I can understand the concerns raised by gonewiththewind because it happened to me. For the record, I love Ocean Rodeo since 2008, I am an experienced rider (8 years) and I practice safety.
It was on January 1st 2010, riding near Hobbie Beach Miami, FL. I want to bring up this experience because when I think about I wished that day the quick release had a flagging feature, or a quick second option for emergency release. Here is what happened:
My friend and I were riding well powered our 10 meters RISE in 20-25 MPH conditions, a cold front was approaching. Lots of kites were on the water since it was New Year ’s Day. We felt that the wind was increasing so we were on the way back to the beach. I was hooked in, with my leash attached to the ring below the chicken loop. All of sudden a gust came in at almost 50MPH (see graph), I brought the kite down near the water and my instinct told me to quick release because it was too strong to hold on (at that point I was not thinking about depowering the kite first). I was then away from the bar, still holding the kite by the leash attached to my harness. To my surprise, the kite was still in extreme full power so I was scared to even touch any lines, and I was wondering what to do, hoping that maybe the gust would stop. We were on a sand bar, so I was able to stand up. My friend was next to me also on a RISE 10, seeing what was happening. He then depowered his kite, reached to the handle and recovered his kite hoping he could then help me. But the wind was so strong that my leash finally gave up, snapped and my kite flew away to at least 500 yards, landing onto a pole. The storm was over, we were then rescued by a boat, and we recovered my kite (main bladder exploded) and luckily no one had any injuries.
I was lucky I was able to stand up, so I could prevent being dragged downwind into the wall of the Seaquarium.
So thinking back, I pulled the eject, but my kite was NOT depowered because it is still on 4 lines. The problem is that the bar is now out of reach. Having the option to flag out the kite on one front line is critical in this situation, but this was not available to me.
I wished I had the opportunity to hook my leash to a second option like an “OH Shit handle” that would be easily reachable near the bar, as this would make me feel much safer in any situation. Now I really see the point gonewiththewind was trying to bring up.
- kite into seaquarium.JPG (4.86 KiB) Viewed 1297 times