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Safety leash

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Details about safety leashes and how to use them.  It is vital that you connect the safety leash to the correct part of your bar/lines and you know how to use the safety release.
A safety leash (sometimes also called a "bypass leash" or a "handlepass leash") is used to keep you connected to the kite when you deploy your main safety release or you let go of the control bar while riding unhooked.   The safety release connects to a specific part of your line/control system so that full depower is activated when the kite is on it.  It is very important to use the safety leash in accordance with the kite and control bar manufacturer's instructions.  Attachment points can vary between manufacturers and between kite/bar models.

The safety leash also has its own safety release so that you can completely jettison the kite if you need to.  

Safety leash
Safety leash

  • One end of the safety leash is attached to your harness, usually to the spreader bar.  This end will have it own safety release very close to this attachment point.
  • The other end of the safety leash attaches to a part of the line/control system that will depower the kite when the leash is deployed.  Make sure you connect the leash to the appropriate place for your kite/line system.  

Caution

Warning: If you connect your safety leash to the wrong part of your line/control system it may not function correctly and could cause lofting or catastrophic equipment failure which could result in injury.  The information on this page is provided for guidance only and may not be appropriate for your kite/line/bar system.
Caution

Warning: If in doubt about where to connect your safety leash to your kite/line system seek expert assistance.  


NOTE: The following examples are provided as a guide only. You must check your kite/control manuals to find the appropriate connection method for your kite.

Cabrinha Powerdrive 221 control system - circa 2008

For the Cabrinha Powerdrive 221 control system, the manufacturer recommends that you connect the leash to one of two points:

Cabrinha Powerdrive 221 IDS Control System

Attachment Point 1:Trapezoid above chicken loop
  • The leash will secure kite if the chicken loop is unhooked from the harness hook and you drop or throw the bar
  • Your kite will be fully released if you deploy the main safety release. The leash will not secure the kite if you deploy the main safety release (above the chicken loop), unless there is an additional line attachment.  
Attachment Point 2: Main depower line above the main safety release.
  • The leash will secure kite if the chicken loop is unhooked from the harness hook and you drop or throw the bar
  • The leash will secure the kite if you deploy the main safety release (above the chicken loop) 
  • To fully release the kite you will need to deploy the secondary safety release on the safety leash (near the spreader bar attachment)

Cabrinha Powerdrive IDS Control system - circa 2010

For the Cabrinha Powerdrive IDS control system, the manufacturer recommends that you connect the leash to the trapezoid above the chicken loop as follows:

Cabrinha Powerdrive IDS leash attachment

  • If you are riding unhooked, or the chicken loop becomes unhooked, and you drop the bar, the kite will then be secured by the safety leash.
  • When you deploy the main release, the safety leash will not come into play, the kite will then be attached by the secondary IDS line.
Caution

Caution: If strong tension comes on the IDS line suddenly the IDS velcro strap system can release by itself, fully releasing the kite.  You can grasp the IDS velcro strap system with one hand if the main safety release is deployed to prevent this happening.

The secondary IDS (Intelligent Depower System) line connected to the chicken loop by the IDS velcro strap system can be released as follows:

Cabrinha IDS connected
1. Pull on the IDS release handle loop as per red arrow above
Cabrinha IDS release deployed
2. IDS line (landing line) is then disconnected from the chicken loop, and the kite is fully disconnected from you.

Some riders prefer to attach the safety release to the ring on the IDS line (landing line) so that the kite will remain on the safety leash when the main safety release and the IDS velcro strap system are deployed.  If you use this attachment point there are three steps to completely release the kite: 
  1. Deploy the main release - kite is then secured by IDS line (landing line)
  2. Deploy the IDS velcro strap system - kite is then secured by safety leash connected to IDS line
  3. Deploy the safety release on the safety leash - kite is completely released.
This connection method is not recommended when using the kite in large surf as fully releasing the kite can take too long. 

Ben Wilson Surf Undertow bar release system - circa 2011

Ben Wilson undertow bar
Ben Wilson Surf Undertow bar

The safety leash attaches to the ring inside the chicken loop.

The safety release sequence for this control system is:
  1. Deploy the main safety release (plastic ring fitting at the top of the chicken loop) - the kite is then secured by the safety leash attached to the safety line.
  2. Deploy the safety release on the safety leash - kite is completely released.

Suicide leash attachment

A suicide leash attachment is when you attach the safety leash to the chicken loop.  This is similar to attaching the safety leash to the trapezoid above the chicken loop.  
  • This attachment method is considered dangerous for C-Kites as it does not fully depower the kite when the main safety release is deployed, hence the term "suicide leash" 
  • This attachment method is safer on Bow kites, but the safety leash will not hold the kite when the main safety release is deployed.

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