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Leash vs. not leash, safety vs. performance?

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gyru
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Leash vs. not leash, safety vs. performance?

Postby gyru » Sun Aug 17, 2003 11:34 am

Hi,
I learned kiting 2 years ago, using a 2 meters leash between my harness and the board.

Now my level is improving, one month ago I was out in 30 knots and I lost the board while edging hard overpowered. The board went somehow under the water loosing speed while I was still dragging downwind full speed. In a bit the leash suddenly recalled the board which came on my leg like a razor (kind of rubber effect). Nothing too serious but 20 days stop.

Some expert kiters told me I am crazy to use the leash now that I can jump and stay out in consistent winds. So I decided to try unleashed, but I found it quite annoying and potentially dangerous. When I lose the board it is not so easy to drag upwind, expecially if the board falls streps down. I tryied to drag keeping the kite down and extending my upwind arm but it is really tiring!

But the real problem is what happen if you lose the board upwind and the kite falls at the same time. In this case how can you take the board? What is the correct solution to figure out this nasty situation? Do you have to relaunch first? This takes normally a lot of time, how about the board in the mean time?

Thanks in advance,
gyru

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Postby Toby » Sun Aug 17, 2003 11:41 am

there should be only two ways:
with a board leash requires a helmet and without requires not to kite alone.

Normally you get your board back very easily be dragging upwind.
Sometimes when you are really powered up you may have problems getting back to the board. I usually don't kite alone and someone always brings me my board, which is not often. But everytime you see someone fighting to get their board back, you help and get it for them.
This works at every spot I know. We always help, no matter what and who.

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Mr Jo Macdonald
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Postby Mr Jo Macdonald » Sun Aug 17, 2003 11:45 am


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gyru
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Postby gyru » Sun Aug 17, 2003 12:40 pm

Thanks Toby, this really makes sense!

I also found useful the link of Jo, although it is more or less what I already do, pheraps I just need a bit more practice.

I guess help from someone is the ultimate solution expecially when the kite falls, which is my real nightmare as I cant relaunch 100%

I asked because somewhere in the web I read one should never go unleashed from the board, while all the advanced do it.

gyru

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Postby Toby » Sun Aug 17, 2003 1:45 pm

alway prepare to swim in when your kite is down.
Therefore never kite out to far that you won't make it back.
And when you kite for some hours, your body will be very weak, therefore stay even shorter to the shore.

Going upwind requires a bit of technique, therefore try it next time before you go out to to know that it is possible and you won't be afraid of loosing the board.

One tip though: when you fall in and you feel you will loose the board, most of the time one foot is still in so bend your toes up and hold on to the board. Works many times for me and I have to drag less.

Greets
Toby

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Postby Peter_Frank » Sun Aug 17, 2003 6:08 pm

gyru wrote:Thanks Toby, this really makes sense!

I also found useful the link of Jo, although it is more or less what I already do, pheraps I just need a bit more practice.

I guess help from someone is the ultimate solution expecially when the kite falls, which is my real nightmare as I cant relaunch 100%

I asked because somewhere in the web I read one should never go unleashed from the board, while all the advanced do it.

gyru
Where did you read that ?

We teach not to use leashes at all, at kiteschools (or use a helmet - which most wont do....) - as the beginners and intermediate kiters are the one in highest danger of being killed by a board projectile, as they will get dragged much more often than experienced riders, and often in shallow water too.

And as kitesurfing is a sport done only with onshore winds - your worst nightmare could be that you have to wait for your board to drift ashore !
Dont ever kite further out, than you are sure you can comfortably reach the shore fast, even if a line breaks.

As you get experienced, you'll learn how to keep your board on your foot/feet even when the kite goes down - and you can relaunch from there.

Only if the kite goes down when doing board offs - you might loose your board.
And here you are at a level, where you can easily relaunch and bodydrag to your board - it will not take long to do this :thumb:

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Postby Kolahi » Sun Aug 17, 2003 7:51 pm

GET RID of the board leash its SO useless its rediculous. I've been kiting for a couple months now and I am able to do it all(thanks to traig btw)- im practicing aerial tricks now, but to be honest its kind of hard to do a board off without getting height, where i am right now we get light winds. I got rid of the leash on my board even before i was able to stay upwind.. especially after that one time the board rebounded and hit my head-giving me a huge gash. The first time i lost my board i was so scared i lost it, but i figured out the trick that day, all I do is bring hte kite low and almost to the edge of the window, and ofcourse create resistance with your body. The lower i bring it and closer to the edge the more upwind it pulls me, ESPECIALLY if youre overpowered. If youre extremely overpowered - when you are ready to do a second pass in the other direction make sure you do a slow transition so you dont lose more ground- then do the exact same thing but in the other direction. Board leashes are _SO_ useless. You wont crash your kite - and if you do over here usually another kiter will grab it for you. if worst comes to worst you can roll up your kite/lines and swim back to your board. Once you make that transition it'll all be behind you. One thing i learned about this sport is you wont advance unless youre willing to take risks- especially in learning new tricks you have to accept the responsibility that you might drop your kite, people need to realize that dropping a kite is not the end of the world.

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Postby kiteboarder@pacbell.net » Sat Aug 23, 2003 1:18 am

Board leashes are sometimes necessary, such as when riding alone in an upwind current, or REALLY powered up (not just thinking you are, with the limited range typical after only a "couple months"), or BARELY powered up (not just thinking you are...), or in low light (can't see the board).

As for dropping your kite when riding leashless, I did that once near sunset, & made the mistake of relaunching the kite first, in order to drag back to the board. I never did get the board back :cry: . Next time I'll try releasing the kite to the leash (since it's down anyway) & swimming the few feet back to the board to reconnect the leash prior to relaunching.

If you need to use a leash (for any of the above reasons), the Reel Leash is the best, with the least likelihood of body impact, & the best performance while detached (nothing dangling), but make sure you switch the brass clip to be on the BOARD side of the small bungee. In other words, lark's head the webbing around the bungee (instead of the clip), tie the thin black line to the clip (instead of the board), & tie a small loop of STRONG line to the board (to clip to), so if the thin line or webbing breaks, the buckle won't slingshot at you.


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