I was on the water yesterday while attempting land an unhooked kite loop on a 9m Torch, bar slipped from my hands in mid air, mid kite loop my handle pass leash attached across my back pulled me backwards during the crash pulling very hard as expected but the force was so great I folded way too much during crash landing on my back my nose and upper lip hit something very hard either the board or my left knee brace or my knee I am not sure, I had to get 6 stitches at the emergency room, now I am not sure the across back leash attachment is safe anymore, any comments or suggestions wearing the leash on the front or side of the harness while attached to the chicken loop suicide mode and its effects during wipe outs will be appreciated.
Across the back is not safe at all. If your kite is looping and pulling you straight down wind there is little you can do to keep yourself from drowning until the kite stops. How easy do you think it would be to hit your release while getting pulled under water backwards? I actually had a friend get in that situation and the only thing that saved him was he is a triathlete and very good swimmer oh and the fact that his safety line broke releasing him from the kite.
For years I was just attaching my leash to one of the side D-rings but for the last 2 or 3 years I made me a front pass leash out of spectra and poly tubing and just run from D-ring to D-ring. Really the only advantage to it is, is that I don't have to pre-spin as much as I used to. I try to explain to people all the time how bad of an idea it is to use the handle pass leash spot but like most things people are hard to change old habits.
Unless you're doing handlepasses, you don't actually need the leash to be connected to the back of your harness. Unwrapping your leash after a handlepass is just a lot harder if your leash connects to the front/side.
For most people, the safety leash should ideally be connected to the front of the harness. It makes it a lot easier to activate your second release if you are being dragged after activating the quick release.
The thing that prevents people from connecting the leash to the front of their harness is the unnecessarily long leash you get as standard with most bars. You are more at risk by connecting that long leash to the front of your harness, because you are guaranteed to get caught in your own leash that way.
The good news is, more brands are offering a mini-leash option, and hopefully that trend will catch on. Core did it a while back already (I am assuming they still do?), Best is offering it with this year, and I suspect NKB with do the same.
even if you are doing handlepasses, many pros aren't leashing to the back. (hadlow for example) They just use long leashes. that can wrap around a couple times.
So if death/drowning/ folding in half so that you give yourself head isn't enough of a deterent....You'll look like a newb poseur with the leash on the back.
the D rings on the side can at times rip out the harness when rigged suicide and eating it hard doing proper powered tricks so wrap that sucker around a big piece of steel up front like the spreader bar.
Thanks everyone for the input great tips from Aaron here including front leash attachment on the link with pictures at the bottom,
I will try a front setup next time and and wear my helmet plus a face shield of some sort until I get my confidence back, I don't care if I look like a newb because I am not, I was landing powered handle passes as far back as 2004 like they were nothing, a has-been would be the right word there for me, getting old, after over 1000 unhooked crashes , I have never thought I could hit my face that hard on something on clean water wipe-out, after 2 days I still can't figure what happened
After replaying my recent accident over and over in my head I have concluded my face hit the hinge of my left knee brace due to crashing in an unusual attitude, leash position may have played a role in extending my face to my knee area but it is very likely that any fall unhooked or hooked in could result in such a falling position where your face comes close to your knee area. your eyes teeth lips nose are exposed to the hinges of knee braces, I ordered an ice-hockey helmet with face cage, I will try that next time I am on the water once my stitches come out.
While sitting down stretch your head to your knee, you will see how easy it is to get your knee and your face in contact imagine an uncontrolled rolling crash while kiting how easy it would be to get your face exposed to your knee area
Anyone who wears knee braces should be aware of this potential exposure to facial injury, especially if wearing knee braces makes you push harder due to more physical confidence.
tie a bit of climbing rope around the spreader bar and do it long enough so your leash release doesn't get stuck in the harness hook. then take away the carabiner on the lower end of the leash and attatch it directly to the rope. works fine and looks like this: