Kiteboarding Bar Modifications
Using a front line safety system reduces potential tangles. Here’s a diagram of the bar setup with a picture of the front ring slide for attaching your wrist leash. Since that photo was taken, the front line now slides directly through the ring on the pulley the white cording is tied around to minimize equipment failure. Of course, minor modifications can be made depending on your original bar features. Use of a snapshackle is not suggested for beginners. When implementing a snapshackle, be sure to hang-test the release of the shackle FIRST, by hanging in a garage a few inches above the floor and trying to release it. Sometimes loads can be severe and it won’t release. For advanced users, using a shackle is an option. Get a shackle that works for high loads without much friction. Furthermore, you should test-release it to make it a knee-jerk reaction 100 times before hitting the water (or more!). Be prepared and don’t risk your life be kiting outside your limits as a human being.
The Quick-release style snapshackle can either be attached to the end of the trim rope, or fastened directly to the spreader bar. If on the spreader bar, use a ring on the end of the chicked loop so the shackle will clasp over the metal ring, not the chicken loop. If on the trim rope, the shackle snaps to the ring, attached to the harness. The release should be designed to let the rider separate from the kite immediately. The QR shackle pictured below will release under heavy load, with minimal effort. Its a bit more expensive than the pin-release shackle, but the additional safety is worth the money.
Spinning Leash Using Shackle
Using the above center-line leash method, one setup I use to enable a spinning leash so I don’t need to hook the leash to my wrist is shown below. Just clip the leash into the free ring on the shack release. To release the shackle, just slide your hand down the chicken loop and grab the ball, pulling it toward you. Its also secured using a little clear PVC, so it will stick out and not rotate around the shackle, preventing tangles. It will also be minimally affected by hard crashes so shouldn’t pre-release when you don’t want it to: