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-   -   Lucky to be alive...kitemare gone really bad. (

Coach 02-28-2008 04:55 PM

Hey Gris...thanks mate. I didn't get spun around. The HARNESS spun around on my body, as it was attached to the handle pass leash system of my Mystic harness. I haven't had this happen before. I have had it spun sideways, of course, but never totally spun around on my body. I like to ride with it slightly looser so that that when I ride blind, it rotates a little on my waist and moves a little, not sticking in place. I had a wetsuit top on the day of my kitemare. And tight. The force of being pulled that hard by the leash, spun the harness around backwards and took the neoprene top with it, twisting it like you would ring out a paper towel. Like I said, it never usually happens. This being said, as I have replied a few times here, I was facing forward the entire way, facing the kite, alternating between trying to pull on the leash hard at times to slam the kite into the leading edge hoping to pop it, reaching feverishly behind me trying to find that little red safety loop to disconnect the leash from the handle pass system and holding on to the leash in an attempt to climb up the leash and activate that QR when the kite hit the water and put some slack in the leash. Problem is, the kite did NOT stay in the water even remotely long enough for me to put ANY slack in the leash at any time during my "ride". Not until I hit the land and the wingtip got deflected but that one lone tree did it slack enough for me to break it away. I think harness setups are all preference. Some guys like the seat, some the waist and some the Dakine shorts. I just think the Mystic fits my body well and is comfortable.

BigR 02-28-2008 05:31 PM


A better leash with a QR at the point of connection to my harness would have served me better - AND THAT IS THE ONLY THING. I did not count on my Mystic harness safety release for the handle pass leash to be this unaccessible during the caos of my kitemare.

Thanks to everyone who helped you Bill, BIG KUDOS!!!!!!!!!!!

(shoot me down , but)
I think Kent was not trying to be critical Bill , but trying to educate ( maybe not eloquently enough for his journalism major ). He rep's cabby for all US and I've worked with him for years.
Should we just start a separate safety thread?

Coach 02-28-2008 05:52 PM

Raul...thanks. I appreciate your input about the leash(es). And you are right - and I know - that the Cab leashes with the QR red disc right at the harness connection point are awesome and the way to go. I have three, but haven't used them in a while since I got my Mystic harness - I "hard-wired" my SS leash to my Mystic handle pass leash system, assuming that the red loop safety deal would serve as my QR point at the harness. I believe it does work well. I even moved it to the spreader bar so it's more accessible. That, however, seemed to be the problem here - it's location when the harness got spun around backwards on me. And maybe I came on strong to Kent's post. While I respect your knowledge and experience, know you and ride with you - or at least at the same spots - I found it pretty offensive given my condition and the situation to be reprimanded to some degree and in such a condescending and arrogant manner by someone I don't know and who certainly does NOT know me, my riding practices, etc, etc. Again, the intention of my post was NOT have my situation analyzed, criticized and evaluated by every one and their mother, but to simply say a quick thanks to the guys who were there to help. But I would welcome a conversation with Kent at any time.

Whitey 02-29-2008 10:30 AM

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toby wilson 02-29-2008 11:25 AM

I apologize, didn't notice that Bill was actually spun around INSIDE his harness, that is just nuts!!! I stand corrected. So my apologies go out to Gris. Sorry bro, when you are witnessing a kitemare, it all happens so fast and everyone is so panicked that sometimes you don't see it all straight. See you all at the beach!

kent 02-29-2008 11:36 AM

Whoa there cowboy! I sure as hell wouldn't want to take you on in a typing race. Five posts in a row would have to be a record. Seriously, I apologize for posting in this thread as it would have been better in a new one. In truth, I do have more years kiting under my belt than all but 3-4 riders in this state (Raul being one of them). My job has taken me to ride in nearly every location in this country and many others. You learn different things riding with different people and some lessons have come to me and my friends the hard way (Raul, remember riding the first inflatable at V-Key with me when you went head first through the garbage cans in 1999 or so?). Two of my good friends and co-workers lost their lives in this sport. Like you they were experienced and both would be considered by anyone as accomplished watermen.

While working in the kite industry is only a small part of my job, I take all aspects of it seriously (have to pay the mortgage). Helping to develop better safety equipment, preserving access, and educating riders are all very important issues to me.

Attending last weeks marine advisory board meeting in Pompano (where I haven't ridden in 6-7 years) to help preserve beach access, participating in a pod cast discussing issues pertaining to industry standardization and certification, and my yearly participation in Cabrinha prototype testing where we bench test against all top competitors safety equipment to insure improvements are made, all help me to learn from others and get the message out.

Having basic information that would help other riders stay out of trouble and not providing it to them is in my eyes unethical. My choice of threads was however poor (although after re-reading my post, I still wonder why it caused so much anxiety, hmmm). While I clearly don't know it all and I learn from others on a daily basis, basic information like I passed along in my post can and will be used by some and will hopefully result in pain avoidance.

You are right. I don't know you. After speaking with Raul and hearing nothing but admiration from him, you are probably just as I expected you would be before I wrote my first post. I assumed you to be an accomplished athlete and a knowledgeable kiter that takes this sport seriously. I assumed that you, like me, don't know everything and that any tidbit coming your way that might result in avoiding a future accident for you or your friends would be appreciated.

Once again Bill, I hope that you will accept my sincere apology. Out of respect for you and the fact that I apparently already put my foot in my mouth, I won't comment further on this incident. I wish you a very speedy recovery. Please send me a PM if I can help with anything to sort your gear out once you're good to go again. It sounds like you have a very tight knit group of good friends and riders up there keeping a good eye on each other. Good luck.

PS. Maybe Rick can dig up the info from my incident at Crandon about 4-5 years ago. It was very similar to yours and lasted even longer from what I remember. I was wearing a suicide leash with no release that was hooked to my chicken loop. The net affect was a 50 yard hike out of the woods. The crash included about 15 feet of vert spanning the first 15 to 20 yards before the first wooded scrub impact. After thinking that I was likely impaled and that I surely broke my neck, I couldn’t figure out how to get my leash detached from the chicken loop fast enough. I was rewarded with another free flight of about the same distance… I was lucky and only ended up with a bruised chest where my chin impacted, a tweaked back, and stickers in my feet from the hike out. Post away Rick.

Kind regards,

Kent Marinkovic

amber 02-29-2008 06:57 PM

sorry... i'm long winded.
thank you moderators for opening this thread back up. After having a post based only on me and then not being able to reply was quite frustrating.

Bill, I have already sent you a PM advising you that yes, my "world class athlete" quote was obnoxious, but the rest of that post was actually sincere. I apologize if the whole thing came across that way. I am one of the slowest progressers the sport has probably seen in a while and part of that is lack of time on the water and part of that is having witnessed and heard about some nasty stuff over the past 3 years so I'm super paranoid. Most people know me and know that i've had a kite in the air for a long time and its actually really embarrassing to have to go out there and struggle so much. I get anxious every time. And that is why when people like Kent, (who i briefly met thru last year's race) give free instruction, I think its awesome and that's why i applauded him. That really had nothing to do with your accident and I agree, we should have been discussing that stuff under another thread because you pointed out in the beginning that you just wanted to acknowledge the good guys who helped you out.

If i had been in your situation, people would probably be discussing the first death due to kiting in the area, as I am not the strong, experienced kiter that you are and there is absolutely no sarcasm in this statement. There's no way that I could have reacted rationally as well as the fact that I'm not a big strong guy. As a race organizer, photographer and local kiter, i certainly don't want to be on anyone's "bitch" list. I try really hard to talk to different people and want to get along with everyone. I need to keep some of my thoughts to myself more and I apologize for telling everyone via a post that i thought you were acting cocky about the whole thing. Please know that I have no grudges against anyone on here including you (and rigger!;) ) so I hope you understand and accept my apology. I NEVER want to see anyone get hurt. I wish you a quick recovery and will see you at the beach soon. maybe when you are better we can do some photos of your post-accident session. should be fun...

Coach 02-29-2008 11:30 PM

My last post pertaining to my accident...

Thanks for all the phone calls, texts, PMs and emails of concern. If I haven't responded to you, please don't be offended. I was overwhelmed by the support of the local kite community. Thanks for everyone's concern. I am fine and will be on the water again sooner than you think - but far sooner than the doc's would like! The bells in my noggin have stopped ringing but the nerdy little man on my shoulder is yelling at me to wear a pumpkin protector. No need to respond to this, please. See you all soon.

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