ends to a sturdy eyelet on a fence post and just unwind and give them some gradually increasing pulls until it simulates worse scenario conditions I would expect for the particular kite in big winds, and a bit more. Probably go up at least one size for a given kite to be safe (like clubbing up one in golf).

Some of the old lines are kevlar and that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish I expect.

.

.

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20 hours ago, midibot said:

I have a bunch of old lines I have been meaning to try and I am thinking I will just attach the flying ends to a sturdy eyelet on a fence post and just unwind and give them some gradually increasing pulls until it simulates worse scenario conditions I would expect for the particular kite in big winds, and a bit more. Probably go up at least one size for a given kite to be safe (like clubbing up one in golf).

Some of the old lines are kevlar and that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish I expect.

.

  Thank you very much. Also a great, and simpler way to test- 

.

 

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On 6/9/2018 at 6:50 PM, midibot said:

Some of the old lines are kevlar and that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish I expect.

Kevlar line is anti-social.   Don't use it near any other kites, nor for multi-line kites. 

It is generally either officially banned or unofficially banned from group events. In hunting that down, a quick web search goes back to at least 1985 when the American Kite Association president asked the question  generally: "Do we need to restrict use of Kevlar linein AKA Sanctioned events, or require that the use of Kevlar line, flying of giant kites and flying of long trains be confined to prescribed areas with a specified number of safety markers and designated safety sentinels ( experienced kite-fliers who are not flying kites)?"  

Unless you've got good reason to keep it around, consider replacing it.  

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what kind of kites you have? all three sets seams to be dual lines IMO for 75-80$ i will throw them and buy new ones especially if you want to start fresh.new lines are much better than any you have  

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