Sunday, April 22, 2007

Kite Canopy Repair

Last weekend I had a tough day with my 12M Rhino. First the velcro came loose on the end of the main bladder, allowing the bladder to blow out the end. After cutting and taping the end I was on the water, but only for a short time. After I tried some maneuver or other, the kite lost air and crashed. Wasn't anything very harsh, but it blew the kite out. Ripped it all the way from leading edge to the back of the kite. I repaired it the same way I've repaired other kites. I glued it with Seam Grip. I have found this method to be very effective and will describe the process.

The damage.

First, I clean the kite and tape the kite back together. I used blue painters' tape because it is made to strip off cleanly without leaving any glue residue.

I tape it such that the two sides of the tear are butted up against each other tightly but without any overlap. Then I put a thin layer of Seam Grip on the other side. I let it dry a few hours and put on another layer. I then let it dry overnight or at least 12 hours before pulling the tape off. They make an accelerator that can be added to the glue that speeds up the drying time to two hours but I haven't seen it in the stores. I suppose you could order it from somewhere.

After pulling the tape off, I apply two coats of glue to the other side.

The repaired kite.

After allowing it to dry another 12 hours, I rub some talcum powder on the glue so that the repair won't stick to itself and sand won't stick to the repair. It is now ready to use. I have already used this kite on Saturday in winds from 14 to 30 knots. Please click on the above image to get a good view of just how clean of a repair this is. I used most of a one ounce tube for this repair at a cost of $7.00. I use Seam Grip on any small rips or pin holes as well. The only caution is that the cap will become glued to the tube if you don't clean the top of the tube real well and the tube will dry out in a short amount of time unless you store it in the refrigerator.


  1. Great Article, thanks for adding it to the Yahoo Kitesurfmexico group, it would be great for you to join us at one of our next events. I love all your pictures and blog posts, i definitely have to make it up there soon!

  2. Anonymous3:17 PM

    Hi don Im the mexican dude from guaymas the one with the green best kite.... I ripped my 16 mts kite the other day, so I want to know if you can help me to fix it.. my email is


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