I wanted to pass on a thread from another forum to the group:
Well said Dave and I am with you on helmets! Some other issues were sent to me by private email. He brings up some thought provoking stuff. It seems going leashless may cause new problems in some instances. Here it is ...
Although I understand the dangers of board leashes, I think they offer more
good than bad. The Surf Nut retractable leash minimizes the downsides while
supplying the obvious upsides of having a leash.
I've seen excellent riders going without a board leash with
no problem. That is, until they lose their board. Then they disrupt the
whole flow of the relatively small kite zone trying to get back to their
board. Inevitably, one or two other kiters totally alter their ride in
order to assist in retrieving the lost board. Of course this further
compounds the developing chaos in kite traffic that was needlessly caused by
the unleashed board.
I'm starting to see the same thing with kite leashes, too. I think we're
entering a bad phase where a large percentage of riders are getting good
enough to call themselves advanced and therefore start ditching board and
kite leashes. I fear this trend is already with us and may get ugly before
the pendulum can swing back the other way. I wish the industry would come
up with some improved kite leash designs that deal with the limitations that
lead to advanced riders deciding to go without.
I think that the safety aspects of kiteboard gear in general have been
somewhat neglected by the industry. The confusing kite sizes, the variety
of questionable quality kite leashes, control bars that don't float and the
lack of any kite specific impact vests & PFD's are just some of the problems
that have taken back seat to who can create the best aspect ratio or wind
range. I noticed how many of the kitemares on your database happened upon
launch while hooked in the loop. By now it seems like kite manufacturers
(besides Flysurfer) would have some quick release loops and other options
for us to use. It seems like each kite community is developing their own
little niche of shackles and kite leashes and gadgets to get around the
inadequacies in the designs we're buying. What if the kiteboarding
associations could work together to encourage/pressure the manufacturers to
put more emphasis on these types of things? Industry is obviously running
way behind reality on these issues and it is leading to more accidents, more
bad safety trends and more beach closures for kiteboarders worldwide.
Of course, the glamorizing of the whole bad boy scene further promotes new
riders to go without appropriate safety gear, too. Kiteboarding Magazine
doesn't even have a safety section in it. Instead you skim the 10 tips on
big air and get advice like riding with kites that are two or three sizes
too big for conditions! I don't know man, but I'm seeing some bad trends
developing out there. One of the most troublesome trends being advanced
riders going without leashes. Instead of encouraging riders to ditch their
leash, I wish we could pressure industry to build a better one.
<< Hang on a bit, let's not get carried away. If we are concerned about
safety let's not forget one of the original reasons leashes were used
on surfboards, to stop runaway boards in surf from hitting other surf
This may not be a problem on waterways where there is no surf or other
ways in which errant boards can hit other water users but could be a
real problem in relatively crowded surf zones. Most kiteboards have so
little volume they are virtually invisible in the surf until you are
very close to them. Sharp rails also increase the likelihood of some
injury if someone gets hit, (even another kitesurfer).
I don't like standard leashes myself and have found the reel leash
solves the problem for me, no slingshots and 5 to 10 seconds to be back
on my board from when I lose it. I still wear a helmet though
Have fun, Dave (Dr Surf Australia) COM
--- In kitesurf@y..., "vide72au" <vide72au@y...> wrote:
> I think the day any kitesurfer starts jumping or gybing, it the day
> they should lose the leash.
> Leashes should be illegal!
> You can either:
> - wear a helmet and full body armour and a leash
> - or no leash and just board shorts (and still be safer in my
> DT >>