Many kiters are forced to look at second-hand gear because of the high cost of new wings or bars. How can you avoid being scammed and buy high-quality equipment at an affordable price?
A new kite can bring joy to riders. Every kiter, beginner or expert, will need to buy a new piece.
Sometimes, the cost of gear is too high for us to afford. In these cases, we can consider buying used gear.
A brand-specific kite can run from 1.200 USD to 2.400 USD.
Although it may seem like a lot, kitesurfing can be a high-performance, technological sport. It takes place in areas where natural elements are putting a strain on our equipment. Riders need reliable, high-quality materials that are up-to-date and durable.
There are many ways to save money on kitesurfing equipment. We can still be satisfied with the new-used gear. To avoid getting scammed or get bad deals, it is important to be able to navigate the market and have some knowledge. Although used materials are considered to be the best option for kitesurfing gear, a lack knowledge could lead to a loss of money. You might find yourself in a difficult situation if you’re a beginner and decide to search for used kitesurfing equipment on Craigslist.
Another aspect of buying a kitesurf kite is how to assess its condition. Kitesurf bars and kitesurf kits are made from polyester fibers with inserts in Ripstop, Dacron, carbon fiber, Kevlar reinforcements. These materials can wear out over time, deform or tear apart. There are many factors that influence the life expectancy of wings and bars, including the action of wind, salt, UV rays and proper maintenance (see our other post). The bladders at the leading edge and in struts are especially sensitive to wear and heat. If the kite is stored in warm, humid or poorly ventilated areas, it may be susceptible to loosing its valve welds. These are the most important parts for safety during kitesurfing sessions. You should also check the depower elements, bridles, as well as the grip of your bar.
Even though boards have a longer lifespan, they can still be damaged by misuse or poor maintenance.
As more people get into kitesurfing and begin to sell and buy equipment, the market for used kitesurf gear is growing.
Here are some tips on how to approach an used gear purchase, and what to look for:
- You can improve your knowledge about the performance you are looking for in your gear. For example, by enhancing characteristics such as arch shape and aspect ratio of your kites as we have previously discussed. This will allow you to select the best item for your needs. You don’t want to buy used kiteboarding equipment if you are not familiar with the subject. The internet allows you to access technical datasheets and videos, as well as brochures, videos, presentations, evaluations, reviews, and tutorials for almost any product. Let’s make the most of it.
- A shop or online seller with a good reputation is probably the best place to purchase used kiteboarding equipment. This allows you to avoid bad deals and almost always has some type of warranty.
- If you are looking to purchase from a private seller, be sure to inspect the item in person (not through a photograph) and pay attention. Most likely, you won’t receive any warranty or assistance and your purchase is final.
- Try the product before you buy. Nothing beats a good session on water to test the performance of your new kite or board.
- Do not buy kites that are older than 5-6years old. Even with good maintenance, there are high chances that the materials will deteriorate. Safety systems may also become obsolete or not perform as well as the most current solutions.
This post was written by Aaron McClearnon, Owner of Elite Watersports. At Elite Watersports, We strive to provide exceptional service and genuine interactions with those interested in Kiteboarding Tarpon Springs. We hold dear our passion for being out on the water and maintain this as our foundation for all business practices.