You said the kite was an SLE from a few years back. Are you using the SLE leading edge which is wider diameter tube than the vertical spars and the end caps fit inside the spar. If so there should be a large washer fitted on each end cap to protect the bungee from being damaged by the spar end. If that is where the damage is then "go kites" can supply you with spares available on their eBay shop and are in stock. The damage could be broken washers or damaged bungees caused by missing washers on a SLE shaft.
If you do not have SLE spars but standard 1/4 inch spars they also have 3 wrap centre and vertical spars available.
If you need more help a bit of elaboration on "broke both tips" would be helpful.
If you have seen all of JB's videos there is little extra that the DVD add.
I would definitely recommend making up longer top leaders on your handles, it makes life so much easier. You can use any old string within reason or even untie the top leader and reuse it as a single rather than double. The extra length on the top (brakes) slow the kite down which might make launching harder but make the kite easier to fly.
You might try your first flight(s) using the SLE but the 3 wraps are not that fragile.
Good luck with your first flights. You might consider taking JB's tutorials with you if you are able.
I think this difference may come from the age of your rods. I remember hearing not long ago, that Rev switched to hollow ferrules in all rods claiming that they are as strong as the solid ones. Granted, I have not looked into this much, but you tend to hear things while living in a kite shop.
Ben posted about the new hollow ground ferrules that Revolution were introducing on the 18th November 2011.