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Author Topic: Quality problems with Asian made kites  (Read 6433 times)
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gwm
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« on: June 06, 2009, 11:24 PM »

 I've just about had it with the poor quality materials in these Chinese or Asian made kites.
 I have some Buena Vista kites that have to be 10 or 12 years old and the sails are so wind beaten that they are smooth as toilet paper, but they don't have a hole or a rip anywhere. I have 2 Benson Gems that have been flown a lot and the are in nice shape.
 I got a Soul (used excellent shape) and the 2nd time I fly it and the leading rips out at the lower spreader fitting.
 I got a new SF 2.3, the 2nd time I fly it the glue joint fails in the spine ferrule.
 2 years ago I get a NT BB and the first time I take it out the glue joint fails in the leading edge ferrule and the little batten standoffs go flying to parts unknown.
 I had a Zephyr and the trailing edge just disintegrated after about 10 flights.
 Oh yeah, the best one was the NT FC UL, the kite that wanted to be a screen door. I used to take the tedlar tape with me and patch it up after every flight as the leading edge and the sail did it's best to self destruct and become a vented UL.
 I've had enough, how about you? Same experiences or is it just me?
 
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Spz0
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« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2009, 11:45 PM »

Isn't free market enterprising great?   Huh
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Dave a
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« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2009, 12:09 AM »

I can only comment on my own experiences, but i have not had the problems you have had.
Ive had a number of Asian made kites, and although the finish is not at the same level as a "boutique" kite, they have never let me down.
I currently have a Soul and a Silver Fox vented, and i can assure you they both get flown a lot, and put up with a lot of abuse  Embarrassed
Ive even still got a French connection !

Yes ive had centre tee ferrules come loose, and had leading edge ferrules "weld" themselves in place, and i will even admit that the Silver Fox 2.5UL i had suffered from cheap sail and leading edge material, but all in all ive found them to be quite durable, none have disintergrated or been torn to pieces.
And most importantly, they have all proven to be very capable kites.

None of those above problems are exclusive to Asian kites either, ive had issues with plenty more expensive kites too.
The "legendary" Nirvana is well known for having quality issues
I'm not discounting your experiences, but sometimes people look for problems with cheaper kites that they tend to overlook in more expensive ones.
A bit of superglue coming loose is hardly a hanging offense either.

(touch wood) ive never broken a Dynamic spar either, but ive busted a heap of Skyshark, Avia etc.
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tpatter
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« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2009, 12:30 AM »

My experience with the Zephyr was similar, but my Silver Foxes (while showing some wear) still have a few years left in them.

I think it is really a matter of cheaper materials.

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6 kite tom
fidelio
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« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2009, 12:41 AM »

"There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper."
John Ruskin
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tonycarl60
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« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2009, 12:45 AM »

I agree, the trailing edge on my Zephyr came unraveled and I had to re glue several parts on my silver fox. Seems to be a quality control issues.
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anOldMan
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« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2009, 12:55 AM »

There is a valid question about quality control of the workmanship of the kites coming from the east but the quality of the material is because of the kite  company selling the kites. If the material order is a poor quality. that is not a manufacturing vault.

I have stopped purchasing factory built kites. The extra money spent on a custom built kite, IMO, is money well used.

It almost seems as the kite industry is going the route of the auto industry and building their products to become obsolete in a couple of years (or months).

Some people can not wait to get a new (possible better) kite and are satisfied to have the kite. I am willing to wait a couple of months to get a well built kite that does not start breaking up after two or three flights. Or needs two to three hours work to get the kite in flying shape.

The old statement "You get what your pay for." is becoming very true in the world of kites. Especially two line sport kites.
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steve.hobart
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« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2009, 01:33 AM »

I've had similar experiences, but not just with Asian built kites.

After my first flight of the SF 2.3 Std (around 2 hours of constant tricking), I had to glue all but one c-clip (all had moved) as well as the lower spreader ferrule.....other than that it seems to be handling things ok. I've flown a SOUL, the sail didn't seem too robust to me, especially around the leading edges.....

I've had a bunch of Prism's and have had similar problems - at one stage I had 5 Qpro's and had ferrule issues with all of them (reglueing etc). On two of them the ferrules arrived loose !

Dissapointingly my recent Nirvana SE had similar issues - not something I expected on such an expensive kite (fantastic flyer though...).

Bensons...Never had an issue on the sail or any spar (Gemini UL, DS and AirBow)...

My BMK 61/49 gets a real workout (and many nose plants) - also never had an issue with it....that's one reason I have ordered an Exile UL - I know I am buying quality....

Luckily I have not had any sails fail (apart from when I nose dived a Qpro into the ground while slipping over and the spine shattered and went through the sail....had to blame myself for that one!!!).

cheers

steve
« Last Edit: June 07, 2009, 01:35 AM by steve.hobart » Logged
rxburner
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« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2009, 07:06 AM »

The Zepher and my Soul are great kites and holding up just fine. The workmanship is very nice with some excellent touches.
Rx
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RobB
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« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2009, 07:57 AM »

I have mixed experience with Asian kites. I think my Prism Mirage is an Asian kite, and it is showing signs of age after years of abuse. Really, the only thing wrong with it is the bungees are about to fail. But the Zephyr, not quite two years old, and half the flight hours, has a ragged trailing edge, looks kind of like some cutoff shorts. Both kites are well designed and built, I think the Zephyr just suffers from less than quality material on its trailing edge.
I put alot of time on New Tech kites, thought they had good designs, but poor materials. I did learn alot about fixing kites from my Big Bang and New Jam. Great flying kites, but you needed to have more kites in the bag to keep flying when the first one broke. I had the same experience with the Acrobatx... great design, but very fragile at the center T.

The other side of the coin... I spent $350+ for an 'American' made QPro SUL last year, and it didn't fly in the winds that my Zephyr would. I then heard other stories of problems with similar kites, and got suggestions of the bridle being upside down or not installed properly. I would expect a little quality control with a limited batch of kites at that price point. You don't always get what you pay for...


~Rob.
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johnfarl
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« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2009, 10:35 AM »

I don't think it is fair to generalize on quality.  I had a set of L1 Genesis and had many problems with them.  Weak nose material.  A SUL that disentagrated from the sun and i mean the sail mylar portions started to disappear.  That is is pricey European kite.  I have never owned any Flying Wings kites but friends  have been very pleased with the quality.

I have owned some perfect kites.

Fearless by Lam Hoac.  Many Many hours on all 3 kites and they still look like new.
Nirvana bought used and it looks like new.
ReActor Pro.  Looks like new and it is very old
Shiva Vented  Looks like new.

Quality is some that the manufacturer has to want.  It is not a question of mistakes or a poor batch of material.  That sounds like old time auto manufacturing.  An artist like Lam just not accept anything but perfection.  The same with a manufacturer.

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dyfrgi
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« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2009, 10:56 AM »

Man, you guys are making me really glad I just ordered a BMK Muse, rather than the SF 2.5 UL I was also considering.
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Spz0
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« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2009, 11:23 AM »

My Widow has been more or less a great kite.
One of my Nocks came unglued from the ferrule, and the bridle wasn't pre-stretched (gained about 1/2" on all 6 hauls).  Asides from that, its been great.  It didn't come with a leech line installed, so that was a project for me, but didn't mind it at all.
I have had a leading edge tear, as well as a sail tear, but those were pilot inflicted (a really hard LE crash on asphalt, and a dead launch for a sail tear along the spine).
I use to have a Citrus Quantum, and I destroyed those EZ clips they had on the pigtails causing a broken standoff, and a punctured sail.  BAAAD decision on prisms part to put those clips on, since the quantum can have some huge pull that those clips just aren't rated for.  I have heard of many horror stories about factory kites in general, but have yet to experience a big one.
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Allen Carter
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« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2009, 12:58 PM »

Well, I think it's true that one of the things you pay for in a high end kite is durability.

That said, I don't condemn a kite (or kite maker) by country of origin. I've flown some Flying Wings products very hard, and for extended periods of time, like months and months. Historically, I've seen better made sport kites from Flying Wings than from some of the bigger companies.

Overall, I think it's safe to say inexpensive kites are better made than they were 10 years ago.

Some thing to consider is the Dot Zero factor.

With new software releases, conventional wisdom is to wait until the next revision or update before adopting. Version 7.0 of anything is riskier than 7.0.1.

Mass produced sportkites seem to suffer the same early release bug syndrome. Many times you  see a first run of a kite with some issues. Durability is often one. The maker just can't real world stress test the product enough and new materials or manufacturing techniques can prove weak. Prism, who probably test as well as any of the majors has had a couple of epic component failures over the years on new kites. Weak spars on the E2, bad ferrule on the Quantum. Frame assembly seems to be a constant issue in first runs. Bad/insufficient/missing glue seems to go hand in hand with rushing the kites out the door.

Hard to resist new shiny, but I would keep the .0 syndrome in mind and check out that hot off the boat new kite for issues.

Steve's gonna kill me for this.
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anOldMan
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« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2009, 01:38 PM »


Some thing to consider is the Dot Zero factor.

With new software releases, conventional wisdom is to wait until the next revision or update before adopting. Version 7.0 of anything is riskier than 7.0.1.

Mass produced sportkites seem to suffer the same early release bug syndrome. Many times you  see a first run of a kite with some issues. Durability is often one. The maker just can't real world stress test the product enough and new materials or manufacturing techniques can prove weak. Prism, who probably test as well as any of the majors has had a couple of epic component failures over the years on new kites. Weak spars on the E2, bad ferrule on the Quantum. Frame assembly seems to be a constant issue in first runs. Bad/insufficient/missing glue seems to go hand in hand with rushing the kites out the door.

Hard to resist new shiny, but I would keep the .0 syndrome in mind and check out that hot off the boat new kite for issues.

Maybe that is why certain custom made kite models take so long to be produced for sale. The Deep space comes to mind immediately.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2009, 05:59 AM by anOldMan » Logged

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anOldMan
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