Having only one hand on the bar, typically the upper one, is also quite dangerous, as you can easily whip the kite into the powerzone.
So agree, that two hands is better, like Thor says.
Have seen some really ugly accidents happen, when relative new kitesurfers hold the bar with one hand instinctively, and let go with the other - thus you make a kiteloop or fly straight into the powerzone
Either you hold on with both hands, or let go with both hands - NEVER hold with one hand only, as when shit hits the fan because of a pilot error, you are really in deep shit
Of course, when experienced you can control better with one hand - but the errors made is often when not paying attention or the less experienced.
Thus I am not a fan for "one hand launches" in general.
Difficult, as one hand on the QR is faster, yes, but not possible either if you have to give thumbs up
The way I think is if your hand is on the center of the bar, and your other hand
is on the QR, then when you give your GO signal, tha hand gos Back to the QR
as fast as you can get it there, thus eliminating any other option if things go Bad.
As edt succinctly explained, for someone who has practiced using their QR to the point where they can activate it in the shortest amount of time, and who is specifically prepared to do so as in a launch situation, keeping one hand on the QR would probably save an insignificant fraction of a second in the event of a problem.
Personally, I agree with Peter, Thor etc. in that I believe that having 2 hands on the bar usually
provides significantly more control than one hand and that the advantage that this potential control provides generally overcomes any disadvantage that might accrue due to the above described lost fraction of a second.
I have a personal bias against depending on equipment any more than necessary and it seems to me that the 1 hand technique puts more reliance for preventing an accident on the functionality of the QR while the 2 hand technique puts more reliance on kite control
while still having the benefit of the QR as backup. Since NO QR can be GUARANTEED
to work as intended when needed, it seems better to not depend upon it more than absolutely necessary. I also don't have a lot of confidence that people won't sometimes remove their hand from the quick release when they shouldn't.
However, it should be noted that some people with some kites can exert more kite control holding the bar in the center than other people with different kites (especially where greater bar pressure is found) so the degree of difference between the 2 methods can vary from case to case.
I'm, "Open Minded" ; if there's a Better way , then i will Change My way
of doing things.
There will NOT be time to slid my hand to the center of the bar if the other
hand is headed to the QR in an emergency ; the kite will go into a Loop
the same time the QR is activated, but what if the QR hangs up for a second ?
Some releases don't work in light winds ; mine won't work if the lines
are twisted more than twice from a looping kite.
This is reprint from one of my posts from 2008:
"Although our advice is geared toward conditions found in southern California and especially the Los Angeles and Ventura counties area, at Malibu Kitesurfing
, when discussing this subject with beginner students during their kiteboarding lessons, we usually tell them:
A couple of other tips which may be helpful include:
1. In an emergency (your kite is out of control or you're sure it's going to be out of control) and you've decide to activate your quick release, use 2 HANDS to activate it.
The idea is to MAKE SURE you activate it as quickly as possible. This way if the primary hand is knocked away or misses the release, the other is right there to take its place.
2. Practice finding the quick release by sliding your hands down the chicken loop line (main line) to the quick release while looking up at the kite (or at least away from the release).
Depending on how you're being dragged, the chicken loop may not be in its usual position and simply reaching down may not immediately find the chicken loop and quick release. Additionally, contact with the ground and/or water will have a tendency to pull your hand away.
The main line will always take your hand to the chicken loop and its quick release. It may also help keep your hand from being pulled away. Practice activating with both hands separately and together.
3. Make sure you can activate it with either hand. You never know, one hand may be tied to your leg or broken or your shoulder may be dislocated etc.
4. A potential problem with all quick releases that work at the chicken loop is that if you are getting dragged, especially over nasty stuff like rocks and/or debris (and maybe bounced), it may be difficult to get your hand under you to activate your release.
You may find that it is better to ROLL OVER on your back to MAKE SURE that you can activate it immediately. Being on your back eliminates the problems described above and allows you to see
what you're doing.
However, there is a significant problem to rolling onto your back. As you probably know or have gathered from many of the posts, it often takes a substantial effort of will to force yourself to let go of the bar (which has to be done for the quick release to work). Unfortunately, you will find that it takes an exponentially GREATER amount of will power
to additionally force yourself to STOP LOOKING at the bad thing (rock jetty, lifeguard tower, etc) that you're heading toward and you must do this in order to roll over. Like practicing forcing yourself to let go of the bar, it is easier to overcome the hesitation you might face by practicing rolling over a couple of times.
When you have very light wind, a large empty sandy area and preferably a friend or instructor to possibly help you, try lying down and getting your kite going enough so that you are being dragged. See what is involved to get your hand under you. You will find that it can be a lot different than simply standing on the beach and pulling your release. Try rolling over and activating your quick release.
As always when kiting, you should wear a helmet for this procedure and if possible, an impact vest. A full length wet suit is also advisable.
5. Try to determine the situations that may cause your quick release to fail. Some are better than others and although knowing the potential problems doesn't necessarily prevent them, awareness might lead you to some corrective solution or at least faster response to some plan B should an anticipated failure occur.
The most important thing to try to determine is what could make any of the moving parts jam up and not move. For example, if your quick release activates by pushing away from you and you are being dragged forward, could sand or debris be forced into it and prevent it from sliding forward? If you have to pull back towards you to activate, would your stomach be in the way if you were bent over the chicken loop? These are by no means all the possible ways a release can fail. You need to examine yours."
Because yours “won't work if the lines are twisted more than twice from a looping kite.”, I suggest you get a backup release. I believe that Mystic now sells a spreader bar QR.
As to the OP, I agree with others who explained that better attention and FASTER response to the changing conditions is the best SOLUTION and also agree with those who pointed out that the best RESPONSE is to activate the safety as far from shore as necessary for a decent buffer or immediately if being pulled towards the shore.
Malibu Kitesurfing - since 2002
(310) - 430 - KITE (5483)