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Your Kite Leash is Dangerous - Here's a story

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The Jess-Man
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Your Kite Leash is Dangerous - Here's a story

Postby The Jess-Man » Sun Aug 10, 2008 7:30 am

You know your kiteboarding leash your using? The one with the Red Tube and the diamond shaped metal thing inside. It's not safe. You probably didn't realize it, but that release could quite literally tear parts of your hand off when you find your self in a bad situation.
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This is a situation I was told by a guy I met the other day one the beach. He got into some trouble and when he tried to engage his safety release on his leash it tore chunks of flesh from his hand.

Dudes out riding when one of his front lines break . It happens, but his kite goes into a death spiral. 3 uncontrolled loops in he's being dragged threw the water. He reaches down and pulls the release to detach his chicken loop from his spreader bar. This does nothing and he's still being dragged threw the water by his kite leash that' attaching him to his looping kite.

5 loops in he's had enough of everything and decides to pull the last release that's connecting him to his kite. It's the red tub release on his leash. He pushes the red tube and the metal diamond piece pops out and then flattens it's self to the tube an buries it's self in his hand.

Let's think about that for a second. When you push that red tube forward to eject from your kite you kite may still be putting tensoin on your lines. If you activeate that realse with tension on it, it will instantly reform it's self into a fish hook like shape. Image

Take your leash and activate, so it looks like the picture above. Grab the red tube with one hand and see if you can slide you hand down the tube as if it were being yanked from your hand with out getting caught onteh metal diamond piece.

As this red tube is being yanked from this guys hand the first corner of the metal diamond buries it's self in his hand below his index finger while the second corner buries it's elf into his palm and begins to tear through the skin between his index finger and thumb.
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I seen the scares the guy had. He said it's still healing. The skin on his hand was pretty thin still so he wears an elastic band around his fingers and thumb to keep himself from spreading his fingers to far from his thumb while his hand heals.

He called the manufacturer to let them know what happened , and he must have sent them picture and some kind of documentation to show them what happened because he showed me his nice new kite they sent him as compensation. They also told him they they were developing a new release just because of this issue. Last he heard they had four designs and as soon as they had one finalized the manufacturer would have a production model mailed to him right away.

(On a side note, I posted this story in different manufacturers forum ( the brand I ride) hoping they would make a new leash but instead they didn't want to hear it and deleted my post.)

How many people have a kite leash like this? Too many. Put your self in this guys shoes. Your floating out in open water, your kite is gone because you just pulled your safety release and your bleeding profusely from a hole in your hand that has bits of flesh hanging from it.

This guy got lucky. He managed to swim to shore with his hand above his head. When he got out of the water he was coved in his own blood. An ambulance came and picked him up and he went to the hospital. This guy had a relatively cool head on his shoulders, but he said it was the worst experience of his life.

I can't speak for everyone but this is not an experience that I would want to have happen to my kid, girlfriend or my self. And I really hate blood.

I believe in a kite leash. I just think the industry needs a better standard.

J.

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Re: Your Kite Leash is Dangerous - Here's a story

Postby .Joel » Sun Aug 10, 2008 8:11 am

Hi The Jess-Man,

I originally read your article on the BEST Kiteboarding forum and have written an article Best Not Interested In Safety?

Safety is a really really important issue and it is great someone like you has taken the time to share their story with people and make us all aware. Before this I hadn't even thought about how safe my leash was, and we generally only ever use a leash in a situation where it is really needed to function. I really with companies like BEST stopped this nonsense of deleting topics they don't want to hear. We are allowed to criticise an old product when they are releasing a new product to create this idea that there is something wrong with the old one, this encourages people to buy the new one. But when there is something actually wrong with a product they go and remove the discussion.

A simple way to resolve the way the safety leash catches would perhaps be to have the metal end on the harness, and the amsteel loop on the end that detaches and flys away with the kite. That to me seems a simple solution, and in the manufacturing process is minimal change in process, no change in materials, use of materials or cost.

Regards,

.Joel

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Re: Your Kite Leash is Dangerous - Here's a story

Postby Toby » Sun Aug 10, 2008 8:12 am

thx for the story.

Always good to know what can happen to warn people and where gear can get improved.

Information like this makes it important to read the forum daily to know what the dangers are.

I hope the company will make changes quickly and meanwhile it is not so expensive to get a new one (you only have two hands).

Wishing a speedy recovery to the hands of the guy.

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Re: Your Kite Leash is Dangerous - Here's a story

Postby Habi » Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:20 am

I had the same situation , couple of months ago, with the same leash from the same vendor as picture above but from the year before , I went for a handle pass and did not pass it , I crash and when I hit the water the quik release of the leash opened and done a slice under my shoulder , it was wrap around me . So is true that you could get f... .p with this type of leash , I think the Cabrinha are good is different to the one from Best , also those new harness with a built in release are a good choice !! So like they say is not 100% safe any safety device !!!! we still going to see things like these so is important to be AWARE of what you are doing while in and out the water :thumb: and comon sense is a must !!!!!

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Re: Your Kite Leash is Dangerous - Here's a story

Postby gung ho kiter » Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:23 am

Seems to me there's no need for expensive R&D. On my Slingshot the tube and the metal part stay attached tot the harness and the rope flies out. You can turn the device around and Bob's your uncle.

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Re: Your Kite Leash is Dangerous - Here's a story

Postby .Joel » Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:31 am

gung ho kiter wrote:Seems to me there's no need for expensive R&D. On my Slingshot the tube and the metal part stay attached tot the harness and the rope flies out. You can turn the device around and Bob's your uncle.
That's exactly what I was trying to say above, thanks a heap you made it simpler!

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Re: Your Kite Leash is Dangerous - Here's a story

Postby Kosh » Sun Aug 10, 2008 10:14 am

My leash aint dangerous. The topic title is wrongly stating that all leashes are dangerous, and not just specific ones.

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Re: Your Kite Leash is Dangerous - Here's a story

Postby superpedro » Sun Aug 10, 2008 10:25 am

I've just had to use my emergency released on my cabrinha kite after the bridle got all tangle when a wave hit my kite... and it really works great... the release 'trigger' is more off a push rather than a pull and hold so the metal pin is not really on your hand even if is under pressure also the pin that is locking the leash is not at 90 degrees from the leash so even if the leash is wrap around your body it won't dig in to your flesh. the system is the same in chicken loop and on the leash.

pedro

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Re: Your Kite Leash is Dangerous - Here's a story

Postby Rockstar » Sun Aug 10, 2008 11:18 am

I would MUCH rather have a sore hand with a bit of skin off ,than be dragged to my death !!

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Re: Your Kite Leash is Dangerous - Here's a story

Postby Toby » Sun Aug 10, 2008 2:48 pm

sure, but wouldn't you much rather have the kite released AND your hand NOT get hurt?


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