Just saying, a hundred bucks for something you are waaaaaaay unlikely to ever use, it's just expensive harness candy. Less intrusive than a PFD, but less effective if you are really serious about safety. I don't worry about it, because I'm a strong swimmer. I know that isn't a perfect substitute, but I'm always within a couple hundred yards of shore, and it's good enough for me personally. A newer kiter or a less confident swimmer may benefit, I suppose. Might also be nice for someone that does large open water crossings, too. But in that case, a GPS beacon is also a damned good idea.
I haven't had to swim in a busted kite, but if you have the struts pinched off, you can roll the kite into a pretty floaty burrito and raft it to shore in style. You could even straddle it and use your board as a paddle for style points!
I think the point is that it really is your last option when everything else has failed. The theory of packing down a kite after rolling the lines up, is fine until you try it in a stormy sea. i would challenge anyone to do it without difficulty and panic in 30 knots, 6ft+ waves and a strong tide, where most of the time you cant even see the beach.
As for swimming in, most people totally over estimate their ability to swim in open water, let alone stormy seas. I swim over a mile 3x a week and i would really struggle to do any distance in stormy conditions where your ability to swim efficiently or breathe properly in a panicy situation wearing harness and wetsuit, after getting exhausted trying and failing to sort your kite out.
I think it will be the best $100 I spend but never use.
Dont die of arrogance or overconfidence, even if you don't get one.
mike dubs wrote:I think it will be the best $100 I spend but never use.
if you want to spend $100 on a non intrusive inflatable PFD that you won't notice until you need it and will keep your head above water just buy the onyx 24 auto. Of course it doesn't look as smart as a belt pack.
I think these would be great for sport fishermen here in this country. I don't know the stats but every year in this province someone drowns while fishing... their canoe/boat capsizes or they fall out and they are not wearing a pfd for some reason. It happens every year. Some don't like wearing pfd while fishing. But a device like the restube might be something they would put on as it's no where near as bulky as a pfd. I would wear one for fishing or swimming.
I got a question though... is there any way to tell when it will no longer inflate? end of life kind of thing? There must be some indicator for this? I didn't find anything on the website.
frankm1960 wrote: I got a question though... is there any way to tell when it will no longer inflate? end of life kind of thing? There must be some indicator for this? I didn't find anything on the website.
I own a few Secumar ( German brand ) PDF's and as far as I know , they must conform the so called ISO 9002 norm and they should have a minimum of 10 years lifespan .
Ours are probably 20+ years old and once a year I simply pull the trigger to see if it still works properly and hold inflated overnight ....
The gas refill cylinders can be bought in many shops for a few euros around town .
Also ... They are " made in Germany " if someone cares ....
The ones I ordered were mailed yesterday .... They should arrive sometime beginning of the week .
Advantages of Inflatables: -High visibility when inflated. -Turns most wearers face-up faster than traditional PFD's.(not the Restube) -Will keep some unconscious users face up.(not the Restube) -More comfortable than inherently buoyant PFD's.(not the Restube) -Superior in-water performance.
Disadvantages of Inflatables: -Some require multiple steps to deploy. -Not suitable for nonswimmers. -Not recommended for children under 16. -Not appropriate for activities that involve frequent water entry or high speed boating activities (such as personal watercraft use, racing, sailboarding, whitewater rafting). -Require frequent inspection and maintenance. -Do not protect against hypothermia.