Duotone lines

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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.

Several typical damages on the Click bar after a few months

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 !

Above: Replacement lines non-Teufelberger Below: Fl-10 Duotone lines from Teufelberger

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? 

damaged lines Click bar
damaged lines Click bar

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.

White lines FL-10 Teufelberger, Red/black Eurocord (follow up)  lines

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?

Damaged FL-10 line in a click bar after 6 months usage
Damaged FL-10 line in a click bar after 6 months usage

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 😀

Summary

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.

 

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16 COMMENTS

  1. I received the lines like 2 weeks ago. The lines seem to be really top quality, i’ve ordered complete set for my bar – the good thing is it was plug and play process – removed old ones and attached new ones, checked the length, all lines equal, happy days. I was only 2 times out in the water, so it’s hard to say anything, but what I’ve notice the kite seem to be much more reactive. I’m not sure if sorta autosuggestion, or if it’s even possible but it really seem to react quicker. Hopefully the lines will last much longer then original ones, at least the look really solid. Cheers

  2. I just have bought set of lines for my old 5th element from https://kiteboardinglines.com/. It seems like they have lines for all north and duotone bars. Did you have any experience with them? I’ll leave some feedback once the lines arrive.

  3. Hi Roger,
    On the Click bar we have gotten more and more messages on the quick wear out. Keep an eye out on our FB page where will make an update probably this week.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  4. Just had a swim and then a four mile hike after the safety line broke on my 2018 Click Bar. The line broke inside the plastic sheath so this wasn’t something where the wear was visible. Not sure why it wears out inside there and this is the red line that is much thicker in the lower section so should be a 1200 lb test vs. the 600 lb for the normal front lines.
    Very similar to the photo at the far left above of the damaged lines- in my case it broke all the way through just beyond the splice to that little black stopper. Not realizing what line broke but trying to stop my 7 meter from spinning in 40 mph winds I popped the safety- so the entire kite went away! Fortunately I was in waist deep water and the kite stopped in the marsh with no damage.

  5. Hi Leon,
    We get this question more often but haven’t been able to investigate it thoroughly our selves. When we do we will let you know!
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  6. Hé Dave, I know this review is about the lines but do you know if there are other changes at the 2019 bar compared to the 2018?

  7. Hi Mike,
    Thanks for letting us know. Indeed we get a bit of an arrogant feeling about it. We even get requests “to immediately delete the post”.
    We are still waiting and hoping for some news from Duotone. We also have had the first reaction from people that are ditching Duotone kites because of the bar/line issue.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  8. Hey,

    thanks for this very cool interview. One of the top posts on your blog/website.

    It is very pity that duotone charges so much for their bars and cannot somehow put top quality lines in their products. It is seriously very lame! I wish they improve it, the sooner the better.

  9. Hi Nick,
    Which one exactly knows Evan from kiteinfexion.
    The wider diameter is a problem for the safety release; the plastic part is stuck quite firm in the iron heart. Which makes an activation of the qr unsafe…
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  10. Hi Dave, which Eurocord line has been used for the replacement set on the Click bar (referring to the photo in the review above)? And is there any issue with using a line slightly thicker than the Fl-10?
    Thanks, Nick

  11. Hi Dave,
    yes that is what I meant, many thanks.
    So the ony real alternative seems to either buy another kite brand or to change the entire line set of the Duotone bar.
    Is there a company which offers the entire lineset change? Are there big differences between lines from e.g. Infexion and Liros. Which line models from these two companies would you suggest to mount?
    Many thanks

  12. Hi Richard,
    If you mean a bar with the correct split hight that is quite limited.
    We know Harlem kites offers bars with the correct hight.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  13. Which are alternative bar brands to the Duotone bar without changing the flight characteristics of a Duotone kite?

  14. Checking the lines is good tips but absolutely not enough!
    You also have to remember how long you have adjust your pugtails on the front lines. After 10 cm it is higly recommended to change the lines. And it is always better to change all the 4 lines. Do not buy brand new lines, but just find somebody who is making lines with good stuff, or just buy lines by linear meter (2 hours of work, no steeching bit blocking slice and you have 4 new lines for 60euros).
    I would say that lines have to be changed after 200-250 hours!
    And do not forget to change also the loop of the chicken loop after 250-300hours.

  15. Just a quick answer to your review..
    I am, just like the many other riders I spoke, happy with the lines. We trust them in all conditions, also during Megaloops in 45+ knots and King of the Air.
    I must say it’s important to check your lines regularly, doesn’t matter what brand, as lines can get damaged easily by any obstacles at the beach.
    And yes we could “just get a new bar” but still the bars/lines we use make a lot of hour and get a real hard beating 😉

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