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Professional Opinion on Rinsing Kites After Saltwater

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Since 07 Jul 2021
6 Posts


PostMon Oct 11, 21 8:20 am    Professional Opinion on Rinsing Kites After Saltwater Reply with quote

When I searched forums for whether I should rinse my kites or not after saltwater use, I found mixed opinions. So I decided to reach out to Cabrinha. Here's their response. Just spreading the knowledge:

"We actually recommend that you do not rinse your kite with hosewater. City water supply usually contains chemicals that over time can cause a breakdown of the coatings and materials on your kites. Also fresh water can mildew causing additional damage to your kites. The saltwater wont damage your equipment. We recommend that you make sure to store your kites dry in a cool and dry environment regardless of their being salt water dried on your kite."

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Since 13 Mar 2012
621 Posts


PostMon Oct 11, 21 9:11 am     Reply with quote

Not a professional opinion!!!


I would definitely rinse your kitebars and any lines with pulleys (bridals on kites). Saltwater and ropes with friction quickly adds visible wear to equipment. It's easy to tell kitebars that have spent time in salt water as the depower line will be all fuzzy.

Regarding saltwater on the surface of kites. I'm not convinced it's worth the effort.

Kiting starts at 40MPH

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Since 09 Mar 2005
1945 Posts

PostMon Oct 11, 21 9:26 am     Reply with quote

I do both. If the kite got salty, but was rolled up with little sand adhering to the kite, then I just air dry it in the shade on the lawn. After it is dry, sand usually adheres to it so I shake and slap the leading edge to rid it of sand.

However, there are times when the kite is very wet and lots of sand gets on it and one rolls it up. Especially really fine golden sand like Manzanita's sand vs Northern strip/lot b sand, which is bigger aggregate and more brown in color.

Then the kite is more like a cinnamon roll.

That is when I pull out the hose and wash it off. I might even pump it up before I wash it off as that helps the process of getting rid of the sand in the inside of the canopy and leading edge.

Sand is the enemy; you'll never get rid of all of it.

If I lived right on the beach and my kites, bags, and gear never went into my car or another's car, I probably wouldn't worry about it as much.

Always best to keep bar and depower line free of sand and same goes for the connections points for the lines and the pigtails on the kite.

And I always rinse with fresh water my wetsuit, booties, harness, bar and lines after each time I go in the ocean.


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Wind Slither

Since 04 Mar 2005
2473 Posts
The 503

PostTue Oct 12, 21 8:20 am     Reply with quote

Bars/harnesses, yes. Slows the metal corrosion and best way to get the sand out.

Suit, yes when convenient (like if you have an outdoor shower). Better for the rubber, but more for the pee cheese.

Kites? nah. Waste of time and water. Dry 'em and shake out the sand before you bag.

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Since 19 May 2005
4047 Posts
XTreme Poster

CGKA Member

PostTue Oct 12, 21 9:23 am     Reply with quote

I kept a car in Hawaii for years with my kite gear in back for layovers there. (I averaged three or four days a month kiting in Kailua over the years.) One of the first things I would do with a new kite was make sure it got a good dunking in the ocean to get it good and salty. Sometimes I'd have to leave a kite a bit moist when I left. As long as the kite had been "Ocean Treated", the kite would be fine when I got back. The main thing I feared was a passing rain shower that would rinse off my kite and rinse out the salt. I had that happen once... I managed to dry the kite to about 99% dry--it was covered in mildew when I got back a few weeks later.

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Since 14 Dec 2012
377 Posts

PostWed Oct 13, 21 9:56 am     Reply with quote

This is a great topic / info !!!! Thanks

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Since 28 Apr 2008
853 Posts
Newport, OR

PostWed Oct 13, 21 8:04 pm     Reply with quote

I lived on the central Oregon coast for 30 years now, and started kiting back in 2000. Rarely do I go to the Gorge or other freshwater venues. I average about 100 days a year kiting almost all of it in the ocean and the surf. Here's what i do:

Never have rinsed kites, but if they get sandy, then I dry and shake them out before bagging. Sometimes after a SW storm wind session when kites can get really grossly loaded with sand I will pump them up and let them dry in the garage overnight. Then brush the sand off the kite with a horse hair hand brush. The kites hold up just fine and some of my older kites (4-8 years) that I have sold to local friends are still seen flying around here and performing just fine. One thing is that I rarely drop my kites in the water and sometimes go entire seasons without letting them touch the water.

I do always rinse my other gear: bars and lines, wetsuits, boards, etc.

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