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Dealing with a real world death loop in 30 knot conditions

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

Postby Baptiste_FR » Tue Jan 05, 2021 4:55 pm

johnm wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2021 4:26 pm
sad but true :cry:

any kite manufacturers / reps care to comment?

are brands motivated to 'design out' this known issue?
On the Slingshot Sentinel and Guardian bar, there was the "Oh Shit kiteloop handle". You could grab the handle and counteract the effect of the loop. I was sad to see that the new Sentry bar did not have this feature.

One other thing is to attach the leash in the front of the harness and not in the back. I'm surprised that so few brand have a specific attachment point in front.

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

Postby edt » Tue Jan 05, 2021 5:24 pm

everything is much much much better now than 10 years ago. 1) the kite bridles are shorter. it used to be every day you would hear of someone getting a wing tip bridle wrap. That is very rare now thanks to shorter bridles. Yay! 2) the quick releases are much much better. Back in the day some QR's would freeze up under load. Now we just take it for granted that if you hit the QR it's going off. 3). the integrated bar floats and winders are much stiffer and well built. This helps prevent a chicken bar wrap death loop though it does not eliminate it entirely.

There are way less death loops than there used to be. The height of the death loops was 2006 when everyone had just switched over from using C kites to bridled kites but the manufacturers didn't know how to make the bridles yet so they were extremely long, and the quick releases didn't work that great.

I don't like the Oh Shit handle on the rear lines. It's just one more thing that can go wrong. I understand people like extra options but in real life usually it's between 8 and 10 seconds before you even use your QR and you bring the Oh Shit handle into it now you're talking adding another few seconds because now you have to decide do I use the QR or the Oh Shit maybe I use both, first one than the other. In the author's video he took a full minute before using the QR you add an Oh Shit to the mix maybe he's trying that too for another 10 seconds. That's a really long time to be harnessed to a death looping kite.

Here's how I do it, and you can do what you want. 1) Death loop. 2) use the QR in 1 second. Maybe 2 seconds. 3) if the kite flags you are good. 4) if the kite continues to loop full release. The reason for the simple plan is that when the shit goes down you can't see shit, you are hurtling through the air, maybe you have a hard impact, waves are crashing around you, all the complicated plans go to shit.

I see plans people make in case their kite death loops, they say stuff like "I'm pulling first the center line then the rear line, checking the bar position, then unwrapping the bar, then using the oh shit handle, and pulling both rear lines to stall the kite." That shit ain't happening. You can't even see your control bar, everything happens too fast, boing! You are tea bagging 20 feet in the air upside down and backwards, there's no way you are pulling lines. You might as well be doing calculus. The plans are too complicated.

Again I got to say great video. It really captures the feeling well.
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Re: Dealing with a real world death loop in 30 knot conditions

Postby Slappysan » Tue Jan 05, 2021 7:57 pm

I put in an edit to the original post to make it clear that I'm not presenting this as a tutorial and people should opt for punching the release sooner than I did in terms of the safest way to handle this type of situation:
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.

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

Postby Blackened » Tue Jan 05, 2021 11:02 pm

edt wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2021 5:24 pm
Here's how I do it, and you can do what you want. 1) Death loop. 2) use the QR in 1 second. Maybe 2 seconds. 3) if the kite flags you are good. 4) if the kite continues to loop full release. The reason for the simple plan is that when the shit goes down you can't see shit, you are hurtling through the air, maybe you have a hard impact, waves are crashing around you, all the complicated plans go to shit.
My thought process is:
1. Shit. That crash hurt. Just a couple seconds and we'll get going again so it doesn't look like you're soft muppet lying around in the water. Wait, something's not rig...
2. Oh. f***.
3. DEPLOY FETAL POSITION OF SAFETY.
4. Back in the water. You have one go at sorting this while the lines are slacked.
5. Sorted?
* Yes? Relax. Breathe. Have a Dr. Pepper.
* No? Pull safety.


Had to do it a couple months ago. Caught a gust in a cross-on and got carried much further than intended. Flew the kite out behind to stop my forward momentum, but slacked the lines and frontstalled the kite out of the sky. Lines somehow wrapped the hook and kite deathlooped just as it was about to gently hit the beach. I didn't even see it happen. Thankfully, the inadvertent superman from a standing position enabled me to fly further towards the kite, which gave me a bit more slack/time to sort the bar.

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

Postby Topaz » Wed Jan 06, 2021 2:14 am

^^ +1 on simple plans.

Another thing that I keep in mind is that the moment that I decide to Quick Release, I grab the full release with my left hand, just in case I need it.

That actually saved me big time once. The wind was around 25-30 knots dead on shore on a narrow beach followed by a line of palm trees and a three lanes avenue right after. I tumbled down a wave and my kite went down. When I came out of the water, I saw my trim line wrapped around the bar and then the kite, an 8m Naish Park, just relaunched itself. I still had good control of the kite, but I was already almost on the shore, ankle height depth. Then, out of immense stupidity, I decided to quick release even though I had seen the trim line was wrapped around the bar. I quick released and saw the kite starting a loop. The next thing I remember is that I was lying on the sand feeling my whole body buzzing and a sharp pain in my shoulder (sprained ligaments), and my side (three broken ribs). The kite was by itself against the palm trees.
I guess the impact against the sand made me forget the last seconds of action, and I assume that when I saw the kite starting to loop I full released. Again, I think that having my hand right on the full release saved me from something worse.

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

Postby RedSky » Wed Jan 06, 2021 2:34 am

Why I don't kitesurf. Scary stuff. Glad you made it out ok.

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

Postby downunder » Wed Jan 06, 2021 3:38 am

I kite surf because water saved me from much more injures if happend anywhere else ;)

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

Postby johnm » Wed Jan 06, 2021 9:42 am

edt wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2021 5:24 pm
everything is much much much better now than 10 years ago. 1) the kite bridles are shorter. it used to be every day you would hear of someone getting a wing tip bridle wrap. That is very rare now thanks to shorter bridles. Yay!
that's a perfect example of brands 'designing-out' a known issue :thumb:


Personally I think the 'other end' (the connection to the kiter, the bar and the harness) still have a long way to go (the fact that we're still getting death loops backs that up)

I'm not an engineer so I'm not going to pretend to have detailed answers - but I can say what the problem is...


Every one of us (especially if learning new tricks) is going to wipeout at some point where we stack the kite in the water and our momentum tumbles us forwards so that there's briefly slack in the lines

There is a possibility that scenario could result in a death loop - and currently that's largely down to bad luck (and can happen whatever your skill level)


I would love to see a bar / connection / harness system that removes almost every possible snag point

Everything simple, smooth and tapered making it highly likely that your issue will sort itself out and slide / slip off / untangle itself from whatever it has caught on...

Is that beyond the imagination of brand designers?

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

Postby Kamikuza » Wed Jan 06, 2021 1:29 pm

Baptiste_FR wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2021 4:55 pm
On the Slingshot Sentinel and Guardian bar, there was the "Oh Shit kiteloop handle". You could grab the handle and counteract the effect of the loop. I was sad to see that the new Sentry bar did not have this feature.

One other thing is to attach the leash in the front of the harness and not in the back. I'm surprised that so few brand have a specific attachment point in front.
Perhaps the Slingshot kites are different, but when I've had the bloody Single Front Line "Safety" snap and I've had to self-rescue, grabbing the rear line has just resulted in the kite making like a propellor.

Better to have an Oh Sh!t handle on the other front line IMHO.

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

Postby longwhitecloud » Wed Jan 06, 2021 2:16 pm

edt wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2021 5:24 pm


There are way less death loops than there used to be. The height of the death loops was 2006 when everyone had just switched over from using C kites to bridled kites but the manufacturers didn't know how to make the bridles yet so they were extremely long, and the quick releases didn't work that great.

2006 is not what the data shows regarding fatal death loops - much more recent. It is something that most kite designers have not taken seriously enough.

They continue to brush it under the carpet.


Apart from the database i have directly seen a bad brain injury, and 2 very close drownings from this "feature" and was told that on top of the data that someone in New Cal learning got in a deathloop and drowned.

Take death loops very seriously, even in 2021.

Choose a kite that minimises your risk, by a designer that understands this, not by a cheap ass fresh design grad pretty much working for free with no real worthwhile kiting experience under their belt.


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