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Today I decided to self-rescue when the wind died at 3rd. Within seconds, a line snagged on my leg turned into a tangle of lines tightly wrapped around my ankle. I usually feel comfortable self-rescuing and I'm not sure what I did wrong - it's scary how quickly the situation went from slight annoyance to serious trouble.
I decided to bite the bullet and cut the lines, but my knife didn't have any effect hacking away at the tangle of lines under water. So I decided to swim to the upper launch. By the time I got there, I had most of my lines and half a bridle wrapped around my ankle, making it hard to even walk up the beach. A big thanks to the two guys who helped me separate my kite from my ankle, I'd still be sitting there if you hadn't helped!
Somebody showed me a diving knife, I'll have to get one of those before I even order a new set of lines. Any other tips on how to avoid line tangles and how to deal with them when they happen?
I witnessed a similar situation unfold and treaded into the water (in my street clothes) to help many seasons ago.
I carry a gerber diving knife (has serrated edge) attached to my pfd.
Mine may be this one:
I spray it every few sessions with Boeshield T-9 to slow down the rusting, and clean it with steel wool.
I've heard of others carrying scissors.
I always count the number of lines when winding up my bar to make sure I didn't forget one. Try to keep the lines downwind & down current from you. If I ever feel a line on my leg, I attend to it right away and swim away from my lines if need be. Glad it all turned out well for you. Do an experiment cutting your old lines with your new gerber knife.
I carry medical scissors that are attached to some really thin elastic shock cord on my harness. They are stuffed in the pocket of my shorts. Still have a line cutter knife on my harness as well and I've tested it on old lines before, it worked as expected.
The scissors will cut seat belts and spectra like butter. Also not pointy when closed which makes them pretty safe to carry.
Yeah, I would imagine an actual knife being a bad idea when you're being tumbled in the surf...
Kites: 2014 F-One Bandit VII: 12m, 10m and 8m. All pink/blue.
Board: 2014 F-One Spicy & 5'6 Fish.
Harness: Manera Exoharness.
Wetsuit: Underwave Sultan shortleg 4/3.
Thanks for the tips! I ended up ordering medical scissors and also came across this floating knife, it looks like it might work well: http://www.amazon.com/Innovative-Floati ... B003JPLSZO
Go for a rescue/hook knife (dive knife can be good too). Your standard kiting knife is or will quickly be rendered useless. Benchmade makes several styles/materials, there are many others around. Corrosion resistance is key, check/maintain your knife. This has been covered before here and elsewhere.
Some examples, BM has more styles...
So, these benchmade cutters are more corrosion resistant than regular kite knifes?
Any recommendations for small and safe scissors to carry in addition to a regular line cutter?
Look for a pair of trauma shears. It's what we carry in the field as medics. Safe blunt tip to not cut patients but tough enough to cut through a penny. Made of stainless. Get the cheap ones. The expensive ones are no better. Should run you less than $10. Last forever.
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I've read/heard that the little "hook" knives we carry around in our harnesses work much, much better if they have blades on BOTH sides. Apparently the ones with a blade on only one side don't work very well.
Proof is in the pudding: take your knife out and cut stuff with it. If you have some spectra/kite line around, try cutting that. Better to know in your garage than out in the water when your life depends on it...