Safety Systems Print

Safety Systems

All safety systems are designed to kill the power of the kite relative to you, and most do this in such a way that the kite will stay near you when you activate the system.  There are many types of safety systems out there, but there are four general types you will see repeated in many brands and types of kites.  In all of these, a “safety leash” is used as part of the systems.  All of these systems can be used in various combinations or all at the same time in a linear progression, depending on your configuration and brand.

Primary - Letting go of the bar

A suicide leash is a pro safety system.  It disables the secondary safety system and creates a redundant primary safety.

For this system, you attach the leash to your chicken loop line below your bar.  If you are using a C kite, this system is called a suicide leash.  If you are using a bow kite, then it is called a bow kite leash.  The leash connection point can be the same, however the effect can be quite different. 

With a C kite, while you are hooked in, if you let go of the bar, the kite will lose some of it's power and, generally, it will crash at some point.  However, if the kite doesn't crash quickly, and goes in to an uncontrolled kite loop and starts pulling you, you have a good chance of getting injured or drowning.  Hence the term "suicide leash."

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With a Bow kite, while you are hooked in, if you let go of the bar, the kite will lose nearly all of it's power and will slowly start to fall out of the sky.  The kite will not be able to go into an uncontrolled kite loop and start pulling you.  This type of leash/safety system is much safer on a bow kite than on a C kite.

 

Secondary - Pulling or pushing the Chicken loop  release, which activates the leash safety system. 

Suicide Leash

Disables secondary release, see explaination under primary release. 

One Line Slider Leash system

This system is the most commonly used.  It usually consists of having a ring connected to the bar end of one of the kite lines, after that line has passed through a similar sized ring, which is attached to the bar.  The leash then connects to the ring attached to that kite line.  When the bar and chicken loop are released, all of the pressure transfers to the “safety leash” and the one line that the leash is connected to.  The bar slides up that one line and kills the power of the kite by turning the kite, in essence, into a flag, instead of allowing it to provide lift.

Outside Slider Leash

Pro's:

Works almost all of the time.  Leash connection is close to control bar.

Con's:

Extremely dangerous if it malfunctions.  Spiraling kite tangles lines.  Hard to recover kite after activating. 

Center Line Slider Leash

Pro's:
Works almost all of the time.  Tangles less than outside slider leash.  Easier to recover from activation than with outside slider leash. 

Con's:
Hard to recover kite after activating.  Leash connection is far from the control bar. 

Fifth Line Slider Leash

This system is only used on a 5 line kite.  For this system, the leash connects to the 5th line, though a “one line slider system.”  When the chicken loop is released, the only tension is one the safety leash, and the bar slides up the 5th line.  This puts the kite in to the “U position” while still in the air.  This kills the power of the kite, and causes it to land on the water in the “U position.”

Pro's:
When activated, the kite lines stay organized, no tangling.  Control bar can be spun to take kite line twists out of the lines, without the leash wrapping around the chicken loop.

Con's:
5th line can wrap around the kite making it very difficult to relaunch.

 

Tertiary or Last Resort Leash

This is located on the safety leash itself and is to be used only after the first two safety systems have been activated and have failed to kill the power of the kite.  It separates the leash into two pieces and disconnects the rider entirely from the kite.

 

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