2. Don't pack up your kite when it's wet. Washing your kite is not really necessary, but if you decide to wash it, every time you do it you must let it dry properly before packing it up again. Packing your wet kite can cause mold and bad smells, and in some cases the colors might wash off.
3. Inflate and get your gear ready on the beach. Walking from the sidewalk or the grass to the beach means that on the road you will likely find tar from the street, light posts, trash cans and several other obstacles that will put your kite in danger. The kite’s lines can tangle up with the lampposts, the kite can get dirty with tar and all of this can be avoided by getting it ready directly on the beach and also avoiding long, unnecessary walks.
4. Avoid self-takeoffs as much as possible. Self-takeoffs in bow and C kites will increase their wear in the long run. Every time you make this maneuver with your kite, it will always rub itself against the surface of the beach.
5. Inflating pump. When you put away the kite’s inflating pump, first you should put the pipehose away separately. When it’s not unplugged from the pump, it'll be at risk of bending and creating cracks in the folds, thus causing unwanted leaks.
6. Control bar and lines. Keep your lines free of knots, and rinse them with fresh water after each session. A knot on the line weakens it in more than 50% of its normal capacity, putting you at risk of breaking a line. Fresh water prevents salt from corroding the fibers of the lines, as well as the pulleys and swivels of the kite.
8. Use your kite’s travel bag. Don't put away or transport the kite without it travel bag, especially if you're traveling by car. Board keels and other kinds of objects can easily perforate it.
9. Waves. If your kite fell on the water and it was caught by a wave, let the sea take it away. On the other hand, if you try to hold on to it, waves will stretch the material and deform it, and if the wave is too big it may even tear the fabric apart.
10. Wind and sun. Never let your kite get shaken by the wind and, don't ever leave it under the sun. A lot of sun causes your kite to become weak and lose its colors, and letting it shake with the wind causes strain on the materials.
11. Don’t keep your kite in dry, humid or hot areas. This can have devastating consequences for the valves.
12. If you happen to see a tear in the fabric of your kite, no matter how small, you should try to fix it before elevating the kite. Air pressure or any sort of impact will end up tearing and ruining the fabric completely.
13. Regarding your wetsuit, it's also a good idea to hang it in the shade and hanging it properly once you’re done using it. Leaving it out to dry in the sun will only shorten its life. Remember to turn it around for it to dry on both sides.
If you follow these simple rules, your kitesurfing gear will be in perfect conditions for years to come.
Read Patrick Dwyer’s “How to purchase secondhand kitesurfing gear”