Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Self rescue

Hi, my name is Stuart Webb - I've shared some great adventures with Peter over the last year or so, and thought I'd share some tips that have helped me out.

I've been kiting for about 6 years and last week I had a bit of a disaster. One of the pulleys on my Switchblade (IDS 10m) broke on one of the leading edge lines. The wind was about 25 knots and the kite just kept on picking up and spinning around. It took me some time to figure out which line had been broken, by which time the lines had become very tangled and I was unsure as to the best way to handle the situation.

After a forum discussion, the consensus for self rescue procedure is

Self Rescue Procedure
  1. Depower
    Get as much depower as possible. This will typically involve taking all the tension out of the back two brake lines. If you have a switchblade, use the absolute depower.
  2. Regain your bar
    Depowering typically involves letting go of your bar or activating a depower mechanism. You must swim up to the bar to regain it.
  3. Tidy up loose lines
    To be sure that tension remains out of the back brake lines, wind in the middle leading edge lines onto the bar.
  4. Secure your board (Optional)
    Remove the board from your feet and secure it to your body to leave you free in the water. You can use your safety leash by detaching it, threading it through your board and reattaching. Or carry another leash. This step could be done prior to step 1 depending upon personal preference.
  5. Regain your kite
    Wind in all remaining lines onto your bar, exactly as if you are packing up at the end of a session. This will take you up to the kite.
  6. Ride the kite into shore

Self Rescue Procedure (Switchblade)
In my instance, I have a 2009 Cabrinha Switchblade IDS. The pulley broke. Apparently these pulleys have known issues - so my advice is to replace all your pulleys with the warranty Cabrinha pulley replacement. Apparently for some extra cash you can replace these pulleys with an Aluminium slider (which comes as standard with the 2010 model) - reducing the chance of failure and wear on the lines.

Safe riding,


1 comment:

Peter Campbell said...

Stuart, Ivan tells me there was a bad batch of pulleys on some but not all 2009 Switchblades. The metal the pulley spindle mounts into is too thin in some. It takes someone who knows to spot them from the good ones. If in doubt, take your kite to a reputable shop to get it checked out.