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Safety Leash - after today's experience a must !

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Postby Toby » Tue Sep 10, 2002 1:34 am

following happend:

a kiter was close to a stone mole.
He even came closer, but had the kite at the wind edge so someone could have grabbed it.
But there was no-one close. It looked like he had a problem. Suddenly the kite stalled and got full power again. Luckily the kiter released immediately, otherwise he would have smashed on the stones.
Now I don't know if he had no safety leash at all or if it broke.
But all I know is that the kite came towards me and I just passed it, but 2 lines were in my way. There were about 1 m high from the surface so I managed to push them with my arm over me while riding.
If not, I would have been between the lines and the kite still had power and the bar would have hit me or even got tangeled in my lines, or anything else.

If a leash breaks, it can happen, but if a rider doesn't use a leash and the same situation happens, would you think that rider is a cool guy?

Luckily most kiters are using a leash and for those who are not, you should come into my situation and hopefully you will understand what can happen.


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Postby RickI » Tue Sep 10, 2002 2:15 am

Hello Toby,

Congratulations on coming through a dicey situation. As far as leashless riders many kiteboarders think "a leash is dangerous and I am not going to use one" or "I can handle it" or "nothing is really going to happen" or worse yet it never occurs to them to even think about it. The risk of kiteboarding needs to stay with the kiteboarder and not be sent downwind in populated areas with a runaway kite. Anything less is cowardly, dangerous to others and unacceptable.

There was that rider a couple of years ago that had his ankle cut half way through by a runaway kite. I have been talking to Andreas, a regular on the kiteforum and a physician about what might happen if some kite lines hit someones throat. To date all the accounts I have heard about, the bystander was able to cast the lines off only to cut other parts of their body. If we keep sending runaway kites flying downwind, someday someone may have a severed carotid artery or jugular vein and will expire rapidly. If a tensioned line connects with that area it could happen very easily.

Time to get responsible. The excuse of not having leash/bar systems that you can't spin is no longer valid. Like that is adequate justification for injuring someone in the first place.

Sorry for the diatribe but these short sighted, careless riding practices are more than a bit disturbing. Congratulations again on avoiding a nasty accident.

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