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Coach 02-27-2008 12:29 PM

Lucky to be alive...kitemare gone really bad.
Thanks to the following guys who came to my rescue Tuesday, Feb 26th, at the backside of the skyway. Good friends, quick to respond. Thanks John (Skemp), Bob, Scott, Herb and Toby. I don't ever post on this but it's important that you guys know how appreciative I am. Spent last night in the ER, coming home late last night. Mild concussion, nasty knot on the back of my head, low grade whiplash, 4 inch laceration that needed dermabond, slightly dislocated right hip, bruised ribs in the back. I am fine and home now. Upon finally recalling exactly what went down -- at least this is how others relayed it to me, combined with what I recalled this morning, here is what happened. Figure I explain it now so I don't have to tell it a hundred times. First of all, I don't see how this incident could have been avoided. It was NOT rider error. Apparently, a bridle line(s) snapped - I have not examined the kite yet, but I recall the bridle lines hanging off the kite when John wrapped the kite up. Bridle line(s) snapped when I was about 300 meters directly off the launch area, heading slighly NW towards the skeleton of the boat in the water. I heard a snap and then the kite apparently (according to Scott who watched the whole thing), went into a down loop. Wind seemed to be about 20-25 knots and I was on my 12 Cab SBI, which I always ride in those conditions on my tiny SS Doyle 125 board. Kite went into the most f'ing powered up loops I have ever seen or certainly felt. SW wind, again, pretty healthy. I managed to get out of the hook and I figured, as usual, the kite would eventually crash and stay in the water. I got dragged about 700 yards, at about 25 mph (according to Scott, again) and I was able to get out of the first two safety systems and was getting dragged by my leash, which is very stretched out and the bar/lines/CL were about 4 feet away and I was UNABLE to break the final safety system to break the kite away and let it fly. My harness got spun around and i could NOT access that little shit ass red loop on the Mystic harness, which after further review is a BAD system in this situation, IF you have it hooked up as the handle pass system. Bottom line, the kite did not depower and kept looping, only crashing two times, according to Bob, and only for about 2-3 seconds. They said I was fighting the entire time and that they could see me fighting to break the kite loose. Anyone who has been pulled in these conditions by a hard pulling kite like this knows that when that lease is stretched out and you are attached to it, even a guy as big and strong as me has no chance unless you can break the kite away. Anyway, got pulled under and over the water, almost drowning on the way for about 700 yards. The longer I kept going, I immediately realized that this kite was not going to crash or stay in the water. At one point, Scott said that I had stopped for a couple of seconds and that it lit me up from 0 to 25 again a couple of times. I realized the kite wasn't coming or staying down as I approached the skyway/highway near the little bridge, heading towards St. Pete. I knew it was going to be bad as there are NO trees there, mangroves, anything but a 3.5 foot chain link fence. I knew I had one chance left - that when the kite hit the ground and I got yanked hard onto the oyster laiden rocks and concrete there, I may be able to dive forward and grab that little o-type ring above the CL on the Cabs' that breaks away the kite. ONE LITTLE TINY TREE grabbed the wing tip of the kite long enough for me to do this. I got slammed into the rocks/beach and managed to break it away and it went into into the grass on the other side of the fence a few feet from rush hour traffic. Apparently, as I don't remember much, John was sprinting down the shoreline and arrived first - sorry mate if I don't remember much. Anyway,Bob, Scott, and Herb were soon behind and Toby to follow, riding downwind from the beach. Pretty banged up but happy not to have been pulled into the highway and killed. I have been in many situations in my four years of kiting, some caused by my own stupidity while learning and some not. But this was a first. Aren't the bridle lines about 800 test? Certainly a percentage more than the regular 600 pound riding lines, correct? And this kite is in good shape and not compromised in anyway. I was using the handlepass loop on the mystic harness and a slingshot lease that had NO release point at the harness. The Mystic system with that little red loop/grab does work, but when the harness gets turned around at a 45 degree angle and the kite is pulling you from the back, where it attaches behind the rider, the little red grab handle is NOT readily accessible. I was fighting like crazy to find it but I could NOT. And, the CAB flying saucer type ring that breaks the kite away by the CL was way out of reach as I was being pulled by the leash. I tried to get free of my harness as well but that Mystic fits tight and I was directly connected, as I take the one side hook out and run the straps through instead of using the little hook so it fits better and stays better. I was unable to get out of my harness. Anyway, I am alive - without exaggerating, it was the scariest thing that has ever happened to me - - I had PLENTY of time to grasp what was about to happen to me as I was fully powered up, being pulled by a powerful kite at about 25mph towards rush hour traffic on the skyway, finally crashing down about 12 yards from being pulled into the "shit". Thanks for all your help mates. Thanks for staying with me, looking after me and spending what seemed like a couple of hours watching over me until I seemed good enough to move on. I moved on right to the ER, as I pulled over and heaved out a gallon or so of saltwater and got a massive headache which turned out to be the concussion. I will let you guys know where the bridle lines broke when I inspect the kite tomorrow. Thanks again, John, Bob, Scott,Herb, Toby,Reno, Ryan. Imagine that, Toby to the rescue - I think he rescued my board! If I left anyone else out And thanks for the tons of phone calls I got this morning - Eric, Jeff, Brooke, Randy, Reno, and others. If I left anyone out, I apologize. Still a little foggy. Thanks fellas. Bill Eastburn

Erick 02-27-2008 12:42 PM

Dude, I'm just very glad to read from you that first, you are alive and second that hopefully soon you will start riding again. Get well soon brotha!

BigR 02-27-2008 01:18 PM

Sorry to hear that Bill,

Glad you're alright.

This seems like an important lesson for any of us that have 1st generation Bow kites from 2006 that have never had the bridle lines changed. It is now 2008 and those bridle lines would now be over two years old. So, People, we should all check our bridle lines on all older bow kites for wear and tear regularly. Even though the lines might be 800# test they can still easily break if the braided coating on the outside of the lines breaks thru.
Why? Because the inside portion has 800# test, it has long strands, it also breaks very easy by abrasion or sharp objects.
The outside coating is like 50# test , BUT, it is very resistant to abrasion and sharp objects. Hence it protects the inner lines. However, once that outer part breaks then the wear quickly breaks the inner part.

Hopefully you'll be back on the water again soon Bill

Skyway Scott 02-27-2008 01:21 PM

Very glad that your kite did hit that one tree, Bill. I am confident if it did not hit the tree, you would be in the hospital or dead today. I am sure you are freaked out enough and know this, but it's a fact that the odds of your kite hitting that one lone tree were exceptionally low. That kitemare definitely ranked top ten for the 50 or so I have seen. If not for the tree, it would rank top 3 for sure (as if you want to rank high?....... not )

Just glad you are okay. I hated watching it and was feeling nothing but anger at the situation and wanted to kill the f'n kite. It was obvious you were at it's mercy. I was so happy to see you were "okay".
Most of the time this stuff is all fun and games, but we are obviously one line away from getting screwed. You now unfortunately know first hand how fast things can switch from fun to fuc#$d on a kite.

Glad you are getting better, Bill.

bryanleighty 02-27-2008 01:25 PM

so glad you are ok.. bravo for everyone that helped..
reality check that even skilled riders can get into trouble..

i'll tell you that story was tough to read.. even tho i knew you were ok.. but just having to imagine what you were thinking.. that you knew EXACTLY what to do but you couldnt physically do it.

Sorry Tom but it looks like you will have to give your "scary, looping out of control kite, cant get my QR released" trophy...

I assume your kite is a couple years old? 2 .. 3 ??

reason I ask is that just 2 months ago (about 5 or 6 sessions back for me) all 3 of my 2006 waroo kites had bridles snap.. all within 3 days.. 3 different kites..

then Dan B. had his 2006 14m bridle snap just 2 weekends ago.. i think he was 2 sessions after mine broke.

(just read BigR's comments and agree 100%.. I would bet that we will be seeing more and more bridles break on 2006 / 2007 kites thru this year..)..

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE everyone get a leash with a simple QR on it.... SS leash with QR are 20 or 25 dollars..

BigR 02-27-2008 01:42 PM


PLEASE everyone get a leash with a simple QR on it.... SS leash with QR are 20 or 25 dollars..

Also, the cabrinha leashes with the little red saucer quick release thingy at the end are very very good and extremely easy to activate.

People should all throw away their leashes into the garbage if they do not have a QR system on them

Coach 02-27-2008 01:50 PM

Raul...thanks for your post. Listen, that little saucer deal was COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY UNACCESSIBLE. When you get out of the hook, that thing goes with it due to it's location. With a leash stretched to it's maximum tension (and more, as its' stretched out from riding/crashing unhooked and reeling the kite back in), it's about four feet long. With the kite pulling that hard, the leash stretched out that far and being out of the hook/CL, it was way too far away to even reach or activate. I am a big guy, 6'3" with a long reach and even as long as my arms are, and as strong as I am, I couldn't climb up the leash while being worked to get to that release to break the kite away. NO chance. I was trying like hell. WITHOUT A DOUBT, THE LEASE SYSTEMS THAT HAVE RELEASE MECHANISMS (LIKE THE BEST AND SOME OF THE OLD SS WITH THAT RED SLEEVE AND PIN HOOK), ARE THE ONLY WAY TO GO. I had no way of getting the kite off of me other than trying to get out of my entire harness in this situation. And believe me, I tried. Too much tension to even budge the straps to release myself from the harness. And as far as a knife - - no time. I hadn't even given the knife a thought, as I was going so fast and I would have HAD TO CUT THROUGH THE LEASH. I couldn't even find the red loop safety release on the mystic harness, let alone think about using the knife. I was trying to grab the leash and hang on it to slam the kite into the water harder, hoping it would blow up. It was like being pulled behind your truck at 25mph, knowing I wasn't going to stop UNTIL YOU DID.

toby wilson 02-27-2008 01:58 PM

Glad you are okay Bill, definitely a wakeup call for me.

I wanted to make sure that your Doyle lived for you to kite another day with it!

That was one of the scariest things I have ever seen. Like others have said, just knowing that you are helpless and can't come to your bro's aid is the worst feeling in the world. I am changing my NSI leash out for a flexi right now. ;)

onthefritz 02-27-2008 02:05 PM

Thanks for sharing your story. Sounds like a scary scenario to be in. Glad things worked out for you and you're still alive. Get well soon!

BigR 02-27-2008 02:07 PM

Hey Bill, you were using a cabrinha kite but not a cabrinha leash.
The cabrinha leashes come with that little saucer deal which hooks up right next to your harness so that is is always accessible and you don't have to grab a bar that is impossibly out of reach. Basically the complete cabby system gives you TWO QR's

Glad you are OK, sounds scary mary

Skyway Scott 02-27-2008 02:15 PM

What was interesting about this situation relative to most kitemares is just how much time Bill had. I would say 12 to 15 seconds. Most kitemares are 2 seconds or shorter in duration, then someone hits something and it's over.
So, given Bill's take on (no) time, I think the lesson here is that safety stuff should be very easily accessible and easy to trigger (quickly). Most of it is neither, unfortunately.

Distance definitely bought Bill a ton of time. As it turned out, it didn't matter much on the gear he had. A full two minutes wouldn't have mattered, I don't think. :(

inferno 02-27-2008 02:40 PM

one lesson to take away from this...

it is highly recomended that in higher wind to always be leashed to an outside line, or a single front line (like the new SS i think), if anything goes wrong and your kite starts looping, as long as you can hit the release before to many loops you will flag the kite out to one line (preferable an outside line.....)

i assume you were leashed to both front lines?

RickI 02-27-2008 02:43 PM

Glad you came through OK. Gear needs regular and careful inspection, PM and even replacement. Just put an article up that goes into some of these aspects at:

amber 02-27-2008 02:48 PM

If you have a slingshot leash, try turning it upside down. if there isn't a good attachment point on that end, you can pick up a cheap marine grade clasp at west marine.

glad you're ok. i've got a 2006 waroo and I pray that my bridles are ok. i know i don't test it the way you guys do though. I hate how the leash gets all wrapped funny when attached to my outside line and i crash and loop. Oh well. Better safe than sorry... i'll probably avoid hooking it to the "suicide point". I guess that if we put a positive spin on all of this, as long as you're "ok", its a good reminder to everyone that kitemares don't discriminate against age, athleticism, expertise,equipment, gender, etc.

Don't be suprised next time you see Toby running down the beach in his rainbow thong. He's always looking out for the rest of us. Even when he's busy at the backside...

Good luck getting better. If you decide not to race, we still need volunteers in order to make it a success. Let us know if you're interested

<jason 02-27-2008 02:57 PM

Scary to even imagine going through that...
Hey I just wanted to chime in as well to say im glad your ok... relatively speaking...:confused:

Also happy to hear their was people there to help you out...
hope u heal good and fast....


Coach 02-27-2008 03:35 PM

Alright reason for posting was to simply thank the guys who came to my aide and let them know how thankful I am. What happened to me could have happened to anyone from newbie to experienced safe rider with years of experience - like me. It could not have been predicted or prevented in that the bridle lines to this kite were intact and not comprised to the naked eye. IF there is a tool out there that measures the strength and integrity of bridle and/or flying lines, let me know. IF there is, I HAVE NEVER SEEN ANY RIDER IN THE AREA USE ONE. You can't predict something like this. I take great care of all of my gear and inspect it regularly, particularly, my bar/lines/larksheads leaders, bridle attachment points, etc. Probably more than most. And, those of you who know me I am sure don't view me as a kook, dangerous on inexperienced rider. I am an educated person and a world class athlete who played professional tennis and coached on tour for over 20 years between the two. I am not a moron. So, please - if you have something productive and not critical to say, something about gear or lines, etc, let me know. But don't evaluate me as a rider, nor my practices as a rider - unless you know me and ride with me. IF there is a way to practice self rescue under these conditions, when a 12 meter kite has a bridle line snap and begins to loop at an insane rate at 20-25 knots and you are unable to break away the kite, in this situation, let me know. Otherwise, don't pass judgement on something you could never know about unless you went through it yourself. Thanks.

Tom Stock 02-27-2008 03:52 PM

Bill you are wasting your breath. There are always a bunch of reasons why it won't happen to them (only because it hasn't yet).

I had a very similar experience 3+ years ago and it was one of the happiest days of my life ... when I realized I was still alive.

Really surprised you are not dead after hearing the story in detail.

Man am I glad that tree was there.

Drink a tall one and plant a tree in thanks.

Unimog Bob 02-27-2008 03:58 PM

Hey Bill,
I'm glad to hear you are on the mend. I was glad to do what I could to help. I know you would have done the same for any of us. I wish there was more we could have done. It was tough to watch knowing there was nothing we could do to reach you in time to stop you. You fought like hell to get loose the whole way. I'll be looking forward to riding with you again soon.

Skyway Scott 02-27-2008 04:07 PM

Bill. I don't think anyone is being critical of you. I sure hope you don't think I am. Basically I am saying safety gear sucks and 2 minutes wouldn't have afforded you time to "get out". I think a few others are saying that they would recommend checking lines etc. as a precaution to other forum readers (not you). That's how I read it anyway. I realize how frustrating it is too get screwed by your kite when you didn't do much/nothing wrong. I would have knifed and burned that thing by now myself.

I have gone on three rides similar to yours. I wasn't at fault on any of them, imo. (Two of them had back line OS leash attachments).
I think our safety gear is still in the dark ages. The industry isn't too concerned with safety or setting standards, so what happens is we are left guessing what is safer than something else. It's obvious to me if we had great safety gear that yesterday wouldn't have happened and you wouldn't think we are being critical. The gear was just lacking, not you.

Coach 02-27-2008 04:08 PM

Thanks Tom and Bob...I appreciate it. I didn't mean to sound like a dick to anyone else. Still a little bit groggy and not used to being inside all day. Sucks. Yeah, Tom, I have rewound the situation in my head over and over again. Scott said he thought it lasted 10 to 12 seconds. I have to think it was longer, based on the distance, the speed at which I was being dragged AND the fact that Bob told me that the kite hit the water twice for about 2-3 seconds, over the distance of at least 700 yards - I checked it out on Google Earth. I had enough time to realize when the kite wasn't going to stay in the water and the direction I was heading - I even thought about the traffic believe it or not - that I was f'd. There was nothing stopping that kite.

I am going to hammer a flippin cross on that tree and do a better job celebrating Arbor Day in the future.

Coach 02-27-2008 04:11 PM

No Scott...i don't think you were being critical at all. Plus, you ride with me all the time and know that I am a safe and respectful rider, or least try to be. I think I am still a little groggy and pissed off at being stuck inside. That is why I apologized (in advance) in the next post. No offense taken or perceived. Thanks again. I am fine.

kiteUSF 02-27-2008 04:21 PM

Just read the post. I was actually driving over the skyway after getting my broken rib looked at when I saw toby really close to the road. This must have been right after it happened. Glad to hear you are alright.

Coach 02-27-2008 04:52 PM

and to top this shit all off, the freakin fire ants got me as i was crawling in Bob's car. Nasty bites on my foot. What a day.

Skyway Scott 02-27-2008 05:24 PM

I personally found that sort of humorous. Here is a guy that just got worked, arm lacerated, etc. He is dealing with the pain pretty well.
Then... some little ants bite him.. YOWEEEE.... I hear.
That's when I knew you were gonna make it. ;)

toby wilson 02-27-2008 05:27 PM

Yep, that was right after the accident, I recovered Bill's board, then went downwind to see how badly he was hurt because I could get back upwind with my kite much faster than anyone on land to let someone know if he was critically injured to call an ambulance. Thank god that was not the case.

Bill, I don't think that there is ANY rider in this community that could have handled the situation any better than you did yesterday (including Billy Parker). You ARE a kook though. ;) Just kidding! Your experience paid off, you stayed calm, tried multiple times to release yourself from the kite and luckily were not too close to shore when it happened so you had a few seconds to think although you were being drug under so I am sure that thinking was out the window and your instinct just kicked in.

ANYONE who wants to put this on something that Bill did or did not do is just foolish and pulling the blinders over their eyes. ***t happens out there, you cannot predict when, where, or how it will happen. I have had my share of kitemares over the past 3 years, I have been lucky that they were not as bad as Bill's, Tom's, Bayflite's Josh's or Christopher's. Gear gets old and you don't notice, heck sometimes BRAND NEW equipment fails.

Props to Bill for doing what he could yesterday in the little bit of time that he had to make descisions, in my opinion he is a great example of what our area riders are all about.

Tom Stock 02-27-2008 06:05 PM

Oh lord Josh's and bayflites ... those were two real bad ones.

Coach 02-27-2008 06:55 PM

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Toby. And thanks for bustin on me about the fire ants, Scott. Funny stuff. You know I am hurtin, bored and pissed off when I am posting back and forth with you knuckleheads on the kite forum! Thanks for everything guys.

Chad085 02-27-2008 08:04 PM

here's a perfect example of new gear failing: my pretty much brand new rev on a downwinder yesterday, the center line between the CL and the actual lines themselves is like a 2 part grey rope. Those familiar with SS know what i'm talking about. one side gets cleated into a depower chock. Well, the OPPOSITE side of this line that does NOT even go through the cleat to get chafed, decided to snap on me, leaving me with an 11m 2 line trainer kite. I felt something odd, like it was stretching, and looked down at my bar to see the line unraveling right in front of me. WTF??? It defintely was NOT chafed or damaged prior to launch, i always check that stuff. I started hauling ass towards the beach as soon as i saw it and got about 1 kite length away when it snapped. The best part was when the rev's safety system really shined. There is an auxiallary line that runs through the bar up to a front line ABOVE what broke, like a 5th line setup similar to ocean rodeo, ozone, etc. So i let go of the bar thinking the kite will flag, and it did, and the safety line snapped. WTF??? bye bye rev!!!! special props to Trip for sitting on it while flying his kite until i made the swim in, although at that point i was so pissed i didn't even care if that thing rag dolled down the beach and got f@#$ed up. So just to solidify what everyone else has said, sh#t can and will happen, just take every precaution possible to minimize the risk. Hope your recovery goes well dude, sorry to hear it. get well soon

RickI 02-27-2008 08:09 PM

Congratulations on coming through and welcome to the recently concussed. There is something that members of that group should be aware of, SIS. It isn't a Federal Agency or even a new made for TV series. It is more serious than that. Getting rigged out with a good lid is just one step, you still don't want to whump your head in the next year with or without one. More at:

skempthepimp 02-27-2008 10:53 PM

That was the craziest experience I have had in kiting yet. First off, it was way more than 12 or 15 seconds, it was more like 40-60. I was way too outta breath for a 12 second run. I also think I recall the kite hitting the water several times because I would slow down and watch to see if you were gonna get the leash off when the kite was down, but the damn thing powered up 3 or 4 seconds later. I can tell you that it seemed like an eternity to me because no matter how fast I ran you were just gonna beat me there. If I did beat the kite I still didn't know what the hell I was gonna try to do. I saw that the tree was in your path and prayed for luck, but I could hardly watch the last second of it because I really thought that I was gonna be 50 feet away from complete horror. Needless to say I am thrilled to be wrong.

When you were being ripped through/across/under the water you were fighting the whole way. What stunned me the most was seeing into a man's eye after he escaped a close call. The adrenaline exhaustion was intense and overwhelming.

When the kite crashed and you got the QR off of you, you crawled OVER a barnacle encrusted slab of concrete just to get to the beach, lay down and regroup. Your first words (besides "Don't touch me"!) were, "I was dead." It was obvious you were in a lot of pain and some shock, but there was also a shock factor of "WTF just happened" and "how am I alive" that is burned in my memory. It could happen at any time folks.

I have re-lived this kitemare a thousand times in my head today and can say that it was just insane and pretty much unforeseeable and inconceivable.

This is definitely a story I will not be sharing with my wife. Some things are better left alone.

Bill, I am just glad you got through it bro. There was nothing you could have done but hope for a little luck. For the first time in my life I realize that the Australian Pine tree isn't such a bad thing after all. Kudos to ya and a speedy recovery.

Skyway Scott 02-27-2008 11:21 PM

I think you are definitely right about the time, John. I think the 15 seconds I guessed at was how long that the episode lasted from when I realized Bill was helpless until it ended. That would be about 2/3rds into it. The whole thing was a kitemare, but only when I realized it was one......
No wonder eyewitness testimony is shaky.

It was bad and only luck (or God) prevailed. I thought I was going to watch a friend die once I realized Bill was totally helpless. I was actually cursing him at first for not releasing and was very pissed he would hold on to his kite despite the circumstances. I then realized he had no choices and was getting dragged by his leash. At that point I was just praying with all my might for the tree to eat his kite. I hate seeing that kind of stuff. That was so long and drawn out that we had enough time to grasp the what ifs. That made it very difficult to watch, and actually emotional, as you said.
Just glad it's over and that Bill is okay. I felt really bad not being able to run. Thankfully you had it covered though.

Coach 02-28-2008 12:06 AM

Hey John...after reading your post, which I was waiting for, I got kind of sick to my stomach mate. I guess it was because you were the first guy to reach me and to see what kind of shape I was in, etc. You apparently saw the horror I felt was coming if that kite didn't catch that tree. I apologize for what ever I said at the time, as I don't remember WHAT I said to you, if anything. I STILL don't. I don't even remember you getting to me - all I remember is Bob kneeling down beside me. Sorry again. I can't thank you enough for coming to my aide and being the first one there. Your account of what happened and your recalling how I looked and apparently felt shook me up even more. Thanks a ton for helping me out mate.

What I recall now, after recently remembering more of the incident was that it was NOT actually the tree that slowed or stopped the kite. The kite was to the LEFT of the tree. I recall now calculating (if you can believe it) WHERE the kite was going to possibly hit the land and perhaps slow a bit. The kite actually flew OVER the fence from what I remember now and as soon as it bounced into the ground and simultaneously slammed me into the beach, I was able to somehow activate the CAB QR up the leash and break free of the kite. The kite then fell for good as I believe the LINES caught in the fence and the kite fell to the left of the tree? Does that sound about right John? Based on the fact that YOU were the guy that broke down the gear and rolled it all up, am I close? Remember, I am going from memory and a mangled noggin at the time but this is how I recall it today. I would really like to hear where the kite was when you got to it, where the bar and lines were, etc. Even where I was. I do remember that slab of concrete to my right. I think that is what I slammed into and gave me the concussion or maybe it was the water, over and over and over.

ANYWAY, AGAIN, THE ONLY REASON FOR THIS POST THIS MORNING WAS TO SAY THANKS FOR THE GUYS WHO WERE THERE FOR ME WHEN THIS WENT DOWN. That is the only thing I hoped to do with this first post. Sorry to clog the forum with this bullshit. Thanks again John.

toby wilson 02-28-2008 06:33 AM

Bill, I know I saw John trying to pull your lines out of that tree once I got to you. So I think it probably ended up in the tree at some point or another. Also, I agree that it was more like 30 or 40 seconds, just thought that maybe since it was so scary, I was thinking in slow motion at the time or something. I agree with John as well, the kite definitely crashed and then repowered up about every hundred yards so 6 or 7 times as opposed to the initially reported 3 or so.

toddjb 02-28-2008 08:08 AM

Coach, thanks for sharing this account. It is something that scares me about bridled kites (which I fly) and your post will give us all a chance to think. What would we do in this situation? How can we prepare for it?

bryanleighty 02-28-2008 08:53 AM


Originally Posted by Coach (Post 29752)
ANYWAY, AGAIN, THE ONLY REASON FOR THIS POST THIS MORNING WAS TO SAY THANKS FOR THE GUYS WHO WERE THERE FOR ME WHEN THIS WENT DOWN. That is the only thing I hoped to do with this first post. Sorry to clog the forum with this bullshit. Thanks again John.

no BS at all man...

dont apologize for anything..

that you are safe is the #1 thing..
that we brainstorm some way to hopefully avoid situations like this in the future is #2.

i dont think anyone is saying "you should have done this.." or "you should have done that...".. it sounds to me that you were very much aware of what needed to be done but due to the situation and gear you were not able to.

that is a great topic of discussion.

gear and safety dont get enough discussion compared to rider habits in regards to safety. i think we ALL can agree that certain setups are safer.. none will cover every situation.. and thats the inherent problem that i hope someone can figure out.


Tom Stock 02-28-2008 09:09 AM

1 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by toddjb (Post 29756)
Coach, thanks for sharing this account. It is something that scares me about bridled kites (which I fly) and your post will give us all a chance to think. What would we do in this situation? How can we prepare for it?

A good handlepass leash with disconnect ... like this one is a good start. Any brand is fine as long as it works.

Erick 02-28-2008 10:25 AM

1 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by Tom Stock (Post 29762)
A good handlepass leash with disconnect ... like this one is a good start. Any brand is fine as long as it works.


Correct me if I’m wrong here but I've noticed that the SS leash makes more sense to me than the one you shown before why?

I believe that when somebody is in trouble (or in deep sh*t being pulled by the kite), a natural human instinct is to pull instead of push to activate the quick release.

See pics (sorry, i know the rider drawing looks very crappy)

Gator Gris 02-28-2008 10:44 AM

Chime In

Colin called me to tell me what happend -that evening. It was surreal for me, because I saw you at East Beach earlier that day and the wind shifted SW. Myself and a group went to Passagrille and you obviously went to Skyway West.

I was going to try out a waist harness. I think I will stay with a seat harness for now. Is there anyway to prevent those waist harnesses from spinning around?

On a positive note, if it takes a while longer to get the right conditions for the Kitemasters Race, you could make that hopefully!

Glad you are alive and relatively well! When I was brand new, you were very supportive. Thanks again for being the man!


Tom Stock 02-28-2008 11:19 AM


Originally Posted by Erick (Post 29768)

Correct me if I’m wrong here but I've noticed that the SS leash makes more sense to me than the one you shown before why?

I believe that when somebody is in trouble (or in deep sh*t being pulled by the kite), a natural human instinct is to pull instead of push to activate the quick release.

See pics (sorry, i know the rider drawing looks very crappy)

I don't believe there is any natural instinct for pulling a safety release.

The reason i don't use the pull release is that I've accidentally released it while climbing the leash to recover the kite after letting it go unhooked.

What it comes down to is just having one which works and which you are used to. Push or Pull, your own preference.

Todd RT 02-28-2008 11:42 AM


Sorry to hear about your kitemere man. That really sucks!

I just started riding in May. I only ride SB2's right now. (got a 16 and a 12)

I had a slight scare last week, where the line INSIDE the black plastic that holds your chickenloop to the inside lines, simply SNAPPED.

Cabrinha, and my instructor, said to hook my leash to this same center line, right under the bar.

When my center line snapped, I was no longer attached to the like, the leash was not connected to anything, and I was trying to control my 12M in like 25mph while it was looping and bouncing off the water. FORTUNATELY I was in waist deep water. I was able to finally get the kite hangin' on one of the outside lines to maintain control (and make a birds nest of my lines) and I was safe, the kite was undamaged.

The question I have here is...

Shouldn't my leash be attached to one of the outside lines on a SB2 or SB3 for that matter??? (Then if I pull the emergency release on the center line, the kite will be hangin' from an outside line. Or if the center line breaks again, the kite will still be attached to me, not just holding the bar for fear of loosing my kite.)

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