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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 5:47 pm 
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klimber wrote:
being a rock climber (go figure) I do know that carabiners are designed to engage under load. Look closely at where the gate pin goes into the main body and you will see that it is usually groved in a fashion so that as the biner stretches it pulls the pin into the groove. This is by design and great if your a rock climber who falls on a biner and doesn't want the gate to open (like I do). and why they WILL NOT work as a safety nor are they designed to be used by kiters. READ THE WARNING STAMPED INTO THE SIDE OF THEM......."for rock climbing only"


No one is suggesting using carabiners as a safety release. It's pretty
obvious you can't detach a carabiner under any kind of loading.
The accident Rick linked happened because a main line got hooked
into the biner gate causing the kite to spiral. Not quite as obvious a
danger - in fact I've been using a biner-like spring gate clip instead
of a CL or steel ring to attach to my harness-mounted Wichard for
a few years. I think I'll be changing that for a steel ring after reading
Rick's post.

Live and Learn (or Die and Teach)

Steve T


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 7:06 pm 
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Spot on Steve. It is the ability to accidently gather and hold flight lines that make carabiners a risk.

Also, and this is a big one, you DON'T want anything to be attached to a line subject to loading that you wouldn't mind being hit with. There was a case a while back written up in the KSI about a guy in Cabarete. He used a kite leash line as a board leash. The stainless snap at one end of the leash failed and the thing whiplashed back at him embedding in his foot (if memory serves).

Regarding reel leashes, stock out of the box. One of the more significant hazards I experienced with them is the way they hold your board close and between you and incoming waves. I was pelted a number of times with wave driven boards in this way. If you have a powered up wipeout 10 ft. of leash isn't that much to attenuate the loading. A rebounding board impact is a possibility and has happened in the past. It was suggested some years back to consider modifying the reel leash setup to address the wave/proximity issue and the rebound issue. Kitezilla has worked something out that seems to work for him. Still SO MANY guys have been mauled by board leashes it is best to ditch them if it is feasible.

For the majority of riders NOT in adverse current areas, direction changing wind areas, hypothermic waters ... etc. body dragging can be the way to go. Launches can vary substantially, here where winds are side to side onshore with waves moving onshore it is HARD to lose your board. In bay areas it is more possible. Still how does the cost of a replacement board stack up against medical treatments, time off of work, pain & suffering, etc.? Choices, but be sure to choose well. It is not great to keep writing up repetitive accidents, for anyone.

FKA, Inc.

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Rick Iossi


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 1:25 pm 
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To recap this sad accident one more time, here are some of the lessons to come out of this:
RickI wrote:
"Lessons Learned

1. Kiteboard leashes have caused serious injury to riders in the past through leash propelled board impact and by holding the board between the rider and on coming waves. Board leashes have figured in two other fatalities and possibly a third in recent years.

2. Kiters should learn how to body drag upwind early on even before water starting to avoid using board leashes in most cases. Using a board leash solely for the sake of convenience is a poor practice. A helmet may or may not aid a board leash user as boards in the past have easily cut through helmets or gone around them. One fatality victim of a board leash impact was wearing a helmet. Helmets provide important protection for kiteboarders but may not be that effective in avoiding a board leash related injury.

3. Seek qualified, quality professional instruction in an effort to maximize the learning experience and minimize the hazards of the process. Ideas on selection of instructors appear Here and Here.

4. Select weather/water conditions and gear appropriate for your experience. Avoid squalls/storms. If you have little experience you will likely have no idea what is appropriate - seek qualilty professional instruction.

5. If you have any reason to suspect head or spinal cord injury, remain motionless until medical help arrives. Accident victims are not always that aware of these hazards. It is important the bystanders to try to help the victim from causing further injury to himself.



FKA, Inc.

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Rick Iossi


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 1:27 pm 
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RickI wrote:
Commentary

Kiteboarding can be "dangerous easy." Like operating a car or airplane, the mechanics of manuvering can appear to be deceptively easy. Obviously there is a lot more to know and act upon in all three activities than simple "manuvering." Many kiteboarders have been injured by underestimating the power and potential hazards of traction kites. Seeking help from others is a natural step and may work out sometimes in learning the basic mechanics of the sport but perhaps not. It is likely that a quality instructor would not have exposed a student to such conditions complete with unstable squall weather. The "student" had no appreciation perhaps for the actual hazards involved. A quality professional instructor would have had a strong grasp on the hazards and would have conducted the training accordingly. A well intentioned but not professionally trained kiteboarder acting in the capacity of an instructor may not have had the knowledge or ability to effectively explain the hazards to the student. Seek quality professional instruction.

Board leashes have a long history of kiteboarding injuries. Some riders have mistakenly concluded that if they wear a helmet they are OK using a board leash. Experience has shown that this is a mistaken belief. Static leashes are certainly hazardous however even reel leashes have had their share of penetrated and fractured skulls as well. Work on body dragging upwind early in your training. If you are in hypothermic waters or in areas with adverse currents you may have reduced options regarding leash use. Your risks of injury has gone up substantially as a result. Finally, in not using a leash you may lose a board someday. The cost of the replacement board should be less than medical expenses, lost time off work and the pain of recovery from a board impact. Be sure not to put others such as bathers at risk if you lose your board. Avoid riding in crowded areas.



The complete account can be found at the links below:

For an account will full sized images Click Here

For an account with thumbnail images Click Here


FKA, Inc.

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Rick Iossi


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 3:41 pm 
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Location: Baku
Guys,
most of the things you say are correct but sometimes you can not do what you would like to.
If you live in a perfect place for kiting but there are no school? You would not do it?
If a very good kiter can help you giving instructions? I would not say that it is not good enough because he is not a professional!
Is he smart? Is he responsibile? Does he teach you all the important things about safety before you go in the water. Does he make you go in the water for the first times with very light wind? Does he make you exercise with a stunt kite?
Does he make you try the safety release as first thing?
If the answer of all those question is yes, the situation could be not that bad!

Of course if a beginner want to try the first time with 30 knots, everything is different.

The consideration to the problem of the pain to the head, it does have sense if you live in florida or france, but in certain places it is not available medical service which is prompt and competent. What should we do? We would do not go in the water?
I do not think so. Life is risk, it is just matter of managing the risk and make all effort to minimize it.
If something like that happens to me where I am living now, I would die. It is sad but it is a fact.
It is clearly a bigger risk than doing this wonderful sport in a 'civil' place, but to me it is worth to take the chance. ( I wear the helmet!)

I hope you do not take me wrong...I just have a different point of view because of my actual kiting experience which take place in a spot where the people don't even know what kiting is.

Enrico


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 5:56 pm 
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First, there are certified kiteboarding instructors on Mauritius. Some even participate in this Forum.

Not too many years ago there were few instructors, anywhere. Today they are more common. In the future, quality instructors should be even more available in many areas of the world.

Just because a kiter is a skillful, accomplished rider doesn't provide much assurance that he will be an equally adept instructor obviously. The same could be said for many other activities. The caliber of instruction is improving and should continue to develop as time goes on.

Some of the ideas concluded from this and other accident analysis represent an ideal of sorts. Will everyone always be able to comply with the best means of avoiding problems or react in the best way if an accident occurs? No, but in time more should be able to. It starts with an idea, perception of a need and things evolve towards improvement.

If you kiteboard outside ideal conditions will you be hurt or die? Not necessarily, you have merely increased the probability of a negative outcome. This is true of life not just our sport.

If you feel you don't have the option to seek quality pro instruction, you need to accept that the risk of injury and negative incidents has gone up. It has been advised for a long time that if there isn't quality instruction in your area, plan a road trip or a vaction to where quality training is available. If you have to learn on your own, do so with utmost caution and study. There is a great deal of information out there. Too many people just don't bother to look into things that deeply.

FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 6:09 pm 
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I always use a leash! There, I said it. I have lost boards and witnessed the loss of many boards by others. I have also witnessed many lost hours of riding due to repetitive and exhausting body drags to fetch boards. There are four main ways you can get hurt from a leash:

1. You fall off the board and it skims across the water to your head.
2. The board comes off and you go in the air (bad jump, lofting, etc.) The board edge catches the water causing a huge load on the leash and then releases and becomes a projectile heading strait to the rider.
3. The leash breaks loose from the board and becomes a projectile heading strait to the rider.
4. The board falls off and surf propels the board into the rider.

I don't deny that having your board attached to you adds some risk but I think there are common sense ways to mitigate that risk to an acceptable level. Wear a helmet. The head is where most of the life threatening/changing injuries are going to occur. Wear an impact vest. This is a good idea leash of no leash and, although not certified, they make for great floatation as well.

In addition you need to set up your leash to be safe:

1. Use a light piece of webbing for your attachment point on the board. Burn the hole for inserting the screw near the edge of the webbing loop. This loop will easily detach if there is enough pull to sling shot the board out of the water and into the rider. If you are still nervous use a 50lb plastic tie wrap to attach the leach to the webbing loop. This will eliminate risk 2 above
2. Make a ~3' leader made of two separate sections and attach to the board with a low mass clip. If the leader breaks loose from the board under load this two-section design will impede a clean trajectory of the end of the leash to your body. Using clear soft plumbers tubing on each section will improve the effect. The low mass end will minimize the impact if it does happen to reach you. This will dramatically reduce risk 3 above
3. Use a reel leash with at least 15’ of line. This keeps the board out of your way when you aren’t on it and gives you enough time to react to a skimming board coming at you. This will reduce risk 1 above.

Risk 4 exists with or without a leach. My biggest concern is risk 1. It doesn’t take much for a skimming board to hurt your head or neck. (It’s also the most common way to get hit for beginners since they fall of the board a lot.) That’s why I wear a helmet and impact vest. I would wear them even if I didn’t use a leash.

I would venture a guess that if implemented properly, using a leash is statistically less risky than driving to your kite boarding spots, launching and landing in gusty weather, riding near exposed reefs, etc. All things most of us do regularly because we couldn’t kite if we didn’t.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 6:23 pm 
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screven wrote:
1. Use a light piece of webbing for your attachment point on the board. Burn the hole for inserting the screw near the edge of the webbing loop. This loop will easily detach if there is enough pull to sling shot the board out of the water and into the rider. If you are still nervous use a 50lb plastic tie wrap to attach the leach to the webbing loop. This will eliminate risk 2 above
2. Make a ~3' leader made of two separate sections and attach to the board with a low mass clip. If the leader breaks loose from the board under load this two-section design will impede a clean trajectory of the end of the leash to your body. Using clear soft plumbers tubing on each section will improve the effect. The low mass end will minimize the impact if it does happen to reach you. This will dramatically reduce risk 3 above
3. Use a reel leash with at least 15’ of line. This keeps the board out of your way when you aren’t on it and gives you enough time to react to a skimming board coming at you. This will reduce risk 1 above.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 6:25 pm 
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screven wrote:
1. Use a light piece of webbing for your attachment point on the board. Burn the hole for inserting the screw near the edge of the webbing loop. This loop will easily detach if there is enough pull to sling shot the board out of the water and into the rider. If you are still nervous use a 50lb plastic tie wrap to attach the leach to the webbing loop. This will eliminate risk 2 above
2. Make a ~3' leader made of two separate sections and attach to the board with a low mass clip. If the leader breaks loose from the board under load this two-section design will impede a clean trajectory of the end of the leash to your body. Using clear soft plumbers tubing on each section will improve the effect. The low mass end will minimize the impact if it does happen to reach you. This will dramatically reduce risk 3 above
3. Use a reel leash with at least 15’ of line. This keeps the board out of your way when you aren’t on it and gives you enough time to react to a skimming board coming at you. This will reduce risk 1 above.


Alternatively, learn to drag upwind.
You might find it quite relaxing.
And safer than the risks you just incurred with all that DIY.
And when you get hit by a squall, that dragging skill just might get you back to the beach...


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 7:10 pm 
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Been there...done that. It gets old fast. Relaxing is not a word I would associate with body dragging for a board, especially in choppy water. I figure I have gained a good 50 hours more riding from using the leash over the last few years based on the time I used to spend body dragging to my board. I also lost a board in the chop when I just couldn't see it. I guess I deserve it for ridding a dark finless board.

Chris


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