very sad news. I hope the Quebec kite community can take this knowledge and use it for good. Not that there is solice in that.
Being ignorant to the events... I've had a looping kite this winter. No water to choke down in winter, so I had time to think about things a bit, but soon enough pulled the QR and then the leash. Would ditching the kite have saved this person? Assuming that he was conscious when it was looping. I've had inside lines wrap around the bar, and as mentioned, I've made a point to react quickly and get rid of the rig. On the water last summer, I had this instance and decided to pull both releases instead of pulling the QR and then seeing if it made a difference. Usually, it's too hard to figure out in the water anyway. Gear wise - is there an instance where the CL wouldn't work due to line wrapping? I don't think so, but perhaps someone else knows. if an inside line is wrapped around the bar, the CL wont depower due to tension, so you need to be fast on that leash - but the CL did disconnect form the harness which I think is the important thing.
Very sad news. My condolences to the poor guy's family and friends.
I just want to point out that the F1 Bandit is the most unsafe kite in my opinion. It has a super long bridle which once caught around a wing tip, will send you on a horrific death looping experience. I have seen this happen 3 times to Bandit owners. It happened to one of my friends and he has never rode a Bandit since, his experience was that bad, he changed kites immediately. I'm convinced that this death looping trait is 90% associated with super long bridles. My friends and I won't ride Bandits for this reason.
I'd just like to add to that my friend would've surely drowned if he wasn't dragged downwind onto the beach. He was fighting like mad, trying to release and also tried to get his hook knife...fat chance! He was extremely lucky that the kite stopped on the beach for a split second, allowing my mate to grab it, before he got death looped into some hefty sand dunes. The F1 Bandit is a killer in my opinion...drop it in the waves at your peril.
longwhitecloud wrote:It is an issue and I think it is good to discuss whatever. I know of someone else who drowned during a lesson from being stuck in a deathloop.
They can happen at the bar or at the kite.
Companies using pathetic floppy / or no /minimal leader lines that do little to stop lines half hitching on the bar take note.
Companies that use those adjustable bars that leave a place for line to get caught on the end of the bar when at the narrower bar setting take note. They can get caught on suicide leash too..!
Companies that have not tested what happens when their bridles get wrapped around the wing tips.. it is not good enough to say it cant happen because often under inflated kites bend to allow it to happen, or just bend during hard crash... Design bridles so it cannot mechanically/physically happen...!
Companies that have not tested what happens when their pullies get jammed/snap take note
Quick release harnesses have come and gone over the years, problem being activation by accident but I am sure a well designed quick release of entire harness/hok could be a start - not simple tho..
Be aware that kites that have completed x deathloops will not depower - twisted lines stuck, you will not be able to try and use bar to attempt to steer kite to crash either - you cannot steer after 5-6 I reckon -locks up
Something else - think about attaching your leash /suicide to front of harness not back - if being towed violently backwards by leash for example - how do you get to it?! Companies that make harnesses dont seem clued up about this...for literally years
Just brainstorming some ideas really to make things better any other ideas welcome.
I have tryied this .... it works fine but there is always danger for a line to get tangled
I don't buy into rider experience when it comes to most deathlooping incidents, I think it is a simple case of mechanics that can occur even during perfect conditions. It is mostly a design issue, one that is not addressed by many kite companies. Back in the day they almost never occurred because kites were slow and the mechanical design of kites/bars/lines very simple. The bridles and pulleys concept has for sure advanced the safety of kiteboarding for many riders with it's awesome mechanical depower ability, but to me this is not an excuse to overlook the opposite effect of these designs - increased deathloop incidents. It needs consideration in kite design and this is a feature that is still not being considered by some companies in their design process.
More frequent deathlooping kites I have noticed: Cabrinha, Fone, Naish I am sure there are more but i have multiple extreme direct examples with each of these, different countries with different distribution of brands will have different info.
You don't want chicken loops that are the perfect size (when unhooked) to get jammed in the spreader bar hook by accident - then you are fully in the shit.
Don't use bars/line without decent leader lines that are long and stiff enough to minimize the chance of leaderlines /kite lines - half hitching on the bar. If that happens when unhooked - you get taken on a deathloop while attached to leash. Fewer companies have safety lines that are attached to one line for potential full depower - which makes this more of an issue.
Make sure your kite in pumped up hard enough to minimize bridle tip wraps - although this is really only useful on kites with short bridles and not really a long term solution.
Avoide bar and line systems with pieces sticking out that can jam/knot lines on them.
New practice. If lauching someones kite check no bridles are wrapped before letting go regardless of if pilot says launch. Example of this recently when someone at my local got launched 30ft onto their head unconscious and off to hospital..
Don't use adjustable bar that leaves a portion of end of bar for lines/leashes to wrap around on small bar width setting. This has led to deathloops after kite deactivated and still attached by leash.
Avoid long bridled kites where (do it with kite on ground/ on land) it is possible to stretch bridle over tip even if having to bend/deforming kite's leadingedge/struts etc...
Flight check your pullies /bridles condition.
Check and rehearse your safety systems activation, if you have new kite. While it is bad to quality control a safety system that may not release and sell it, I still believe in personal responsibility being waaay more important.
Dont' buy harnesses with leash attachments at the back - you cannot get to them when being violently dragged by a deathloop on a leash
There is the option to avoid bridles/pullies completely, but be wary that some (not all) of these kites have little depower which has also been the cause of many accidents.
There few things that still don't get across very well:
First, the leash should be called kite leash not a safety leash. There is nothing safe about being connected to the kite. We do it to save a kite. There is a false massage here.
Second, don't give people advise to buy bridled kites. And when you receive advice and the explanation is because it is easier to sort out lines or you know there are incidents of some guys in Hawaii riding big sets getting their kites cut in half. Think what is important to you, safety or sorting out one more line. And are you going to be riding some big sets anytime soon or ever?
Third is the weather. There is ton of info on this forum to help. The bottom line is this is not a survival contest. When in doubt don't go out. How many times we talked about offshore winds.....What we had here: offshore wind, crazy launch, strong gusty wind, cold.....what else we can pile up.
Favorite Beaches: Ilha do Guajiru Huntington Beach, California Scheveningen, Holland Sherman Island, California Crissy Fields, California, Hape Hatteras, North Carolina Brandywine Bay, BVI Anegada, BVI
First off let me say this is very sad news and my heart goes out to his family and friends as well as the entire montreal kite community.
However I think it is also important to remember that this is a dangerous sport and while every individual can do his/her best to minimize risks most of it comes down to personal choice. There are some great suggestions being raised here about gear-safety or conditions, but we should also remember that what one person considers 'unsafe' another will consider 'vital' to his/her kiting experience. Going forward I will probably wear my kite leash on the front of my harness too, but does that also mean I will also start wearing full safety gear? Another thing that comes to mind is the micro-loop. I've seen Toby perform Air-style and I think it is great to watch...man what a show. However I also remember several accidents of kiters crashing (myself included) or worse because something went wrong and the bar got stuck behind the micro-loop so that the kite wouldn't depower. Does that mean we should ban all micro-loop bars? Then there is kite sizes for Air-style; I might be riding a 7 in 25 knots while at the same time Toby will be riding a 14 so would that make Toby unsafe? I don't think so (for various reasons). All I'm trying to say is that we have to remember and accept every time we go out for a session that participating in this awesome sport carries with it inherent risks.
Yes as a community we should all morn the loss of one of our own, but we cannot blame any single variable (kite; lines; leash; weather; experience etc) for our loss.
Brasil is one thing inland kiting is quite the other. When I go south I don't need any safety what so ever. Give me jammed CL, micro loop the worst looping bridled kite offshore wind you name it, I will be fine. When I am back home with gusty winds cold water obstacles etc it's a different ball game. I just came back from kiting down south and I don't even feel like getting out.
marlboroughman wrote:Brasil is one thing inland kiting is quite the other. When I go south I don't need any safety what so ever. Give me jammed CL, micro loop the worst looping bridled kite offshore wind you name it, I will be fine. When I am back home with gusty winds cold water obstacles etc it's a different ball game. I just came back from kiting down south and I don't even feel like getting out.
Condolences to the family.
This is certainly a worthy thread to explore the technical root cause of the problem, aside from the spot conditions at the time, which may or may not have contributed to the root cause (ie.. there were other riders out and they were fine).
It would be especially noteworthy that kite co's take interest in supporting this effort for the benefit of all and the sport, and not just focus their efforts on producing snazzy vids or clever marketing (yes that has its place).
My question, is why would he not use the knife, did he become unconscious? tangled? any signs of this? any signs of trying to use the lines knife? should it be more accessible? I agree with many technical observations regarding hitching and crossed bridles (has happened to me).. what about hypothermia? was that a factor? would a helmet have helped if he became unconscious from hitting his head? was there any signs of trauma? I hope we could get some answers for our own edification and safety. Kite on..
First and foremost this is a dangerous sport. Best safety advise is avoid questionable conditions. Go out only in conditions you are comfortable in.
Leash to the front of the harness as others have said.
Get rid of the donkey dick or chicken finger. In the event of something going wrong do you really think your going to have the time to hit 2 releases? I was talking to a pro last year about big surf kiting. He explained to me how he doesn't even use a leash when it is big as he would rather ditch the kite as fast as possible vs taking a chance getting wrapped in lines.
And no 5th lines are not the end all to safety. A buddy of mine got dragged backwards for a 1/2 mile when his 5th line did not fully activate. He got lucky and his center line snapped. His only saving grace was that he is a triathlete and a superb swimmer.
Accidents will happen both equipment failures and human error. It's how the decisions before and during that effect the out come. Some times it's best just stay home.