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 Post subject: Cut away knives. Bear Claw revisited.
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 5:30 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2002 1:00 am
Posts: 477
Location: Teahupo'o, Tahiti
After reading about another fellow kiter losing their life last week (Rene) it was kind of a wake-up call for me to review my safety measures again. A long time ago after looking around at the different options I started carrying a CRKT Bear Claw. It was a great all round package and more than up to the job, bar one drawback. I also have a Shark phobia and living in South Africa we have plenty "bitties". Not that it would ever help I'm sure, but it was reassuring that I could go down putting up some sort of a fight :) I mentioned a drawback. The one I bought at that time was the defense version which was not ideal due to it's pointed edge, quite frankly it's one brutal little thing and would not want to be on the receiving end of it should something go wrong. But I used it anyway and thankfully never had to deploy it, took it off a year or two later. For what ever reason

I went back to the CRKT website and found that in the last 8 years they had updated the Bear Claw line with a EMT type version. This version had a serrated snub nose (blunt) in a Hi-Vis orange which IMO rounds the tool off quite nicely and makes to a great addition in terms of safety. Going to start wearing my Bear Claw again, if not for my own safety it might come in handy if someone else is in trouble one day.

I found a few other examples on the net as well. Not going to go into them now, but I think any kind of cut- away tool is a must on a harness over and above the little hook knives we are given. Please feel free to use this post to discuss other options. You have found.

Below are some pictures (cell phone sorry) of the unit with brief description. Thanks for reading Safe Kiting.

More info

http://www.crkt.com/Bear-Claw-ER-Orange ... rated-Edge

Harness 2008 Liquid Force Luxury

In the Box: Knife, Zytel Sheath, Metal Clip, Lanyard, Torx driver, 4 screws


Image

Belt Clip can be fitted handle up or handle down. Prefer handle up.

Image

Comparing old Defensive version (8 years old) with new EMT version. EMT slightly longer same sheath. Old claw still has an amazingly sharp edge. Lack of maintenance on my part saw some of the torx screws rusting, needs a good clean and it will be as good as new.

Image

Knife is right side bias. I'm left handed here it is fitted left hand side. Top of the harness webbing triangle. Fit is slightly higher still comfortable not digging in side with LF Luxury, but drawing with left hand is a little cumbersome. Drawing with right hand not bad.

Image

Here it is fitted to lower part of the harness webbing. Fit's nicely in the middle of the harness protect by the top part of the webbing. Ideal IMO.

Image

Harness on, knife fitted left side

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Right side fitted, lower webbing. Added Lanyard rope, it's about 1 meter long. Snub nose Bear Claw will allow for it to dangle should you lose knife

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Harness on, knife fitted right side

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Excess lanyard rope hidden behind power belt section. Some kind of spring cord (slinky) might work better here?

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Cut away knives. Bear Claw revisited.
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:07 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:53 pm
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Location: California
what's the best way to keep the screws from rusting?


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 Post subject: Re: Cut away knives. Bear Claw revisited.
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:16 pm 
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Posts: 467
Location: Maui
I think you have to be careful about the cord attaching the knife. You wouldn't want that to get tangled on something if the knife came loose. Maybe some type of cord that is notso strong.

I also think looks is important... I don't want to look like I'm going into battle with a sword on my hip. I wonder how much you could take off that handle. I wish there was a knife with this type of blade but just a ring for a handle.


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 Post subject: Re: Cut away knives. Bear Claw revisited.
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:17 pm 
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Location: Teahupo'o, Tahiti
behindThePeak wrote:
what's the best way to keep the screws from rusting?


It took a awhile for this to happen. The rust can be wiped off with my fingers not that bad. A dab of Vaseline might help a spray of WD40 now and then. Simple maintenance I suppose, lack of it on my part. Might try and find some SS ones (does not need to be torx screws)


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 Post subject: Re: Cut away knives. Bear Claw revisited.
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:17 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 8:06 pm
Posts: 64
Thanks for this.. I always knew I should carry a knife and was planning on getting one.. After reading the tragic post about the kiter who got killed, it was deff a wake up call,

Even a bigger wake up call was watching that video posted with the kite looping and Toby is in the shot for a second.
I've seen a few death spirals , been in one , but never one that the kite didn't eventually hit the water and stay there (I'm talking like 5 -6 loops max ) . That kite did dozens and dozens ... Really freaky .

I'm omw to a dive shop right now to see what they have in store. The Bear Claw looks wicked and I'm sure I can find a similar one at the shop. I've got a good idea of what I'm looking for in terms of length , ability to cut, size, etc..

Your point about at least having one in case someone else needed help is SO good .. Imagine running to help someone.. and then realizing the only way to save them would be to cut the lines, and having to let go of them b/c u are heading towards power lines, or rocks, etc... I wouldn't be able to live with myself.

At our local spot, if the tide is up , we might have 20 meters of beach before you get into really bad rocks , then on the other side of that is a highway with power lines. If this were to happen close to shore, you might have 7 - 8 loops before you would NEED to cut lines to save urself from serious injury.

Again, Thanks .. Knifes need to be standard.


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 Post subject: Re: Cut away knives. Bear Claw revisited.
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:27 pm 
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Location: Teahupo'o, Tahiti
rightguard wrote:
I think you have to be careful about the cord attaching the knife. You wouldn't want that to get tangled on something if the knife came loose. Maybe some type of cord that is notso strong.

I also think looks is important... I don't want to look like I'm going into battle with a sword on my hip. I wonder how much you could take off that handle. I wish there was a knife with this type of blade but just a ring for a handle.


I hear you on the cords, I also hate anything that can get in the way. This came with knife (previous one did not have it) thought try it. Thing is although the knife is REALLY secure by design. The way I strapped it in now (with webbing running over top) "might" cause it top pop out. Have not test ridden this setup. My previous unit I mounted on-top of webbing and it was very secure. I'll ride like this and keep lanyard on for now see how it goes.

But agreed the less things to get caught the better. At least you have a knife and cut said offenders away lol. Cell phone camera lens exaggerates size it's not that big, day-glo orange does not help either. I did look at modding my other unit. Cutting away handle just below three holes at the top of the handle. Nice thing is you still have the hole to put your finger through and secure it so you don't need that much meat in the handle actually. I would also blunt/round off end, well' see. Right now it's a pretty bad ass box cutter ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Cut away knives. Bear Claw revisited.
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:50 pm 
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For a more complete discussion:


Hook knives:


viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2343820




hook knife location in helmet:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2320414


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 Post subject: Re: Cut away knives. Bear Claw revisited.
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:05 am
Posts: 228
Location: Toronto, CANADA
I really like that BearClaw design. I am also satisfied that the blunt point is good to reduce stabbing risks.

However, the serrated edge is not optimal for cutting thin lines like the high strength-small diameter kite lines we use.

Especially if they are not under tension.

A very sharp smooth edge will slice through on contact, whereas a serrated edge requires a sawing motion and enough tension so that the lines do not snag on the serrations.

As a diver, it is recommended that one have a smooth edged knife for cutting nets or fishing line and a serrated edge for cutting rope.

Try an experiment where you try to cut a few strands of kitchen twine with a sharp cooks knife or Olfa Box Cutter. Then try it with a serrated steak knife.


I'm of mixed minds on this issue.

I think the Captain Hook double "V" bladed hook knife is the most effective, ergonomic and safe cutter to cut ALL but the thick Spectra chicken loop line. This BearClaw is great for that. But I'd hate to be tangled up in a few loops around my leg or neck and trying to hack it off with that weapon! What about IF you were trying to cut the main CL line near your hook while being dragged and thrashed down with that open edged weapon flailing around your belly?

But on the balance of probabilities... what is more likely and effective?

I'm leaning towards a scenario of simply being tangled in a few lines after a crash or in a deathloop where cutting the kite lines would effectively kill the kite.

But I'm still open. This discussion is great!


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 Post subject: Re: Cut away knives. Bear Claw revisited.
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:35 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:53 pm
Posts: 50
Location: California
flyrob wrote:
I really like that BearClaw design. I am also satisfied that the blunt point is good to reduce stabbing risks.

However, the serrated edge is not optimal for cutting thin lines like the high strength-small diameter kite lines we use.

Especially if they are not under tension.

A very sharp smooth edge will slice through on contact, whereas a serrated edge requires a sawing motion and enough tension so that the lines do not snag on the serrations.

As a diver, it is recommended that one have a smooth edged knife for cutting nets or fishing line and a serrated edge for cutting rope.

Try an experiment where you try to cut a few strands of kitchen twine with a sharp cooks knife or Olfa Box Cutter. Then try it with a serrated steak knife.


I'm of mixed minds on this issue.

I think the Captain Hook double "V" bladed hook knife is the most effective, ergonomic and safe cutter to cut ALL but the thick Spectra chicken loop line. This BearClaw is great for that. But I'd hate to be tangled up in a few loops around my leg or neck and trying to hack it off with that weapon! What about IF you were trying to cut the main CL line near your hook while being dragged and thrashed down with that open edged weapon flailing around your belly?

But on the balance of probabilities... what is more likely and effective?

I'm leaning towards a scenario of simply being tangled in a few lines after a crash or in a deathloop where cutting the kite lines would effectively kill the kite.

But I'm still open. This discussion is great!


clearly the only solution is to arm yourself with two bearclaws and kite Doc Holliday style:




it is a good point though... my $0.02: if you need to cut a line in a hurry, it's probably under tension right?


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 Post subject: Re: Cut away knives. Bear Claw revisited.
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:05 am
Posts: 228
Location: Toronto, CANADA
I've reposted this from another thread


On the topic of corrosion protection.


I used to own an operate floatplanes. VERY tough environment.

The best corrosion inhibiting coating amongst float plane operators for exposed metal fittings is "Black Bear Par-Al_Ketone". It leaves a soft, toffee-like coating that is pretty hard to get off. You pretty much have to scrape it off. It won;t wash off. It also is somewhat "self-healing" in that it will flow back to cover up any scratch.

It is $20 for a quart that will last a floatplane owner a lifetime and a kiteboarder two hundred years!

http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/c ... ketone.php

Saltwater boaters like this Lanocote stuff http://www.backscatter.com/sku/ac-lc.lasso

If nothing else is around, some vaseline is good too.

Forget WD40... too light and will wash off.


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