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read about a similar incident before.... that *tension* in the lines is what makes these little things work. Have never had to use it, but i clean it every now and then. Maybe a sharpening is in order (i have pretty good knife stones, any one of my kitchen knives can shave hairs off my arm... unless my wife touched them at which point they are useless)
Its hard to cut one of these lines when they are not in tention even with a diver's knife serrated or not.
Work GREAT if line is under tension...otherwise much more dificult.
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Wainman - Cabrinha - Shinn - Underwave - Hyperflex
Knife analysis complete with lbs. of force required to cut the line...
Great link, thanks! This confirms what I've heard about double-bladed "hook" knives:
"SINGLE BLADE HOOK KNIFE
Q-LINE FORCE REQUIRED - 58 POUNDS
800 POUND SPECTRA FORCE REQUIRED - 184 POUNDS!!!!! :
DOUBLE BLADE HOOK KNIFE
Q-LINE FORCE REQUIRED - 2 POUNDS
800 POUND SPECTRA FORCE REQUIRED - 2.5 POUNDS"
If you scroll down in that thread there are pictures of both kinds of knives. Throw away the single bladed ones if you have any and replace them with double-bladed knives!
For what it's worth, I used this double-bladed hook knife that came with my harness:
http://www.dakine.com/p/kite/accessorie ... hook-knife
It required a surprising amount of tension/pull to cut single lines when I was safely sitting in 3rd Ave mud and it seemed absolutely useless when applied blindly to a tangle of lines under water.
I bought these medical scissors, but this is not a recommendation:
http://www.amazon.com/Prestige-Medical- ... 002WJHEHY/
I received them today and they look like they'd do the trick (sturdy, serrated blades and MATTE BLACK!!!), but they don't work either: they bend easily, it took me 3-5 cutting motions to cut a single line and they completely twisted out of shape when applied to multiple lines. I can't imagine they'd cut a belt, as claimed in the first Amazon review...
@nexus, have you actually tried your scissors on kite lines? On Amazon, they all promise to "cut seatbelts like butter", but I doubt that mine does. It seems that @sflinux's dive knife with a blunt tip might be the most effective option, although I'd worry about cutting myself in a real emergency on the water.
Having had this scary experience in very mild conditions (close to shore at 3rd with little wind), I am now keen on finding the best available cutting tool, but at the same time I'm not sure it would save me in a more serious situation.
Lesson learned: stay away from lines in the water at all costs!
OK. Who's got some old/dead kite line we can have to run some tests with our knives?
Maybe if we all ask nicely, Kirk Talon (the "other Kirk", "KirkTalon" here on BAK) will do another one of his kite-centric CPR/First Aid/Water Safety Classes. The last one (2 seasons ago) was hosted by Live2Kite at their Marin store and was excellent.
If that happens, we can all bring our knives and try cutting some old line.
Kirk (Talon), pretty please, will you do another CPR/First Aid class for the kite community?
as I saw your tangle on the weekend and now I am also eager to test my knife and get some real numbers tested. I think we have such a force meter at work and I will test what came with my harness tomorrow on some old lines. Lets see.
Did you finally get a pic of your wrapped leg as it was IMPRESSIVE !!!
Yeah, getting tangled in kite lines is no fun. I had one experience getting tangled in my lines when I was still a n00b. It's amazing how quickly the lines turn into spider webs under the water, sticking to everything that they touch.
My knife at the time was useless, but fortunately I was able to beach myself on a rock pier while both legs were stuck together, and a buddy of mine landed, walked out on the pier, and helped free me with his functional knife.
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I was at Live2Kite yesterday and picked up the Mystic double-blade knife (14 bucks). The salesman (Gerrit) said it will cut through the seat-belt-like strap on a harness. I think I will be including the knife in my post-session gear rinsing routine because my last knife turned into a blob of rust.
Now my only problem is where to attach it, because I usually wear a Hyperflex jacket which covers my harness and there are no nifty little knife pockets or attachment clips on the Hyperflex.
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