New kite with stains on the sail?

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Todd Parker:
I just bought a new kite.  When I opened up the package, I was dismayed to see that there are dark grey stains on the sail.  The stains are long, thin, and run from the nose or leading edge to the trailing edge.  The sail has the appearance as if the spars were lightly smeared with ink before they were rolled up with the kite and stuffed into the bag.

Concerned, I contacted the vendor.  I was told by them that this is common and normal for the type of material that the sail is made out of.  They said that they have had many kites of the same type as mine, and others with the same sail material that have had this kind of staining.

Is this really normal?

Todd Parker:
Yeah, I just joined the forum today to ask this question.  Actually, I just *found* this forum yesterday.  I've had a few stunt kites over the years, but haven't been very serious about it.  A few months ago I learned about these fancy new "trick" kites, so I thought I'd try one.

I'm wondering if it would be bad form to mention what kite this is.  I'm pretty sure that it's bad form to mention the vendor, so I won't do that.

The web site says that the sail material is made out of "Icarex polyester", if that means anything to anybody.

Steve Hall:
It is not unheard of ... usually that sort of staining comes from the bridle lines. Kite is wrapped up tightly in the bag ... in shipping/storage a little condensation occurs and the dye from the bridles lines leach into the sail material. It certainly does not affect performance and from the end of the lines I'd bet you can't see it.

It is okay to mention the specifics of the parties involved ... as long as what you are saying is true and your experience.

I'm guessing these kites are made over seas and the designer and distributor are at the mercy of the over-seas shops. I can see where each kite obtained might not be opened and inspected but I see no reason why these companies should tell the customer that it's their problems. If the distributor sold the bad kite then _they_ they should take it back and return it to the manufacture under warranty. That is the correct thing to do.

While I've heard of sails being stained, it should not be normal and it should not be accepted by the customer. If it were me I'd ask the seller to make it right and post here as to what went on. If the seller does a good job, then everyone will know it.

Todd Parker:
My vendor is willing to take the kite back for a full refund.  I'm not sure if they will pay for return shipping - I haven't asked.

Steve's explanation makes sense - thanks for that.  Np's vendor also mentioned dye from the leading/trailing edge.  Yeah, so dye from the bridle lines or from the leading/trailing edges leaching onto the sail due to condensation during shipping or storage.  OK.

The key point is that this doesn't seem to be an isolated issue.  What I'm hearing from my vendor and what np's vendor says is that most or all of the kites are like this.    Regardless of what a vendor is willing to do to rectify an issue, it sounds like if I want a new kite, it's going to have stains on the sail.  I just find that odd.

Are there trick kites that have leading/trailing edges and bridles lines that are made without dye?  Or maybe I'm buying my kite at the wrong time of year?  Maybe some other time of year the shipping from wherever it's made won't have as much of a problem with condensation?

I think I'm over-analyzing this.  But...  It was kinda spendy.  And it showed up brand new with stains on it.


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