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one-armed kitesurfing

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Postby geir » Mon Nov 06, 2006 10:22 pm

Nice to hear from you dr. hook (name makes sense now). I count five arm amputees as of now (one PM'd me). Lets start the club. By the rate of amputees coming on to this thread we could have our own championship :lol:

Nice to hear about your experience with the Instinct. I've only gotten two sessions on it. Like how it flies but was concerned after dropping it on to the stock safety on purpose (not that it would happen often - rock solid kite).

Feel better about my Instinct purchase hearing this. Like you I'll be using it for the winter. Can't really say I've got anything against Ozone if you look at my lineup for this winter; Access II 6m - Frenzy 07 7,5m - Manta 10m - Instinct 13m


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Postby screven » Mon Nov 06, 2006 10:24 pm

Here's something you can make for <$5 that has worked very well for me. It locks in very well and can be pushed through if you need to. I just use my index and middle finger to pull it in or push it out. Very simple and effective. It seems to wear out about as fast as the spectra line does so I just keep a few on hand in my kite bag and replace it every 4-5 months.

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Postby FredBGG » Tue Nov 07, 2006 12:19 am

Very cool that you don't let just having one arm limit the things you do too much.

There is a guy who is paralized from the legs down that kitesurfs with flysurfer kites and the help of his friends.

Apart from modified bar setups you should look for a kite with very light bar pressure. I have a Flysurfer Pulse that has very light bar pressure and a lot of depower. I have found it much easier to fly with one hand when rescuing someones board. The bar pressure on the Pulse is also adjustable.
My guess is that it could be made even lighter with a simple modification to the bridle. Another thing that would be to your advantage is when the kite is set to full soft steering it actually turns faster. This is because flysurfer kites are fully brideled.
The Pulse is also disgustingly easy to relaunch which in your case could become a problem with most kites. I have repetedly relaunched the Pulse using just one hand. Other kites relaunch well, but they are more technical to relaunch.
As soon as I have some wind I'll do some "1 handed" experimentation with the kite and let you know.
Also I would recommend riding with a larger board. With a larger board you will need less power to pull you so you will have less bar pressure in general.

Contact Armin at Flysurfer. I'm sure he would go out of his way to help you out. Flysurfer is a German company and there are lots of guys there flying Pulses. You could also ask around on

Here is a link to a video of the paralized guy and his friends. ... s.avi.html

Again it's great to see you determination.



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Postby ronnie » Tue Nov 07, 2006 3:02 pm

Hi Feli,
As you are interested in bow kites and maybe the Crossbow 12m, have you considered the Cabrinha Powerlock system, which your bar probably has the option for? Another possibility would be to develop an adjustable, ie. moveable hook for hooking onto the c-ring.
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Postby ronnie » Tue Nov 07, 2006 3:18 pm

Hi again Feli,
Do not want to swamp you with ideas, but there are so many.
The spinlock will lock on a line by twisting the bar and release by twisting in the other direction, provided there is tension in the line, or you can release it by using a finger and thumb on the spinlock itself. It would be set to lock to prevent the bar sliding toward the kite. When it is locked, it is still possible to pull the bar closer to the rider, ie. the rope will slide through it in one direction, but with resistance.
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Postby feli » Tue Nov 07, 2006 5:59 pm


nobody swamps me here with new ideas :)
it´s just great to see the response. Think I´ll try a lot! :thumb:
Let´s see what is working best ;)


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Postby oqion » Wed Nov 08, 2006 10:16 pm

spork wrote:This solution isn't for everybody, but it's all I use, and it might be for you. I've added a pivoting cam-cleat to my bar so I can lock or unlock the bar in any position with a very slight twist of my wrist. I lock in and out very frequently. Incidentally, this also lets you steer the kite in both directions with your hand on either side of the bar.
Ah, now spork we know who you are. That setup is so OKie!~ :)

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Postby dpca10 » Wed Nov 08, 2006 10:40 pm

Congrats on joining the sport. I am a MD in the US. I have seen a lot of sports specific prosthetics out there. I can't give you any specific details as it is not my field but in the US there are several support organizations for people with disabilities, some that help with prosthetics (paying, building etc...). Depending on whether your arm ends above or below the elbow a somewhat flexible prosthetic with a 45 degree angle and a curved down hook to bind to the bar could expand your options greatly I would also ad on a gap in the end so you could position the "hook" between the chicken loop line for a good stable placement. (Imagine a black plastic yard stick, bent to the shape). Pad it for good measure. Might be out of the question but I hope the suggestion might open up some options.

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the hammerhead works

Postby anitabills » Wed Nov 08, 2006 11:31 pm

Feli, I went out today on the beach to fly my kite and tried the new hammerhead attachment for the protheses. IT WORK GREAT!!! I was able to slide my hand and the protheses on the bow with no problems. Controlling the kite was great and I was even able to self launch. I think I placed a picture up on this forum the other day but here it is again. Insurance will cover this but I paid out of pocket. A bit pricey $600.00 that didn't include shipping & handling which was another $14.50. But I must tell you girl it rocks. There wasn't any strain on my good arm and as I mentioned the control was excellent. And remember I was worried about getting out of trouble, the hammerhead was able to fly the kite from the center of the bow and that left my good hand with the ability to unhook the protheses from the bow and I haven't done this yet but I do think it will give me the peace of mine to be able to release should the need be there. Here is the picture of the hammerhead protheses attachment. As you can see it does flex a little to and to unhook was simple, I just flipped it with my thumb.
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Postby spork » Wed Nov 08, 2006 11:49 pm

oqion wrote:Ah, now spork we know who you are. That setup is so OKie!~ :)
No question about it. But it works better than any arrangement I've seen. The lock and unlock is easy and absolute. It locks in or out at any position. No need to move a ball or other device. And the pivot insures that it doesn't hinder kite steering.

I'm not selling them, but for me it's the only way.

P.S. Don't you think the Okie's would take offense to that comparison? :D

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