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Old 02-28-2008, 12:45 PM
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amber amber is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: St. Pete,FL
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eric- you went to graphic design school, right??
Old 02-28-2008, 12:47 PM
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skempthepimp skempthepimp is offline
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Downtown Tampa
Posts: 60

First off bro no apologies needed whatsoever. You were in the land of the bunny rabbits and understandably so.

Ok. The lines of the kite definitely were grabbed by the tree and the kite drilled the top of the fence. The tree grabbing the 2 lines probably are the only reason it didn't completely clear the fence and go in the road because when the kite looped they shortened the distance between you and the kite and allowed the kite to hit the fence. After telling you that "you lived, just relax" I broke the kite down ASAP to get it off of DOT's hands. Outta sight outta mind ya know. The left side of the kite was torn a little and the LE was deflated, so I think your bladder is done. The bridle was well tangled in the top of the chain link, and as I was deflating struts I noticed there was a torn bridle line that looked like it broke from tension. This line was on the same side of the kite as the tear. The other 2 lines were in the tree and stayed there for about ten minutes. They were well tangled and I tugged pretty hard to get them free. I was careful to roll up your kite without tearing it any more, so there may be some salvage potential. All struts were inflated after the incident was over, so they are good.

When you did hit the QR, the kite was definitely stopped and you crawled a half crawl and released it in about 4-5 seconds from stopping.

Also, that slab of concrete was not alone. There were others that were just submerged and were out a little from the beach. I think those were the ones you hit. It happened real fast though bro.

How are you feeling today?
When the wind doesn't blow it sucks.
Old 02-28-2008, 12:52 PM
kent kent is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 430

Glad to hear that you are ok. I still don't like to think that any accident is unavoidable. I won’t comment on the bridal wear issue or the inspection, but like it or not, bridal wear will be prevalent on any kite with good use and I would assume that this is also the case with your 2-3 year old kite if you have not changed them. Let’s assume that as you said there was no visible wear and that an inspection was done, then I too agree that unseen breakage can and will happen from time to time (as stated just above). We all know that pulleys break, lines can have unseen cuts, etc. Unseen and unexpected breakage is unavoidable. I agree.

While I do understand that you feel that this was not a case or rider error, I think that we should review 3 issues that to me are clearly areas for improvement. Addressing any of these issues would have helped you and others to avoid similar issues in the future. The reason for bringing this up is not to question judgment, but in hopes that others will learn from this.

#1. The choice of leash with out an accessible QR was totally avoidable. Using a leash with out a QR could be considered the first and most glaring instance of rider error. It’s a bad idea under all circumstances. Getting caught by another kite, catching a boat, or being dragged by a wave would have had you in poor condition in all cases.

#2 I'd like to know is where exactly was the leash attached to the depowering system? Was it above or below the QR? I am assuming that it was below the QR given that you stated that the secondary, disk shaped release was out of reach. There would have been no reason to deploy this if your leash was above the QR, and attaching a leash above the QR if the leash doesn’t have a QR is unadvisable.

#3. If the leash was connected below the QR, unhooking could be seen as the third error. At this point, unhooking just negated having a breakaway system, thus putting safety out of your reach. If you leash was attached above the QR, then you MUST have a QR that is a part of your leash and is with in inches of your harness. Mine for example is attached to a steel ring at the back of my harness. I can get to in under all circumstances. It is important that your release in this area is one that is pulled AWAY from the body for release and not TOWARD the body.

Because I too have had a similar situation that I was fortunate to have walked away from, I have trained myself to carefully analyze my equipments safety features and have my action plan clearly thought out. I always attach my leash below the QR when launching and landing. Once safely offshore, I many times move the leash above the QR to avoid accidental releases. At this point, I have a good safety barrier similar to what you had. The difference is that because I always use a leash with a good and accessible QR, I simply would have used it. I have practiced using it and know exactly when to deploy it.

In short, it sounds as if you may have had a possibly undetectable catastrophic equipment failure. It seems as though you were on the correct size of kite for the conditions and that you have ample experience to have handled most situations that could have arisen. If this happened to you, no doubt it can happen to others. I am hoping that the 3 possible mistakes outlined above will be considered by others to avoid this in the future.

Just as any launch that is less than perfect is a BAD Launch, any equipment failure that causes an uncontrollable situation is catastrophic and the secondary release should be the PRIMARY thought. All riders need to carefully consider all 3 essential release mechanisms and understand when and how to deploy them quickly. While I am very happy to see that a bullet was dodged, it is important for all to know that this was an avoidable bullet irrespective of the failure. Equipment failure for any reason it not a reason to automatically get hurt. I’m sorry to have been so direct, but after reading so many posts indicating that they too agree that this was an unavoidable injury, some further education is definitely in order.

Old 02-28-2008, 01:49 PM
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Erick Erick is offline
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Tampa Florida
Posts: 336
Thumbs up

Originally Posted by Tom Stock View Post
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.
Tom - i see your point and i concur.
Champions use adversity like a kite uses the wind;
rising against it, they soar to new heights.
Old 02-28-2008, 01:56 PM
Skyway Scott
Posts: n/a


Most companies make all kinds of nice marketing videos and pretty much zero safety vids (how to safely operate gear). I can't help but think a video/CD explaining how to react in this situation, how to self land if necessary, etc, could help riders. A video showing this clearly would really help.

Is a useful video showing how to attach leash, QR, self rescue on particular kites ever going to happen?
I am still amazed how little info is released to kiters through manufacturers in this regard. Every time something like this comes up, you can easily hear 5 different takes on what should be done. Yet, I don't see a company take on "best safety practices" in a useful video with SS or Cabrinha or Best or whatever kite. Is it because you guys are afraid of lawsuits? Or do you think companies just don't want to take the time to make the video available? Anyway, videos are more useful than words for most things and don't take too long to make. Just curious.

Last edited by Skyway Scott; 02-28-2008 at 02:44 PM.
Old 02-28-2008, 01:59 PM
Tom Stock
Posts: n/a

I like options. Here's my 2007 best bar. The ring below the bar fully depowers kite on front lines and releases the stopper ball. The others are for full tilt bailout. The front line ring will self land your kite like a champ.

[EDIT]: Not suggesting anyone replace their bar with a best bar ... but if you don't have enough options consider adding some additional rings. The front line ring is an addition on my bar and probably the most useful.

Last edited by Tom Stock; 02-28-2008 at 04:11 PM.
Old 02-28-2008, 02:10 PM
Todd RT's Avatar
Todd RT Todd RT is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Pinellas
Posts: 253

Here's a pic of what comes with the SB2 and SB3

It's the powerdrive 121

Here's the pdf link to the instructions:

You notice it says to attach the leash directly to the chicken loop or directly above the QR. This is where I've been attaching mine.

But after reading this thread, I want to attach it to one of the 'flagging rings'.

EDIT: Here's the full 121 manual for those who wish to read more.

And this SHOULD be the full manual for the 221 that came with the SB1
Old 02-28-2008, 02:38 PM
Skyway Scott
Posts: n/a

Thanks Todd, I just read it.
Old 02-28-2008, 03:05 PM
WindRyder WindRyder is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 250

One of my friends does not use the ring on the back of the harness to secure his leash, and instead attaches it around the spreader bar. That way he does not get pulled backwards when the leash is the only thing attaching you to the kite. I was getting pulled backward last week past the second sand bar and had to reach back to fully release the kite after I had pulled the first one to stop the kite from looping. Another buddy got dragged several hundred feet, and he was pulled backward as well, as he had attached his leash to the back of his harness. I am planning to move my harness attachment to the spreader bar as well.
Old 02-28-2008, 03:07 PM
kent kent is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 430


Thanks you beat me to it. Having refreshed myself with the older manuals, they do clearly indicate how to avoid accidents like the instance here. Tom, yes of course all of Cabs manuals are online and easy to download. The are very comprehensive and quite helpful. They come complete with drawings and pictures to help visualize. They also include all necessary information with respect to inspection, additional safety devices, and weather conditions. Go to for more info. Check back regularly for updates.

The manuals do clearly indicate rider options for the safety leash attachment. See page 17 of the 06 manual for reference to my above post.

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