Controversial opinion

8 years 7 months ago - 8 years 7 months ago #10896 by Rightarmbad
www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/story/2012...launched-coast-teen/

Sad news yet again.
We are made to wear life jackets and leg leashes.

None of the above would have helped in either the case above or the previous years accident.

Head injury is the only real danger we need to worry about in events like this.
How about a mandated, activity designed foam helmet to prevent happenings of this sort.

Required under 18, optional for adults.




I hate rules.
I hate leashes as they make the primary safety of ease of remounts harder.
I hate life jackets as again they make swimming for your boat impossible.
I don't want to see this happen every year.
A helmet is a simple answer.


I have a stripped down converted bike helmet that I often wear to put my go pro on, it feels so comfortable that I never really feel that it is on me.

A helmet would probably have saved both of these peoples lives.
A helmet would in no way interfere with the activity as I understand it.



I hate Nanny rules, simply hate them.
The freedom of surf sports is one of the attractions to me.
But I would happily wear a helmet.
Much more happily than a leg leash or life jacket.



Discuss.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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8 years 7 months ago #10901 by robin.mousley
Horrific news and I'm gutted to think of the consequences to the family (and the sport).

But in response to your post - are you talking for surf lifesaving or for surfski paddling in general?

Lifesaving: I'm not a lifesaver, but I've seen vociferous arguments from lifesavers saying that they can't wear PFDs and lifesave at the same time. Fair enough - but presumably if this kid had been wearing a PFD he'd at least have floated and would have been easier to find?

Surfski paddling in general: I guess it depends on the type of paddling that you do. The stuff I'm concerned with (because it's what we do over here) is downwind, offshore, in fairly cold water. From experience we know that rudder lines fail; paddles break and paddlers fall off, get cold and sometimes can't get back on the boat. As a last resort you call in the NSRI (our search and rescue guys).

Again from experience, we know that finding a ski is easier than finding a swimmer. Ergo, attach the paddler to the ski. We also know that swimming for a long time in cold water is difficult, ergo wear a PFD to help keep you afloat.

Finally we know from bitter experience that even with the above, in windy, white-capping conditions, it's almost impossible to spot even a ski, especially if it's white. On at least two occasions that I know of the paddler has watched his rescuers slowly cruise by without spotting him... During daylight one guy saw a chopper go over so close he could see the crewmen's faces; in the dark a paddler watched the NSRI boat cruise by within 40m and had the searchlight pass right over him. Ergo, have some means of communication eg mobile phone, flares, mirror, whatever.

So, because I've been in these situations and they've scared the shit out of me, I now paddle - in offshore, downwind conditions - with PFD, leash and means of communication. In my case "means of communication" comprises cellphone AND VHF AND flares. (Which really means that I always have one, mostly two, sometimes all three.)

But then, if I'm paddling in the bay and it's not windy, then I quite often go with the bare minimum, which in my case generally means PFD (out of habit) and paddle leash. (And I have to say that I've been caught out by rapidly changing weather on a couple of occasions when I didn't have the gear, which left me feeling horribly exposed.)

So I think it's horses for courses.

I understand the notion of being anti-nursemaid regulations, but in extreme conditions, in my opinion, you need to take sensible precautions. And it's not just for your own sake, but for your family's sake, the sake of the poor bloody race organiser, and finally for the sake of the blokes who risk their lives to come out in a gale to try to find you.

As for helmets - we seldom go through big surf here in Cape Town so they just don't apply. (I too sometimes wear a helmet on which to mount my GoPro, but that's it.)

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

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8 years 7 months ago #10904 by Kayaker Greg
How does a leg leash make it harder to remount?

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8 years 7 months ago #10906 by WIEDE
Replied by WIEDE on topic Re: Controversial opinion
KayakerGreg and @ all,
leg leashes tend to be just in your way and restrict in many cases the movement of the legs. Since the legs are the main means for swimming and are needed to bring yourself into the cockpit. If you are lucky enough (in rough conditions) ending with your bump in the bucket you need them in many cases as stabilizers, so again you want full freedom of movement again. I therefore attach the leash to my PFD and have no problems of getting the needed freedom for remounts and I'm able to detach the ski in the shore break.

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8 years 7 months ago - 8 years 7 months ago #10907 by Dicko
Replied by Dicko on topic Re: Controversial opinion
You need to clarify what sort of paddling you do RAB. You previously stated that you paddle in the canals around, I assume, the Gold Coast and in a river mouth. If you paddle in sheltered waters, fine, wear what you want. If you live in an area where the wind blows and there is chop you need a leg leash. If you do downwind paddles you need a leash (and all the other stuff as well).
If you can't remount with a leash on, you shouldn't be in the ocean.
I wouldn't do a downwind paddle with anyone who wasn't attached to their boat.
In fact I've never done a paddle with anyone who wasn't attached to their boat.(except the Anaconda race, in potentially rough water, a couple of k's out to sea, with 750 paddlers, mostly open water novices, where you have to wear a helmet but not a leash. Guess they figure you'll eventually wash up on the beach....or Antarctica).
Leg leashes are a non negotiable. To not wear one is just STUPID.

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8 years 7 months ago - 8 years 7 months ago #10908 by mckengmsurfski
I'm just going to say that I agree with Rob and Dicko 100%. I sat through a safety course with Dawid Mocke and I would say that he would be of the same opinion.
You are not going to be able to be 100% safe out there, but there are certain precautions that seem to just make sense 99% of the time. Most of my paddling occurs in our local harbors, rivers, and 1-2km off shore in the Atlantic. For those situations my kit for the most part mirrors that of Rob. I'm not someone who is a surf lifesaver or who spends tons of time in the surf zone, so I'll leave the helmet issue to those who know more about those scenarios.
I also am not one for the 'nanny state' and feel these things should be a personal choice, not mandated for daily use by the government (whatever government it may be). But I do think that a race organizer has the right to say you use these safety items, or you don't race in my race. They are taking on a liability by running the race and should be able to mandate safety rules and regs to make the race as safe as possible.
Like Dicko, I don't want to be out on the water with someone who's not taking the minimum of precautions. It comes down to respect for the people who your emergency situation impacts, be it rescuers, fellow paddlers, family, friends, and the paddling community as a whole.

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8 years 7 months ago #10913 by Ric
Replied by Ric on topic Re: Controversial opinion
Controversial RAB trolls this forum again - well done! :evil:

I previously didn't wear a leg leash for training runs (in & round CT, same as Mr Rob). The other day I came off in about 2m swell, 25-30 knot wind.

No problem, my boat was just 10cm out of reach, 1 swimming stroke really.

As I took the stroke, the gap widened to 50cm. Another stroke, and another big swell and the gap was about 1m.

etc etc by the time my training partner got my boat it was about 10m from me.

Fact is that in some conditions, with wind & swell, the boat gets moved much faster then one (yes, even you RAB, I'd hazard a guess) can swim. And so I've made a personal decision to stay alive.

Its a fool's gamble really, but then I hate nanny states too... (I never wear my seatbelt in the car, and I ride around on my motorbike without a helmet.)

(jk about that last sentence :P )

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8 years 7 months ago #10914 by REDBEARD
Replied by REDBEARD on topic Re: Controversial opinion
Could I get get some advice on FLARES.

What Type, size (pencil or standard boating), brands, suppliers?

How many should I carry?

Where to carry them safely? If I'm attached to my ski, is it best to carry the flares on my PFD or attached them to my ski.

How do you keep them dry,(dry bag or other system)?

Thanks

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8 years 7 months ago #10917 by STEEL
Replied by STEEL on topic Re: Controversial opinion
The thing with flares is if no one sees them, you poked. With pencil flares at least you get 6 chances to be seen. They also normally come in a handy waterproof container.
I prefer paddling with cell phone in waterproof pouch. You can phone directly for the help you may require, or phone you second to say you having lots of fun...pick me up 10km further up the coast.

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8 years 7 months ago #10918 by robin.mousley
These are the flares that I use:

Cool Kit - flares

The kit has three of them.
Carry them in a pocket of your pfd - mine are tied on.
They're designed to be carried as is - ie don't bother with a dry bag.

Rules:

- Make sure you know how to use them (shoot them straight up, not into the wind to avoid "getting your own back")
- Keep the last one for when you can see your rescuers. Remember that in windy/rough conditions, they will find it hard to spot you even though you can see them easily.

Do they work in daylight? Yes they do!

Pencil flares do work!

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...
The following user(s) said Thank You: Rightarmbad

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8 years 7 months ago #10925 by Kayaker Greg
Someone has to be around to see the flares. Much rather carry a VHF and/or a PLB.

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8 years 7 months ago #10928 by Rightarmbad
I use a leash, I just hate the bloody thing.
As it stands my leash is not a sorted accessory.

It blocks the drain, it gets in and around my feet making it uncomfortable.

It is too short for my leg length and puts tension on me when I am in the water.
It inhibits swinging my feet over to straddle the boat when remounting in rough conditions.

The biner that attaches it to my leg strap has the ability to self unclip if the leash falls accros the gate.
This only gives you a false sense of security.

I don't count the 23deg water up here a hazard.
I do now own a pair of VHF radios.

I wish Aussie telcos would allow me to buy a prepaid card so I can use my old phone for my boat that doesn't continually just run out without usage.

I like the idea of flares but local stores don't seem to carry anything suitable for personal use.

I don't go out on my own as a rule.
But getting separated so visual is lost seems to be the norm not the exception.

The issue I raised was a helmet for the discussed events in the surf zone that has already claimed lives.

There already exists a rule to mandate that all craft have a minimum radius of 50mm, it should be easy to design a very cheap, simple lightweight protective headgear that will not interfere at all with these events, but may very well have saved 3 lives.

A life jacket would interfere in the activity to a point of making it almost impossible.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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8 years 7 months ago #10937 by Marieski
Replied by Marieski on topic Re: Controversial opinion
Such a helmet has been around for 20 years. It's called a Gath www.gathsports.com , was specifically designed for watersport including surfing and is made by a company based in Margaret River.

Past skis: Spirit PRS, EpicV10Sport Performance, Epic V10 Elite, Stellar SES Advantage. Current skis: Fenn Elite Spark, Fenn Swordfish vacuum. Custom Horizon, Epic V7

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8 years 7 months ago #10938 by gixer
Replied by gixer on topic Re: Controversial opinion

Rightarmbad wrote:
The biner that attaches it to my leg strap has the ability to self unclip if the leash falls accros the gate.
This only gives you a false sense of security.


RAB
I swapped out my carbiner to a Ronstan RF6080 snapshackle. It is light, strong and can be undone while it has load on it. (ie if you forget to unclip before you enter the surf zone and get smashed and want to unclip whilst being dragged by your ski). I added a very short piece of 3mm rope to the release pin so it is easier to grab.
Cheers
Attachments:

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8 years 7 months ago #10940 by DougMar
Replied by DougMar on topic Re: Controversial opinion
Pertinent thread for me. I detest wearing a pfd. Especially when it’s not howling. Throughout the winter I haven’t worn my pfd. Though, sometimes I feel guilty for not wearing something that will keep me afloat if the all the other unthinkables happen all at once. I do have a leg/body and paddle leashes that I wear when things get fun. I have the leg/body leash attached to a polypropylene strap/bungie that I made, and it is attached to the boat at the stern, just aft of the rudder. I’ve had a couple ejections where the boat kept going without me, though the leash kept the boat aligned with the waves so there was no heavy jerk when it reached the end of it’s tether. Re-entry is usually a snap, even in heavy chop. I always carry flares and a VHF in good (hairy) conditions, though without a pfd, carrying the flares on my person is somewhat problematic.

The reason I do not wear a pfd is that I cannot find a decent, low-buoyancy unit. I’d really like Mocke’s jacket, but alas, there are none to be found. Most pfd choices are way too bulky and interfere with everything to do with ski paddling (imho). Plus, most chafe too much over a long grind. This past Wednesday evening, blowing like stink, I really wished I had something to put on, but I just have some bulky jackets that were fine for kayaking, but not skiing. I know there is another thread somewhere on this forum about this subject, but I’d like to hear what you guys are wearing now, since buoyancy aids come and go so quickly. Thanks.

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8 years 7 months ago - 8 years 7 months ago #10942 by owenw
Replied by owenw on topic Re: Controversial opinion
Robin.Mousely and Kayaker Greg both mentioned being seen/found when all goes wrong. The NSW Sea Kayak Club carried out a comprehensive exercise last weekend involving the rescue authorities and a helicopter. The findings of this very practical, low light, at sea exercise are not very long and well worth a read. Go to www.nswseakayaker.asn.au and read the article "SAR Exercise Results 26 Mar 12" - it may be instructive.

Life truly lived is full of risk; to fence out risk is to fence out life itself

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8 years 7 months ago #10945 by Physio
Replied by Physio on topic Re: Controversial opinion
There are probably other brands but these guys ( www.inflatablerashie.co.nz/ ) do an inflatable PFD rashy shirt, either automatic or manual rip cord. I haven't tried one but would be keen to here if anyone has.

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8 years 7 months ago #10947 by mckengmsurfski
Doug,
I'm not going to be any help... I have a Mocke PFDs that I wear every time I paddle. They are great, the only PFD I've found that's comfortable enough to wear year-round (I'm in coastal S.C., so you know how hot it gets down here). I hardly notice the thing once I have it on and start paddling. Not sure when they'll be available again though and they're not the most durable PFDs around. Mine has been to the seamstress to have a few little tears at some edges and velcro fasteners repaired.
I did try an Ultra Trek II PFD (Australian brand made in Fiji). Very nice PFD with better pockets but not quite the Mocke.
You've probably already seen Wesley's PFD review, but if you haven't it's worth a look.

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8 years 7 months ago #10954 by Rightarmbad
Marie, if that was the helmet I was told to wear, I would laugh.

A much lighter, cooler, less obtrusive one could easily be designed.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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8 years 7 months ago #10955 by ccchappell
I too like the Mocke too, but for the last few months have been using a "Camino" from Astral. Very light weight, breathes well, quick on and off and US Coast Guard approved. Limited pockets, so I do wear a beefier Stohlquist if need more pockets, depending on the paddle. May be worth checking out...

http://www.astralbuoyancy.com/products/men/camino/index.html

Chris

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