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Dealing with a real world death loop in 30 knot conditions

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Dealing with a real world death loop in 30 knot conditions

Postby Slappysan » Sun Jan 03, 2021 7:44 pm

Just wanted to share my experience dealing with the dreaded death loop in real world conditions. First time having it get to the full death loop stage for me, in the past I've managed to shake pinned/wrapped bars free fast enough or been in gentle enough conditions that it wasn't a major issue.

Something that I really should have put in the video commentary is that this is not a tutorial and if you get in a deathloop situation your best coarse of action is to release the safety early and self rescue to shore. I have dealt with pinned/wrapped bars before in calmer conditions and managed to salvage the situation without needing to release, these conditions weren't conducive to that though.

My goal was to share the experience, what it might feel like, what it might look like, and what my thinking at the time was in hopes that others find it useful. I also wanted to highlight that while pulling the opposite steering line is a useful tool in dealing with deathloops do not assume that this will backstall your kite as you can see in the video in can instead have undesirable effects.
Last edited by Slappysan on Tue Jan 05, 2021 7:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Dealing with a real world death loop in 30 knot conditions

Postby brighamj » Sun Jan 03, 2021 7:53 pm

Sorry to hear about the loss of your board, but I’m glad you came out otherwise alright. Thank you for sharing.

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Re: Dealing with a real world death loop in 30 knot conditions

Postby Erinhdisc » Sun Jan 03, 2021 8:38 pm

This video shows the best method of dealing with looping kite in winds 30+. This has saved me, hope it saves others.
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Re: Dealing with a real world death loop in 30 knot conditions

Postby Havre » Sun Jan 03, 2021 9:44 pm

I hope I never have to deal with a situation like that, but I do watch that Anton video from time to time just to mentally prepare myself. It looks so easy, and I don't get stressed when kiting (and I have crashed), but I have had situations pulling on lines that just slip through your fingers etc. Better do my yoga as well :D

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Re: Dealing with a real world death loop in 30 knot conditions

Postby Tony in FL » Sun Jan 03, 2021 11:49 pm

Very interesting. Glad you came out of it in one piece. Thanks for sharing!

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Re: Dealing with a real world death loop in 30 knot conditions

Postby edt » Mon Jan 04, 2021 12:08 am

Been there. Throw the QR then full release if that doesn't work. Teabagging in 30 knots ain't my thing. Notice for this sort of wrap using the QR usually doesn't work because the bar itself can twist around the lines. Those videos that show you how to pull lines to stop a death loop are for entertainment purposes only. When it' windy, pull the QR then full release if the QR doesn't work. In light winds do whatever you like.


I think it's pretty normal for a kiter to take about 8 to 10 seconds (here it was over a minute) between the time he figures out something is wrong and the time before he pushes the QR. That's a long time.

I understand the reluctance to push the QR because it's offshore wind. Anyway just understand there is another type of chicken line wrap where just pushing the QR won't sort it out.
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Re: Dealing with a real world death loop in 30 knot conditions

Postby longwhitecloud » Mon Jan 04, 2021 12:31 am

In most cases kite design enables or at least increases the statistics of death loop risk.

15 years on after the first death loop deaths we have seen barely any discussion of this from brands. It is almost as if their designers are so inexperienced that they don't actuallt know.

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Re: Dealing with a real world death loop in 30 knot conditions

Postby Herman » Mon Jan 04, 2021 12:32 am

^edt's post^ There might be an argument to say that a tubed centre and flag line is less likely to fowl and become inoperable after a bar wrap. Still not enough of an argument to make me use tubes......... But might be a consideration for some!

I agree with edt's philosophy and it is not worth losing a finger from a tangle in murky water imho. It is also worth remembering that the flag line will bind after a certain number of loops even if it was free to run through the original wrap.
Last edited by Herman on Mon Jan 04, 2021 9:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Dealing with a real world death loop in 30 knot conditions

Postby jatem » Mon Jan 04, 2021 3:22 am

Looks like you grabbed the bar backwards after the fall, and tried to steer right with the orange side of the bar. I keep hold of the bar when I crash, so I don't grab the bar on the wrong side.

Outrunning inflatable kites when foiling in waves is no fun, it ends up badly when the kite front stalls out of the sky.
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Re: Dealing with a real world death loop in 30 knot conditions

Postby jakemoore » Mon Jan 04, 2021 6:37 am

I'm glad you are OK. Looks like it could have gone much worse if you didn't stay calm and in control. I'm guessing the GoPro makes the waves look smaller? Looks shoulder high where the wave hits the kite at 23 seconds? I hope it was an epic ride before the end.

I'm a fan of unhooking the chicken loop and holding it it my hand if the kite is down and Im in position for either me or the kite to get rolled in a wave. A friend had kite lines wrap his feet and then was dragged by kite and wave. I've also had a kite split in half when hit by a wave and I was still attached. The idea is if there is a pull bigger than what I can hold in my hand the kite flags. I think somebody even suggested removing the leash if nobody would be in danger downwind.

Multiple loops can also bind the safety system as can the type of wrap EDT shows. Best bet IMO is to release early. For myself I would almost certainly have unhooked a few seconds before the 23 second mark unless there was somebody at risk downwind. And after the first uncontrolled loop its time to eject as each additional loop cuts your chances.

If it still makes sense to do so, I will hook in once out of the impact zone and try relaunch. Sometimes it's easier to reset on shore. It works in our conditions as we are near shore on a sandy beach break - a 500 m swim at most.

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