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 Post subject: "Tinkering"- How to safely grab a line?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 4:22 pm 
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"Tinkerers",

Here is a project in need of criticism and improvement. Call it a "line grabber" or sacrificial "5th. finger". It is meant to be used for:

1. Feeding out the 5th. line, while doing a shallow-water-controled-drift-launch. (more on that later)

2. Working your way up one line, while doing a self-rescue.

3. Grabbing a line, while running up to your beach-dumped-kite, when the kite gets unexpectledly gusted.

Why bother? Ask any of the kiters who have had pieces of their body amputated by kite line. A line looped around your finger, has the potential of peeling off the skin like the finger of a glove. A classic Emergency Room injury is the case of the victim's big ring snagging on the loose chrome trim of a moving car. All that's left is the bone and ligament. A victim gets to spend the next 6 months with his hand sewn to his hip while the skin grafts to the finger. I HATE IT WHEN THAT HAPPENS!

I based this project on the principle of the "Jumar Climber", which allows rock climbers to ratchet their way up a rope, by first sliding the clamping device up the rope and then activating the clamp....then pulling up the second "climber" and clamping that so that you can straignten your leg and move your body and the first clamping device higher up....etc.

"Jumar: General term derived from the French-made Jumar Ascender but now applied generically to include all rope-ascending devices, including Petzl, Clog, Gibb etc. Any of these ascenders uses a pivoting cam which deploys against the rope, enabling the device to move up but not down"

I made this "poor-mans" Jumar Ascender from PVC. The pictures show how, with 2 windings of the kiteline, you can allow the line to slip, and with a 90 degree movement of your hand, you can brake the line. Grasping (but not wrapping) the line below the device allows you to (hopefully) safely feed out the line, and with a flick of the wrist, you can stop the line from feeding out. The handle surrounds and protects your hand from the line.

The standards I used were:
1. The device must be able to be employed quickly and by ONE HAND only, leaving the other hand free to multitask.
2. Must not harm the line.
3. Must be able to exert variable resistance to the line.
4. Must float.
5. Simple to understand.
6. Cheap and easy to make.
7. Small enough to be stored under the board handle.

Another idea, I considered and rejected was that of a kevlar bracelet, you could wear and pull over your hand for protection when you needed to grab a line.

I think something is needed for safely grabbing lines, and I reject advice like....."Dude, you're just making it too complicated. I just run up the line, and grab the kite. ....do it all the time....no problems."
What do you think? Could you incorporate a kite knife in the design? Make it small and pretty, and slip it into a pocket on the top of a footstrap?


Attachments:
5th. finger- sliding.JPG
5th. finger- sliding.JPG [ 117.71 KIB | Viewed 2450 times ]
5th. finger - locked.JPG
5th. finger - locked.JPG [ 115.43 KIB | Viewed 2449 times ]
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 4:28 pm 
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Sweet.
What about combining the idea with one of these line manager systems as well. Before you know it we could have a "Cool Tool" for Kiting


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 5:23 pm 
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Can you not just use the hook on the harness?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 11:52 pm 
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Location: Australia
Viktor invents new sport!
Kite goes down............
Can't relaunch...............
Viktor decides to self rescue..............
Wraps line a couple of times around harness hook.............
Dickhead in speedboat drives between Vikto and his kite, not realising they are connected.............
Viktor invents bare faced waterskiing


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 Post subject: Re: "Tinkering"- How to safely grab a line?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2005 12:37 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2003 11:45 pm
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Location: California
tomatkins wrote:
Here is a project in need of criticism and improvement. Call it a "line grabber" or sacrificial "5th. finger".


Looks good. Maybe just a little bulky for everyones' tastes
(especially those of use that already carry a bunch of crap
whan out riding)

Quote:
...Another idea, I considered and rejected was that of a kevlar bracelet, you could wear and pull over your hand for protection when you needed to grab a line...


Back when I started kitesurfing and seemed to do quite a lot of line
grabbing (safety leashes weren't quite as sophisticated then as they
are now) I used to wear a pair of my thin paragliding gloves which
have kevlar palms and finger panels. Reasonably comfortable to ride
with and worked quite well against line burns but I don't know that
they would have saved me lopping a finger off if I got a line wrapped
around one and then powered up. It would probably chop off everything
but a flap of kevlar. :-(


Steve T


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2005 4:42 am 
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Location: Utah
I like it after the burns I got last time I had to do this.

What about reducing it to just the two "T"s and the connecting section? Its smaller and works from either end. Think that would compromise your fingers too much?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2005 2:15 pm 
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Hafte,

That's what I'm talking about. As small as possible. Tuck it into a velcrox pouch on the top of a footstrap?

How about glueing together pieces of a soda straw in the "T" shape you thought up, and glassing it up until it is strong enough. How strong is "enough"? 5 minute epoxy and fiberglass cloth is one of my favorite mediums for tinkering. It hardens up fast unough to satisfy a Type "A" personality. You can hold stuff in place and tweek it as it hardens....wear gloves!

Make sure it can be easily released from your hand, and not lock to your knuckles or finger joints.

I like the "cool tool" idea. .....a Swiss Army knife of safety and praticality. .....A screw driver, hook knife, line grabber. Hmmmmm..It seems like every sport has one ...Golf, backpacking, windsurfing, biking...and I have noticed that no sport gets a "cool tool" right away, only after many years of popularity. It's a "Stocking Stuffer" kind of thing.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2005 5:54 pm 
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Location: UAE
kitesuffer wrote:
Viktor invents new sport!
Kite goes down............
Can't relaunch...............
Viktor decides to self rescue..............
Wraps line a couple of times around harness hook.............
Dickhead in speedboat drives between Vikto and his kite, not realising they are connected.............
Viktor invents bare faced waterskiing


Wmsl.... too right... but I think he may be onto something


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 2:52 pm 
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Progress Report on the Line Grabber:

As shown in the pictures, I reduced the size of device, glued it up, plugged the ends of the "T" with foam to make it float, tested it for strength by leaning back hard against a test line, took it out and launched my 17M using a 5th. line, and liked the way it worked so much, I painted it. I think it will be a "keeper".

I am not about to put up the big "MISSION ACOMPLISHED" sign, but will continue to experiment. From the limited testing so far, I found out the following:

(1) It is very important that the device not break when in use. When using it on a 5th. line, the kite flys 20 to 40 feet above the water, so if the device pulled apart or broke, you would loose control of the kite, with the 4 lines not yet deployed. I will probably thread a rope through the inside of the pipe and tension and tie it so that the pieces can not separate, incase of a crack forming. CPVC cement is stong and CPVC is quite strong, but not meant for structural use. It seems to be plenty strong for the expected forces of a kite on a 5th. line. Painting it is important to prevent UV damage over time. A properly engineered device should have a metal core covered with plastic.

(2) The device works way better than I expected, but then again, I think I would have been impressed with how good a driftwood stick would have worked, if I had dared to use it.

(3) It took only seconds to get use to the way the line could be fed out and then securely held tight. Even with a 17M kite in normally powered wind conditions, the forces were moderate. Even reeling in the line was possible when I took advantage of a lull in the wind.

I will do more testing and if things pan out, then I will write up a full description of the method I find usefull for dispensing out the lines, and the necessary board modifications.

The biggest surprize I recieved so far in my experimentation is the following: The kite being in the air throughout the whole reeling out procedure solved a lot of problems rather than caused problems, as I had imagined it would. Here is a list:

1. Allows the lines to jiggle free of each other better than being in the water.

2. Allows you to see all the lines, all the time during the procedure.

3. Keeps seaweed and debris from tangling on the lines.

4. Because of its weirdness, warns other boaters and kiters to stay away.

Another thing that surprized me was that it was so much fun.......just like feeding out an old fashioned toy kite, only so huge you can't help but be impressed!

Here are 2 pictures. One shows an easy way to velcrox it to the board handle, and take it with you.


Attachments:
DSCF0003.JPG
DSCF0003.JPG [ 120.56 KIB | Viewed 2003 times ]
DSCF0004.JPG
DSCF0004.JPG [ 120.52 KIB | Viewed 2003 times ]
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 10:01 pm 
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Location: Utah
Found an interresting little do-dad today.

http://www.thechandleryonline.com//prod ... 1%5FHCL261

Might not be the best solution for water. Just thought I'd throw it out here. Its small but mght not keep you fingures as clear of the line as Tomatkins unit.


They also have the best prices I have seen on lots of hardware we use. Clam cleats, pulles, ss-rings etc.


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