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Old 10-12-2013, 02:16 AM
melton1wake melton1wake is offline
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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.
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Old 10-12-2013, 02:55 AM
FrankSchwab FrankSchwab is offline
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First time I've heard about the idea here, but it's a marvelous one.

In the Hang Gliding community (who learned it from the sailplane community), towing has been an excellent way to get airtime for 30 years. Attach a rope to an ultralight, or a truck, or a boat, and pull the glider up to 1000' or so and then release for a flight. All of those flights have a "weak-link" in the rope, designed to break if the stress on the rope gets too high due to some unforeseen circumstance. This is the same concept; it works excellent in the aviation community, and should work just as well here.

In general, the weak links are tied using something like leech line from sailing. The breaking strength is controlled by the knot - I've known people who could reliably adjust the breaking point of a weak link in 10 pound increments depending on what knot they tied.

While your daughter is small, zip ties will work great, but you may have to raise your breaking strengths a bit when she gets into adulthood, and this would be a great way to do it.
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Old 10-12-2013, 10:03 AM
wallnut21 wallnut21 is offline
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I use this.

http://yourgearstore.com/index.php?m...cc350baecb743a

Works well for me.
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Old 10-12-2013, 10:38 AM
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tex tex is offline
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If you use a trick release and the person pulling pin pays attention....your kid will be safe. I would trust a person a lot more than a gadget. This is from years of show skiing experience and I have put my arm through a handle and would not wish it on anyone.
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Old 10-14-2013, 09:00 AM
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Jerseydave Jerseydave is offline
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Originally Posted by wallnut21 View Post
Best solution right there. I'm getting one next year for Skyski tricks
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Old 10-14-2013, 10:36 AM
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Kweisner Kweisner is offline
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Originally Posted by wallnut21 View Post
I believe this functions the same as a static line for a parachute drop. IIRC from my one and only static line jump, there were two overlapping velcro sections. Line became taught but the velcro held in order to pull the chute out. Once the chute was fully extended, the tension was great enough to break the velcro bond. Pretty reliable!
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Old 10-14-2013, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tex View Post
If you use a trick release and the person pulling pin pays attention....your kid will be safe. I would trust a person a lot more than a gadget. This is from years of show skiing experience and I have put my arm through a handle and would not wish it on anyone.
+1 on this... Tex speaks from experience - trick release... if safety is your concern, don;t go cheap on it - the medical bills are far higher than the cost of a release.

Don't even ask me how much i spent this year fixing my right arm due to an injury that took place 2 years ago (handle popped back into the boat and hit me)... Noone skis behind my boat ever again without a shock tube now. Seriously.
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Old 10-14-2013, 12:16 PM
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JMLVMI JMLVMI is offline
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This is a bit harsh, but if you can afford a 2007 X2, you can afford an automatic rope release. Don't ever try to "rig something up" when it comes to safety. Take the time and money to do it right...it's your kid we're talking about.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TxsRiverRat View Post
Noone skis behind my boat ever again without a shock tube now. Seriously.
Shock tubes have a lifespan. Was observing in my buddies boat when a heavy guy who couldn't get out of the water popped the handle from 60' away and it came right at my head. If I hadn't been watching it would have been lights out. He had a shock tube on there, but it had no structure or "rigidity" left in the foam. Should be replaced every few years.
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Old 10-14-2013, 12:23 PM
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scott023 scott023 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TxsRiverRat View Post
+1 on this... Tex speaks from experience - trick release... if safety is your concern, don;t go cheap on it - the medical bills are far higher than the cost of a release.

Don't even ask me how much i spent this year fixing my right arm due to an injury that took place 2 years ago (handle popped back into the boat and hit me)... Noone skis behind my boat ever again without a shock tube now. Seriously.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JMLVMI View Post
This is a bit harsh, but if you can afford a 2007 X2, you can afford an automatic rope release. Don't ever try to "rig something up" when it comes to safety. Take the time and money to do it right...it's your kid we're talking about.



Shock tubes have a lifespan. Was observing in my buddies boat when a heavy guy who couldn't get out of the water popped the handle from 60' away and it came right at my head. If I hadn't been watching it would have been lights out. He had a shock tube on there, but it had no structure or "rigidity" left in the foam. Should be replaced every few years.
No kidding. If I was afraid for my kids safety, I'd spend the 75 or 100 bucks. Don't rely on a zap strap.
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Old 10-14-2013, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMLVMI View Post
This is a bit harsh, but if you can afford a 2007 X2, you can afford an automatic rope release. Don't ever try to "rig something up" when it comes to safety. Take the time and money to do it right...it's your kid we're talking about.

Yep, my point exactly


Shock tubes have a lifespan. Was observing in my buddies boat when a heavy guy who couldn't get out of the water popped the handle from 60' away and it came right at my head. If I hadn't been watching it would have been lights out. He had a shock tube on there, but it had no structure or "rigidity" left in the foam. Should be replaced every few years.
Quote:
Originally Posted by scott023 View Post
No kidding. If I was afraid for my kids safety, I'd spend the 75 or 100 bucks. Don't rely on a zap strap.
thanks for the info! Mine's new, but there's no question it's a requirement now... i pulled Kyle the other day and he attached the rope to the pylon and i was like um no... we'll string it thru the tube... he said "i wont pop the handle..."

the shock tube did its job quite well when he launched the handle at us @ 32 off.
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