Author Topic: Big Wave & Uncomfortably Big Water Safety Techniques  (Read 2602 times)

Beasho

  • Teahupoo Status
  • ******
  • Posts: 1229
    • View Profile
Big Wave & Uncomfortably Big Water Safety Techniques
« on: November 10, 2016, 02:55:51 PM »
I found a great description by Laird Hamilton on water safety and surviving big, brutal conditions.

I agree with everything he says BUT would include one more item which is to add a WAIST LEASH

Laird recommends the following:

  • Wear flotation that will bring you to the surface AUTOMATICALLY & DOES NOT NOT NEED TO BE ACTIVATED
  • Let the board pull you out of the impact zone. Do not waste energy, do not fight it and burn oxygen.  This will save your leash and save you.  This is especially relevant with big boards.
  • A Waist Leash will enhance the benefits of item #2 above.  While it is pulling you out of harm's way you will be able to breath.

The specific part of the discussion on Safety, Question asked by Danielo Couto answered succinctly by Laird, here @ 37mm:40ss
https://youtu.be/RCunB1DG9as?t=2261

Full video here:


« Last Edit: November 10, 2016, 03:01:25 PM by Beasho »

Bean

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 2553
    • View Profile
Re: Big Wave & Uncomfortably Big Water Safety Techniques
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2016, 04:11:21 AM »
Beasho, I thought one of the "advantages" of the waist-leash was a reduction in leash drag.  It sounds like that totally changes with big waves?

Beasho

  • Teahupoo Status
  • ******
  • Posts: 1229
    • View Profile
Re: Big Wave & Uncomfortably Big Water Safety Techniques
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2016, 06:22:45 AM »
Laird is spot-on with regards to the strategies he claims.  What I learned from Haley Fiske and Ian Wallace, both Mavericks SUP'ers, was that a Waist Leash allows you to breath WHILE the board is pulling you out of the impact zone.  I made this drawing to depict what I am talking about.

I am surprised that they haven't figured it out, but will predict, that the big wave guys will eventually catch on. 

PS: Drag on the leash skipping between the air and liquid interface is irrelevant compared to your fins plowing consistently through a medium that is 800X denser than air . . . but that's another topic.  But yes there is probably less drag on a waist leash. 
« Last Edit: November 11, 2016, 06:27:40 AM by Beasho »

Bean

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 2553
    • View Profile
Re: Big Wave & Uncomfortably Big Water Safety Techniques
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2016, 06:38:25 AM »
Yes, I've seen that drawing before, good stuff Beasho!

There is no worse feeling for me than getting sucked back out and into the impact zone, even here on the east coast.   It's not so much the size of the wave that get me it's the heaviness of the break, the number of waves in the set and frequency.  Even a 15 sec hold down is brutal when its the 4th wave and you only got a partial breath on the last one. 


lopezwill

  • Sunset Status
  • ****
  • Posts: 387
    • View Profile
Re: Big Wave & Uncomfortably Big Water Safety Techniques
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2016, 09:27:59 PM »


Beasho your spot on with all the comments on riding bigger surf!  Love what insight you bring to the forum.

I surf a wave on the central coast that can quickly pull you into the rocks if you wipe out or get caught inside.  The same spot has very large floating kelp balls in the line up.  Being pulled inside on a large wave with my 12 foot PSH board from the impact zone and plowing into the rocks or getting tangled in the kelp are my two biggest fears.

  I realize there is probably no good answer to these situational questions as anything can happen.  I do practice unleashing my waist harness quickly while pretending I'm stuck underwater and tangled in kelp from time to time.  I did pass in between two large rocks while being towed in 8 feet of foam on time.  I luckily missed the rocks and the foam just pulled me into a small lagoon...(sort of like a very small scale Mavericks type lagoon.)  My biggest fear is getting tangled in the rocks while underwater and not being able to unleash.  Bad scenarios I know but something to think about in case it happens so you at least have a plan.


 

Beasho

  • Teahupoo Status
  • ******
  • Posts: 1229
    • View Profile
Re: Big Wave & Uncomfortably Big Water Safety Techniques
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2016, 04:55:36 PM »
All my waist leashes have a 'chicken loop' sewed on.  This is to augment the little tab, which is impossible to find in a panic.

This large loop, PVC over 1/8" line, can be quickly grabbed to release the velcro strap.

robcasey

  • Sunset Status
  • ****
  • Posts: 490
    • View Profile
    • Salmon Bay Paddle
Re: Big Wave & Uncomfortably Big Water Safety Techniques
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2016, 01:44:59 PM »
After the wipeout and in between sets I hold the paddle at the handle and keep it clear of me when the next sets roll in. Years ago, I was in deep water with my paddle floating at chest level in front of me. The incoming wave slammed the shaft across my forehead - glad I had my Gath helmet on. Now I keep the paddle at my side holding onto the handle and let it and my board pass me while duck diving (providing there's no one behind) 

I do know a mav's sup'er who uses a waist leash. we use them for all other types of paddling as well, influenced by the benefits of it for rivers with a easier release vs reaching for the feet. 

good ideas on the leash pull tab. back in the day in kayaking, we would use a whiffle ball, carabiner or duct tape to enlarge the pull tabs for spray skirts. 
Rob Casey
Salmon Bay Paddle
PSUPA
Seattle

PonoBill

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 18607
    • View Profile
    • Ponohouse is for sale. Great house but it's time for new adventures
Re: Big Wave & Uncomfortably Big Water Safety Techniques
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2016, 09:50:31 PM »
I'm wedded to my waist leash and impact vest. I wear both for anything over three feet, and a waist leash always. I no longer see the point of calf or ankle leashes--to me they are for low volume surfboards, not SUPs. If you don't get pulled, then you don't need a waist leash, but if you do, then you do.

Beyond the huge benefit of getting pulled to the surface instead of being pulled under, and the reduced opportunity to get your knee or ankle screwed up, the entanglement danger is greatly reduced. I know firsthand how difficult it is to get a leash off your ankle or calf in current or waves.

Bottom line for me is that a tail handle, waist leash, and floatation makes it much more comfortable to be in the impact zone getting worked, or taking off on a big wave. My friends give me a little bit of grief about it, but if they actually experienced the difference instead of just following a pointless tradition that isn't relevant to the boards we use, I doubt they'd continue using what I now consider to be improper equipment.
Ponohouse is for sale: http://www.ponohouse.com
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

surfcowboy

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 2473
    • View Profile
Re: Big Wave & Uncomfortably Big Water Safety Techniques
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2016, 01:39:48 AM »
Evolution is necessary. A lot of what we have is just surf gear blown up bigger because that was the first idea someone had. Looking at how paddle in big wave gear is evolving I'm sure we're due for a few innovations as well.

PonoBill

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 18607
    • View Profile
    • Ponohouse is for sale. Great house but it's time for new adventures
Re: Big Wave & Uncomfortably Big Water Safety Techniques
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2016, 07:55:31 AM »
The only thing bad I can see about waist leashes is that they put much greater strain on the leash. It doesn't seem possible to streamline yourself as you can with an ankle leash or to a lesser degree, with a calf leash and reduce the strain on the leash components. For that reason, I'm using 9mm cord, a longer leash than otherwise necessary, and increasing the strength of every part.
Ponohouse is for sale: http://www.ponohouse.com
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

headmount

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 5373
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Big Wave & Uncomfortably Big Water Safety Techniques
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2016, 08:12:38 AM »
So has anyone that has used a waist leash had it wrap around their leg?   It just seems to me that the extreme ends of your body would be the best choice and since the neck is out, ankle seems best.  That said I've had my ankle  leash wrap around my leg and even arm.  Still have a bruise on the forearm from this last flurry of surf.

PonoBill

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 18607
    • View Profile
    • Ponohouse is for sale. Great house but it's time for new adventures
Re: Big Wave & Uncomfortably Big Water Safety Techniques
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2016, 08:17:40 AM »
Yeah, it gets wrapped sometimes, but not as easily as calf leashes. I think the much thicker cord helps with that, not so likely to get loops.
Ponohouse is for sale: http://www.ponohouse.com
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

yugi

  • Teahupoo Status
  • ******
  • Posts: 1559
    • View Profile
Re: Big Wave & Uncomfortably Big Water Safety Techniques
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2017, 01:43:20 PM »
9mm cord?

coldsup

  • Teahupoo Status
  • ******
  • Posts: 1315
    • View Profile
Re: Big Wave & Uncomfortably Big Water Safety Techniques
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2017, 10:29:56 AM »
After the wipeout and in between sets I hold the paddle at the handle and keep it clear of me when the next sets roll in. Years ago, I was in deep water with my paddle floating at chest level in front of me. The incoming wave slammed the shaft across my forehead - glad I had my Gath helmet on. Now I keep the paddle at my side holding onto the handle and let it and my board pass me while duck diving (providing there's no one behind) 

I do know a mav's sup'er who uses a waist leash. we use them for all other types of paddling as well, influenced by the benefits of it for rivers with a easier release vs reaching for the feet. 

good ideas on the leash pull tab. back in the day in kayaking, we would use a whiffle ball, carabiner or duct tape to enlarge the pull tabs for spray skirts.

Which waist leash are you guys using? Ta

addapost

  • Sunset Status
  • ****
  • Posts: 480
    • View Profile
Re: Big Wave & Uncomfortably Big Water Safety Techniques
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2017, 04:56:16 PM »
Based on reports from some of the folks here I picked up a waist leash last year. I love it and will never go back. I now look at ankle leashes and think, "WTF were we thinking?" To me there is no comparison, the waist leash wins every point of consideration. I am using "Leashlock Hawaii" I have purchased several for "reluctant" friends. They are now sold as well.
Laird/Pearson 10'6"
Surftech Generator 10'6"
SIC Bullet 14
Naish Hokua 9'6"

 


* Recent Posts

* Recent Topics