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RythmFlyer

De-tensioning sail at nocks?

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Just wondering what the best practice is on this...Should you de-tension the kite sail by undoing the elastic or cord at the wing tip nocks after every time you fly? Or just if you are storing it for a while? 

 

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Opinions very on this topic. On my higher end kites I loosen the tension every time I put them away. On my cheaper kites that I tend to beat up more I usually leave them under tension just save a little time. Fabric under tension will stretch over time. The choice is yours.


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Depends. Laziness, flying frequency all come in to it. One my Sevens I was detensioning the LE's fastidiously when I first got them. Now not so much. I try to remember and do it mostly but if I don't for a while I'm not going to panic. I don't take the ULE's out of the connectors, just push them parallel to the LE when rolling up. Some take the tension off and break down the LE to roll up too.

I dare say a sail would last longer if the tension was taken out but then again, it would last longer if you didn't fly it too...

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2 hours ago, SparkieRob said:

Depends. Laziness
 

That's probably the real reason I don't. Kites I don't fly much are broken down. The ones I fly the most I only break down the spreaders. After the 1st few weeks of flying I figured there is more stress pulling the sail taunt to get the line seated back into the nock than just leaving it. 3 hours in 15 mph winds stretches a sail more than a year of leaving it tensioned IMO.Wind/material  dependent but the tensioners themselves are the weak point.Inexpensive  Nighthawk(bungee) and Psycho(rubber) have given up and been redone.High end Mind Tricks (bridle line)are on the fringe.Gave up on end caps for most of my kites and use electrical tape.BMK and Skyburner have never come off. Sky Sport Design doesn't use them and are the best nocks I have.I did the US/LS thing for a bit too. Pretty high winds one day and came real close to a sail puncture. Don't do that anymore because I'm clumsier than most. Most time I leave the bags in the shed. Figure having to walk back to the field looking for a dropped spreader is the better route for me. Few folks I've flown with leave them attached like Sparkie.They've left a few spreaders on a field miles from home. That's their reasoning as to why they do it.

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I don't. Have one kite I bought in the mid '90s, never been broken down or detensioned. Never saw the need, especially those using a cord wrap. Might make sense with those using a "O" ring, but I haven't. As long as you do the usual breakdown of loosening the standoffs and removing the spreaders, you are good to go.

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To my view most of the tension force is bring  absorbed by the dacron/spinnaker leading edge and not by icarex parts of the sail that are more sensitive.

When stored for a long time I release the tensioner line and separate the LE parts (ULE from LLE). For shorter periods I do not.

Also note that all hand made high end kite sleeves are long - allowing you to fold it w/o separating the LE.

Another important point to my view is that sails do not last for ever anyways..... no point in trying to force it, an old sail with long air time (i.e someone had a great time with it 😉) will eventually deform 🙃

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Personally, I only de-tension if I'm breaking down the leading edge. It probably doesn't hurt to do so, but the damage is not terribly significant if you don't.

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