I have always thought that it would be a good idea to incorporate this type of rescue excersize into "kite contests"... similar to lifesaver contests.
When I do this kind of board or kite rescue, I use the "slow but sure" method. With a kite, I throw my kite to its safety, and then, deflate the leading edge of the loose kite, and roll up the kite around the inflated struts, and then haul in the lines and wrap everything up, so it turns into a little raft... then I grap the package by the bar, and relaunch my kite, and then, slowly drag the mess to the shore.
I rescued a board with boots, this summer, and concluded that a board with boots is the hardest thing to bring back to shore... very heavy, no handle or straps, by which to grab the board... if you try to put it on your lap and slowly drag everything, you find that all the fins, boots are in your face or cutting up your arms.
The easiest thing to rescue is a board with a short surf leash attached... just grap the leash, sling it over your shoulder and pinch the leash between your hand and the bar, so that you can keep both hands on the bar, and let go of the leash if needed, in a hurry. The board will drag behind you half out of the water, skipping along. Here is picture of a surf leash design that has an automatic release which disconnects from the rider, before the pull can spring the board back at the rider. When the board gets released the leash is still attached, and can be grabbed by a rescuer.
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