Here’s What You Should Do with Old Kiteboarding Kites

Kiteboarding is a great hobby, but kiteboarding kites are often damaged through mistakes or simple wear and tear. Even though they can’t still be used for kiteboarding, a damaged kite still offers quite a bit of relatively durable material, and a lot of people feel bad throwing them out.

So, what should you do with old kiteboarding kites? Old kiteboarding kites can be used for many different projects, depending on the material they are made from and the amount of damage they’ve sustained. Common projects include protective covers, bags, art, and clothing.

At the end of the day, kiteboarding kites really are just large pieces of cloth or foil, so there are technically endless projects they can be a part of. They also have a unique aesthetic, with eye-catching logos and patterns, making them an attention-grabbing fashion statement. 

Read below, and you’ll find a few of our favorite examples of uses for old kiteboarding kites.

What Can You do with Old Kiteboarding Kites?

In today’s world, we’re constantly searching for new ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle. We know the importance of using old things and making them new in an effort to prevent more waste from going into landfills. Kiteboarding kites are no different, and thankfully, they lend themselves to some fantastic DIY upcycling projects.

Outdoor Seat Cover

We’ll start with the easiest project, the outdoor seat cover. Since most kiteboarding kites are made of durable polyester, their material is well suited to outdoor applications. Using the kite to cover deck chairs and other outdoor seating is a great way to reuse their material.

Keep in mind that polyester is generally durable but also relatively light. As such, it usually isn’t suitable for use in a hammock or other weight-bearing applications. Polyester should be used to make existing seating more comfortable and more resistant to the elements, not to make new seating.

Finally, make sure the kite material is well secured to the chair. Though these kites are durable and resistant to water damage, they are, well, kites!  

This means that they can easily catch a breeze, so if they become unsecured, they might blow away. Not only that, if they become partially unsecured, and your furniture is light enough, such as a wicker chair, the whole chair might blow away!

So long as you secure the material well, using a kiteboarding kite is a great way to make an outdoor seat cover, enhancing the comfort, appearance, and longevity of your favorite outdoor furniture.

Bags

Depending on the type of bag, this can either be quite challenging or not challenging at all. 

The attention-grabbing patterns and colors used in most kiteboarding kites make the material great for a fashionable handbag, and its durability makes it suitable for more mundane uses.

However, before you start, it’s crucial to make sure the material of your kiteboarding kite is in relatively good condition. Obviously, if you’re retiring your kiteboarding kite, it’s either damaged or old and worn. When using such material for a bag, you risk it not being strong enough to carry the items placed within it.

This is ok. You just have to be careful. In a damaged or worn kite, some areas of the material may be more damaged than others. Simply cut around the unusable and unsafe sections of cloth, and look carefully for holes and other weaknesses in the fabric.

As long as you do that, the possibilities are endless! The colorful patterns of kiteboarding kites can make a great fashion statement and are suited well for a sporty purse. Keep in mind that this project may be a bit challenging, as keeping the bag symmetrical when avoiding problem material is difficult.

Additionally, you can use kiteboarding kites to make more utilitarian bags. A reusable grocery shopping bag comes to mind, but keep in mind that more functional bags often are required to bear more weight.  

It’s recommended to either make extra sure that the material you’re using isn’t worn or damaged or to purchase a separate bag for heavier items like potatoes and beverages.

Clothing

If you’re really talented at crafts, you can even use kiteboarding kites to make clothing! 

This is the sort of project that should be left only to the most talented DIY enthusiasts, but if you’re up to it, kiteboarding kites are capable of making a lasting fashion statement.

The durable, water-resistant polyester most kiteboarding kites are made from is perfect for outdoor clothing such as windbreakers and ponchos. It’s recommended that you stick to clothing you wear on top of other clothing, such as jackets because the polyester can be uncomfortable or even painful when rubbing against skin.

As with the bag project, it is important to make sure you evaluate the wear and tear on your kite before using the material for a project involving clothing. Since there are so many cuts and seams for a project like this, weak or damaged material can easily tear. It would be a shame to spend so much time on a project, only to have the fabric rip after you’re done!

Take a look at what Kite Lab has made with some old and broken kites. Love it!

Preparing Your Old Kiteboarding Kite 

Those were just a few ideas for what to do with material salvaged from an old kiteboarding kite, but you really can use them for a number of different things! 

However, whenever you reuse materials, especially when those materials were previously used for a watersport, it is important to both check the material for damage and to wash them thoroughly.

Fortunately, part of the general maintenance of a kiteboarding kite requires regular washing, as well as vigilance for rips and tears. If you’re familiar with this process, just think of it as preparing your kiteboarding kite for one last ride. If not, read on, and we’ll explain 

Checking your Kiteboarding Kite for Damage

Its use in an exciting watersport is bound to result in some damage to your kiteboarding kite. Fortunately, most of the time, this kind of damage is pretty obvious, resulting from a fall or a collision that is easily remembered.

However, what you really have to worry about is general wear and tear. Since this type of damage happens gradually over time, it’s much easier to overlook. In terms of wear and tear, the most important place to look for damage is at the seams.

When wind strains against the kite during use, the seams receive the brunt of the stress. 

This makes them good candidates for fraying and ripping, so examine them closely before using their material in a project.

Additionally, pay extra close attention to the seams if you didn’t regularly clean your kite after every use. When sand accumulates in a kiteboarding kite, the resulting friction accelerates any wear and tear that happens.

If you find any damage to your kite, don’t let it worry you! Since most damage occurs near the seams, it’s that much easier to cut around it without being forced to discard large amounts of unusable cloth. 

Cleaning your Kiteboarding Kite

Cleaning your kiteboarding kite is fairly simple, as the main purpose is to remove the sand that has accumulated at the seams. A gentle rinse should have no problem accomplishing this, so don’t use too much water pressure when cleaning, as this can damage the kite.  

Soap is not generally recommended, but as long as you’re gentle, you can use a soft sponge for any bits that are especially stubborn.

Conclusion

And there you go! Kiteboarding kites offer the opportunity to reuse a lot of very durable material, and you should never let it go to waste! Whether you’re a master at arts and crafts, or just somebody looking for a simple project to save some money, old kiteboarding kites are a great option so long as you take care to make sure the material isn’t damaged.

Tim Conner, M.D.

Tim Conner, M.D. started boating in 1974. He has been involved in recreational boating continuously since then. Dr. Conner has been active in boating and watersports safety education for decades. He rode his first jet ski in 1997, and rejoined the personal watercraft arena in 2012 with a Sea-Doo GTX 155, followed by 2 supercharged SeaDoos. Scuba certification came in 1988, and he and the family have traveled the world snorkeling and scuba diving for decades. The family has recently taken up paddle boarding, with wakeboards and kitesurfing the next challenges for my adult kids. Click the photo for a lot more.

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