i've seen a few snap shackle setups which look nice, but won't work when needet - like twisted release grips and stuff - when you attach such a setup to your equipment, always try it a) under pressure - with the kite powered up in a typical situation (it is nice, when your system works with the rope you tied to a door-handle, but that won't grant it will work with a kite pulling twice your weight at a whole different angle).
and even more important: TRAIN IT! you can somehow wiggle out of the hooked center or chickenloop, but a shackle wont open just because you pull the bar and move your hips in panic.
it's a MUST that you learn the exact position and pull-direction of your release, 'cause in most emergency cases there's no time for reading the manual and try how it opens - it's more like: you got time for one grip and pull and then you're f***ed up.
so don't rely on a system that won't help you because you're not used to it.
and always remember:
when you are in the situation when you need it, you won't be as cool as usual, cause you're pulling to save your tiny a**. so the movement must be saved deep down in the motion center of your kite-polluted brains
Murdoc, you are spot on. ANYTIME we connect to a kite by either hooking in or snap shackling in and are near hard objects we need to assume that something MAY happen that either:
1. Happens so quickly that there is no time in which to react and you will dragged to hard to very hard impact and may be seriously injured.
2. Happens slowly enough to where there is time for a proper reaction to defuse things or at least reduce the damage. Murdoc your point about having the gear in the best configuration and frequently rehearsing what you will do is very important to improving the odds of a successful response to a bad situation. Of course if you don't react correctly and quickly the consequencs of #1 still apply.
Lots of guys have proved the above statements in the most real and harsh ways possible so I think we can take these conclusions as FACT over opinion at this point. Assuming these risks are unacceptable, the only option for now with current safety equipemnt, IS NOT TO HOOK IN OR SHACKLE IN near hard objects. With four line kites, this means taking in the full length of the triming strap to depower the kite as much as possible and HOLD THE BAR until you are in the water. With two lines kites you hope you chose a good kite size and HANG ON to the bar. When you need to put your board on, fly your kite low and out to sea, hook into your fixed line and put your board on quickly and get further offshore without delay. If there are heavy waves consider body dragging outside the breaker zone before putting on your board.
It's a pain in the butt, requires rigging a small enough kite size to not be too overpowered but it avoids accepting possible very harsh consequences of hooking in near hard objects.
A problem with not hooking into the kite is you cannot control the power. If you are rigging up a kite that is totally overpowered (like we all do!!) Than you are asking for trouble! When we launch the kites down at my local spot we never launch towards the sea wall but out to sea so if you get dragged off you can kill the kite by crashing it into the water. If you get dragged off out to sea than you have more time without hitting a hard object. I am not saying that we should all do this, But the more experinced of us this should be common knowledge! If you are restricted in space when launching get a reel bar. Also gear prep is top most before launching. No one should jump to launching the kite without checking lines and quick releases. I know i did not check my lines once and got slammed into a sea wall at about warp factor 10 and luckily suffered only a small fracture to the arm! I was not clipped to the de-power loop so could not control anything, But luckily i could let go of the bar. But good preparation goes along way!!
all you said above is absolutely correct.
If I may I would add the following to the list:
1- We should advocate the use of those new chicken loops that also offer a safety release strap. Same for the harness line, that too should have a safety release strap. This will not drammatically improve your chances of getting unhooked for the reasons you've stated but should still improve your chances somewhat, and it's cheap.
2-Getting people to understand that launching a kite it's much like launching off a cliff with a paraglide or head out for an outback sky excursion. You take no chances and always check everything properly, twice is better AND you know what you're doing at all times. Yours is the responsibility that comes from flying these huge kites next to other people. If this kind of culture can be introduced we should be in good shape but it looks like a rather big if at this point.
The best we can do at this stage is keep promoting and researching smart safety at all levels.
here's my setup: <br>
the shackle is tied on top of my harness hook.
the black line (250kp) goes to a wipika - 2 line - bar - quick release and from there to the safety leash. into the shackle, you put the chicken (or center) loop - and you can still use the hook.
i adjusted the stuff that my naish bar is exactly 100% power when i hook into the centerloop while having the chickenloop 'shackled'
this setup works with any 2- 3- or 4line system i know (exept handles - it works, too, but not too good) even without modification.
a release system with non dangling safety leash -> and it's all on your harness
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: murdoc on 2002-03-19 16:03 ]</font>
Looks like a great system, forgive my thick head, but I'm not sure I'm comprehending the two lines coming off the shackle. As I understand it, the black line is a short line attaching to a ball or strap for emergency release (the plastic tie keeps the line in a optimal position for leverage). The redish line attaches to a safety leash . Cool, what kind of shackle is that?
With the kite 100% powered while hooked into the regular loop, do you have enough depower capability (arms already extended)?, and do you overpower the kite if you pull the bar closer?
I noticed that 1 emergency released on the Wichard was not enough when onced I could not reach the original white string.
Do you know that your black line could be used to provide a second emergency release opposite and symmetrically to the white line. You just need to attach it lower the same way closer to the axis on the upper part with the same knot. In case of emergency I pull either upwards the original white string OR (and MAINLY) downwards my leash which is much easier to find (2.5m long) MIKE
i just knodded the reddish line to the small white line, the white one alone is just too small, it would be too risky (IMO) to rely on finding this little thing.
i didn't put a ball on the end of the reddish line, (only on the old wipi-release) cause it'll spin better without. the red line is 3mm thick - i doubled it and made a few knots on the end - no problem to find, even with gloves....