Jono 111 wrote:Hi Richard,
You seem to take safety seriously, which is commedable.
What do you do when one of your students tries to use a leash?
Do you simply refuse to provide the lesson or take a different approach?
Hopefully people like you can stop absurd practises by irresponsible instructors to stop this unsafe behaviour like this.
Somebody has to do it......you seem to be well placed.
Thanks for your appreciation. However, I'm sorry to say that it is misplaced as far as our use of leashes goes.
Even though our students will always know how to bodydrag before a board lesson, when we give board lessons, we generally suggest that our students use a reel leash
because we believe they receive more value from their lessons in this manner despite somewhat increased risk of injury.
However, we minimize this risk as much as possible in the following ways:
1. We thoroughly explain the pros and cons associated with leash use and stress that nothing except a reel leash should be considered. (we also usually point out that we have no personal knowledge of the theory that a very short leash is minimally dangerous and that this theory can be found discussed on this forum).
Occasionally, we have a student who decides against its use and in this case, we don't use it. This is more likely when we're at a location without surf and it isn't necessary to bodydrag out past the surf line.
2. We have a Quick Release for it on the harness.
3. It is attached to the side of the harness such that the current is less likely to wrap it around the student.
4. It is never attached to the board on land. It is usually not a problem for our students to attach it in the water because they can use 2 hands due to the stability of the kites we use.
5. We never give board lessons in strong wind and usually only in light wind. (However, it is still not impossible that a student could be yanked hard enough such that the board comes after them).
6. We make sure that the student knows to NEVER turn to look for the board without having one hand in front of their face.
7. It is attached to the board such that the possibility of diving is minimized (although still possible).
8. The student is told to disconnect the board at the surf line and let it wash in when coming in.
9. Of course the student wears a helmet with as much head coverage as possible including ear protection (Gath visorless).
10. They get detailed instruction in the problems associated with getting the board tangled in the lines when the kite crashes and what to do should this occur.
Although we agree that using a leash tends to increase the risk of injury, it is not impossible to debate this point, especially in certain specific instances. Regarding a lesson, after falling, students are often OVERLY concerned with retrieving the board for various reasons. This tendency can overcome the PRIMARY concern which should be to immediately get the kite overhead and into the most stable position. A leash tends to minimize this tendency.
Malibu Kitesurfing - since 2002
(310) - 430 - KITE (5483)