WindFire Designs Kite Repair Service

Kite Repair image showing alignment of fibers before patching

Kites repaired properly perform flawlessly and look great.
You may even want to show them off.

WindFire Designs provides a complete service for kite repairs of any kind. We specialize in repairing kitesurfing kites, and to date we have repaired literally thousands of them. We repair paragliders and all other ram-air foils too.

When your wing is with us for repair, we proceed with care, precision, and fast turn-around times. Our years of knowledge, skill, and our specialized sewing machines allow us to line up and repair kites fiber-for-fiber. WindFire Designs kite repair means zero performance loss.

WindFire Designs Kite Repairs - Tim Elverston Sewing a ram air foil Kite Repair
Kite Repair image showing red Cabrinha purchased on ebay and sent to windfire designs for kite repair on an extensively damaged kite surfing kite

At WindFire Designs, we thrive on details, and we know the importance of being consistent. We are two people, Tim Elverston, and Ruth Whiting. We have been professionals in kites since 1994.

The core principals behind WindFire Designs Kite Repair Service:

  • Any and all repair work by WindFire Designs is guaranteed forever.
  • Dimensionally perfect within <1mm
  • OEM fabrics, threads, needle
    guages, and stitching patterns
  • Fast service with personal attention.
  • Over 20 years of kite design,
    building, and repair service experience.
  • UV resistant materials that will never
    gather sand or mildew.
  • Techniques that comply with, and preserve
    the natural dynamic shape and
    stretch of flying fabric structures.
  • Good will , customer-oriented
    pricing and payment policies.
  • Most important, we love
    what we do everyday.

If you are unsure about the repairability of your kite, simply email us a few pictures showing the damage and we'll let you know. If the kite was in good condition prior to the damage, it's almost certain that it's worth repairing.

Rush repairs:
Go ahead, rush us. Write "Time Sensitive" or something equally witty on the ouside of the box. Normally we can meet any deadline without any extra labor charges.

Call us and talk to a human:
352 219 4269 — Generally answered by Tim

Current turn-around time:
4-6 days (updated Apr 21 2014)

Contact us

 
cabrinha ripped orange ripstop super close of fibers before repairing this kite

WindFire Designs
Kite repair service in a few easy steps

How to have your kites repaired by WindFire Designs:

1: Print or fake our WindFire Designs Repair Ticket

2: Allow the kite to dry and shake off loose sand

3: View our checklist

4: Pack the kite in a smallish box

5: Ship to WindFire Designs

paraglider repair showing close up of cell patch done properly

A North Rebel with what was initially, a very sad wing tip.

North Rebel Kite Repair North Rebel Kite Repair after Windfire Designs Kite repair

A customer sent us the image [above left]. It was a perfect restoration when finished.

Below is an image of one of our sewing needles. It's a marvel of engineering actually. Take the opportunity to study the shape the next time you see one.

We use a bonded polyester thread that's resistant to ultraviolet. We change gauges of both needles and threads to fit the various situations found on every kite.

kite repair sewing needle showing polyester thread

Frequently asked questions

flysurfer speed kite repair bridle

Aesthetics:
We only do kite repairs one way, and that is with very fine work. A repair that is done well goes hand-in-hand with one that also looks good. We have developed all kinds of techniques to deal with the most difficult situations. There is more information below, and on our various blogs about this. Don't hesitate to ask specifics about your repair.

Bridles for kites and Paraglider Bridles
(line/tension system) repairs:
Yes, we fabricate and repair all kinds of high performance tension systems and line elements for kites and paragliders.

Payment:
Please email us to discuss payment options. You'll find our customer-oriented policies are both easy and unusually generous. All advice is free. If you are not completely satisfied with our work, we'll do it over, or refund the cost, it's that simple.

Cost:
Some damage looks bad, but is relatively easy to repair. The flip side? Some looks simple but takes longer due to the position in the structure. Our prices relate only to the time we spend on your repair. We have no minimum charge.  The price range of repairs is generally between $25 and $180. Our customers often tell us that our prices are extremely reasonable—we intend to keep hearing that.

Kite Bladder Repairs:
We repair some kite bladders in place, without the need to remove them at a minimal charge. For bladder damage that is more extensive, we work with and recommend Jim Haddox. Together, our two shops act as one smooth service. If your kite has only bladder damage, and no fabric damage, we recommend that you ship it directly to Jim Haddox in Ormond Beach Florida.

Our service area — and the types of kites we repair.

For over 14 years we have provided kite repair services for Florida and the entire United States. We also regularly service kites from Canada, Mexico, Hawaii, and nearly all of the islands that surround Florida like the Florida Keys, Tobago, and Puerto Rico. We repair a lot of kites from the "East Coast kiting meccas" like Miami, Clearwater, Jupiter, West Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Datona, St. Augustine, Jacksonville, Tampa and Clearwater. We are continually receiving repairs from new places, and we are always amazed by how wide-spread the world's kite flyers are.

Yes! We repair your brand of kite! Not only that, we have probably seen exactly the same damage yours has. We repair any, and all brands of kites. Cabrinha, Best, North, Wainman, RRD, Ozone, Flexifoil, Wipika, Slingshot, F-One, Naish, Gaastra, GK Sonic, Peter Lynn, you name it we repair it. Of course the reason is that from a fabric construction point of view, they are all essentially the same to us. Send us a wing to repair and we'll repair it.

 
 
 
kite repair detail of stitching patch

About our kite repair techniques

Attention to micro details is what makes a good kitesurfing kite repair.

Below are some photos showing before and after damage and our repair of this Slingshot 15 kite surfing kite. This one lives in Vermont. Anyway, as you will see this was essentially two repairs in one. First, the canopy was ripped, which traveled from the leading edge all the way down to the trailing edge. This is actually a very common way in which kites fail and we see it happen to every brand of kite on the market. To repair a rip in a kite canopy like this, we first line up every single fiber along the path of damage.

If you look closely at ripstop damage, you'll see the tiny clues we use. It may sound like too much work to line up every fiber, but the cool thing is, repairing a kite perfectly is actually easier and faster than whacking it back together like a yokel. Once the edges of the rip are back in place we add cloth and sew the perimeter of the patch. All transitions and corners are rounded and blended for strength first, but also for cosmetics.

slingshot kite repair before windfire designs kite repair

Slingshot kite repair of the canopy — before [above] and after [below]

slingshot kite canopy repair after windfire designs kite repair

Extremely fine quality kite leading edge repairs

The leading edge of this same Slingshot was also blown out. The rip traveled along the junction of the strut where it meets the leading edge. To repair this, we first have to open the leading edge and partially remove the strut. This has to be done in order to run the patch cloth under the strut to LE junction. Once the deconstruction is complete, we begin to heal the edges back together like we did with the canopy, using all the data that the failed fibers leave behind. Patch cloth is run with double layer on the interior of the leading edge tube, and single layer on the outside.

The layers of the cloth we add are balanced against the base thickness of the leading edge tube so that the finished repair is not too bulky or stiff. Every corner and transition is rounded and blended in with the structure for strength and cosmetics. Then comes the most important seam of any kite repair: closing the leading edge. We have spent years perfecting our technique for this. Sometimes we see work from other shops and this seam really separates those who know how to sew from those who don't. Every micro detail is accounted for and this yields a perfect finished shape with absolute restoration of strength.

slingshot kite leading edge repair before windfire designs kite repair
   
slingshot kite leading edge repair after windfire designs kite repair

The power of hiding a kite repair in plain sight

These are some little tricks we like to use on the eyes. These could easily have been patched right over, but a few small touches make all the difference.

Preserving the number 17 was important since it's where the user looks to determine what size kite they are pulling out of the bag. The grey and red kite looked great with a little red patching, but where we crossed graphics, we followed suit.

kite repair of liquid force leading edge while maintaining the graphics in the patch by windfire designs
   
kite repair of RRD by WindFire Designs

Below is a North Rebel with a blown out wing tip and the strut is separated from the canopy. It took lots of patience, but this kite repaired perfectly.

kite repair of North Rebel 11 before windfire designs
   
kite repair of North Rebel after WindFire Designs
   
foil kite repair at the seam showing one line of stitching picked out to preserve alignment, but with the second still in place

About the people who repair kites at WindFire Designs

Tim Elverston

Ruth Whiting

portrait of tim elverston of windfire designs portrait of ruth whiting of windfire designs

Tim Elverston has worked professionally as a kite designer and builder for 20 years. He disguises art as work so people don't notice. Read thoughts on repairing kites here.

Ruth Whiting, artist and wind worshipper, has 15 years experience in every aspect of professional kiting. Her work is careful, beautiful, and precise.

kite repair in progress of flysurfer speed rib stitching detail showing laser cut numbers for cell coding in manufacturing windfiredesigns

Testimonials about WindFire Designs Kite Repair Service

Customer feedback is one of the most important aspects of our business. We pride ourselves on being an exception to the "no news is good news" rule. Here are some reviews from our great customers.

On Feb 20, 2012,
High Point Engineering wrote:

I got the kite back the other day; the repairs are superb. Extra care was taken to seamlessly blend the repair areas with the original areas: the stitching is the same pattern, size, and quality as the original, any replacement material was selected to match the original, the patches were place either on the outside or the inside of the kite so that the original logo was preserved. I have to look hard to see where the kite was damaged. I took the kite out the other day and it flew as well as it ever had. The work was done in a timely manner and at a reasonable price. I would recommend WindFire Designs to any friend that needs repair work! -John

On Jun 10, 2011,
j baker wrote:

Hey Tim, I just received the Octane that you repaired for me and it looks fantastic! It's real obvious that you take a lot of pride in what you do. I will highly recommend you to anyone I know for kite repair.

Thanks again for everything.
Best Regards Jeff Baker

On Mar 1, 2009,
Mike Gavin wrote:

Tim,

Thank you for the great service. I was very impressed by the way to conduct business. You will have all my future kite repair business.

Have a great year!!!
Mike Gavin

On Dec 15, 2010,
captain lenny wrote:

Tim.

Well the kite survives...
The test was a day of gale force wind down here in Key West. The kite repair survived, not to mention looking like it came straight from the factory....Thanks for the extra stitches around my patch job.

Thanks a bunch.......The guys on the water are all impressed with your work too.....
Thank you,
Captain Lenny

On Oct 18, 2012, at 2:04 PM,
Geoff Gibson wrote:

Tim, Just got my Kite. I am blown away. I told you I had spent my life in the sewing business, and am a fair amateur sail repair guy, when I can get my hands on a Zig-Zag machine.I have never seen such nice work on a repair.

The words craftsman, and artisan come to mind. It is virtually invisible if you are not looking for it. As an ex-sewing industry guy, I can see the extreme quality of your work. I was really pleased and excited when I pumped it up and checked it out.

Thank you for a wonderful repair experience. This is the first time I have ever had a kite repaired, and did not feel that it was diminished in appearance or performance.

Kindest Regards, Geoff


Read more testimonials here

ruth whiting repairs kite bridle on flysurfer speed 21m

Ruth repairs a bridle on a Flysurfer Speed 21m

kite repair - bridle detail

Guide to WindFire Designs kite repair content on the web

Blogs

Environmental policy

WindFire Designs has two blogs
and a facebook page:

Kite Repair Blog — Things we learn while repairing your kites. This is a post with advice on How To do adhesive-based kite repairs.

WindFire Designs Studio Blog — News about our studio, art, and designs.

WindFire Designs on Facebook

boxes of repaired kites on the truckbikeWe attempt to have minimal impact on the environment. We often ship kites without using a gasoline vehicle. Read about it here.

   

WindFire Designs Circle Tools

WindFire Designs Circle Tools

WindFire Designs Circle Tools are made for beautiful circles. Specifically designed for countless uses, they provide elegant and precise utility.

Stainless steel, and made entirely in the USA, they are each hand finished here in our studio. Use them for all kinds of design, fabric, kite repair patches, wood work, and metal work.

A video from a long time ago—an afternoon in our old shop.

I was working on an Ozone Access [blog link] and paul fixed two Best Waroos. The camera was shooting a frame every 30 seconds. I then extended it out to four times the length. The music is a band called Strut from Asheville NC.

 
 
macro shot of ripped fibers of a damaged kite before repair orange cabrinha

WindFire Designs
Kite repair service in a few easy steps

How to have your kites repaired by WindFire Designs:

1: Print or fake our WindFire Designs Repair Ticket

2: Allow the kite to dry and shake off loose sand

3: View our checklist

4: Pack the kite in a smallish box

5: Ship to WindFire Designs

 
paraglider repair shot showing stitching of patch going into the junction of a cell instead of jumping over the cell like a cheap repair from a hack would

To all our customers, Thank you.

All content on the WindFire Designs domain is © 2000-© 2014