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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2003 2:33 am 
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Something that hasn't been mentioned yet (this time around) is the fact that while you're dragging back to your board (possibly quite a distance, if you had to relaunch your kite first) you're creating more of an obstacle for other riders. During the entire time (including the kite relaunch) your board is a nearly invisible obstacle for other water users.

If you are riding with a detached leash (Reel, or short piece of line with a clip specifically for the following), if you come off your board AND crash your kite, it seems wise to release the kite to its leash first, then swim to the board & connect the leash before relaunching the kite. By failing to do that I lost a board & never got it back (riding late with sun setting glare from directly upwind).


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2003 2:41 pm 
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I sail in cold water, where you could quickly lose the ability to use your hands if you are in the water for long. Having your board nearby is very excellent. I also wear a helmet and an impact vest. I'm sure that there are times where it would be best to unclip the leash. My buddy was overpowered the other day, and could not get back upwind to his board. He ended up on another beach about a mile downwind. With the leash, he could have made it back home before the building wind really became a problem. THe Reel Lessh definately reduces, but does not eliminate, the potential for snap back.

Gary


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2003 3:19 pm 
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kjelleren wrote:
I sail in cold water, where you could quickly lose the ability to use your hands if you are in the water for long. Having your board nearby is very excellent. I also wear a helmet and an impact vest. I'm sure that there are times where it would be best to unclip the leash. My buddy was overpowered the other day, and could not get back upwind to his board. He ended up on another beach about a mile downwind. With the leash, he could have made it back home before the building wind really became a problem. THe Reel Lessh definately reduces, but does not eliminate, the potential for snap back.

Gary


The chances of board rebound with a reel leash still exist but are ideally reduced when compared to a fixed length leash. It think that board rebound could still happen in well powered wipeouts and if the reel jams as some have described.

A more common cause of reel leash related injury may be wave propelled board impact by virtue of the close proximity of the board. Has anyone tried attaching a conventional polyurethane surf board leash between the reel leash and the board? You may still be hit by a wave propelled board but it COULD reduce the chance of this. Another idea that I have never tried but probably should under moderate conditions is to tie in a 10 to 15 ft. section of nylon line wrapped up to where it will extend to full length if the board leash is used. That way your effective leash length will be 20 to 25 ft. as opposed to 10 ft. Accidents could still happen but hopefully the chances would be further reduced from the current potential.

I understand that some kiteboarders in certain areas with contrary currents, heavy surf and cold waters may have special NEED for a board leash and don't necessarily have the viable option of body dragging to recover their board. These folks may need to carefully consider and figure out the safest way to use some form of board leash. At the same time I think that there are MANY riders using leashes that don't have these special limitations and could easily use body dragging to reliably recover their boards most of the time. These riders may not be aware of the ease of body dragging or don't take the hazard posed by leash use seriously.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2003 4:06 pm 
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Making kiters aware of the hazards is they key. As Rick says, many people may not know the risk attendant to using a board leash, reel or otherwise. Also, the point isn't weather or not the leash is functioning properly. It may perform exactly as designed and you STILL might get hurt.

Each rider will have to weigh the benefits of using board leashes against the risks of doing so, and come up with their own answer regarding if and when to use them.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2003 10:53 pm 
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Hi Rick,

I've lengthened my Reelleash with a piece of ordinary 8 mm line (spectra core) of about 2 m. This gives a total distance of around 5 meters extended. It also prevents from the leash from being tight during sailing, which is much more comfortable. A better option would be to make it bigger to hold more leash. (I think it was discussed last year, but I'm not sure if Oceanus made any moves in that direction).

Another area where much could be improved it the mounting of the leash to the harness. I used the grab handle on the back of my Da Kine Fusion harness for this by sliding the handle through the loop at the back of the reel. This allows the reel to slide back and forth when used. It also prevents it from getting stuck (by having the loose rope wrapped around it) which was possible with the reelleash mounted on the side of the harness.

Also a possible improvement is acquiring better skills for landing a crash with your board still on your feet. Though it's not always possible it reduces the number of times a rebounce could happen. I'm still learning to do spins so I'm not sure if this one is an option for the more advanced kiteboarders but I manage to keep the board on my feet most of the time (though it's a quite small wavetray 142)

Why go through all this trouble? Most places I kitesurf have quite strong currents and surf. To make going upwind easier, I choose the tide in such a way that the direction of the wind an tide are opposite.
This makes it very hard to get back to your board by dragging upwind. Many people overhere in Holland do not use a boardleash in similar conditions and the result is that one or more boards are lost every weekend due to a rider being unable to drag back to his board.

Something else: Is there an update planned to the accident database? I was reading it today and the latest additions are of december 2002. Though scary, reading it every once in a while makes me even more cautious about safety.

Keep up the good work,

Kind regards,

Bart van Oers


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2003 4:44 pm 
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bartvanoers wrote:
Hi Rick,

I've lengthened my Reelleash with a piece of ordinary 8 mm line (spectra core) of about 2 m. This gives a total distance of around 5 meters extended. It also prevents from the leash from being tight during sailing, which is much more comfortable. A better option would be to make it bigger to hold more leash. (I think it was discussed last year, but I'm not sure if Oceanus made any moves in that direction).

Another area where much could be improved it the mounting of the leash to the harness. I used the grab handle on the back of my Da Kine Fusion harness for this by sliding the handle through the loop at the back of the reel. This allows the reel to slide back and forth when used. It also prevents it from getting stuck (by having the loose rope wrapped around it) which was possible with the reelleash mounted on the side of the harness.

Also a possible improvement is acquiring better skills for landing a crash with your board still on your feet. Though it's not always possible it reduces the number of times a rebounce could happen. I'm still learning to do spins so I'm not sure if this one is an option for the more advanced kiteboarders but I manage to keep the board on my feet most of the time (though it's a quite small wavetray 142)

Why go through all this trouble? Most places I kitesurf have quite strong currents and surf. To make going upwind easier, I choose the tide in such a way that the direction of the wind an tide are opposite.
This makes it very hard to get back to your board by dragging upwind. Many people overhere in Holland do not use a boardleash in similar conditions and the result is that one or more boards are lost every weekend due to a rider being unable to drag back to his board.

Something else: Is there an update planned to the accident database? I was reading it today and the latest additions are of december 2002. Though scary, reading it every once in a while makes me even more cautious about safety.

Keep up the good work,

Kind regards,

Bart van Oers


Thanks for the input on what you have worked out in terms of a board leash and your experience with it. It would be good to hear about other ideas people have tried to make board leashes a bit safer to use. I am still convinced that in many areas there is no valid reason for using board leashes by any kiteboarder, regardless of experience. Then again, there are people that have to ride in cold waters, areas with contrary currents and heavy surf that may not be able to effectively body drag to retrieve their board. More innovation in leashes for those riders with no real effective options are needed.

I have gotten behind in updating the KSI in favor of lots of other kiteboarding projects, many also dealing with safety. I always felt that there was value on passing on lessons from the misadventures of others. I have raw information for 2003 and have been working on it this week.

Then again, recent comments particularly about "honesty" and other historical questionable claims have really compelled me to seroiusly wonder if the exercise is worth all the effort and time expended. I have learned a great deal from assembling these accounts over the last two years and have attempted to pass the ideas along at numerous opportunities both on the Internet and in magazines. I think that some people must read and think over the ideas but I really wonder. Not that all this is cut in stone facts unmoveable facts, necessarily, but they are ideas worth considering in my opinion and on the basis of our accident experience.

For instance, the Safe Kiteboarding Guidelines* are the closest thing to a fairly complete cookbook for possibly avoiding accidents, incidents, gear damage and complaints in existance to my knowledge. Despite that and the fact that we all have similar things at risk in this young sport, it has had less than 120 hits in several days.

I will likely continue to prepare the accounts and articles because I am convinced that they may help some people or at least get them to think over things. Still, some of the responses out there really bring the net worth of the whole exercise seriously into question, in my mind at least. I guess we'll see how things go.

*http://www.kiteforum.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=11310


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2003 5:07 pm 
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Rick wrote:
Quote:
Then again, recent comments particularly about "honesty" and other historical questionable claims have really compelled me to seroiusly wonder if the exercise is worth all the effort and time expended.


"Don't let the bastards get you down" That's another quote and its out there because it is a truism - they will, just one.

You almost have to have been "bitten" before you get religion about some of these safety issues.

Of all those out there who are supporting a safety message, yours Rick, is clear, well defined and you do an outstanding job of supporting it and being unbiased and nonjudgmental.

KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK

Rollin


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2003 4:39 am 
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Hey Rick,

We definitely need to reminded and to play out in our minds how things go wrong. So your reports on accidents definitely play an important part in the sport.

Keep up the good work

Peter


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2003 8:56 pm 
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I was the ikitesurf poster to whom the accident happened that set this thread off. I've only just discovered the forum...

The leash is an Ocean Technology (Oceanus?), San Diego leash. By the way, quite apart from any issues with blocking, the clip it uses corodes and gets stiff very fast in salt water - so i would not recommend this piece of equipment just on those grounds.


When i took it out for the first time yesterday to look at it, I found that the metal clip and the neoprene pad on the reel end had been pulled almost apart. Here is a hypothesis for what happened:
x leash wraps around the reel clip
x board comes off, kiter is being pulled up, leash is pulling on the clip and not un-winding
x neoprene glue gives way, but at that angle, the leash does not extend - there is enough friction to mantain the angular velocity of the board.

My thoughts on making a leash safer
x i totally agree that they should be used only when absolutely necessary, and not as a matter of course
x I would like to do 2 things to the leash/reel -
1. mount it on heavy duty velcro - like ski safety release bindings, this should allow the leash to detach if the pull gets too great
2. make the reel a) float and b) brightly colored - body dragging back to the leash should be easier than body dragging only to the board, since it is likely to be downwind of the board.

Tony


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2003 2:11 am 
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Quote:
"tonycp" wrote:
The leash is an Ocean Technology (Oceanus?), San Diego leash. By the way, quite apart from any issues with blocking, the clip it uses corodes and gets stiff very fast in salt water - so i would not recommend this piece of equipment just on those grounds.


That IS the patented "Reel Leash" I use, as distributed by NorthShoreInc.com I wonder if yours is an older one, with a sliding "dog-leash" clip (instead of a rotating "kite/board leash" one), because I've put hundreds of hours on mine (over 300 hours on one) in salt water, without ever rinsing it, & never had any problems with the clip. If you DO have problems with it, it's simply lark's headed onto the webbing, so it's very easy to replace it or swap for a different style (such as a stainless snap hook or caribiner).

Quote:
Here is a hypothesis for what happened:
x leash wraps around the reel clip


If that's what's causing your problems, that's what you need to correct. Mine only VERY rarely wraps around anything*, since it's nearly always in a straight line from the reel to the board plug. I'm wondering if you use it stock, or have added an exension or knot or something.

*In fact, now that I think of it, it only wraps something AFTER I retrieve my board & am getting going again. I always notice it, & simply reach down & pull the webbing off whatever it's caught on.

Quote:
x I would like to do 2 things to the leash/reel -
1. mount it on heavy duty velcro - like ski safety release bindings, this should allow the leash to detach if the pull gets too great
2. make the reel a) float and b) brightly colored - body dragging back to the leash should be easier than body dragging only to the board, since it is likely to be downwind of the board.


1. The old ones had Velcro, but it came apart too easy. I suppose they could try using increasingly more Velcro contact area, until it was just enough, but if you cure the cause it shouldn't be needed.
2. It's darn near impossible to break BOTH ends of any connection device, since once one end breaks there's no longer any pull to break the other end. In other words, if the reel breaks off the harness, it will be attached to the board, & vice-versa, so it doesn't need to be bright OR float.


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