Washing big foils
- Hi Group
I am a tad obsessive about cleaning my toys and I have found it a bit
of a hassle to properly wash a big floppy foil after a day kiteplay.
The idea of leaving salt on delicate coated kite fabric is abhorrent
to an aging paraglider pilot like me.
I also found dealing with great floppy lengths of fabric and lines a
lot more messy than the simple rinsing of sailboard sails.
This is a method of rinsing the inside and outside that I have found
works quite well for my big ConceptAir. The CA has a velcro drain on
each win tip. You will have to adjust the method to suit your kites.
I put the kite in the plastic tub I use to carry wetsuits and other
soggy stuff. Using a gentle garden spray fitting I put enough water
the tub to be able to cover the kite. I don't like the idea of
blasting the kite fabric with a high pressure water spay.
I also put the hose inside the velcro drain on the tip and put
litres of water inside the kite. A bit of very gentle swooshing
follows to make sure all the fabric is properly wet.
Working from the tip I gently ease the kite out of the water. The
is to gently ease the water inside through the cells. ***NEVER***
apply more than finger pressure to the fabric. The fabric of the kite
must never bear the weight of the water inside. You don't want to
stretch the fabric or strain the seams.
As the kite comes out of the water I feed it up onto a drying rack
made of a couple of lengths of 50mm plastic pipe hanging from my
Make sure the drain at the other tip is open. When you reach the
tip make sure most of the water and any sand is drained out of the
drain and the kite is hanging from the drying rack. A fair amount of
water drips off the kite but it only makes a small puddle. Carefully
keeping the kite over the tub means most of the water drips back into
The kite will dry pretty well overnight and be completely dry in two
days. Usually the tips stay a bit damp as water drains down. The kite
dries much faster if you inflate it with a vacuum cleaner or a
**COLD** hair dryer. It also looks pretty cool having a fully
7 metre foil hanging from the roof of the garage. It will be
completely dry inside and out overnight.
I don't wash my kite after every use. I think excessivve washing
would cause more wear and tear on the fabric. I'm past the stage of
drowning it or getting really wet and sandy after a day of
so I only wash it at the end of a weekend or if the forecast looks
like there's not going to be any kitesurfing for a few days. I may
wash it if I've dropped it on the water or if there is several days
accumulated salt. A quick lick will tell if it needs to be washed.
(Don't let your girlfriend catch you licking your kite. She might get
After you've done the kite you can then wash wetsuits etc in the same
water then pour the water on the garden. All this washing can be done
in about 15 minutes and can be done in the relative comfort of the
garage. A good thing with out short Autumn days and chilly nights.