LE Bladder Insertion - A How To Guide


Total Posts: 56

Joined 2008-10-21



Good Day Eh,

I finally had to replace the LE bladder on my 09 Rise 10m. I never took pics of the removal process but I figured hell… why not do it for the insertion. Essentially the process is pretty much reversed anyways except the installation requires confidence and greater attention to detail.

First off IMO Airtimekite.com is the only place to get your bladder replacement parts or to send hefty repairs you’re not comfortable doing yourself. They have a sizing chart that takes all the guess work out of identifying most brand’s measurements. Their products are bomber and the instructions are spot on, but ... there are a few other tips to make it run even smoother. Come to think of it I never even asked OR for replacement parts… hmmm???

Ref 1: http://oceanrodeo.com/images/uploads/kiting/pdf/SLE_kite_manual.pdf (Page 20 - 25)
Ref 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouiZF_aHsxk

So… 1.) grab a beer or more if you have a strong bladder (hehe) and prepare to become one with your kite.

2.) Clean your work surface thoroughly. The Airtime website says to layout and center your old bladder on top of the new one and mark for valve placement. I did that and also compared it to the actual LE valve holes for pinpoint accuracy in case the old bladder was botched (mine was).

3.) Confidently… mark > cut > clean > peel > stick and press your new valves into position.

4.) Roll up your crappy bladder into a pillow and take an afternoon siesta. Copious amounts of nature’s sweet nectar will help you achieve this without fail. Also, why limit yourself to one brand of cerveza? Experiment and collect all the pretty coloured cans!

5.) After you’ve woken up, grab your new bladder plugging the valves and toss it into a new garbage bag, then dump a wack of talcum pow into the mix. Seal and shake. This will act as lube to help the bladder move effortlessly through the LE chamber.

6.) Grab some masking/painters tape and roll a wad around the bladder’s tip. I strongly do not recommend tying off your pull line directly to the bladder. This kind of tape will protect the bladder from nasty pinches and can be easily removed. Do not use duct tape. That stuff is for pickup trucks, houses and submarines.

7.) Get a friend or weigh down your kite with a 600W electric skateboard, align the bladder so it’ll travel smoothly without twisting then gently pull the bladder back into the LE lining up the valves with their openings.

8.) Do the other side ...

9.) Size up the bladder by inverting any leftovers back inside themselves. I used the smooth handle of a screwdriver to get the depth I needed. Once satisfied, close the LE tube ends with the Velcro.

10.) Inflate the LE looking for signs of proper seating, twists or wrinkling. Do not fully inflate unless you’re certain everything is A-OK. Finally, deflate and reattach one pump tubing and clamps. Re-inflate if required.

Be sure to consult multiple references (as mentioned above) and with any luck your LE bladder replacement will go as smoothly as mine did.

Thanks OR and Airtime!

Whew, I need a beer!


Rise 7,10,14m | Mako Wide | Nobile T555

Total Posts: 66

Joined 2010-05-09



Great tips…Thanks!