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Death Loop - Risk Highly Reduced W/ New Bar Designs

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TimG
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Death Loop - Risk Highly Reduced W/ New Bar Designs

Postby TimG » Fri Mar 26, 2021 11:49 pm

I have watched Anton's two videos on how to get out of a death loop multiple times. After his first video on it, he gives some ways to practice getting out of a death loop with your bar at home. I practiced these death loop scenarios at home on the 2020 North Navigator bar I just bought, and I found that it was impossible to replicate the situation with it due to the bar design. This is really good news and a reason to buy a newer bar design in my opinion.

In Anton's video, he gives the two most common death loop scenarios. The first is the steering line floaty wrapping around your harness hook. The second scenario is the center rope lines wrapping around one end of the bar.

For the first situation, I found that the floaty was too stiff and thick ;) (actually though) to fit under my ride engine harness hook and chicken loop. In fact, I could not even get it to fit when the chicken loop was off. This eliminates the situation completely.

For the second situation (center rope lines wrapping around the bar), this was not replicable either. The north bar (along with every other brand in 2021) has a PU tubing that goes over the rope centerline. This tubing makes the center line stiff and rigid. The stiffness of the centerlines make it impossible to wrap tightly around any part of the bar. Just like the first situation, this eliminates the situation from occurring completely.

I know death loops are still possible if there is a line tangle or broken steering line. But with those, you can always eject from the kite. The scary thing about bar-induced death loops was the inability to pull the quick release. That is no longer possible with the new bars (or at least the North bar).

This is actually a very interesting finding I had, and it is definitely a trait I would look for in a bar. Most other brands have a bar similar in design to this as of 2020. I bought this North bar for my girlfriend, but next time I get a bar, I will definitely get one with thick steering floats and PU tubing to prevent death loops.
Last edited by TimG on Mon Mar 29, 2021 5:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Death Loop - Risk Highly Reduced W/ New Bar Designs

Postby Sun » Sat Mar 27, 2021 4:43 am

I have the Navigator bar. While it may be less susceptible to these sort of wraps, it still can happen. Kite tension will pull even stiff PU tube taught.

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Re: Death Loop - Risk Highly Reduced W/ New Bar Designs

Postby Abaltasis » Sat Mar 27, 2021 6:46 am

If you have no tension on your lines (for example from a failed jump attempt ) that means that you are travelling downwind while the kite is dropping from the sky.
I agree that the line tangle with your harness hook cant really happen,
But the center lines can tangle around the bar. Or one of the back lines could get around the bar.
This is probably the only way for a deathloop these days.

Also if one of the lines snap it wont get to a deathloop situation.. it will fall down.

So i agree that its more rare with new bars, but still a possibility, and everyone should know what to do if it happens...
Most new kiters dont even know what a 'deathloop' is.

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Re: Death Loop - Risk Highly Reduced W/ New Bar Designs

Postby longwhitecloud » Sat Mar 27, 2021 8:11 am

Never trust kites not to death loop.

It is still happening and many kite designers are just as clueless as ever.

As for people talking about how awesome it is we can have faster kites due to being lighter... well that means they will deathloop with way more power when it happens.. and it will... good luck.

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Re: Death Loop - Risk Highly Reduced W/ New Bar Designs

Postby edt » Sat Mar 27, 2021 1:05 pm

Most of the new control bars are great and I agree much less prone to death looping. I love it. Unfortunately there's a new trend towards a "minimal" bar like the cloud connection system. These bars eliminate the floaties and are incredibly easy to death loop. How much weight are they saving? 30 grams? It's not worth it. I'm pretty sure the people riding these minimal bars have never been to the rodeo which is a death loop in high winds otherwise they would go back to the big safer floaties.

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Re: Death Loop - Risk Highly Reduced W/ New Bar Designs

Postby kit3surfer » Sat Mar 27, 2021 5:19 pm

By the way, what about quick release systems for harnesses? So the main problem and danger about these deathloops are the fact that one line is tangled in the hook and even quick releasing the bar won't help, right? So the only way to rescue this situation could be either being pretty skilled with your hook-knife or completely releasing from your harness. Are there harnesses out there which provide kind of this system or am I misunderstanding anything?

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Re: Death Loop - Risk Highly Reduced W/ New Bar Designs

Postby leeuwen » Sat Mar 27, 2021 6:26 pm

Not sure about the current harnesses but I guess they will be hard to open under a lot of stress.
IMHO You are better of riding with a system that has no hook to begin with.
Eg get a rope/slider setup.
The mystic stealth bar has a setup where can run with a “fixed” point so it’s very similar to a hook in feel.
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Re: Death Loop - Risk Highly Reduced W/ New Bar Designs

Postby edt » Sat Mar 27, 2021 6:47 pm

kit3surfer wrote:
Sat Mar 27, 2021 5:19 pm
By the way, what about quick release systems for harnesses? So the main problem and danger about these deathloops are the fact that one line is tangled in the hook and even quick releasing the bar won't help, right? So the only way to rescue this situation could be either being pretty skilled with your hook-knife or completely releasing from your harness. Are there harnesses out there which provide kind of this system or am I misunderstanding anything?
I have seen a lot of accidents both in person and on video.

Yes, deathloops are a risk, but the primary risk is NOT the line tangle it's not the design of the bar it's not the design of the harness.

The primary risk factor is that most kiters feel "safer" if they have never activated their release in the last 10 years. They brag about it. "I've never used my quick release and I've kited for 20 years." Then when the shit hits the fan, it takes, roughly 8 seconds for them to even think about releasing.

Go watch some videos of death loops. Start counting when the kite first loops. If you use your quick release in the first second almost always the video won't even go viral, it will just be "used qr swam in" kind of nothing burger. All these accidents happen because pretty much every new kiter will hang on for dear life. You can see them looping and looping. Go watch that guy loop around the light pole. Hanging on for dear life. They won't stop until they hit something. To use the QR never enters their mind. Experienced kiters by contrast are usually trying to save the situation, they are applying inputs to the bar, maybe they are trying to pull one line to get the kite to quit looping, they are looking in the water to see which way it's looped. A lot of the time, the reason you get loops on the spreader, or the QR refuses to work is because everything has gotten tangled in the previous 4 or 5 tea bags.

A the end of the day, almost all these accidents happen, yes the cause is a death loop, but the reason they get injured is they don't even try to use the QR until it's looped at least 4 or 5 times and 8 to 10 seconds have passed. If you use the QR right away almost always you are going to be fine.

Of course there are exceptions, but focus on the primary cause of risk. Once a week, use your QR. Even if you don't have to. Then when the shit hits the fan your hand will hit the QR and you'll be like "Not sure what happened my hand was on the QR before I even knew what was going on. Was that a death loop?"

The new control bar designs are excellent, and of course, new harness designs with their own QR system are also excellent but make sure to practice the QR too. Does zero good to have all these quick releases and not stop until you hit something hard.
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Re: Death Loop - Risk Highly Reduced W/ New Bar Designs

Postby leeuwen » Sat Mar 27, 2021 7:12 pm

edt wrote:
Sat Mar 27, 2021 1:05 pm
I'm pretty sure the people riding these minimal bars have never been to the rodeo which is a death loop in high winds otherwise they would go back to the big safer floaties.
The question is who is audience for these bars.
AFAIK they are used by foilers who are either out in low wind conditions, with small kites, short lines and/or with foil kites that cannot really deathloop.
They usually also ride with a surf setup without a hook.

So it’s unlikely the intended audience will be deathlooping a big kite in high winds.

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Re: Death Loop - Risk Highly Reduced W/ New Bar Designs

Postby Saltyman » Sat Mar 27, 2021 9:17 pm

edt hit the nail on the head 20+ yrs ago it was the normal practice to launch your kite and activate the QR.
But I don't see it being done now only in a lesson scenario.
If you didn't activate your QR back then other kiters would be onto it.
Do I dare say that as a community together on the water that maybe we have become negligent. In not asking if someone has tried it out before going out?
I myself have seen complete kooks and not asked because firstly yrs ago we were aware of the dangers.
And not sold super safe depowerable kites.
People panick when it hits the fan and I believe forget they have a QR.
Maybe this is a practical we should adapt again especially if you see a newbie on the beach.
I've seen guys walking there kite on the beach not even flipped over and dragging his struts on the sand!!.
I kept an eye on him during my session but I should have in retrospect made sure he was well versed in using his QR.
Or is it just becoming more unsociable on the beach.
We just assume they know what they are doing.
Some crew don't wash their gear off anymore I think that unfortunately a sense of complacency has hit most of the kite spots now.


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