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Cut away knives. Bear Claw revisited.

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edt
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Re: Cut away knives. Bear Claw revisited.

Postby edt » Fri Sep 23, 2011 8:43 pm

JMF wrote: 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 drawbac


i dont like the bearclaw. You need to stick your index finger in the hole for a firm grip and I dont see it happening. For example, not that I have ever experienced it, you are getting teabagged at 20mph over and under the water, you already hit the safety release, and it is all snagged somehow, in between flashing thunder and lightning, you catch a glimpse, it's all tangled up in the leash, take a quick breath, bam underwater again, you open your eyes underwater to see, but it's all foam, so you grab your knife to cut away the kite and . . . there's no way you are getting your finger into that hole to saw away the leash, so you grab it by the end and how can you saw anything with just 1 inch of leverage from that bearclaw.

I like this one better

Image

and because it floats you don't need a tether.

That said, I really think that while scary kite loops in the water are more frightening than dangerous. usually the kite will explode, or you can slip out of your harness. It's the kite loops on land that are the worst, because there happen to be so many hard objects on land that you can smash your melon on.

Helmet first. Knife second. That's the order of safety equipment. If you get a knife before a helmet you are simply not serious about safety. Knives look a lot cooler than a helmet tho, I admit that.

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Re: Cut away knives. Bear Claw revisited.

Postby rightguard » Fri Sep 23, 2011 9:11 pm

Since it floats you don't need a tether... I can just see you flying along looking back at your floating knife.

I do think you are right about holding on to small handles but you also don't want some huge handle jabbing you in the ribs when you fall.

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Re: Cut away knives. Bear Claw revisited.

Postby edt » Fri Sep 23, 2011 9:38 pm

There have been more than one kite deathloops caused by bad mounting of the knives designed to prevent these same accidents, especially knives mounted with tethers or carabiners.

I think a good place for a knife like this is the back of the harness. Rip off the handle pass loop, and sew a pocket for your knife back there.

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Re: Cut away knives. Bear Claw revisited.

Postby RichardM » Sat Sep 24, 2011 12:19 am

JMF wrote: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

Image

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

Image

Harness on, knife fitted right side

Image

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

Image

JMF wrote:.....................................

Only thing I don't like about the Bear Claw in this specific application is that the handle is a little to long you could probably modify it on a grinder and take about half the handle away just below the top three screws that hold plastic to the blade. I found that it tends to dig a little into your sides. You could mount it upside down as well this would eliminate that but might make accessibility harder in tuff situations. As for it accidentally falling out not a chance. It is secured with a simple but effective screw. In standard form it has just right amount of pressure to keep it secure without having to wrestle it out the sheath. I've never had issues with even the biggest wipe outs. You could even modify that pressure by baking out the screw and securing it with red Loctite or adding a small shim/washer if you wanted it to be even more secure.



Although I don't have a Bear Claw, mine has the exact same sheath and I attached it to DaKine Nitrous shorts in the same place by sewing it on. I had tried using the slots for the harness straps but the plastic is much too weak and broke within a couple uses. I have the same complaint about being stuck in the side and have frequently wondered if enough force might be able to applied such that the handle could do some injury - I hadn't thought about grinding it down. I'm also not real happy about the fact that it is on one side of the harness rather than the middle thereby making it much harder to get to if my right hand or arm were disabled.

Some other spots I've considered is mounted on my helmet or upside-down in the middle the wetsuit's chest..

The first one I had, I lost when the little locking bubble rusted enough to get loose. So my current one has velcro on the flat part of the sheath and the contacting portion of the handle of the knife and it's lasted about 2 years. I've also toyed with the idea of putting a leash on it but the added potential for more unknown or possible problems has made me hesitate. What might happen if it came loose and the knife was whipping around while I'm occupied ?

Although it provides significant potential for a line to get snagged or wrapped around it, I think its advantages outweigh this potential problem.

I also carry a cheap double bladed hook knife in the knife pocket of my DaKine spreader bar pad. This knife has 3 little screws holding the 2 blades - the top (middle) screw holds the blades in position. Believe it or not, when this knife was LESS than ONE MONTH old, I pulled it out as part of lesson and the 2 blades were just dangling hanging loose because the top center screw had fallen out. If I had needed it in the water, I'd still be out there sawing away wondering why it wasn't cutting.

Now, besides using it to demonstrate its purpose, I use it to illustrate why it is important to thoroughly check your equipment and it also helps drive home the concept that YOU CAN'T DEPEND ON THE MANUFACTURERS to take your safety seriously.

Richard M.
Malibu Kitesurfing - since 2002
(310) - 430 - KITE (5483)
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kfRichard@MalibuKitesurfing.NET

JMF
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Re: Cut away knives. Bear Claw revisited.

Postby JMF » Sat Sep 24, 2011 7:46 am

edt wrote:
JMF wrote: 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 drawbac


i dont like the bearclaw. You need to stick your index finger in the hole for a firm grip and I dont see it happening. For example, not that I have ever experienced it, you are getting teabagged at 20mph over and under the water, you already hit the safety release, and it is all snagged somehow, in between flashing thunder and lightning, you catch a glimpse, it's all tangled up in the leash, take a quick breath, bam underwater again, you open your eyes underwater to see, but it's all foam, so you grab your knife to cut away the kite and . . . there's no way you are getting your finger into that hole to saw away the leash, so you grab it by the end and how can you saw anything with just 1 inch of leverage from that bearclaw.

I like this one better

Image

and because it floats you don't need a tether.

That said, I really think that while scary kite loops in the water are more frightening than dangerous. usually the kite will explode, or you can slip out of your harness. It's the kite loops on land that are the worst, because there happen to be so many hard objects on land that you can smash your melon on.

Helmet first. Knife second. That's the order of safety equipment. If you get a knife before a helmet you are simply not serious about safety. Knives look a lot cooler than a helmet tho, I admit that.


The hole you going on about is a bonus, it's not a prerequisite for using the knife. The design itself was meant for self defense and the addition of the hole was there to make the knife more secure in the hand with less chance of it dropping out you hand or having a perpetrator remove it from ones person. It's not a flaw at all. Works like any other knife as you can see.

Image

I appreciate your knife submission, but the blade on that knife looks like it would bend in a few seconds thinking hacksaw here? Do you have a real life example what is it used for? As for floating knife the scenario you painted. The person getting hauled downwind I don't get how a floating knife is going to help you. It's floating you getting tea bagged downwind?

This topic is not about helmets or disproving their usefulness. Edt I'm sure a lot of people get your innuendos post was not intended to start a flame war, get on point! (excuse the pun)
Last edited by JMF on Sat Sep 24, 2011 12:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Cut away knives. Bear Claw revisited.

Postby JMF » Sat Sep 24, 2011 12:23 pm

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.
!


Also thought about this. And the whole serrated vs straight debate still rages on. First off I would not compare a modern serrated knife to a steak knife. Things is if you did have a rope caught around an appendage you would not be trying to saw in the first place. You would need to come up and under the rope and cut. This is where a blunt nose serrated edge would work best in my opinion. Imagine trying to get a traditional looking knife under a rope caught around your arm or leg? I bet in a life and death scenario you'd do it, but you will get inured in the process.

It only takes a small tug upward tug and the rope is cleared no sawing needed it's not a steak knife lol. I'm sure with traditional straight knife it might be a fraction quicker but it is getting to the point where you can cut that is what I'm alluding to.

Look I'm not about to go trash flying lines to prove my point but main lines would not require any movement from the knife I can assure you even the smallest of serrations are razor sharp. A leader might require a tug. With this sort of design you would basically be picking at what ever need to be cut if you can picture that. At the end of the day the knife can be as sharp as you want it to be. Being able to use that tool effectively is what matters.

Sharp enough?

Image

Don't under estimate serrated knives. Spyderco full serrated knife.


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Re: Cut away knives. Bear Claw revisited.

Postby acctx » Sat Sep 24, 2011 1:59 pm

Hubbs wrote: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..


Again, Thanks .. Knifes need to be standard.


Knives definitely look cooler, but as a diver I used to carry trauma shears. Im not recommending this brand, but just wanted to include to give you an idea. The reason for trauma shears was

1) In an emergency you arent likely to drop them because your fingers are going through both loops
2) You arent likely to accidentally stab or cut yourself on them
3) They are much better for cutting thick pieces of stuff vs trying to saw with a knife. Your leash, chicken loop or even straps holding your hook will be much easier cut with the shears
4) Shears tend to hold whatever you are cutting in place, vs a knife that is going to be all over the place if you are getting bounced around.
5) While tension would help, tension isnt necessary to cut. Although likely in an emergency everything will be under tension.

Image

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Re: Cut away knives. Bear Claw revisited.

Postby frankm1960 » Sat Sep 24, 2011 11:20 pm

acctx wrote:
Hubbs wrote: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..


Again, Thanks .. Knifes need to be standard.


Knives definitely look cooler, but as a diver I used to carry trauma shears. Im not recommending this brand, but just wanted to include to give you an idea. The reason for trauma shears was

1) In an emergency you arent likely to drop them because your fingers are going through both loops
2) You arent likely to accidentally stab or cut yourself on them
3) They are much better for cutting thick pieces of stuff vs trying to saw with a knife. Your leash, chicken loop or even straps holding your hook will be much easier cut with the shears
4) Shears tend to hold whatever you are cutting in place, vs a knife that is going to be all over the place if you are getting bounced around.
5) While tension would help, tension isnt necessary to cut. Although likely in an emergency everything will be under tension.



Curious... have you tried cutting line, depower rope, leash etc with one of these shears? What you say makes sense but will these actually cut? I'd want to see a video of them cutting through stuff. They really look so flimsy from here.

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Re: Cut away knives. Bear Claw revisited.

Postby esg » Sun Sep 25, 2011 12:19 am

My EMT/fireman kiter friend carries a pair of those scissors as well. I thought it was a good idea so I bought one myself. They're stainless steel and cost $8 at any medical supply store.

I carry mine connected to a bungee cord in my surf shorts pocket. It works fine.

That sheath/holster looks good. Where'd you get that and where do you attatch it?

It would be nice if harness companies included a little pocket in their designs.

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Re: Cut away knives. Bear Claw revisited.

Postby flyrob » Sun Sep 25, 2011 12:38 am

frankm1960 wrote:
acctx wrote:
Hubbs wrote: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..


Again, Thanks .. Knifes need to be standard.


Knives definitely look cooler, but as a diver I used to carry trauma shears. Im not recommending this brand, but just wanted to include to give you an idea. The reason for trauma shears was

1) In an emergency you arent likely to drop them because your fingers are going through both loops
2) You arent likely to accidentally stab or cut yourself on them
3) They are much better for cutting thick pieces of stuff vs trying to saw with a knife. Your leash, chicken loop or even straps holding your hook will be much easier cut with the shears
4) Shears tend to hold whatever you are cutting in place, vs a knife that is going to be all over the place if you are getting bounced around.
5) While tension would help, tension isnt necessary to cut. Although likely in an emergency everything will be under tension.



Curious... have you tried cutting line, depower rope, leash etc with one of these shears? What you say makes sense but will these actually cut? I'd want to see a video of them cutting through stuff. They really look so flimsy from here.



I also carry EMT "trauma shears" when diving and think they are superior for that application. Things happen slower in diving.

However, in a kitemare...NO WAY!!!! You'd be hard pressed to grab ANYTHING to start cutting with let alone some scissors and then trying to get the line in the scissors to cut.

As for the serrated Bear Claw... I do understand the difference between a steak knife and a high quality purpose-designed knife like the Bear Claw. Having carefully considered the previous threads on hook knives and the significant different pressure required for a single edged razor hook knife versus a Vee shaped double blade and the dynamics of cutting lines like we have on kites in semi-slack conditions...

AND considering that the mature, learned parachuting industry who has similar mission to cut lines and who has adopted the hook knife (not a serrated open blade) as their safety tool of last resort....

I'm going with a double Vee Bladed Hook Knife in a bright colour.

Will grease the blades and screws with Black Bear Par-al-Ketone as I have some around. Will attach with a spare kiteline and attach it to the front of my spreader bar harness somehow.

AEROJACK Double Vee Bladed hook knife for $12

Jack the Ripper

Captain Hook



http://www.paragear.com/templates/parachutes.asp?group=510&level=1
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