Having a powered 11m session last night when my spreader bar snapped and fully detached. Luckily I was doing a carve transition and I was ripped from my footstraps before the bar was ripped from me and because I attach my leash to part of it my kite took a few tumbles dragging the lines with it before settling LE down. Lucky as; the tide was going out and there was room upwind; escaped with only some staved fingers and a badly bruised hand; and lucky because I was doing some pretty big jumps in what was, due to the tide, pretty shallow water.
The spreader bar is less than a year old, there is no sign of rust, or wear.There was no warning, it happened so fast I had no time to react and it was pretty violent. I emailed the manufacturer who has offered a warranty replacement no quibbles; however a quick google shows that this is more common that you might think on these bars. Also irrespective of this how many failures like this is too many? This is a critical piece of equipment and it made me think what if this had happened at a busy launch such as where I go on holiday like El Medano, or if another water user had been nearby?
This is something that probably 99% of people cannot be spot easily (how many kiters are welders/fabricators). Unlike some other parts it doesn't show any obvious signs of wear or use and should a spreader bar have a shelf life and what is this in hours/use?
Yes it is a Dakine Hammerhead. As stated they and the UK distributor were quick to reply and offer a warranty replacement (how much confidence do I have in this?) but my emailing them was not for this purpose and I suggested as above - how many failures are too many before they look at the manufacturing of these?
Therefore this is not a 'name and shame' thread but I want to find out if this has happened to others, or with other bars. I think if I have enough evidence then I'll forward it to Dakine. This is not me simply feeling aggrieved. I do think this is a serious safety issue and if there is any potential for this to fail in such a way then surely the manufacturer has to look at the design/quality control. I have googled and can't seem to find this issue with other brands so wondering if anyone out there has had it happen to them on any