After reading the accident reports on the Internet, it would appear a large number of them happen on land, where the rider is pulled into solid objects. Incorporating a switchable weak link in the system could easily prevent this.
I would suggest between the shackle & the kite. When on land either before launching or when landing from the water the weak link could be activated. The strength of the weak link could be designed such that with the kite in normal light handling it will take the load. If something went wrong e.g. gust or handling problem & the rider gets hurled of his feet it will break (it takes several orders of magnitude greater force by my calcs).
Whilst riding out on the water the weak link could be bi-passed.
Obviously a leash would need to be worn to prevent runaway kites. The strength of this weak link would have to be tailered to the riders weight.
Am I missing something or would this not prevent a vast proportion of the accidents.
It is a good idea. I put together a rough sketch of such a system that would employ fishing line of a known and testing breaking strength connecting the leader lines to the control bar. The fishing line would break at a factor determined by practical tests times the rider's weight. When you made it offshore a safe distance you would clip in two shunt lines to safely transfer all the load from the leaders to the control bar, bypassing the weak link. I promptly did absolutely nothing about it. So, be my guest!
Another, not so simplistic idea for our handle passing riders, must be at least a dozen of them, a slightly more complex solution. They would wear gloves with ceramic magnets sewn into them. There would be Hall sensors in the bar. There would be solenoid releases spring loaded in the open position if the power were to die or the Hall sensors to lose the influence of the magnets. In either case the leader lines would be released. So, no leash required! Not very simple though in fact just too complex and the bar could weigh a bit.
How about it? Any other ideas out there for a leashless depower system/