Forums > Wing Foiling General

Longevity ?

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Created by eppo A week ago, 17 Feb 2021
eppo
WA, 7746 posts
17 Feb 2021 3:43PM
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Purely theoretical. Anyone considered the life span of the current wings we are using and why?

stroppo
WA, 592 posts
17 Feb 2021 5:05PM
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Probably the same as kites or a bit less I spose but I don't kite how long do they usually last

Clamsmasha
WA, 263 posts
17 Feb 2021 5:54PM
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Not a kiter, So no reference point...but with heavy use I'm expecting them to be pretty flogged out after a year. Sell cheap, rinse repeat I suppose.

Youngbreezy
WA, 725 posts
17 Feb 2021 6:02PM
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This is something I have been considering quite a bit lately.

I have made more trips to see Ryan the sail doctor in the last 5 months of winging than I have in the last 5 years of kiting. (if your in Perth search Ryan the sail doctor on FB, he's the man)

Wings and kites are built in a fairly similar way. A kite doesn't like being crashed and won't last well if crashed too often. A wing is essentially a kite that spends half it's life in the crash zone. I feel like durability is a real issue.

I think the next generation of wings will have more of a focus on durability. I am looking forward to better leading edge/strut materials like ocean rodeo aluula and duotone SLS. I also think some reinforcements in the canopy like the airush load frame would be great.

I have used the airush kites for quite a while and the "load frame" helps to maintain the canopy shape over time and when I have had a tear it only goes as far as the next bit of dyneema strand. I find it odd the airush/starboard wing doesn't use this. If they had no windows and used the load frame I would be riding them now

DavidJohn
VIC, 16649 posts
17 Feb 2021 9:02PM
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I'm thinking a quality brand wing should last for many years just like a quality brand windsurf sail.. and they can even last decades.

Sputnik11
VIC, 904 posts
17 Feb 2021 9:05PM
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DavidJohn said..
I'm thinking a quality brand wing should last for many years just like a quality brand windsurf sail.. and they can even last decades.


Agree. At $1200, we should expect many seasons of use.

siny
ACT, 279 posts
17 Feb 2021 10:13PM
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Depends on how its used . Mucking round on a lake is far different than using it in waves

siny
ACT, 279 posts
17 Feb 2021 10:14PM
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Depends on how its used . Mucking round on a lake is far different than using it in waves

Cornishryan
WA, 108 posts
17 Feb 2021 7:42PM
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eppo said..
Purely theoretical. Anyone considered the life span of the current wings we are using and why?


A lot of good point already made but basically despite the usual stuff such as ability of rider, conditions/type of use and frequency of sessions the major differences in my eyes (having repaired a ridiculous number the last 2 seasons) are -

- the wing is in contact with the water every session - this cannot be ideal for its longevity esp if not dried after every use

- pumping - this will put pressure on points for every session and lead to high stress in certain areas (this will become less of an issue as manufacturers work out these points)

- early days - remember we are only seeing second generation wings now and like kiting in the early days manufacturers are learning heaps as they go

In my opinion as someone who repairs heaps and knows a thing or two about construction I think that current wings if used on a regular basis (3 times a week or more)will maybe last a couple of seasons but this time will improve as manufacturers develop the wings given time.

Ry
The Sail Doctor

KAOS69
WA, 994 posts
17 Feb 2021 8:42PM
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If you think hard and long about it why would manufacturers make a product that lasts?

hilly
WA, 5907 posts
17 Feb 2021 8:45PM
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Windows will crack really quickly. Non window kites being lighter and flex free will last longer and not stretch out of shape

Cornishryan
WA, 108 posts
17 Feb 2021 8:58PM
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hilly said..
Windows will crack really quickly. Non window kites being lighter and flex free will last longer and not stretch out of shape


Totally agree Hilly - the material used for windows will stretch more than the ripstop around them and they will craze and craze given time.......

J Foz
WA, 82 posts
17 Feb 2021 9:05PM
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Hey Eppo and friends . being wet all the time must impact their lifespan. My kites were in the water once or twice a year . Wings every session and end each session being wet as we exit. even if you manage a dry session on the foil it's a challenge getting to the beach fully dry . I am guessing the bladder issues we are seeing are due to being wet also. In addition my kiteing was shared between a 4 kite quiver and wingding is for most of us a 2 wing thing. Great topic , interesting.

eppo
WA, 7746 posts
17 Feb 2021 9:32PM
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Yeh I agree with the allula built wing not sure why ocean rodeo haven't jumped on the juggernaut. (Maybe they have??). Lighter the better and of course stronger than normal. Windows yeh dumb idea never use the damn things.

Was super light today, was flogging the hell out the wing water starting and I was wondering if that stress on the frame could be an issue over time.

so we think the wing being wet when packed up would reduce its longevity? Might mess the bladders up but any other reason?

kites get flogged, especially with minor and major shock loading, hence their frames eventually stretch, but wings ? Not sure.

mcrt
112 posts
17 Feb 2021 9:49PM
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I am also curious as to why getting a wing wet and storing it like that would hurt it's longevity.
I never dry them, but i might try to if there is a good reason.

DavidJohn
VIC, 16649 posts
18 Feb 2021 5:32AM
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hilly said..
Windows will crack really quickly. Non window kites being lighter and flex free will last longer and not stretch out of shape





Do all those smiley faces mean what you said was a joke?

I have an old Bombora windsurf sail with windows that is still fine after more than 30 years..

Seajuice
NSW, 710 posts
18 Feb 2021 12:01PM
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I think windows are more susceptible to UV exposure. Just take a look at boat canopys. And kite material second to that. Add wet material with mold. Then life span shorter. And on top of that add physical stress as it ages.

I have a Hobie kayak sail with windows I used for a couple of years. Then stored dry after rinsing in freshwater. After about 6 years stored in my garage it's still good as new. It was folded & rolled. The window had that internal criss cross string re enforcement.

Where I park to go surfing etc. I saw a kite stuck up on a light pole exposed to all weather. It deteriorated in about 4 months. Not sure how old it was in the first place.

So I'm guessing it all depends on the type of weather, season and care.
When I buy surfboards, SUPs, Foils and Wingdings my main focus is durability with the best performance coming second. I want my hard earned money to last.
That's why my second V2 wing has no windows due to hearing windows will not last as long as wing sail material. Windows to me would be an advantage but am satisfied enough to put up with the occasional lift of my wing to see if needed.


KB7
NSW, 66 posts
18 Feb 2021 12:18PM
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My experience

Windsurfing sails are built to a whole different level or construction with better materials which can easily last more than 5 years of good performance and longer. Small incremental changes mean no reason to upgrade.

Kitesurfing - I get 2 good years then performance is significantly impacted as canopies stretch and lines are likely to fail at any time so I buy new ones. I used them more than most but they hardly they ever get wet.

Wings - I'm on my second set of wings in under a year - Getting out though pounding surf stretches the canopies even though i never let the wing take a full impact hit by wave or the foil. With the rapid changes in design you need to change at least every year until it settles down. This was the same back though the 80/90s in windsurfing. Depreciation on wings is going to be massive and we have to accept it's the price you have to pay to play, they might still work for a beginner after a year but worth next to nothing.

airsail
QLD, 547 posts
18 Feb 2021 12:12PM
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I think the biggest threat to wing longevity are the large axes we bolt to the bottom of our boards. One swipe through the leading edge of an older wing will probably make it uneconomical to repair.

Kites get killed by flapping on the beach and UV, both deteriorate the cloth, at some point the kite crashes and rips.There is also a lot of load on kites, more than a wing, the canopy stretches out of shape causing performance loss. I doubt if we will get the same stretched canopy on a wing as they don't get crashed. Surf use is a total unknown, more like months rather than years I guess.
Bladders will always be an issue over time, say 3+ years and depending storage conditions. Hot cars kill bladders, try not to let them get hot. As the bladder ages the valves start leaking, and the wing will become unreliable. Nothing worse than getting to the beach only to find your wing/kite won't pump up.

eppo
WA, 7746 posts
18 Feb 2021 11:12AM
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Does anyone want to address the wet wings and it's impact on longevity. Why?

Gorgo
VIC, 4567 posts
18 Feb 2021 3:09PM
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eppo said..
Does anyone want to address the wet wings and it's impact on longevity. Why?



Short answer, no idea. I have never seen an authoritative article from a fabric manufacturer. I have seen heaps of instructions from gear manufacturers but they never go into the whys and hows.

The best theory I can come up with is that the waterproof coatings abrade off fairly quickly leaving the underlying fabric vulnerable to water damage. There's an obvious difference between a crispy new product and a well used product.

Everything I have owned made of high tech cloth has had the warning to thoroughly dry the item before storage. Sails, paragliders, kites, lightweight tents, clothing. You name it, you dry it. The manufacturers always stress that stuff needs to be dried. It's not a drama to dry stuff so I always have.

There are some warnings against mildew, and tents get a bit of a funky odour to them as they get older. The same thing happens to wetsuits if they're not dried properly. Salt water prevents mildew but stuff can still get stinky if left damp.

This from a paraglider manual:

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If the wing is wet or even only damp when being packed, it should be fully dried as soon as possible. Storing the glider damp can lead to permanent damage.



and this


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How should NOVA wings be stored?

Dry, not packed too tightly and if possible in a space without wide temperature variations - these are the conditions that make our paragliders feel well. You should never store a wing when it is moist. You should also avoid excessive heat, like you would have, for example, in the car. Never remove dirt using chemical detergents and/or brushes.



and this from Ozone

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Your wing should be dry before being packed away. Always store all your flying equipment in a cool, dry room, protected from direct heat. Moisture, heat and humidity are the worst elements for damaging your glider. Storing a damp glider in your car in the sun will lead to premature ageing of the cloth and should be avoided at all costs.


PS My philosophy has always been that gear is a consumable item. Take good care of it, work it hard, wear it out, get new stuff.

Windbot
282 posts
18 Feb 2021 12:37PM
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My kites lasted forever after a couple seasons of experience as I wasn't a freestyler, and rarely if ever crashed them. They would usually be packed away dry and never spent much time flapping around. A good day winging means the wing is flapping all the time. Additionally I am a mess winging with leashes pointy foil wings abrasive board decks all battling each other to wreck my wings, eventually one of them will win.

hilly
WA, 5907 posts
18 Feb 2021 12:53PM
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I was being cheeky DJ opening the can of worms. Your one design is built from different material. A wing using that material would weigh too much.
wet = mould that is why you should dry them before putting in a bag. I let mine dry out in car out of bag
They are built as light as possible so are fragile. Every time I get hit by a large wave I have had damage. Best outcome was the leash snapped which saved the wing. I will detach if I am caught inside by big waves again then start paddling.
Yes the foil does the most damage. Sand trapped in the canopy does a lot of damage as well Wings last at least 2 years possibly longer I believe before you will notice performance decline. Similar to kites.

eppo
WA, 7746 posts
18 Feb 2021 1:31PM
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Actually hilly that's a good point. I noticed wear between the leading edge and canopy (this happens with kites to) from sand but it wasn't after very long.

colas
4097 posts
18 Feb 2021 6:28PM
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Never rinse sail cloth (e.g. dacron, as opposed to the mylar laminate of some windsurfing sails) with tap water:
- The chlorine will slowly destroy the resin that holds the threads together, the cloth will then "bag" more under pressure and also will leak leak air pressure through the cloth, reducing efficiency.
- mildew can set in unless stored perfectly dry
- drying is tricky: drying in the sun or worse, flapping in the wind, will destroy it quickly

If you avoid abrasion (sand in bags), it could last quite long until the resin breaks by normal wear. On pre-mylar Windsurfing sails, it was about 6 months. The decrease in performance is minimal however, and most noticeable in the higher wind ranges. Only racers felt the need to change their sails every 6 months.

As PaulK says in forums.sailboatowners.com/threads/dacron-sail-lifespan.61278/

The cloth in dacron sails, which is what it looks like you have, tends to last a long time. If you look up the actual type of plastic (polyester? polyethylene?) that it is on an EcoNazi website, you'll see that it probably takes 150 years to decompose naturally. What happens BEFORE it decomposes is that it stretches. Sailmakers don't want cloth to stretch, because then it loses the shape they (and you) want it to have. To keep the sail from stretching, they use special "high modulus" woven cloth, they arrange the panels of the sail so minimize the stretch factor, they use stronger (heavier) cloth than they might otherwise, and they use cloth that has been treated with a resin coating that "fixes" the threads of the fabric so they don't move - much like a hair stays immobile after it dries in your last coat of varnish. What happens is that the sail luffs, making cracks in the resin each time you tack, and the cloth stretches a little. The halyard gets pulled extra tight on a windy day, and the cloth stretches a little. You head off to a reach before the crew eases the sheet, so the sail's pulled in too tight and it stretches a little. The breeze picks up above what the sail was designed to handle, but the harbor's only 10 minutes away, so it stretches a little. The sail still "looks" fine; the cloth could be made into shirts that would last 50 years or more. It's still relatively clean, and it still pulls the boat. Sails made out of burlap would pull the boat too. People don't use burlap if they can avoid it because it stretches a lot and wears out too fast. (Woven plastic grain bags -- is it polyester? Hmmmm. -- are better than burlap because they don't stretch as much and last longer than burlap and many other natural-fiber cloths.) If you're racing, the stretch after pehaps two hard seasons in SFO Bay might be enough to have a noticeable effect on your results. A boat like yours but with new sails might beat you every time. If you're cruising, you probably won't notice that it takes you four minutes longer to get from A to B than it would have if you had new sails. And you probably wouldn't care. Until they start to chafe through, get worn out and frayed, they'll work. 20-year old dacron sails will still work. So would sheets of plywood. It's a question of what you want in the way of performance and how much you want to balance that with cost. and pu

eppo
WA, 7746 posts
18 Feb 2021 9:59PM
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The sand gets in between the leading edge and canopy. Has nothing to do with sand in the bag. Also most people know by now not to wash them with tap water. The issue is then being wet with the water you just form out of then packing them wet. Of course sand in your bag is a bad idea to for abrasion, as per normal.

mcrt
112 posts
18 Feb 2021 10:33PM
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So:

-Sand is bad (abrasion)
-Storing wet with fresh water is bad (fungus,rot etc...)
-Tap water is bad (chlorine)
-Drying in sunlight is bad (UV decomposition).
-Drying in wind is bad (flapping,stress points)
-Drying by hanging indoors is bad (bladder shift)

I think that i will keep throwing them in the bag wet from seawater...seems to be the least bad option.

Gorgo
VIC, 4567 posts
19 Feb 2021 4:57PM
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Hanging is only bad if you do it wrong. People were hanging the wings by the front handles and that allowed the strut bladder to flop down. Hang it with the strut level and the end won't flop away.

I have been washing wetsuits and stuff in chlorinated water since the 70's. I have noticed no degradation of fabrics in that time. It might be true in remote places with crappy water systems. I doubt if it would happen in a major Australian city.

If you pump your wing with the bladder wet the bladder fabric can stick to itself and the sides of the tube. You can get a locked in twist. There's so much room inside the leading edge tube that stuff can flop around and twist inside. I had one a couple of days ago. I unzipped the leading edge and reached in and untwisted it. I was surprised how tight it was twisted.

You can see the twist as you're pumping. You have a nice smooth texture in the leading edge with a narrow bit at the seams, then a wonky wrinkly line going across on an angle, usually near the corner of the leading edge where it transitions into the tip.

colas
4097 posts
19 Feb 2021 3:34PM
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Gorgo said..
I have been washing wetsuits and stuff in chlorinated water since the 70's. I have noticed no degradation of fabrics in that time.


Wetsuits and garments do not have the resin to keep the threads in place, on the opposite you want them to stretch!
It is the resin that gets damaged, not the threads.

And as said in my post, for sailcloth you will not see the degradation with the naked eye. The actual fibers are not damaged, they just move around a bit, and the air can go through them, that's all. You are only losing a small fraction of the performance.

Clamsmasha
WA, 263 posts
19 Feb 2021 7:57PM
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Wetsuits degrade if not rinsed in fresh water because the salt crystals shred the cells in the foam. They go downhill very quickly if you dry them salty....that's how you make beef jerky.

mcrt
112 posts
19 Feb 2021 8:24PM
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Clamsmasha said..
Wetsuits degrade if not rinsed in fresh water because the salt crystals shred the cells in the foam. They go downhill very quickly if you dry them salty....that's how you make beef jerky.


Plus they get this unique aroma...
I hate it when funky wetsuit guys sit upwind in the lineup



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"Longevity ?" started by eppo