> Are these thing really that fragile??
No. Most of the tears I've seen are either directly from abuse (like
crashing on a sharp-edged garbage can), or indirectly from slight neglect:
tears powering straight down (after luffing from a jump & forgetting to
steer the bar all the way over before the lines go tight) after a small hole
has formed from leaving it fluttering upside down with a sanded tip while
untangling lines. The solution to the first case is obvious, the solution
to the second case is to put the kite LE down if you've got a bad line
tangle (or just get Q-lines so they don't tangle in the first place!), and
periodically inspect for holes & patch them with peel-&-stick on both sides.
I used my first AR5 for over 200 hours before I had to get a small patch put
on the center batten (where I unknowingly let my bar rub on the non-shiny
side during transport/storage).