Tides change, wind changes, accidents happen. The less than one minute it takes to pinch them off is cheap insurance against something going wrong. Five struts float way better than one.
Also, pinching them off allows you to keep riding if a strut fails. It happened to me once. Crashed the kite hard, and it relaunched oddly, but still relaunched. I was looking at it thinking it looked different but not sure how. Then I realized my #3 strut was deflated, and the dacron panel was buffeting a little bit. I did some kite maneuvers and realized the kite was still flying fine, so I rode for another hour.
After I landed the kite, I saw the strut damage. It has split straight across and the bladder had popped almost in half.
But, my valves were pinched off and I saved my kite session because of it.
With old gear I would agree - recently my beginner friend blow my old LE by grass cut and age, on land fortunately. Otherwise swims I've seen relates to bad valves or bad use of valves.
I had the same thought as Tiago about open struts relieving the LE on impact, but until now my non-clipping is simply not thinking about it on the beach.
As to deflation - my largest is a 10m and I simply roll up the LE and don't even try to get air out the the open struts - the kite will fold in half anyway and fit in the bag nicely.
As Peter said, we are fairly close to shore in Denmark, although we also kite with resting birds close by.
Letting go of gear - well - if it is old it is a worthwhile risk, and if it is new, it shouldn't blow up easily.
Based on input so far, I would conclude:
- always clip at least two struts for safety
- disregarding the above leave at least two clips available for self-rescue
- consider age of gear and local conditions when disregarding above
- clip all struts in really cold water.
- clip all struts in down winder
Not sure about riding style - I tend to think Tiago has a point - also, I tend to crash hard, but new gear wants to stay in the sky more and crash softer, so less of an issue.
So in praxis, with the conditions we have (500m shallow flat water near launch at multiple spots) and condition of my gear (new, double secure valve) I would probably clip zero or one strut, but if were riding far from Launch, I'd be more careful, and also clip in really cold water.
I haven't needed to use them in a self rescue situation yet. But i'm a man on a TT style mutant in big waves and can sometimes be quite a way out to sea to get to my upwind or downwind wave location. So yes I want some floatation if it all turns pear shaped.
Here's another thought.
There's been a couple of times when my le has deflated. usually me not installing the valve correctly.
any way the locked off struts have allowed the kite to keep enough shape to let me fly it back to the shore and It has saved me a long swim.
Lucky for me I don't have to worry about that, but food for thought. My buddy had not closed them on his and his valve popped open deflating the kite...it was impossible for me to tow that kite in. It was like a sea anchor. He wasn't too unhappy as he hated the kite anyways.
A hard crash can blow the bung out, causing the Le to deflate, one pump hoses fail or come off. I have had both of these occur a number of times and have found that a long swim is possible on at least 3 struts, so that is what i do. I leave the end 2 un clipped to allow some where for the air to go from the le on impact and clip the middle 3.
fdvj wrote:A hard crash can blow the bung out, causing the Le to deflate, one pump hoses fail or come off. I have had both of these occur a number of times and have found that a long swim is possible on at least 3 struts, so that is what i do. I leave the end 2 un clipped to allow some where for the air to go from the le on impact and clip the middle 3.
Standard or multi pump bladders
Time saved is not worth the hassles that come with extra components.