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View Full Version : It can ALL be dangerous...(hydrofoil)


bigmac
06-29-2006, 10:51 AM
I was teaching my buddy to hydrofoil the other day. We were using the Air Chair-specific deep-V handle - prescribed for beginners to minimize the tendency for the ski to go off to one side or the other.

He was struggling with getting up (common). On about the 4th attempt, he fell again. I backed off on the throttle and started swinging around to pick him up, but noticed more drag on the boat than I'd expect. I had seen him fall, but the turn back had put him out of the view of my mirror. I stopped and looked back - he was nowhere to be seen and the rope was taking an alarming angle downward. I quickly started pulling on the rope and sure enough he popped to the surface gasping and making otherwise horrible noises. I pulled him back to the boat and noted that the ski had become lodged between the cross-piece and the handle such that forward motion caused the thing to dive. I was prepared to do CPR as I pulled him close to the swim platform, but it was apparent that he was breathing OK by the time he got there.

Yikes!! I've never seen that before and still can't quite put together how it happened. I'm aware that the deep-V handle should be put away once one has getting up mastered, but I'm alarmed at this turn of events and I don't think I'll do any teaching again without a spotter.

Is there any reason I can't cut that cross-piece off?

http://mccollister.info/deepvhandle.jpg

east tx skier
06-29-2006, 10:55 AM
Wow! That's scary. Glad things turned out okay.

bigmac
06-29-2006, 10:59 AM
Wow! That's scary. Glad things turned out okay.

Yeah! He's an anesthesiologist and ex-paramedic and more capable of bringing someone back from drowning than I am. If one of us had to drown, I'd have been more likely to survive than him :). He was wheezing all the rest of the day, so I KNOW he aspirated some water.

PendO
06-29-2006, 11:38 AM
Wow ... we have a handle like that one ... I think if you cut the cross piece it may be a bit difficult to controll ... but ICBW ... glad your friend is okay, I will pass your post on to my family - thanks bigmac!

Upper Michigan Prostar190
06-29-2006, 11:45 AM
WOW, thats pretty scary man. I keep wanting to try a hydrofoil, but it seems there is a little higher risk of injury than other types of skiing. Thanks for posting it. And I too am glad your friend is OK.

bigmac
06-29-2006, 11:53 AM
WOW, thats pretty scary man. I keep wanting to try a hydrofoil, but it seems there is a little higher risk of injury than other types of skiing. Thanks for posting it. And I too am glad your friend is OK. Well, I consider this to be an anomaly, in my experience (or relative lack thereof). The learning phase SHOULD be pretty safe, I think, due to the pretty low speeds involved (14-15 mph), making for relatively low-energy falls. The risk of injury comes (IMHO) as potential energy levels increase - speeds go up and one starts going for some air. Nevertheless, just because an event is unlikely doesn't mean it can't happen.

That's the problem with the kite tube...the relationship between potential and kinetic energy can be a b!tch...

Foiler
06-30-2006, 12:10 AM
I've taught several people including my kids without any incidents. I would recommend a cinch release though.

Basically it's an inline release using velcro, you can set it to release at different weights. If an arm foil or whatever causes enough drag the rope releases.

It's not fullproof but it is a weak link and can save equipment or injury.

.

atlfootr
06-30-2006, 11:23 AM
Wow! That's scary. Glad things turned out okay.Same here .... think I'll stay on my feet :rolleyes:

bigmac
06-30-2006, 12:25 PM
Same here .... think I'll stay on my feet :rolleyes:

Yes...hydrofoiling is hard, and it's potentially dangerous. It's definitely not for everyone...

gr8smiles
07-01-2006, 01:02 AM
Yes...hydrofoiling is hard, and it's potentially dangerous. It's definitely not for everyone...

But it is so much fun....it is almost July 4th and I have not been on a ski or wakeboard yet....but I bet I have 25 hrs on the foil.

Sure, I've taken some shots....but no more than jumping the wake on a wakeboard. I mainly free ski when I slalom and don't fall much...but I remember some good ones when I was younger.

We use the Cinch release on everything now. I like that measure of safety. I also just use a wakeboard handle for riding and teaching the foil. Haven't bothered buying the deep-v, definitely won't now.

Have a safe weekend.

AirJunky
08-29-2006, 06:39 PM
I can see how this could happen on a foil. The porpoising of the board going up & down, rider pulls the handle in & does a lawn dart right into the handle, boat still pulls away, virtually locking the board in there.
I'm not sure, but imagine that skiing without a spotter is legal where you live........ and a situation like this makes it obvious to me why a 3rd person is absolutely necessary. If you had to get him in the boat & drive to the dock, call 911, load him in the car, administer CPR, etc., you could have had your hands full.

BTW, I've got some great pictures of injuries caused by slalom skiing & wakeboarding. Gashed head wound from a ski, a broken femur from a ski, a cracked neck vertebra from a ski, torn bicep from a handle pass gone bad on a board, etc. Don't be so sure that your discipiline is any safer than the next one.
Be careful out there.

M-Funf
08-29-2006, 06:56 PM
Scary stuff, bigmac!

Glad he's O.K...

So, you don't need spotters in MN?

bigmac
08-30-2006, 07:36 AM
Scary stuff, bigmac!

Glad he's O.K...

So, you don't need spotters in MN?No, just a mirror. The guy never cleared the water. No porpoising involved.

betsy&david Harrison
08-30-2006, 12:22 PM
I had considered using the Deep V on the skyski but won't now. Thanks for taking time to tell of the mishap. Glad your friend is ok. B

phecksel
08-30-2006, 01:03 PM
No, just a mirror. The guy never cleared the water. No porpoising involved.

Besides it being the law where I live, would never consider anything beyond straight skiing or b/f without a 3rd person.

bigmac
08-31-2006, 12:56 AM
Besides it being the law where I live, would never consider anything beyond straight skiing or b/f without a 3rd person.

I'll try to find a third person next time I take you hydrofoiling...;)