This is true Rick - but my point is still, that most kiters dont use a chicken loop in the hook no more, as it is kind of an "old" thing that does not work at all, together with the fixed loop.RickI wrote:Interesting points and valid observations too. Then again, as long as things continue along current practices there will be a number of potentially avoidable accidents and incidents.
I stopped using a shackle about six months ago in favor of a Wipika pin quick release on the bars that I use most regularly. Prior to that time, I didn't launch unhooked a lot with the snap shackle but it was possible although more complicated to be sure.
With the current system, using a QR fixed harness line, it is quite easy subject to reasonable winds for the given kite size. If the rider chooses to connect and disconnect from the chicken loop a distance offshore, the hazards of this transition should be reduced in theory. The approach described requires that a QR fixed harness line be attached to the bar. These are not standard on some bars.
It isn't perfect, then again, neither is the current way of doing things. People are being dragged and lofted periodically. With time there should be more reliable technological solutions but they aren't here yet. All that might serve in the interim is modified technique. Ideas for one possible approach are described above. Other techniques and solutions must exist. The demands of impecable preflighting, weather planning, launch characterization and avoiding plain old misfortune are substantial. Being able to just drop the bar or have it yanked out of your hands could save a lot of problems in the near term.
No matter what approach you use, kiteboarding can still be potentially hazardous. Being hooked in near hard objects only appears to be more
Not a lot of perfect solutions in this to be sure. Going back through my recollection of the 80 odd KSI accounts, I am having trouble remembering a substantial portion in which failure to let go figured in the accident. Then again there have been cases where people DID hang on like grim death for the complete ride and impact.JHolzhall wrote:Rick, your premise is good but it is based on the fact that riders are trained to "let go" when brain freeze happens. If you review the kitemares you will discover this rarely is the case.
Riders have to train themselves to anticipate problems and take appropriate action. Take for example a self-launch, as the rider allows wind to create a center of energy the top lines will tension, instead of immediately launching, the rider should check these lines. They are the potential problem. As the rider sees the malfunction he moves towards the kites center of energy and gets out of the harness or releases his QR. In this case never did the rider "pull" in on the bar to launch the kite.
I strongly agree that riders need to spend time planning and anticipating their launch and exit long before they attempt it, however, I disagree with your suggestion that riders launch in gear 4 and I respectfully suggest you remove it from your "safety points" in favor of something to the effect of "anticipating brain freeze on the launch and exit".
For this and more insight check out "Kiteboarding's Simple Plan" the Book
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