FIRST, let me say this may be a long post, so if you aren't up for it, you may as well stop reading now.
I know QR's(quick releases) are a touchy subject and I even expect to get feedback maybe even flaming on this, but let's discuss it anyway. I am ready for it and willing to take it without it becoming a pissing match. So feel free to let me have it! That being said...let's do this!
I have a confession to make! I don't know what one would consider my skill level as far as how advanced, but...here's my confession....
"""I still ride with a chicken loop and a static loop on my bar only. I make no use of any QR's. I am still flying old school style I guess. The only quick release on my setup would be the one that SS just recently added to their chicken loop."""
I don't have any problems staying hooked in while flying...inverted as well. I can recall one instance where I thought the chicken loop was hooked in good but was only partially over the hook and it came off surprising me. Aside from that, no probs staying hooked in while being invertied, twisting, looping or whatever.
Their has also been ONE instance where I was hooked into the chicken loop and was headed into a really bad situation, WAY overpowered(as I most normally am), and a quick release may have been handy there for getting me loose from my kite. Here's the situation in a nutshell:
"I was being hammered by an unexpected and unseen squall...winds went from 17 up 30ish for just about 45 seconds, but that was plenty long enough to have me being blown toward the shore in no time and at a high rate of speed. Luckily I had the kite low(as I normally do since I ride so powered up) so I was just SCREAMING downwind instead of being lofted. Had I not got loose from the kite, I would have made it to the shore and into the parked cars there. For sure an ugly situation."
Now, I know a QR may have been real handy in this stuation if I would of had one, and more importantly if it was a properly fucntioning one. But then, had I had one and tried to use it and it failed, I would prolly be DEAD today! I don't think I am ready to place my life in the hands of a QR that might work.
I've been flying huge kites for alot of years, so it's pretty much second nature to me(not trying to sound like an "arrogant prick" here) on how to get loose from one when I need to. Obviously if you have to think about it in these critical times, chances are you wont be able to think quick enough. Anyway, without even thinking about how to get loose from my kite in this situation, I just reacted.... by letting go of the bar and grabbing the chicken loop with both of my hands and pulled it off of my harness hook and let the kite go and the leash do it's job. End of ordeal. Unfortunately, most people in this situation would react by pulling harder on the bar trying to unhook from it, thus powering the kite further and making it harder to get loose. Also, I know if I had been in the main loop, letting go of the bar wouldn't have done anything for depowering the kite, but I think I would prolly still have reacted the same way and just used my hands the best I could to get that sucker off of the hook. Also, I'd like to add that what I say may not apply to everyone as I am rarely in my main loop at all since I rig a kite size so that I am pretty much fully lit when sheeted out...and from what I can tell from this forum, this isn't everyones normal style of riding either.
My point here: I'm not saying quick releases are bad or dangerous..on the contrary. They can be a life saver IF they work when you need them to. BUT, IF they don't, you ass is in a serious jam! If you are using QR's test them often and under really heavy load because you ARE permanantly attaching yourself to your kite if the thing wont work! The reason I have yet to start employing them for myself is because of the above situation I described that I went through. I just know damn well had I been shackled in and the shackle failed me, I wouldn't be here writing this today. Furthermore, because of my background with kites, I dont think reaching for a quick release would be second nature to me at all since it's not something that I am USED to doing and if I was usuing one and found myself in a situation, then I'd have to THINK about what I have to do to get loose...and we all know their isn't much time for thinking when you're being slung around like a rag doll.
Also, I do this move, where I am riding toe side, and I then turn my board further into the wind and spin completly around, like doing a backwards 360 but with the board never leaving the surface of the water. I suppose I COULD add some more style to this move and do a handle pass behind my back, but that's kinda hard with a leash(which I refuse to ride without), so I just hold my bar above my head with one hand and do the rotation underneath of the bar with the other hand dragging the water giving the illusion/appearance that I am turning myself around with that hand on the water. I don't see how I could do things like this if I don't have the option of unhooking from both the chicken loop AND the main loop so I can put the bar over my head. I'm still not using a shackle or any other QR aside from the one being built INTO the chicken loop now by Slingshot, and I have no plans to start anytime in the near future. I have too many things that I like to do totally unhooked to be bothered with being semi-permanantly attached to the chicken loop.
So...am I wrong? Am I being dangerous? And if I'm not endangering others, do you feel I am endangering myself? After having my style of riding described to you, do you guys think I SHOULD be using a QR for my own personal safety? Also, has anyone here ever REALLY needed to make use of their QR and it NOT open? I'm guessing the answer to the last question is "NO" because if the situation is/was bad enough and he couldn't get loose, he wont be telling about here. Another question is how do you guys that use QR's do unhooked moves....or do you just not do any?
I want to hear what you guys think. I know most use a QR of some sort and when I go to the beach, I am for sure one of the odd ones there for not being shackled...but I like riding this way. I get an occasional comment from time to time from other riders asking why the hell I don't come up to speed on the QR's, but I feel I AM up to speed on them and just making my own decision for my own style. I also feel like FOR ME, they will be more of a danger than safety because of the reflexes and reactions that me and my body are already used to doing from fying traction kites for more than 10 years.
So that's my confession, and the reason I think like I do. Anyone here care to comment or help to influence the way I think about it? I'm all ears and open to anything any of you might have to say. I even welcome the flaming and other you may feel like saying, but be IF you decide to reply in a negative way or to flame me, sign in please or at least sign a name. I won't be replying to any CRAP that comes from ANON. Again, I welcome the crap, but let us know who you are that's saying it. Fair enough?