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View Poll Results: Do you currently use any type of rope, trick release, safety device?
Yes I do. 6 16.67%
No, but I'm thinking about it. 7 19.44%
No, and I don't care. 23 63.89%
Voters: 36. You may not vote on this poll

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Old     (TeamAllen)      Join Date: Feb 2013       07-03-2013, 2:27 PM Reply   
I am looking at purchasing a rope safety device for my boat. It seems like the foilers use them. I think it is just as important for the other tow sports we do. I remember an earlier thread about arm injuries and I have wanted one ever since.

I just wondered what everybody else thought too?
Old     (TeamAllen)      Join Date: Feb 2013       07-03-2013, 2:37 PM Reply   
There are only two products that I'm aware of on the market.

Comptech Safety Trick Release

CINCH Release with Brass Swivel and Microfusion Rope tie for your Tower.

Last edited by TeamAllen; 07-03-2013 at 2:42 PM.
Old     (cwkoch)      Join Date: Aug 2006       07-03-2013, 2:44 PM Reply   
I ride with a Cinch release on the rope at all times. I also have a KW Tower Release on my tower, and we'll put someone on the pin if we're practicing new tricks that the rider has a high possibility of getting wrapped up in the rope...
Old     (bstroop)      Join Date: Apr 2005 Location: Athens, Alabama       07-03-2013, 4:35 PM Reply   
I ride with a comptech release when I hydrofoil. Used to ride with the cinch but it was too hard to guess where to set it at and have it release consistently on the same setting. Had a friend get his arm caught in the handle and the cinch didn't release so I went with the finer tuned one from sky ski.

Not bashing cinch it was just too hard to estimate the Velcro contact.
Old     (TeamAllen)      Join Date: Feb 2013       07-03-2013, 6:47 PM Reply   
Thanks for the input and voting.

Charlie, is the KW Tower Release a manual release only, that requires a spotter to operate? Or does it release at a set tension from the rider?
Old     (cwkoch)      Join Date: Aug 2006       07-05-2013, 8:00 AM Reply   
Originally Posted by TeamAllen View Post
Thanks for the input and voting.

Charlie, is the KW Tower Release a manual release only, that requires a spotter to operate? Or does it release at a set tension from the rider?
Yes- the KW release is manual.... That's why I ride with a Cinch on the rope at all times (Automatic). We just put someone on the pin on the KW when learning new tricks. It's nice to let that rope loose with NO pull from the boat if you're wrapped up in it, or if it's wrapped around your foil. And yes, it requires a spotter that's paying attention....
Old     (ryanw209)      Join Date: Jan 2010       07-04-2013, 12:19 AM Reply   
My buddies and I all have tied an overhand knot in our lines. Overhand knots reduce the ropes strength by around 50% so in theory the rope will break before your arm will. I learned this from a very well respected pro veteran
Old     (TeamAllen)      Join Date: Feb 2013       07-04-2013, 8:18 AM Reply   
It appears you are correct Ryan. I just read more about knots than I ever wanted to know.
According to that article a Overhand Bend knot reduces the rope strength by an estimated 50% (Page 4)
Old     (ryanw209)      Join Date: Jan 2010       07-04-2013, 9:05 AM Reply   
And for anyone that thinking its not a good idea to weaken the rope I can tell you my buddy has ridden my rope for years and he weighs around 205 lbs. typically his run usually includes the biggest hoochie I have ever seen then straight to a massive elephant and the rope has never broke. I however do have experience putting my arm through the handle and the rope not breaking. My forearm muscles tore at the elbow and that's one thing I don't wanna to do again! Ha
Will it break with the over hand knot... Who knows but it sure as hell doesn't hurt to put one in!
Old     (austin)      Join Date: Apr 2010       07-04-2013, 2:01 PM Reply   
I've never even heard of such a thing before this thread. Since they have to be manually released, I'm not sure how much of an improvement that would be. Unless you have an extremely focused and attentive spotter, by the time the driver (or someone else) notices a rider is tangled up and finds the release to pull it, I'm guessing a lot of any potential damage is already going to have been done. Given the extreme rarity of such incidents, I'm thinking it would be tough to get a spotter to maintain the focus necessary for an immediate reaction when it's something that almost never happens.

As for the overhand bend, I definitely wouldn't put too much faith in that. Sure it can't hurt, but if a non-stretch rope is strong enough for a person to lay back and charge hard at the wake then it's probably strong enough to do some serious damage if wrapped around an arm or neck.
Old     (bstroop)      Join Date: Apr 2005 Location: Athens, Alabama       07-04-2013, 2:32 PM Reply   
The comptech release has an adjustable setting like a torque wrench, and a memory indicator. You simply pit it at it's highest setting and zero out the memory feature before you take a typical run. After the run is over you can see what the hardest pull in ft lbs was by looking at the memory indicator. Let's say during the set you pulled 400 ft lbs. You can now back off the release setting to about 500 lbs. That way it'll never release during a normal run but if something pulls significantly harder (like your arm through the handle on a crash) it will release soon enough to hopefully not cause too much damage.

The comptech is pricey but you don't have to have someone watching for it to release. It does have a manual release as well. We usually have someone holding the release when we're practicing inverts or spins on the hydrofoil. We not only have to worry about arms through the handle we could get the rope wrapped around the foil.
Old     (kirk)      Join Date: May 2003       07-04-2013, 6:34 PM Reply   
Considering that the tensile strength of the average wakeboard mainline is between 2100 and 4000 lbs, I wouldn't count on it breaking if you had it wrapped around an arm or other body part...
Old     (TeamAllen)      Join Date: Feb 2013       07-04-2013, 11:38 PM Reply   
I ran across this 2005 article of a 13 yr. old girl kneeboarder, riding behind a Malibu, loose her arm after being caught in the rope handle.
I'm not sure a device like these would have reduced her chances, but I would have to think it wouldn't have made it any worse and could have helped?
It also goes to show how dangerous the rope can be to all that ride behind our boats.

Last edited by TeamAllen; 07-04-2013 at 11:42 PM.
Old     (Nordicron)      Join Date: Aug 2011       07-05-2013, 9:37 AM Reply   
I would think with the small diameter ropes we use even at 500lbs a little kid might lose an arm if the role is looped around it. Granted if I was pulling a little kid on a kneeboard I guess you could set the release to 100lbs or so. I can't see how just having the arm through the handle could do it though.

I would sure like to know more about the details of this incident as I have a 10yr old and. 15yr old girl and we are always pulling them and their friends on knee boards.
Old     (TeamAllen)      Join Date: Feb 2013       07-05-2013, 10:32 AM Reply   
I don't know how any of these accidents happen, but they do. It's never happened to me and I don't want it to either. I just want to do the most I can for my safety and the passengers/riders of my boat.

Here is a link to the MC thread, discussing the accident. It has the most detail I know of.
Old     (TeamAllen)      Join Date: Feb 2013       07-05-2013, 10:51 AM Reply   
There is also a very recent (last month) rope injury to one of the admins at Planet Nautique. He is also now looking for a rope safety device.
Old     (pprior)      Join Date: Jan 2012       07-05-2013, 12:33 PM Reply   
Wow I never even thought about this kind of stuff. I am now!
Old     (pprior)      Join Date: Jan 2012       07-07-2013, 10:35 AM Reply   
Does anyone have specs (size) on the comptech unit? - I am thinking about getting one, but if I have to remove it to fold down the tower (2013 ZFT4 tower) then that would be a problem.
Old     (TeamAllen)      Join Date: Feb 2013       07-08-2013, 12:33 AM Reply   
I have read some owners use wing nuts to clamp it down making it very easy to remove. If no one responds with any dimensions, try giving SkySki a call.
Old     (TeamAllen)      Join Date: Feb 2013       07-08-2013, 9:40 AM Reply   
We are currently at 18 participants this morning and I am confident we will make 20+ by the end of the day.
Old     (wakerider111)      Join Date: Jul 2006       07-08-2013, 1:14 PM Reply   
there is also an arm guard webbing or cover that you can buy or make to cover a portion of the handle hole. this could potentially get in the way for handle passes though

google arm guard images to see some examples
Old     (TeamAllen)      Join Date: Feb 2013       07-08-2013, 9:37 PM Reply   
According to the poll , I guess it doesn't matter much, but for the minority, we are WELL over the 20 needed for the max discount. SkySki wasn't anticipating us reaching that amount so soon, so it looks like they will be ending the group buy early and soon. I will know the actual time tomorrow, when the boss returns and I will post it up.

If you are on the fence, it's decision time! Get your email into Jake ASAP! This offer will end soon. DO NOT DELAY!

Last edited by TeamAllen; 07-08-2013 at 9:40 PM.
Old     (TeamAllen)      Join Date: Feb 2013       07-09-2013, 12:12 PM Reply   
That's 5 hours from now so do not delay and get your orders in NOW!!!!

Sorry for anybody that might get missed by this tightened deadline, but it's out of my control.
Old     (stephan)      Join Date: Nov 2002       07-09-2013, 5:04 PM Reply   
In the past I have added a 3 foot section of Poly E line right in front of the handle with an overhand knot in it. Its not enough to stretch while riding and it actually cuts down on the wakeboard elbow that many of us get. Its also much weaker than spectra and I expect it to break if it came down to it. Not scientific or foolproof but its the best I got.
Old     (pprior)      Join Date: Jan 2012       07-09-2013, 8:09 PM Reply   
Well I must say I'm disappointed with that, I emailed a question to the manufacturer, never got an answer, was out of town r and now it's closed. Oh well, guess I'll do without.
Old     (TeamAllen)      Join Date: Feb 2013       07-09-2013, 11:33 PM Reply   
If you missed out on the deal and would still like to purchase one, I know a dealer that sells it for less than MSRP. I recommend contacting Brad at East Coast Hydrofoils.


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