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 Post subject: Redundant kite suicide leash release system for land/snow
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:44 pm 
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Location: Ithaca NY
Redundant kite suicide leash release system for land/snow kiting

I setup a new triple release system on my 19 and 15 meter kites which works like a suicide leash and keeps you from dropping like a rock in the event of harness, spreader bar, chickenloop, chickendick, chickenloopline or depowerstrap failure. The only failure that could drop you hard would be a front line failure which would still leave 3 lines to support you on the way down. Last winter I had a close call when my third spreader bar broke (Dakine) and left me 20+ feet up off the ground with a fully powered up Speed 2 15 in 20 mph of wind. The front line safety leash had been connected to the hook which completely broke off so I was only connected to the kite by holding onto the bar and the kite was fully powered up as the chickenloop was out at the bar. If I had let go of the bar its certain that I would have broken both legs at best or been dead as a doornail at worst. The redundant kite support system worked well with my climbing harness and I tested it extensively. In over 10 years of kiting I have destroyed 3 spreader bars, 5 harnesses, 10 chickenloops, 2 depower straps and countless chickenloop lines. The equipment is designed for 150lb guys that are far less aggressive riders than I am. I weigh in at 205 lbs, am 6’9” and am not happy unless I am over 20 feet off the ground/water.

I used 3mm Amsteel to make the line out of and you can buy it from APSltd for about $.48 a foot and you will need about 4 ft of it per kite.

http://www.apsltd.com/p-20968-amsteel-blue-18-3mm.aspx

The harness is just a cheap black diamond climbing harness that I paid $50 for. You should buy it new and wear it on top of your seat harness or below your waist harness. The carabineer is just a cheap $10 locking beener and the release shackle is a stainless steel release shackle which will run you about $40

http://www.apsltd.com/p-9729-nicro-snap ... -bail.aspx

My advice is don’t cheap out on the shackle, the less expensive ones will rust shut with salt water or corrosion. You will also need a red ball for the shackle release.

http://www.apsltd.com/c-4556-ColoredStopperBalls.aspx

Now you are at about $102 for a safety system that could easily prevent serious injury or death from equipment failure.

You need to sleeve the ends of the amsteel and sew it. Make sure to leave about a 1” loop at the end toward the shackle so it doesn’t get caught on the end of the shackle release arm. To install it on your kite just make a larks head above the trim strap and run the amsteel through the existing bar and down to the chickenloop. Then hook the other loop end to the release shackle. You will need to make sure when you loop the kite or roll in one direction you roll back in the other direction. If the suicide leash line gets too many twists in it then it won’t work properly when you need it to and it could interfere with your normal leash release system.

When I launch the kite I do not hook up the suicide leash/climbing harness system as I want to be able to dump the kite if I have to by pulling only one ball. When I go out riding and getting big 20+ foot airs I hook the shackle to the suicide leash system. When I have finished riding or if I start getting overpowered I disconnect the 2ndary leash system. Its important when launching and landing to make sure the system is not engaged as anything that will eat up precious seconds you may need to activate your normal release systems could kill you. When out riding or gliding and getting big airs over land this system is a MUST HAVE.

You also need to test the system in <15 mph winds. When you remove the chickenloop the ktie should act as a very short suicide leash system and the bar should still be within your reach. Make sure that you can pull your suicide release system ball on the shackle and the kite flags out on the release system and depowers completely.

The downside is when you are out riding you will have to pull 2 balls to get the kite to drop out of the sky, the upside is you might not die when your harness/spreader bar/chickenloop/chickenloopline/depowerstrap fails and you are over 20 ft in the air.

I do not endorse kite gliding and I think it’s obscenely lame and detracts from the entire sport. When I watch videos of Shasta or anyone gliding at 100 ft in the air I think to myself “He is going to get someone killed by showing off like that”. I am putting this out there for people who INSIST on kite gliding or getting big 20+ foot airs on land or snow who don’t want to kill themselves when their equipment fails. Regardless of how meticulous you maintain your gear, no matter how new it is I can guarantee that at some point it will fail, and it will always be when you need it to work the most.

Be Well.

Karl


Attachments:
File comment: Closeup of chickenloop. Amsteel is only knotted to keep it from pulling through the ring when not connected to shackle.
chickenloop.jpg
chickenloop.jpg [ 1005.98 KIB | Viewed 1723 times ]
File comment: Larkshead one end of the amsteel above the depower strap
depower strap.jpg
depower strap.jpg [ 1003.41 KIB | Viewed 1723 times ]
File comment: Overview of system
wholesystem.jpg
wholesystem.jpg [ 952.76 KIB | Viewed 1723 times ]


Last edited by gridlok on Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:15 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Redundant kite suicide leash release system for land/sno
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:57 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:29 pm
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Location: south east pa PKF SUX!!!
Wouldnt it be just as easy to hook your safety leash onto the back of your harness, IE handle pass style?


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 Post subject: Re: Redundant kite suicide leash release system for land/sno
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:02 pm 
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No this system bypasses the chickenloop, depowerstrap and chickenloop line. It is only used when one of the three things (or harness) fails.

I don't trust my harness, I have had the side straps rip off and the ass rip in half and completely come apart when riding (on water never on land). Also who wants to be more than 20 feet above the ground dangling facing away from their kite with the kite fully depowered. On a foil it would be bad, with a tube kite you could easily die.

with this system if anything fails you can still fly the kite like normal and land normally. Thats what you need when stuff fails, to be able to come to a normal controlled landing.

Karl


Last edited by gridlok on Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Redundant kite suicide leash release system for land/sno
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:06 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:29 pm
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Location: south east pa PKF SUX!!!
Have to see it in person, kinda looks more complex then it is.


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 Post subject: Re: Redundant kite suicide leash release system for land/sno
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:17 pm 
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It's the simplest system I could come up with. 4 ft of amsteel, loops at both ends, one end larksheaded above the depower strap, the other end through the bar and down at the chickenloop hooked to a shackle on a climbing harness.

I can't think of a system that could be any simpler and still accomplish the same goals.

Karl


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 Post subject: Re: Redundant kite suicide leash release system for land/sno
PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 7:57 am 
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Location: Vancouver, Canada
Why do you need the shackle? Couldn't you just have a loop on the end of the amsteel that you connect to the carabiner? Or does the shackle have a quick release, I guess that it must.


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 Post subject: Re: Redundant kite suicide leash release system for land/sno
PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 7:10 pm 
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snobdr wrote:
Wouldnt it be just as easy to hook your safety leash onto the back of your harness, IE handle pass style?


lol that thing snaps if you look at it wrong. They dont put good enough stitches. Maybe if you sewed it down with some leather replaced the line in the back with 5,000 pound line and also resewed the front straps with leather patches, all of which snap pretty easy straight from the factory. No big deal on water, kite back to land, get out the sewing awl and fix it on the beach. But in the air?

To be perfectly honest tho I dont think snow kiting 40 feet above ground can be made safe. Too close to ground to be able to carry a parachute. Get up above 100 feet now you have some room to deploy.


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 Post subject: Re: Redundant kite suicide leash release system for land/sno
PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 2:54 am 
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Nice backup system. Hard for me to visualize but I'm sure it's solid.
Gliding higher than 15 feet is dangerous for sure but check out some of the forward gliding in this video. This spring I flew down a glacier in Alaska and had almost ten minutes of airtime and I was never more than 5 feet off the ground. Working on that video...
https://vimeo.com/m/57566073


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