Kitesurfing is a thrill, but let’s address a vital piece of gear – THE KITE LEASH! It’s your trusty companion in the water, and we’re here to guide you on where to connect it and why it’s a game-changer. Let’s keep it straightforward so you can relish those waves with confidence!
Nailing the Connection: The Clever Way to Leash Up
Here’s the deal – most kitesurfing harnesses offer a spot at the back handle for your leash. But wait, attaching it there can be tricky. When the kite starts to pull, you might find yourself facing the wrong way, being pulled from your back, maybe underwater, maybe in a confused state. Not the plan, right? So, where’s the savvy spot? It’s on the front of your kite harness!
Why Front Attachment Shines and Back Spells Trouble
- Eyes on the Action: Imagine this – you had an accident and your kite decides to go bananas, looping around, maybe tangling with another kite or it starts to deathloop. If your leash is at the back, it will swing you around, and suddenly, your eyes aren’t on the kite. Not the thrill you signed up for!
- Concerns with Side Attachment: Some think slinging the leash on the side is a better move. Here’s the lowdown – if something happens to the arm on that side, pulling off a leash move with the other hand becomes a superhero defeat. Not everyone’s got those superhero skills.
Here a nice video explaining why I prefer the front leash attachment:
The Evolution: Short Leashes for Cool Riders
Then you tell me: “Gio… I have a long leash that’s why I attach it on the back! ” “My dear friend, do you think this is a good excuse to compromise your safety?! – Besides that, historically, kitesurfing leashes were long, swinging around like wild tails. But with the strides in kitesurfing incredibly innovating technology, it’s clear that for freeride, strapless wave riding, and big air styles, there’s no need for a lengthy leash unless you’re into freestyle. In fact, it’s become uncool to see freeriders with long leashes dangling for absolutely no reason. Keep it short, keep it sleek – that’s the trend for the cool riders 😛
Kite Leashes and Autopilot: Your Safety Net Underwater
Now, let’s talk about a game-changer – having your kite leash upfront isn’t just about control; it’s about safety automation. Picture this: you’re underwater, waves are playing rough, and the whitewash has you in its grip. In that chaotic moment, knowing that your quick-release for the kite leash is right there in front, near your belly, adds a layer of security. You don’t need to start a quest to find you long lost quick release like Indiana Jones and the Holy Grail; it’s an automatic response. Your safety becomes second nature – a quick reach, a push, and you’re free.
The Freestyle Twist: Long Leashes and Front Magic
Let’s dive into some details. For the freestyle enthusiasts out there, using a long leash is a game-changer. Traditionally, freestyle kiters hooked the leash at the back, but guess what? Times are changing. More riders are connecting it upfront. Why? Well, freestyle tricks don’t always go as planned, and when they don’t, your leash stretches out. If it’s attached at the front, you’re facing the kite, ready to pull the leash and grab that bar immediately. It’s a strategic move that adds an extra layer of control to your freestyle game. Bonus: some freestyle athletes attach the leash on the side but with an extension so that the quick release is easy to grab.
Insights from the Kitesurfing Community: A Survey Sneak Peek
In a recent survey across five of the largest kitesurfing groups on Facebook, 475 avid kiters shared their kite leash attachment preferences. Thank you kiters for taking the time to reply and share some feedback with me! The results were highly reassuring:
- On the front part of the harness: 63% of respondents
- On one of the side parts of the harness: 27% of respondents
- On the back or on the handle of the harness: 10% of respondents
Following some kiters’ comments that attracted my attention:
Domenico prefers the metal ring on the right side of the harness, being right-handed. He explains, “In the metal ring on the right side of the harness, I’m right-handed, and it’s simply the closest point from my right hand. I have more chances to find it, even when in a wave washing machine.” However, due to a strong fall and heavy whitewash, a friend of mine once experienced a dislocated shoulder. So, what if you injure your right arm and can’t use your right hand anymore? It’s a point worth considering.
Joe underlines the importance of a front attachment, especially during a kitemare: “I prefer on the front of the harness, short leash. During a kitemare, being dragged from behind creates a difficulty in activating quick release” Front attachment provides a strategic advantage in such challenging situations.
Danilo shares a cautionary tale: “… it happened that in an emergency situation with leash pulling behind, the kite did not go into safety but started to deathloop due to a tangle of the back lines. With the leash attached to the back of the kite harness you drink lots of water and it’s not the best situation you’d like to find yourself in… if you add to that a board with boots that act as a sinker, it’s a nightmare. Better to move the kite leash forward, it’s safer when in doubt.
Dave adds a crucial perspective: “I wanna be facing my kite when things turn to shit not being towed on my back towards my death.” This speaks to the fundamental principle of maintaining control and visibility in challenging situations.
In a Nutshell: Front is the Charm – Keep It Fun and Safe!
REMEMBER: even if you kitesurf it every day or twice a year, even if nothing has ever happened to you, even if you kite in flat water and smooth wind conditions NEVER COMPROMISE YOUR SAFETY. As you gear up for the next kitesurfing escapade, keep this in mind: where your kite leash is attached matters. Front is the star, back can lead to spins, and the side might not be your hero move. Stay safe, keep it simple.
And if Andrea Principi uses his leash on the front you can do it too 😛
Happy kiting, water buddies! 🌊🏄♂️