I just received preliminary reports about an accident involving:
1. An experienced kiteboarder wiped out and slung his kite accidently into the power zone as he fell.
2. He was dragged at speed over land.
3. He tried to release his snap shackle.
4. The snap shackle was DIRECTLY CONNECTED TO THE PLASTIC CHICKEN LOOP AND DIDN'T PROPERLY RELEASE.
5. He suffered serious head injury and his current condition is unknown.
More details will be obtained and incorporated into a KSI account. There were other contributing conditions to this accident that will picked up in the complete account.
Photo 1: USE A RING BETWEEN THE PLASTIC CHICKEN LOOP AND THE SNAP SHACKLE
This is a photo of components of the Kitepro Shop bar displaying the use of a metal ring as a snap shackle connection point.
Photo 2: DO NOT ATTACH THE SNAP SHACKLE DIRECTLY TO THE CHICKEN LOOP, USE A RING FOR A METAL ON METAL CONNECTION.
Photo 3: If you don't use a proper metal on metal contact, the snap shackle MAY NOT RELEASE. DO NOT SET UP YOUR SNAP SHACKLE THIS WAY!
Many kiteboarders know not to connect directly to the chicken loop with a snap shackle but apparently NOT ALL riders know this.
TO IMPROVE THE ODDS OF PROPER RELEASE OF THE SNAP SHACKLE you need to have a metal to metal connection. That is a metal ring needs to be placed between the snap shackle and the plastic chicken loop. If not the load on release may cause the chicken loop to pinch over and "grab" the snap shackle and hold it. The kite will not be depowered if this happens as in the case of this and other similar accidents. This thread has appeared many time before in this and other forums. There also have been some good photos that I was unable to find in the rush to get this out this morning. Please spread this around and casually inspect the setup of other riders at your launch. A timely comment or suggestion on your part may save a great deal of pain if things go wrong.
Snap shackles involve a number of careful considerations in regard to proper type, attachment, maintenance and testing to improve the odds of proper release when needed. If all these factors are not in place the snap shackle may not properly release when you desperately need it to. The new pin Quick Release systems on 2003 bars hopefully will provide higher reliability at lessor cost and complexity. Evaluation of these newer systems are still underway among riders and performance data is still being circulated.
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: RickI on 2003-01-22 21:11 ]</font>