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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2002 1:02 pm 
I never snowboarded with a helmet and never hit my head. In fact I don't know why paragliders use a helmet, it can't help much if you drop out of the sky. All other sport you mention inlcude a very high risk of head injury. The same for kiteboarding when you use a boardleash. And I agree that it should be recommended to wear a helmet but it should not be a obligation. I will not wear it, not for my hairstyle, but because I get some claustrofobia feeling with a helmet on and don't have the same feeling of balance and orientation with it, apart from being ugly and not practical. I decide for myself, not for the others. I know the risks and I believe the chances of hurting my head are smaller than getting in the hospital with bad injuries just by using my car nearly every day. Maybe it's even more likely a shark eats me before I hit my head.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2002 1:15 pm 
Why would I use a helmet for paragliding? THE LAUNCH!
I went as a tandem passenger in OAHU and our launch was not perfect. We lifted slightly and then swung back into the mountain(banging up knees and elbows on the rocks) and then hit the up button on the elevator without. We could have easily been injured. Just my .02.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2002 1:22 pm 
perhaps not the right forum, but anyway: a helmet in paragliding is a MUST!! when there is more wind and depending on your start-site, the launch can be tricky. lots of trees and rocks to bump into... once your chute is flying with you iso the other way around you'll be glad to have a helmet!!!! just wanted to say that. :smile:

have fun surfing!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2002 1:38 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2002 1:00 am
Posts: 50
Location: Sydney, Australia
sure, i absolutely agree with you that ultimately using a helmet is up to you. after all, you're not going to hurt anyone - but yourself - by not using a helmet.

however, mark my words - one day you will wish you had been using a helmet.

good luck, with an attitude like yours i really think you'll need all the luck you can get.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2002 12:39 am 
I am Bruno Legaignoux and was invited by Toby to discuss with you guys about safety. Concerning the helmet, I think that most head injuries concern the face (when you don't use a board leash) so the helmet should be "integral" to be efficient. I can't imagine myself kitesurfing with a motorcycle helmet (here in Dominican rep I just wear a short and a harness all along the year!), but I agree that it would be useful and that kitesurfers which use helmets take less risks than the other ones. I remember a friend hurting his face with his knee after a jump last year. If a brand can make one light and well protecting my face, I would certainly wear it in up to 20 knots wind.

Concerning Silke's accident, I agree that due to so close obstacles, a quick release (QR) could not have worked but nobody in this discussion said that if the guy had a kite leash, his kite would not have powered Silke, it would have fully depowered so they would have been 2 kitesurfers powered by one kite, not one kitesurfer powered by 2 kites. I don't blame the guy at all, he did what he thought to be the best. Unfortunatly it was not.

The main reason people don't use kite leashes is because there is not one manufacturer to deliver a device allowing them to make loops without having the leash twisting around the centerline. There are a few devices available but people have to modify them by themselves. Not so many people can do it.

We at Takoon are preparing an improved version of our usual QR. You know, the manufacturers need time to bring something new on the market because production is now "industrial". The QR also needs to be super-reliable otherwise it is worst than no QR. It needs to be cheap too. For these 2 last reasons the stainless steel shackles can't be used by the kitesurf brands, we need simple, light, cheap and reliable QRs

Actually our 4 line bars come with 4 different safety devices:
- center line QR to fully depower the kite
- harness loop QR to fully depower the kite if hooked to harness line
- leash attached to one of the front lines to avoid loosing the kite (so dangerous for others)
- leash QR - to be used in peril of death only

Ones say that such QR are not quick enough to open. I agree that nothing is perfect but please consider that you should always have a certain safety margin, a few seconds before reaching an obstacle. If you don't always keep such a margin, you are a fool, nothing and nobody can help you...
The best devices for safety are the "dead-man" releases but for now the only way I know to make one is a device put on your bar: as long as you have one hand on your bar, it doesn't open. As soon as you remove both hands, it releases. Would you accept that ? I don't think so because you won't be able to make some tricks and probably you will oftenly release it accidentally. Another way people talk about is a QR with a line attached to your wrist. This is also a heavy constrain to your practise and personnally I think it is dangerous to wear such a leash because it can easily tangle when you fall while making loops. Really I feel myself unsafe when I sail with a board leash AND a wrist leash: too many tangle possibilities.

I have not so much time to read and reply all the news groups but if someone thinks having a good idea to improve safety, contact me at bruno@inflatablekite.com

Safe ride
Bruno


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2002 9:47 am 
I really don't see how you can affirm that if the guy had a leash it would have depowered his kite even though it was tangeled with an other kite.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2002 11:47 am 
it´s simply by giving the kite a pull in a new point of contact, namley the fixture of the safety leash. In case you´re using the moving one with ball/ring, discussed and shown in another thread of this forum, it´s even better for those cases as it could compensate for interference from the tangled kite. Don´t forget the second weight of the other kiter in this case, he maybe could have helped controlling Silkes Kite as well. Who knows ?

Bruno, it really honours you honestly saying that stainless steel quickies are too expensive from an industrial/commercial point of view. That´s what I assued too. Could you give us a reference what a safety control-unit would cost us customers based on these expensive devices ?
Another issue you did not mention is patent protection: I think you´re on the sunny side as it seems that Wipika patents can be used by Takoon and my experience with Wipika safety devices used this spring is quite good. Optimising was only a matter of bringing all connections to one rotating point in order to get rid of the wrap-around-problem of the safety leash.

aloha

Hangtimer


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2002 1:05 pm 
"if the guy had a kite leash, his kite would not have powered Silke, it would have fully depowered so they would have been 2 kitesurfers powered by one kite, not one kitesurfer powered by 2 kites."

possible, but HIGHLY unlikely. You obviously have not seen what happens when your kiteleash tangles - it does not work.

As soon as your kitelines gets tangled with another kites kite lines, you only have line slack to the point before the knot, and the safety leash will only be effective to the point before the knot.

The best thing to do is to let go of your kite. If the other rider does not have a QR, it is his own mistake / foolishness.


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