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 Post subject: Re: Safety Release Reflex (SRR) please read!
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:46 am 
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During IKO instructor training I was asked what the first thing to teach when moving onto the water hooked in- I said practice pulling the safety "Oh, that's an idea." was the reply as if at any stage doing this had never even been considered.

I have also met a rider that "had always wondered why there was vecro in the chicken loop" - had never even heard of a safety - even after full lessons. Said thanks for showing him LOL


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 Post subject: Re: Safety Release Reflex (SRR) please read!
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 1:25 pm 
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Everything does happen too fast, and you do need to practice. Last week I landed a jump and when I looked at my kite it did not look right and looked like a bridal was twisted or wrapped and the kite looked like it wanted to invert, rather than wait to see what was going to happen I pulled the release and the kite safely released. Can't tell you how proud I was of myself to react with a release first - see what happens later approach!


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 Post subject: Re: Safety Release Reflex (SRR) please read!
PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2008 12:45 pm 
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Agree completely. You never know when the unexpected will happen. For another example, see this post: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2350893


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 Post subject: Re: Safety Release Reflex (SRR) please read!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 3:32 am 
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Launching and landing with 1 hand on the release and one hand in the centre of the bar is 1 step closer and 1 step safer than thinking about it. Leave your board, pick it up when you are unhooked from your kite.

I've lobbied the IKO for years to teach this and still its not included in the training.
Twice its saved my ass when in a squall the guy landing me dropped my kite and it inverted and shot through the power zone. Released. No problem.

I've witnessed muppets getting dragged up beaches, into walls and other obstacles. When they stop they still don't release. UNDER WHAT EVENTUALITY WOULD THESE RETARDS PULL THE PIN???

IF THE IKO AND OTHERS MAKE IT MANDATORY TO LAUNCH AND LAND 1 HANDED HOW MANY SENSELESS INJURIES WOULD THIS PREVENT. My guess "most of them".

DRC


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 Post subject: Re: Safety Release Reflex (SRR) please read!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:40 am 
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launching unhooked is easy as, 30 knots today - unhooked launch? - piece of piss with a correctly tuned kite. I had a takoon realease for a while that you could stuff your hand in for launch - saved my ass one time.


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 Post subject: Re: Safety Release Reflex (SRR) please read!
PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2008 6:29 am 
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Good topic and I always: 1) Check my QR prior to launching. 2) Keep my hand shadowing my QR upon launching. 3) Ride with my hand on the QR on every tack just so my muscle memory knows where it is. 4) Randomly pull the trigger on my QR when it's under load when I can. BUT!!! This sport needs an industry standard QR. IMHO, the best QR out there is a top hat/mushroom brush away like the Cabrinha QR. Although I think Cabrinha are way overpriced, their QR is the best. And not the best as in the Best because the Best QR sucks! It's the worst! Too bad that they don't invest more in safety and less in cheesy girls.


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 Post subject: Re: Safety Release Reflex (SRR) please read!
PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 1:20 am 
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Location: L.A. & Ventura Counties, CA
Kudos to Fred for an excellent thread with many great contributions.

As noted in many of the posts, it is a good idea to practice activating your quick release both on land and in the water as well as tensioned and untensioned. The expression "He who hesitates is lost" sounds like it was coined for kitesurfers.

Although our advice is geared toward conditions found in southern California and especially the Los Angeles and Ventura counties area, at Malibu Kitesurfing, when discussing this subject with beginner students during their kiteboarding lessons, we usually tell them:

A couple of other tips which may be helpful include:

1. In an emergency (your kite is out of control or you're sure it's going to be out of control) and you've decide to activate your quick release, use 2 HANDS to activate it. The idea is to MAKE SURE you activate it as quickly as possible. This way if the primary hand is knocked away or misses the release, the other is right there to take its place.

2. Practice finding the quick release by sliding your hand down the chicken loop line (main line) to the quick release while looking up at the kite (or at least away from the release).

Depending on how you're being dragged, the chicken loop may not be in its usual position and simply reaching down may not immediately find the chicken loop and quick release. Additionally, contact with the ground and/or water will have a tendency to pull your hand away.

The main line will always take your hand to the chicken loop and its quick release. It may also help keep your hand from being pulled away. Practice with both hands separately and together.

3. Make sure you can activate it with either hand. You never know, one hand may be tied to your leg or broken or your shoulder may be dislocated etc.

4. A potential problem with all quick releases that work at the chicken loop is that if you are getting dragged, especially over nasty stuff like rocks and/or debris (and maybe bounced), it may be difficult to get your hand under you to activate your release.

You may find that it is better to ROLL OVER on your back to MAKE SURE that you can activate it immediately. Being on your back eliminates the problems described above and allows you to see what you're doing.

However, there is a significant problem to rolling onto your back. As you probably know or have gathered from many of the posts, it often takes a substantial effort of will to force yourself to let go of the bar (which has to be done for the quick release to work). Unfortunately, you will find that it takes an exponentially GREATER amount of will power to additionally force yourself to STOP LOOKING at the bad thing (rock jetty, lifeguard tower, etc) that you're heading toward and you must do this in order to roll over. Like practicing forcing yourself to let go of the bar, it is possible to overcome the hesitation you might face by practicing rolling over a couple of times.

When you have very light wind, a large empty sandy area and preferably a friend or instructor to possibly help you, try lying down and getting your kite going enough so that you are being dragged. See what is involved to get your hand under you. You will find that it can be a lot different than simply standing on the beach and pulling your release. Try rolling over and activating your quick release.

As always when kiting, you should wear a helmet for this procedure and if possible, an impact vest. A full length wet suit is also advisable.

5. Try to determine the situations that may cause your quick release to fail. Some are better than others and although knowing the potential problems doesn't necessarily prevent them, awareness might lead you to some corrective solution or at least faster response to some plan B should an anticipated failure occur.

The most important thing to try to determine is what could make any of the moving parts jam up and not move. For example, if your quick release activates by pushing away from you and you are being dragged forward, could sand or debris be forced into it and prevent it from sliding forward? If you have to pull back towards you to activate, would your stomach be in the way if you were bent over the chicken loop? These are by no means all the possible ways a release can fail. You need to examine yours.

Richard M.
Malibu Kitesurfing
(310) - 430 - KITE (5483)
http://www.MalibuKitesurfing.NET
kfRichard@MalibuKitesurfing.NET
The BEST way to learn kitesurfing since 2002 !


Last edited by RichardM on Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Safety Release Reflex (SRR) please read!
PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 1:47 am 
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Hey Ian... here is a good way to ensure the students know the QR. I learned this through the PASA course from another guy. Explain the bar, go over what things do, get then to pull the release and put it back together a few times. Then ask them if they understand what they just went over if they say sure, start running. Seriously. I run with them hooked in and don't stop until they pull all the releases. It's not to hut anyone, but it's their initial introduction to pulling a release under an unexpected situation.

Breathe... experience comes with knowing that the kite MAY do something and anticipate that and pull the release. I've done it too and there is a feeling of pride.


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 Post subject: Re: Safety Release Reflex (SRR) please read!
PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:11 am 
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Location: L.A. & Ventura Counties, CA
doublerumandcoke suggests "Launching and landing with 1 hand on the release and one hand in the centre of the bar is 1 step closer and 1 step safer than thinking about it. Leave your board, pick it up when you are unhooked from your kite."

I agree about leaving the board. However, there is a potential downside to holding the bar with one hand, especially in strong, gusty, shifty wind, when tired, when on slippery, uneven terrain etc. because it goes without saying that most people usually have less control maneuvering a kite with one hand than two. I think it is usually better to opt for maximum control with fractionally less response time for the quick release. On the other hand, a strong case can be made that any loss of control due to using one hand can be immediately nullified by being able to instantly activate the quick release.

My main concern about the one hand solution is that it puts a greater dependence upon the quick release compared to maintaining control. Quick releases have been known to not work, or work too slowly. I also don't have a lot of confidence that people won't sometimes remove their hand from the quick release when they shouldn't. It seems to me that maximum effort should be made to always ensure maximum kite control and maximum kite control is obtained by using two hands.

The way to minimize the extra time it takes to reach the quick release from the bar is to be specifically and consciously aware as you land or launch that if something goes bad, your immediate reaction will be to reach down and activate the release WITHOUT HESITATION. And as the main point of this thread indicates, the way to be able to do this reliably is to PRACTICE until it is second nature.

All that being said, I can see situations (hopefully very rare) where the split second difference between being able to activate almost instantly by having a hand on your quick release rather than having to travel from your bar to the release, could make the difference between a good outcome and a bad outcome. There is no denying that sometimes a split second can make a big difference.

Richard M.
Malibu Kitesurfing
(310) - 430 - KITE (5483)
http://www.MalibuKitesurfing.NET
kfRichard@MalibuKitesurfing.NET
The BEST way to learn kitesurfing since 2002 !


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 Post subject: Re: Safety Release Reflex (SRR) please read!
PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:40 am 
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Location: L.A. & Ventura Counties, CA
In order to avoid the pitfalls associated with quick releases, some people advocate launching and sometimes landing unhooked. Although at first glance, this seems eminently sensible, there are some severe potential problems associated with this technique.

Before discussing these downsides, it should be noted that this technique could be labeled "old school". I don't mean to infer that all old school techniques and procedures are inferior. The point is that back in the day before there were quick releases, most people would launch unhooked while standing in the water. The idea being that if things went bad, you'd just let go and at worst flop into the water. Back then most bars came with a harness loop which was a big loop like a giant half chicken loop attached directly to the bar. One of the uses for the loop was that if you were unhooked, you could easily hook the harness loop on the spreader because it was so big. You were not then trying to control the kite only with the strength of your arms and if desired, could then more easily switch to the chicken loop. Additionally, back then not only were chicken loops bigger than they are now, but they also didn't have donkey dicks so it was easier to get them on the spreader.

Today virtually all kites come with quick releases, usually at the chicken loop. Chicken loops are generally smaller and usually have a donkey dick. Most bars don't come with harness loops although they are still available.

Now throw in the fact that the time you'd be tempted to launch unhooked is when the wind is so strong that you're worried that something might go badly wrong.

Remember, when you launch unhooked you are FULLY POWERED up exactly the same as if you pulled the bar all the way back while hooked in. This is NOT good. Generally, you want the absolute least amount of power possible whenever you're on land.

It is possible for things to go very wrong in a split second, especially in strong wind. Remember, some accidents happen or become severe because someone simply did not let go of their bar fast enough. In strong wind, it is not unusual that someone's first intimation that they have a problem is their view looking down at the rapidly approaching ground.

What's reasonably likely to happen with modern equipment when you launch unhooked in strong wind is:
1. You must carefully (hard to do in strong wind) fly it EXACTLY in the very small area of the window where there is the least power (side near the ground) and hope that it isn't pulling too much for you use one hand to fly it while you use the other to attach the chicken loop. As I've mentioned in a previous post, I think most people have more control with two hands and maximum kite control is extremely desirable. Or:

2. Get the kite overhead and pull the bar down until you can finagle the chicken loop onto the spreader. Since it's fully powered up and the wind is strong, it will be pulling hard, the donkey dick will be getting in the way, your arms will be getting tired, and when you pull the bar down , your arms will have minimal leverage (especially to reach a seat harness spreader).

This means that it becomes very easy to accidentally twitch the kite a little deeper in the window. Obviously in strong wind, if this should happen, especially just as the chicken loop goes on, or partially on the spreader, you could be in the deep doodoo.

Although I would prefer not having to depend on my quick release, I think it is the lesser of the evils compared to launching and/or landing unhooked.

Those who prefer to try launching and/or landing unhooked however, may want to try adding a harness loop if they don't have one.

Richard M.
Malibu Kitesurfing
(310) - 430 - KITE (5483)
http://www.MalibuKitesurfing.NET
kfRichard@MalibuKitesurfing.NET
The BEST way to learn kitesurfing since 2002 !


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