6 Things to look at when buying a used kitesurfing kite

6 Things to look at when buying a used kitesurfing kite

6 Things to look at when buying a used kitesurfing kite

6 Things to look at when buying a used kite

Maybe you have other financial priorities, or maybe you simply don’t have the budget to buy a new kite. No matter what’s your reason, you decided to get used gear, but you don’t know where to start. Buying used kites has an obvious financial advantage, but you could be trapped in buying gear that is not recommended using. Gumtree, eBay, Kijiji, and every second-hand websites are full of cheap kites that, for the best of humanity, should be turned into bean bags. Every year, we see beginners proudly bragging about the “good deals” they found over the internet. They quickly learn that the kite they bought is plain dangerous or won’t last long. Here are six things to look at when buying used kites.

1. Age and technology

Although kitesurfing is a new sport, technology is constantly changing. Sometimes, the new features are simply a matter of marketing, but more often, the safety system improved. The quick-release system evolved a lot and keeps changing every year. However, some brands are not keeping up with the latest and safest technologies. When buying a used kite, you need to be aware of how its safety system works and how good it is to keep you safe.

2. Use, wear and tear

Did you find last year model for a cheap price? Good! Now it is time to assess how much use this kite got. A kite that has been flown every day for a whole year or that was crashed hard and often is not worth much. Some kiters sell their gear every season or so because they overuse them, and they are aware that it could blow up at any moment. Many components of the kite wear out: the canopy stretches and weakens, the lines shrink and stretch, the bridles wear out, the bar weakens, the valves crack and leak, the leading edge twists, and the list goes on… If you are a beginner considering buying a cheap used kite so you can crash it hard and not bother, consider this: your used kite is more likely to break on crashes than a new kite would be. Fixing a kite is quite expensive and often isn’t worth it, especially if the material is too weak. An overused kite could quickly turn into a big waste of money, even if it looked like a good deal at first.

3. Repairs

The kite you found has some repairs on it? It may bring the price down a fair bit, but is it still good to fly? Accidents happen and repairs can be done at home or by a professional. A repair may be looking good, but the kite could be flying sideways. The best way to analyse a repair is to fly the kite and get a feel from it. A repaired kite can be a good deal if there’s nothing wrong with the way it flies.

4. Kite styles

If you have no clue what a C-Shape kite is, you should not be shopping alone. There are different types of kites and boards, to suit different styles of riding. Some of them are not suited for beginners. Some kites won’t depower well, some will be very quick and reactive and won’t forgive any of your beginner’s mistakes. Some pros will modify their bar to improve other features, and you could end up with a deficient safety system or a chicken loop with no chicken finger. Be aware of your needs and what the kite you are buying is used for.

5. Sizes

When buying a used kite, you won’t have as many options for sizes. Don’t buy any kite size just because the price looked good. Shopping for a kite is not about buying the cheapest, but about buying what is suited for your needs.

6. Stolen kite

Unfortunately, the black market now knows what a kite is worth. If you scroll through kitesurfing forums, you will find kiters reporting their stolen equipment. Thieves are easy to spot by their lack of knowledge about the gear they “own” and the poor use of kitesurfing terminology. Share the suspicious ads on the local forum to see if it matches someone’s lost gear, or inform the local authorities. Do not encourage thief by buying stolen gear.

It takes a lot of work and patience before finding the perfect kite in good conditions for a fair price. Always be suspicious about good deals. Just like buying a car, the cheapest, the highest the risk of buying something that’s not worth spending money on. If you are not sure, ask a kitesurfing friend, or buy used gear from a kitesurfing shop.

6 Things to look at when buying a used kitesurfing kite

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