This is a reply to a question asked by toby in the accident thread, i started this new thread because I find it inapropriate to discuss technical issues in the other thread.
an arc comes stock with no safety system at all (shame on the manufacturer), you have to add one - but regarding the construction an arc is probably one of the safest kitesurfing kites available today.
When you leash one frontline (powerline) and deploy the safety it stretches out like a flag and hangs on the safety with no spins and minimal pull (you can easily hold the kite(s) with two one hand on the safety leash.
From my own experience the safety even works with a Stack of two Arcs (1120 and 840) in winds of over 50 km/h (sudden gusts that surprise me a while ago, windspeed comes from three different measurement points and should be accurate.
You are able to deploy the leash with no danger to you or others anytime and the kite will immediately loose all power and floats to ground. Restart is possible most of the time.
New 2002 Wedged arcs have no noticable performance drawbacks compared to up to date inflatables, only difference is the lighter steering (less force required, therefore maybe some drawback for very advanced spintricks)
In General I would suggest that any kitesurfer should not trust any socalled safety device sold by kite manufacturers. most of the equipement is neither load tested nor manufactured properly compared to e.g. climbing gear.
Always use load tested snap shackles with welded release rings and load test your setup before use. If you use two knotted 300kg Lines as frontlines than you can expect a braking strenght of about 500 kg static, up to 50 percent less if a very sudden shockload (e.g. extreme gusts) occurs.
So it would be wise to load test the shackle / chickenloop assembly to at least 500 kg for proper release.
I carefully load test all my equipement before use, how many of you do ? and how many manufacturers tested their products ?
If you have Tested the safety system of your kite, preferably in extreme real world conditions please post the results so others who are not so familiar with technical issues can read up and build the necessary knowledge for safe kiteboarding.
Fellow Kitesurfers please use your brain and do not follow questionable trends (kitesurfing with no kite safety) like stupid lemmings !
A bad excample of kite, regarding safety, is the f-arc mach1 18.1. No way to open the C-loop,
just a leash to the hand.
And if the wind blows up the kite produces real power, even if it is connected only with the leash, and the bar is gone.
Again and again if restarts.
But this seems to be not only the case with f-one tubes.
A four liner kite should have a way to open the Chickenloop and NEVER produce power and spins when the bar is gone.
We should do pressure to the producers to sell kites only with ALREADY AVAILABLE safetysystems.
most tubekites don't come with a proper safety-system.
i can agree paul - the arc - even stacks fall to the ground without spinning or pressure.
this is the only ite i know where you can rely on this bahaviour.
i had to release my airush lift 12.2 two times.
both times he got into the water without much power or spinning, but i wouldn't rely on that, so i use a snap shackle and quick release for the leash (is provided by airush)
if you don't pump too much pressure inte the fronttube, the safety works better, but in some cases restart gets harder or the kite lacks performance.
pay attention to the flysurfer-safety!
don't land the kite with the safety-system when you're totaly overpowered! an if you have to, have a quickrelease installed for the kiteleash in the first place or remove it from the harness and hold it wiht your hands.
i've seen enough guys being dragged by flattering flysurfers without getting out of the safety-leash.
all tube headz: landing ANY softkite is damn easy: the kite comes in - just grab the tip and walk 5 steps towards the kiter. the kite will loose all it's force and wave like a flag behind you!
(i've seen enough guys playing 'fish in da net' with my bridles)
a tube opens all the way as well, if the safety is working. If not, it will spin, but IMO it could happen to an ARC as well, if a line gets tangeled.
Last years safety provided by Naish was a nightmare and no-one should use the system sold: were the safety is attached to the line in a few meter distance. This way the kite sometimes can't open fully and starts to spin. If you change the safety to a system like the North bar or Slingshot bar, the kite can open on the full length.
To change this from 2001 Nasih kites you don't need anything, but to shorten your safety leash.
you just have to do an eye at one side of the leading lines, put one steering line through it and attched it to the knot from the shortened safety leash. make sure to have the same lenght of the leading line for the other site and make an according knot to attch the other steering line.
As for saftey features on kite gear: I sometimes find that I want to stop kiting as the wind picks up to a point pased my ability. I then let go of the bar and my kite flags to the water. I pull on the leach line to retrive the bar. Now, still in the water, I would like to start winding up the lines the line attached to the leach shorter than the others so the kite still "flags". Now the problen os that most bars dont have good enough winding posts for this. They are either too small(Wipika) ot to weak (Naish)as there is still some pull on the kite. I wind the lines up until I can reach the kite and deflate the LE. No one told me to do this but it just seemed logic to me. Any comment on my method or the winding posts?
one problem with all lei and arc leash systems I have seen is that only one (or sometimes 2) lines have any tension in them when the leash is deployed. This means that there are at least 2 lines that are slack and free to tangle. In my experience being in the water in close proximity to slack lines is one of the most unpredicable (and potentially dangerous) situations to be in.
The flysurfer safety system keeps tension on all lines and prevents any risk of a rider becoming entangled in the lines, there is no flapping and the kite comes predictably to sit on its TE downwind of the rider, this also goes a long way to gaurantee an easy tangle free relaunch after deploying the leash. This together with the quick release on the depower loop makes the flysurfers one of the safest kites I have seen (IMO)