Leashes with clips

1 year 8 months ago #30464 by robin.mousley
Replied by robin.mousley on topic Leashes with clips

I'm curious about the picture of the guy paddling with his ski broken in half; If that happens I would feel the ski would sink fairly rapidly, no?


Fenn Skis have a foam stringer that keeps them afloat even when flooded. In this case, either end of the ski had air trapped so that overall it floated higher out of the water than would otherwise be the case.

So, no, Fenn skis (and some others) do have sealed foam stringers that keeps wreckage on the surface - but not buoyant enough to support the weight of a paddler when flooded.

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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1 year 8 months ago #30466 by HangTen
Replied by HangTen on topic Leashes with clips
Robin,
Thanks for the reply. Would you happen to know if Epic/Stellar also have foam stringers? The pictured guy doesn't look to be wearing a pfd either, another very lucky case.

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1 year 8 months ago #30467 by owenfromwales
Replied by owenfromwales on topic Leashes with clips
Hi Hangten,

That`s the vid (cheers Rob).

I`m sure the guys on the sub knew that there were over 400 paddlers in their vicinity, surfacing in the middle of that lot would have put surfskis on the international front pages!

With regards to my earlier post on my latest leash design, the double line to the deck lines is partly to cover most kinds of failure and partly my brain trying to work out all the permutations for gear failure and fear of one clip sliding over the end should the rear handle fail.

It`s a fair and valid point about the scratching from those metal clips on the deck. Another reason for two is the talk of malfunction from them on this thread! In retrospect though, and knowing your proclivity for braiding, Hangten, it occurred to me that those two clips could be swapped out for braided loops, thereby eliminating scratching, lightening the load and possibly being more secure!

As for the stainless dog-clip to my PFD, I really do find this perfect for me. It locks onto a stainless ring on the strap of my PFD, near my right shoulder. I think the chances of it opening by mistake must be minimal. Another reason for attaching it there, rather than onto a belt, is that it is closer to the boat when I`m in the water and has less slack when I`m back in my seat.

Keep the comments coming, as this is the best way for us all to come up with the optimum personal choice for our leashes.

189cm 90~100kg
Present skis:
2017 Stellar SEI 2G
1993 Gaisford Spec Ski
1980s Pratt Spec Ski
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor
Previous
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor X 3
1987 Kevlar Chalupsky (Hummel) (Welsh copy!)
1988 Kevlar Double Chalupsky
1992 Hammerhead spec
2000 Fenn copy

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1 year 8 months ago - 1 year 8 months ago #30468 by HangTen
Replied by HangTen on topic Leashes with clips
Owen,

For sure, the sub would come to periscope depth before just rising up out of nowhere, unless it was an emergency blow situation. But from how the rescued paddler described it in the video it sounded like the sub was quite off in the distance, and the paddler had found himself far outside the normal route so it may not have been the case that it would've been necessary for the sub to spot that far. In any case, incredible stroke of luck and he sure has a story to tell over drinks for the rest of his life!

I was referring to the knot on the stern handle; even if you removed the knot, since you have created a perimeter loop(separately, have you had a chance to see if it would work extended along either side of the cockpit, through the respective side handles/ meeting at the footwell leash attachment point?) rather than a terminus line, even if the rear handle or any of the points were torn out, as long as at least one point remained you would still be attached because the carabiner would remain on that perimeter loop whether or not that knot was there.

Sorry for the ambiguity(I see where my typo caused confusion), I was referring to underneath the D shackle and where you'd normally clip in(to be honest I would remove the D shackle from your system altogether because it's really not the best option as a quick release because it can jam under load, as well as ironically becoming undone by itself when not under load; the worst of both worlds. In actual use on boats you often seize the pin on the D shackle so it doesn't unintentionally work itself out). The double lines to the perimeter deck lines makes sense because it allows you to unclip one carabiner and reclip working your way down the deck lines toward the rear and back always having at least one carabiner clipped in since the way your perimeter redundancy works you would have to traverse each junction rather than just sliding all the way to the rear as in Newbflat's setup. I wouldn't worry as much about necessarily padding for scratching the full length because unless you find yourself clearing a lot of trailing weeds from your rudder it should be pretty rare that you find yourself needing to clip in back there and in an emergency scratched gelcoat is probably the least of your worries; I feel like for the vast majority you'd be clipped in where the D shackle currently is, so just pad there. In your system you could splice the deck line to make a perimeter loop, removing the need for the D shackle, but you would still need a carabiner hardware for the aforementioned purpose of unclipping and working your way to the rear. Sorry for the length, hope that clarifies.

I know I harp on the benefits of splicing, but really try giving it a shot. Especially with single braid which is substantially less involved than double braid to splice, the benefits far outweigh the costs because on single braid not only do you have the large reduction of breaking strength that you find with any knot, but also given the nature of dyneema/spectra and its low friction coefficient, there are very few knots that will hold in the bare single braid dyneema under load(the triple fisherman's knot is one of very few that hold fairly well, though even it can come undone. I've read the EStar hitch is better). There is a whole deep body of theory and science of knots, and given splices are hands down much far superior than even the best knot in terms of holding under load, why risk it. If you're dead intent on using knots switch out for double braid, as any knot you choose will hold better because of the friction of the cover; for double braid I believe triple fisherman's is the gold standard. I personally prefer double braid even though I splice because even though Dyneema as mentioned has a good amount of UV resistance, the cover material is much better at withstanding UV(trade off of tensile strength) and will shield your core.

Seriously man, at the end of the day you should take or leave any suggestions but really cannot suggest strongly enough that you get rid of the dog clip. Even a normal carabiner(but really get a multi-action carabiner; it's going to be bigger, but it's really not heavy at all) is going to be better than the dog leash. Carabiners are tested along their major and minor axis. The dog leash is only going to hold(if it's been load tested at all) on the major axis even if it doesn't bend; I know because I've had my dogs become unclipped from just such a stainless steel clip on an outdoor tree running line system when the line fell directly on the crack between the spring clip and the U. Also, the spring inside the clip may not be stainless(and even not all stainless grades are equal) in which case you will have galvanic corrosion. If for whatever reason that spring fails the gate will be dropped open. Chuck the dog leash hardware!

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1 year 8 months ago #30469 by LaPerouseBay
Replied by LaPerouseBay on topic Leashes with clips

HangTen wrote: Laperouse,
Thanks for the response and explanation.
Have you tested swimming with a paddle in it? I'm curious to what extent the paddle would slow you down, since I know people cite a paddle leashed to the boat acts as a drift anchor although I've never tried it.
/
snip
/
Also, I'm a terrible swimmer so it's a foregone conclusion that if I am detached from the boat there is no way I am catching it, but curious if anyone would be able to swim after their boat if the paddle wasn't attached to the boat.
/
snip
/
I imagine a windblown ski is going to escape even the fastest human swimmers from a cold start much less one dragging a paddle.
Thoughts? Anyone have any luck catching their ski?


Yes, I have tested the loop and I swim just fine with the paddle attached to me. It trails straight behind. Very little drag. the wing nestles on my lower back and doesn't even touch my legs. It trails behind like a tail on a kite.

If you are a "terrible swimmer" my advice to you is to fix that. If you paddle in the ocean, be sure to tell your companions that you can't swim. Endless stories here in Hawaii of tourists drowning. Truly bizarre.

A windblown ski, outrigger or standup is gone. If your leash fails, you MAY have ONE chance to grab it, but that's not likely. Well known fact here.

downwind dilettante

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1 year 8 months ago #30470 by owenfromwales
Replied by owenfromwales on topic Leashes with clips
Hi Hangten,

Again, thank you for your insights - it is good to have other people's views.

Extending the lines through the handles and then finishing on the leash anchor point is a great idea, but (and I need to check this again) I think the lines would then overlap the cockpit. I think this would be true even if the lines went direct from rear handle and missed out the bungee holders. I will have to check later to be sure.

I think you`re right about the rear knot. That might be going!

The D-shackle isn`t meant as a quick-release, it`s just there to join the lines and to keep them in tension. Talking of tension, I might make the rear deck lines slacker. At the moment the tension means that a lot of the force would be focussed on deck bungee mounts. I`m thinking that if there was more slack, then when pulled it could spread the load onto the rear handle due to it pulling from behind both ends of the handle, not just the front end.

I wouldn`t clip on where the D-shackle is because this might be too short for me when I`m in the water and also it would no longer be able to slide past the bungee holders (unless you meant to remove these because of the line going to the side-handles anyway, in which case we run into the problem mentioned above again). The length from behind the bungee holders to the top of my PFD seems like a comfortable distance that would also remain taught enough when paddling and not slacking, as it would do if it was that length and attached so close behind me.

I hear you with the dog-clip, but for me this comes down to one of those compromises. The clips to the deck line don`t need to be quick-release, but if ever stuff was to hit the fan, then it`s the clip nearest me that needs to very quickly undo-able. Sure, it`s not 100% fail proof, but it is the one I feel most comfortable with. Appreciate your sentiments though.

Now to buy some more rope as I didn`t leave enough to extend past teh rear handle, doh!

189cm 90~100kg
Present skis:
2017 Stellar SEI 2G
1993 Gaisford Spec Ski
1980s Pratt Spec Ski
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor
Previous
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor X 3
1987 Kevlar Chalupsky (Hummel) (Welsh copy!)
1988 Kevlar Double Chalupsky
1992 Hammerhead spec
2000 Fenn copy

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1 year 8 months ago #30472 by owenfromwales
Replied by owenfromwales on topic Leashes with clips
Mulling all this over in my head, here is something I`m going to try:

One simple loop of line from the rear handle through the side handles and joining straight across the cockpit (wait for it...). I `m thinking that sitting in the boat, my legs would push the line down, taking up the slack behind me to make sure the lines are back on the rear deck. There has to be slack for the clips to run passed the rear handle if I lose my ski. If the tension is right, the clip containing both lines will only come as close to me when paddling as the lines will allow. If I get the tension right I`ll be able to control the distance of line to my preference. I know this system might mean having lines touching/rubbing my hips, but then I always wear neoprene shorts, even in summer, so hopefully that won`t be an issue.

189cm 90~100kg
Present skis:
2017 Stellar SEI 2G
1993 Gaisford Spec Ski
1980s Pratt Spec Ski
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor
Previous
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor X 3
1987 Kevlar Chalupsky (Hummel) (Welsh copy!)
1988 Kevlar Double Chalupsky
1992 Hammerhead spec
2000 Fenn copy

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1 year 8 months ago #30473 by HangTen
Replied by HangTen on topic Leashes with clips
LaPerouse,
Thanks for the info! Have you tested swimming with the paddle in actually downwind conditions? If really no additional drag in downwind conditions then the whole paddle leash acting as a wind anchor is pretty bunk.

I can swim, but I am no Michael Phelps or spec ski surf rescue life guard and open ocean swimming in downwind conditions is a different equation especially when you're wearing a pfd(in your case also towing a paddle), and in my case wearing a drysuit a serious chunk of the year. My point was that in reality no one is going to be able to catch their windblown ski swimming in downwind conditions, and I'm definitely not going to be able to.

I think it's important for everyone to think this kind of thing through beforehand and prepare yourself mentally for the realities, because in the heat of the moment with your adrenaline kicking into high gear and not having the time to necessarily think things through I think a fair amount of logic goes straight out the window and a lot of people might expend energy trying to sprint swim after a boat they were never going to be able to catch, potentially going further offshore and just be that bit more spent physically and emotionally when you fail to catch it.

So if the boat is gone and you're not going to catch it, not sure why you'd tow the paddle(to try and use for signaling?) I feel like you having written that you'd been bonked on your head by your ski you wouldn't want to take the risk of towing a paddle shaped projectile behind you.

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1 year 8 months ago - 1 year 8 months ago #30474 by Watto
Replied by Watto on topic Leashes with clips
Facebook post attached re the leg leash failure and subsequent rescue by submarine of Ken Dinham at yesterday's Doctor in Perth. Owenfromwales originally posted on this - see www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=...10155958534949187%2F well done Brett (AR_convert).
While a strong sea breeze around 25 knots this blow and swell not uncommon in Perth during summer. Pic attached midweek blows coming up Wednesday and Thursday for example. Although Ken's leash failed out in the shipping channel maybe 10kms from shore with larger swells than those we paddle in our downwinders 500 metres out, this just highlights again what this thread about - importance of dependable safety gear. In this race you are indeed all at sea. Rottnest Island where the paddle starts is 19km directly west from the coast - The Doctor course a dog-leg Rottnest to Sorrento Beach is 27 kms.
And on Ken's circumstances, though the water temp pretty temperate here around 21-23 degrees C at this time of year, mortality risk still there with prolonged exposure, not to mention men in grey suits, plenty of which about. Despite rescue craft out there it's extremely difficult to spot someone in the water in those conditions, you'd know if you've been there. Advantage of that sub not shared by standard rescue craft is height above wave level.
Why not GPS chips on each boat/SUP in these events? Excellent way to track your paddler too. No criticism of Dean who manages this event brilliantly, however an option possibly.
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1 year 8 months ago - 1 year 8 months ago #30475 by Watto
Replied by Watto on topic Leashes with clips
Your two queries Hangten: I'll see what I can find out regarding ski break details at leash point. Secondly, I've seen a ski rolling over the water no hope of catching it even running. Mate came out, no leash, held onto boat on lee side pushed under water had to release boat blown away picked up by the wind and blown-flown 5 metres, rolls then picked up again etc. Ended up on the rocks maybe $400 damage!
The following user(s) said Thank You: HangTen

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1 year 8 months ago - 1 year 8 months ago #30476 by HangTen
Replied by HangTen on topic Leashes with clips
Owen,
Not sure I completely follow what you describe in your second post in my mind and also not sure I'm fully following how you'd be using your two carabiners in the previous post. A picture's worth a thousand words or so they say so here's what I was thinking.
The blue line at A is how you currently have it. I thought you would have both carabiners clipped in at A so you only have to pad that area. If you needing to get to the rear to clear weeds or jam your rudder you would unclip the carabiner let's call it L1 from A, leaving L2 clipped in there at A and depending on how far the play in your leash was you'd clip in L1 at either B or C, and then unclip L2 from A. If L1 only reaches to B, you would now clip L2 into B, and then unclip L1 from B and clip to C, and then unclip L2. I feel like one of the benefits of this system would be that it would allow you to keep your leash as short as possible to reduce risk of tangling or wrapping around your neck or something. The carabiner could never "pass through" from A to C because it would be interrupted by each of the two consecutive deck bungee fixtures.

Now the modified extended deck line, we extend from the first rear two bungee attachments as before, but instead of passing through A, we now go through each respective handle and meet up at the footwell leash attachment point. We've just continued the system as before, if the carabiner is leashed forward of the handle, it now would not be able to "pass through" to D and would still be caught up at each deck bungee attachment attachment. Hard to see if where it crosses the cockpit would rub you or if it crosses too high at the hump, but hard to see from my end, but I'm thinking you don't need for it to be completely taut. See how much play you need for it to not get in the way; you might find that even with sufficient play the line wouldn't trail over the side at B or C into the water.

If it does, what about this: What if you thread the line through some cheap suction cups at D1 and D2(not for the purposes of providing any resistance), but simply to allow you to have the line taut between the D1-B-C-D2 line, so it doesn't trail at all, and then have slack between D1-D2 on the bow end so it doesn't interfere with your leg drive? The suction cups would come off is any serious force was applied, but you could just stick them back on.

Replace the dog clips dude! I would hate for you to perfect a sweet setup only to have a dog leash crap out on you. If you can go to a climbing store go check out the multi-action carabiners and handle the action, you might find that it's quicker than you think. I can work mine with thick neoprene paddling mittens on. Although I have the quick release on the rescue belt as a redundancy, I actually also carry a line cutter as part of my kit in case worse case scenario my carabiner won't release and belt won't release the line cutter should make short work of it under load. Especially for those of you who plan on making really long DIY leashes I think it's a useful tool to have in your kit in case that extra play should result in entanglement in a situation where you don't have enough time to untangle yourself.
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1 year 8 months ago #30477 by owenfromwales
Replied by owenfromwales on topic Leashes with clips
Nice image Hangten.

What I have in mind is much simpler. I`m thinking ignore using the bungee points, go from rudder handle direct to side handle each side, then have the line go direct across the seat, between the two side handles (ignoring the leash anchorpoint).

I know this sounds crazy so far, but bear with me. My idea is when you sit in the boat, the line across the seat will be pushed below the paddler`s thighs. This in turn would tighten the deck lines to bring them out of the water. (they are slack when nobody is in the boat). If I fall in on a wave and the boat keeps going, then two clips will slide to the back handle with out me needing to unclip/reclip anything. Likewise if I need to jump off for some rudder surgery. I`m not worried about scratching the deck and like you say, hopefully the clips won`t actually be travelling the length of the boat that often. One drawback is that I could no longer reach the front end should I have to inspect it mid-ocean, without unleashing.

Hopefully, when I fall in, the renewed slackness in the line will allow the clips to travel slightly passed the rear handle, thereby sharing some of the load between it and the two side-handles.

The join in the line would be between on of the side-handles and where the clips are nearest to me.

189cm 90~100kg
Present skis:
2017 Stellar SEI 2G
1993 Gaisford Spec Ski
1980s Pratt Spec Ski
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor
Previous
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor X 3
1987 Kevlar Chalupsky (Hummel) (Welsh copy!)
1988 Kevlar Double Chalupsky
1992 Hammerhead spec
2000 Fenn copy

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1 year 8 months ago #30478 by LaPerouseBay
Replied by LaPerouseBay on topic Leashes with clips

HangTen wrote: LaPerouse,
Thanks for the info! Have you tested swimming with the paddle in actually downwind conditions?

Yes, I have. I wrote that previously.

If really no additional drag in downwind conditions then the whole paddle leash acting as a wind anchor is pretty bunk.

No, It's not "bunk" A leash tethered to a boat will slow the boat. That's why people do it.

I can swim, but I am no Michael Phelps or spec ski surf rescue life guard and open ocean swimming in downwind conditions is a different equation especially when you're wearing a pfd(in your case also towing a paddle), and in my case wearing a drysuit a serious chunk of the year. My point was that in reality no one is going to be able to catch their windblown ski swimming in downwind conditions, and I'm definitely not going to be able to.

Well, if you plan on paddling in a drysuit with a pfd, you had better stay close to shore,
because it sounds like you won't be able to swim very far. I have an inflatable PFD and I swim 5 days a week, in 72 degree water, so I'm fine for miles.


I think it's important for everyone to think this kind of thing through beforehand and prepare yourself mentally for the realities, because in the heat of the moment with your adrenaline kicking into high gear and not having the time to necessarily think things through I think a fair amount of logic goes straight out the window and a lot of people might expend energy trying to sprint swim after a boat they were never going to be able to catch, potentially going further offshore and just be that bit more spent physically and emotionally when you fail to catch it.
What the hell are you going on about? First you ask if a boat can be caught, now you are some kind of expert, counseling the forum on what to expect in an emergency? I'll listen to the people that have been there and done that thank you very much. And I'd suggest the same to the other forum readers.
So if the boat is gone and you're not going to catch it, not sure why you'd tow the paddle(to try and use for signaling?) I feel like you having written that you'd been bonked on your head by your ski you wouldn't want to take the risk of towing a paddle shaped projectile behind you.

I drag my paddle behind me because they cost $300. Swimming in downwind conditions is not that big a deal. you should try it some time.

downwind dilettante
The following user(s) said Thank You: Fath2o, davgdavg

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1 year 8 months ago #30479 by owenfromwales
Replied by owenfromwales on topic Leashes with clips
LaPerouseBay,

Seeing your name takes me back to summer 91/92. I spent 8 months doing laps of Long Bay (the bay, not the prison!) on a spec ski. For a job I used to work on the golf clubs there, laying turf. Beautiful place and happy days! (Hawaii doesn`t have a La Perouse too, does it?)

189cm 90~100kg
Present skis:
2017 Stellar SEI 2G
1993 Gaisford Spec Ski
1980s Pratt Spec Ski
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor
Previous
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor X 3
1987 Kevlar Chalupsky (Hummel) (Welsh copy!)
1988 Kevlar Double Chalupsky
1992 Hammerhead spec
2000 Fenn copy

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1 year 8 months ago #30480 by downwinda
Replied by downwinda on topic Leashes with clips
Yes, Hawaii does have a LaPerouse Bay. It is at the end of the road past Makena.
The following user(s) said Thank You: owenfromwales, davgdavg

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1 year 8 months ago #30481 by HangTen
Replied by HangTen on topic Leashes with clips
Laperouse,
No need to take offense, I never claim to be an expert(that's why I'm asking you and the other community members) counselling anyone in surfski survival, but rather every account I've read/heard of someone surviving their leash breaking talked about how much of a mental game it is and how even the best laid plans can go to shit, but whether surfski or other activities that can quickly turn into tests of survival it's important to have a plan and know what might sound feasible but is not going to help(catching a ski by yourself, drinking urine...I'm thinking dragging your paddle if you've got a long swim).

If you're saying a leashed paddle is going to slow a windblown surfski enough that you can catch it(which means there is enough drag to slow it down from at minimum 6+ mph if it weren't leashed to in all reality the less than 2-3mph required for a human swimmer to catch it from a cold start), I don't think the same amount of drag is negligible for being leashed to you over the course of a long swim. One of the other seems to be bunk.

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1 year 8 months ago #30484 by HangTen
Replied by HangTen on topic Leashes with clips
Laperouse,
Not sure why you're taking it so personally. If the only purpose of dragging the paddle behind you is to save the $300-$500, in a survival situation I think it should be ditched if you're going to swim for it.

Mocke and others have done a good job of trying to promote safety in the sport and I know there was an exercise Mocke did with the Coast Guard trying out different situations(broken rudder line, etc.), but because of the relatively nascent popularity worldwide I'm not sure there is a large body of material and consensus on what the protocol is, and not everyone has the ability to test out and practice rescue procedure in real downwind conditions. For example: at what point if your boat is waterlogged does it make sense to unleash and make a swim for it, vs. staying with it even if it can't support your weight to make a bigger target for rescue searchers.

If the numbers or logic are wrong, then please provide substantiated numbers and logic, rather than getting upset and dismissive.

Not everyone is Kanaloa or Poseidon, so having a healthy respect for the ocean and human limitations makes for better judgement calls, whether that include not going out on the water in the first place. Rob Mousley always comments how regular people who are not familiar with surfski(not the NSRI or respective Coast Guard groups) are always critical of people who find themselves in rescue situations and say "they shouldn't be out in the water in those conditions", but the nature of surfski downwind is such that those are the conditions you're looking for. Especially factoring in how quickly conditions can change on the water, even the best human swimmer can find themselves in trouble.

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1 year 8 months ago #30485 by JonathanC
Replied by JonathanC on topic Leashes with clips
This topic had real value when it was discussing specific leash options....what is it about the internet giving ‘experts’ a voice. My vote - shut her down Rob.
Owen, when you sort out your ultimate setup please put up some photos in a new topic!

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1 year 8 months ago #30491 by HangTen
Replied by HangTen on topic Leashes with clips
Laperouse,
Apologies if you felt insulted, my being critical of certain ideas whether yours or some others is not a mean spirited attack or because I mean to offend or troll as you suggest but because I am very interested in safety and improving my understanding and kit as well as that of anyone else that comes across this thread.

I hope you understand that my questions about/criticism of an idea whether it is velcro or something else is not meant as an attack on the person that utilized it, rather discussing to produce improvements in safety for everyone and if the idea holds water, correct/expand my own understanding and incorporate it in my own DIY.

In any case sorry if I monopolized this thread with the questions/comments a bit. Being out of town with the folks for the holidays this week, it was hard not to respond when I got an email notification with new information especially since when I'm not on the water I'm Adidas(All Day I Dream About Surfski).

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1 year 8 months ago - 1 year 8 months ago #30492 by HangTen
Replied by HangTen on topic Leashes with clips
I briefly mentioned USCG approval and criticism whether it actually means that much. A large number of PFDs are Coast Guard Approved, but you need to look into its classification, which are from Type 1-5, 1 being deemed the most effective. Most PFDs you see people paddling with are all lumped into Type 3, because of the compromise of being comfortable paddling even though not all Type 3 PFDs have the same level of performance.

Type 3 is "Good for protected, inland water near shore, where chance of immediate rescue is good. Not suitable for extended survival in rough water. Not designed to turn unconscious people face up in water."

The cost of the item is not necessarily a good indicator of the quality of design. Some of the cheapest PFDs are Type 1, but you would likely never see anyone wearing it on surfski for how restrictive it would be.

Inflatables such as The Wingman are Type V. The Wingman also caught my eye when the guys were on Kickstarter, and while it may be better than wearing no PFD, which is a large problem in boating and water sports in general, it is not a replacement for a proper PFD with inherent closed cell buoyancy because it has zero buoyancy unless you pull the inflate tab and the vest properly inflates. If you get conked on your head and do not pull the tab, or if you are not doing a full inflate check to test for leaks(and potentially even if you do) before each session, you can very easily find yourself in a situation where you have no flotation and are no better off than not having it at all, and potentially worse because the false sense of security it provided allowed you to paddle somewhere you wouldn't have gone without a PFD.

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