Cheap Safety Rope
Let me start by saying this little idea maybe common knowledge but I had never heard or thought of it before and figured I would pass it on to all the safety concerned parents out there. My 6 year old started wakeboarding this summer and we have had a great time on the lake. With my daughter's new found love of wakeboarding came the concern of her getting tangled up in the rope during a fall or deep water starts. I have looked at several of the release systems but the manual ones will be released after most of the damage is done and the automatic one is very expensive. Then while doing some maintenance around the house it hit me to zip-tie two of the links together in the rope. Zip-ties come in a variety of tensile break strengths from 45lbs to over 200lbs and are very cheap. They also break very consistently and not violently at all, so you don't have to worry about people in the boat getting hit by little plastic pieces. My daughter is 55lbs and we are currently using a 50lb zip-tie but will probably step up to a 75lb tie next summer. The 50lb zip-tie holds her with ease but will break very quickly under the tension of her being dragged through the water or a sudden load being applied. I would much rather the rope break than tear off part or all of her arm. A 55lb girl casually riding does not need a rope with a tensile strength of 2000lbs to 4000lbs which is pretty standard for a wakeboarding rope. I take a 5ft section and attach it to my tower and then put in a zip-tie link attaching the rest of the rope. The zip-tie just acts and looks like a very weak link in a chain. This probably won't work for much older, heavier, more aggressive riders but then at that point, I hope you can examine the risks of the sport for yourself and have developed good rope and handle awareness and practices.
Let me know what you guys think about this idea and if it has been around for a while and I am just now figuring it out. I hope it's at least somewhat helpful and not a waste of space on this site.