Erik, Patrick, Lars, Glen, Fab, Flow and Yuvy. All readers of our reviews. And all of them suffered from the same issue; wear out of the Duotone lines produced by Teufelberger. They are not the only ones. Our test member also broke more than just one of those lines. Frequently we get reactions form users who are annoyed or disappointed because of damaged or broken Duotone lines. This was already a problem with the quad bar but with the Click bar even more.
Is there a solution available? A local supplier apparently can deliver better quality lines. To our surprise the manufacturer -Teufelberger- of the Duotone lines contacted us after we wrote about the Click bar. The reason; there are better lines available at Teufelberger. But Duotone currently doesn’t offer them. Unfortunately Duotone won’t answer our questions. But Stephanie Marisch from Teufelberger was so nice to take some time for us and reveal a bit more !
We Test Kites (WTK) questions to Stefanie Marisch Market Manager for Kitelines at Teufelberger (TB). A family owned company for over 225 years and employs around 1300 people worldwide..
WTK: To us Teufelberger is known to be the supplier of flying lines for Boards&More (Duotone).
TB: Duotone is buying from us in bulks this means we ship the lines needed on reels like we do for the Marine industry. The factory is then manufacturing the lines to how you see it then on the bar you buy.
WTK: You contacted us when we made review of the North Click bar 2018. Can you confirm that the (FL-10 or “Tarifa Fl 340T”) lines on the North/Duotone bars are unchanged for over 5 years now?
TB: I think I am not long enough working in this field of the company to answer this properly how long the FL-10 lines are used. I can just tell that we constantly develop lines together with Duotone. Of course there are always more expensive options available at the market but the standard user would most likely not be willing to pay for that. It’s like with the VW and a Porsche does everyone in this world who wants a car, take a Porsche, or is for the broad mass fine with a VW? 😉
WTK: What can you say about ways of testing the lines?
TB: An important factor with these lines is also weight, considering the wind resistance but in general you are completely right. In our factory we have different testing facilities where some meters of every production batch are tested. We only test the lines how they come out of our machines. Results of different companies are hardly comparable as presumably (I do not know) companies have different testing facilities. Also the parameters are not set, we for example test elongation at 80 daN, others test at 40 or 100.
Included in the answers we got an interesting current product overview from Teufelberger. The one Duotone is using (previously North) over 5 years Fl-10 lines are clearly not the ‘Porsche” amongst the product range anymore.
Our educated guess is that there is more to it than just strength and a minimum of stretch. The wear out we see on the Click bar has probably a lot to do with the quality of the coating. We see far less wear out on our replacements lines for example.
WTK: The coating of the current Fl-10 lines seems minimal and they feel less smooth compared to some other lines we have seen. What can you say about that?
TB: Coating is something where we are constantly re-engineering. Furthermore it must be said that there are many different coating at the market and not every product, also from us, has the same coating. The colored Nylon line “Trace Technology” makes the line stiffer and helps the line to get back to its shape and minimizes shrinking.
WTK: Lines are the most important failure part of a bar. Would Teufelberger dare to give expected lifetime in the future?
TB: A lifetime of a line is always hard to tell because it depends on so many factors. How often are you out on the water? What are the conditions? Heavy wind, light wind, high waves, low waves, are you on a lake or at the sea, are you a pro or a beginner, are you just cruising around or doing competitions? So I hope you can understand that we cannot tell any lifespan 😀
Last -but far from least- is the money aspect. We understood the upper Teufelberger range is a lot more expensive. For us it is hard to tell what would happen with the -already high- prices of Duotone bars with better lines. But there are better lines at different kite brands which are even cheaper than Duotone currently asks for its bars&lines. Too bad Duotone is not really willing to share any information on this topic. On the contrary even. They don’t seem to like us bringing up the subject. So we can only guess what keeps Duotone from stepping up to a better line. Changing lines will probably mean replacing parts for different (diameter) lines. Which can be an obstacle.
Not everybody is perfect. But not able to see most of the wear out in combination of a high risk breaking your safety line (which is the same as the left powerline at the Click bar) should be the reason to fix this issues asap. Let’s hope they are on top of it. Seen their established image and their refined product range they should already have lived up to this expectation.