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Author Topic: Plastic Buckles  (Read 4054 times)

bigmtn

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Plastic Buckles
« on: August 23, 2022, 08:43:11 PM »
I was in the gorge for a couple days a few weeks ago.  Wed the 10th was a really good day, lots of wind.  I was on my 2.8m up near the hatchery (I'd upwinded from the event center) when I noticed a loose wing.  It looked like another guy had just tried to catch it but he missed.  Here's my video of me chasing it.

https://www.instagram.com/p/ChIN_RSpG4N/?hl=en

The leash was a waist leash that uses a plastic buckle to attach around you waist.  One of the plastic prongs had broken off.  After slowly shlogging to the shore I handed the wing to a windsurf lady who was walking her dog and had stopped because she had noticed me struggling with 2 wings and was curious what was going on.  I explained that I hadn't seen the guy who'd lost the wing, and had no idea who it belongs to.  She said she'd walk up to the main parking area at the hatchery and try to find it's owner.  Anyways I've heard a few people on here say to not trust plastic buckles, and after chasing down this runaway wing, I would concur.  With the way this thing was going, I could only imagine how much farther downwind it would have flown before being stopped!

PonoBill

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Re: Plastic Buckles
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2022, 09:49:23 PM »
Never, ever. My KTM has a great luggage system that has some plastic buckles in non-load spots. I recently (last week) stuffed a case of beer under the beavertail flap and trusted the buckles. Losing a case of beer on a highway at 70 mph is certainly a spectacular way to be reminded that you can't trust the damned things. I know better, but I guess I needed a reminder. 
« Last Edit: August 23, 2022, 09:54:06 PM by PonoBill »
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.

Beasho

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Re: Plastic Buckles
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2022, 10:32:57 AM »
I don't know why anyone would use a cheap plastic buckle for a harness.

This weight belt on Amazon is $9.99 and I have used it 50+ times without fail.  I bought a second one for the east coast so I don't have to ship it.

Just add an NSI hook.


JohnnyTsunami

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Re: Plastic Buckles
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2022, 01:37:06 PM »
I have the NSI harness with the plastic buckle. They have caved in and donít have the plastic buckle anymore.

I find itís great aside from a few quibbles. Iíve snapped board leashes while flying away in the air and the board nosediving which left a welt on my back whipping to me. Harness held just fine.

Paddling through surf on the coast I had to eject from my board and wing when a huge set bore down on me. Just squeezed the buckle and I swam free. Board and wing were attached to each other at the harness but were safely 20ft apart with both leashes maxed out. Swam in and grabbed them before they got the beach. No gear issues.

Tom

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Re: Plastic Buckles
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2022, 07:14:24 PM »
I switched to a plastic buckle because my metal on didn't work. I had converted a diving weight belt to a waste harness and a couple of times when I was tumbled in the surf, the clasp would open up. If I could find a better one than my current plastic one,. I'd definitely  switch. Looking at the jayefo on Amazon, I can't get a good look at how it's clasp works.

PonoBill

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Re: Plastic Buckles
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2022, 08:16:16 PM »
Velcro and a simple metal reversing loop is pretty bulletproof. The failure mode for plastic buckles is consistent--one leg breaks off. The buckles get tested with a straight pull, but any force applied at an angle can break one leg, and when the leg breaks it's gone. Velcro will wear out if it's not the good stuff, but if you have enough area and a reversing loop to make the stress on the velcro pretty minimal, it's reliable for decades.
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.

gyre

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Re: Plastic Buckles
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2022, 12:38:26 AM »
I'm mostly using the Jayefo belts now too.  I don't know how they're selling them for $9-10, most of that price probably goes to Amazon.

For those who are making or retrofitting their belts, there are higher quality plastic buckles, The ITW SS-40 (picture below, available at strapworks) feel very secure and don't have pieces you can snap off with your hands.  There's also an improved version, the SS-440 that's designed for life jackets and might be better, but I don't know where you'd find one in the US.  The only issue I had was when I poured sand into it and then closed it (I wanted to see what would happen), that caused the mechanism to get a sticky until it was washed out.

bigmtn

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Re: Plastic Buckles
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2022, 11:55:25 AM »
I've also been using a weight belt like the jayefo (recently tried to order a jayefo belt and the order got cancelled, out of stock, I guess they only currently have size L) for over a year now.  The metal will rust on you, so luckily they are cheap, though I replaced mine with a metal loop that came with my dakine maniac hook strap.  I did have the velcro come undone on me in the surf, so I added another overlap of velcro just to keep the end of the velcro down.  (Imagine the way a leash connects to a board)

I also added 2 leash strings to the belt, one at each hip.  Wing connects to one, and board connects to other.  Though I will prob get a reel leash for the board soon.  When crashing in waves I had a lot of wing damage last winter because the board and wing were the same distance from me and would get tangled together.

808sup

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Re: Plastic Buckles
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2022, 07:40:23 PM »
Yep, that jayefo belt seems to be available only in Large size. If I had a 36" waist or bigger I'd be covered.

PonoBill

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Re: Plastic Buckles
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2022, 04:09:25 AM »
I've also been using a weight belt like the jayefo (recently tried to order a jayefo belt and the order got cancelled, out of stock, I guess they only currently have size L) for over a year now.  The metal will rust on you, so luckily they are cheap, though I replaced mine with a metal loop that came with my dakine maniac hook strap.  I did have the velcro come undone on me in the surf, so I added another overlap of velcro just to keep the end of the velcro down.  (Imagine the way a leash connects to a board)

I also added 2 leash strings to the belt, one at each hip.  Wing connects to one, and board connects to other.  Though I will prob get a reel leash for the board soon.  When crashing in waves I had a lot of wing damage last winter because the board and wing were the same distance from me and would get tangled together.

The Maniac loop is excellent. I sacrificed one of mine to make my harness. Bulletproof. It's a good idea to use an overlap strap, I just made the belt longer when I had a problem. On my first belt I added a little plastic buckle to keep the velcro in place. With no load it was reliable but I slammed it in the door of my truck and it didn't survive.
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

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Re: Plastic Buckles
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2022, 10:24:04 PM »
Yo, before we all go nuts trying to find stainless loops on these Velcro belts, just put a loop of Paracord or Spectra where the strap loops through as a backup. If the buckle or ring fails you're still fine.

15 cent fix.

Dontsink

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Re: Plastic Buckles
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2022, 01:17:35 PM »
Velcro and a simple metal reversing loop is pretty bulletproof. The failure mode for plastic buckles is consistent--one leg breaks off. The buckles get tested with a straight pull, but any force applied at an angle can break one leg, and when the leg breaks it's gone. Velcro will wear out if it's not the good stuff, but if you have enough area and a reversing loop to make the stress on the velcro pretty minimal, it's reliable for decades.

That is what i use too.
Diver belt buckles were opening in big downwind spills due water force.

Velcro doubling on itself through a steel loop has not released accidentally in more than a year and it can be released quickly if in danger.

I put some carbon tube around the steel loop so it would slide on/off easier.

JohnnyTsunami

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Re: Plastic Buckles
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2022, 09:54:54 PM »
I have the NSI harness with the plastic buckle. They have caved in and donít have the plastic buckle anymore.

I find itís great aside from a few quibbles. Iíve snapped board leashes while flying away in the air and the board nosediving which left a welt on my back whipping to me. Harness held just fine.

Paddling through surf on the coast I had to eject from my board and wing when a huge set bore down on me. Just squeezed the buckle and I swam free. Board and wing were attached to each other at the harness but were safely 20ft apart with both leashes maxed out. Swam in and grabbed them before they got the beach. No gear issues.


Eating my words. A plastic tong on the buckle of the NSI harness snapped on me after a nasty crash. Wing and board attached to the harness. Fortunately the harness acted like a sea anchor and I could catch the board before I got swept to no-man's land with miles of cliffs.

I was able to use the climbing carabiner (non-locking, super light) that I use for my wing to connect the harness back together and ended my session using the harness. I've used it again a bunch of times like this. I don't want to buy a new harness now when I know a few good ones are coming out in the spring. Vinaka pro? Will pick up a new buckle somewhere.

I saw a windsurfer with a dyneema hand-sewn harness with a metal spreader bar and absolutely zero padding. It had to be lighter than mine. Some interesting options. 

PonoBill

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Re: Plastic Buckles
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2022, 09:28:40 AM »
My waist harness is sewn directly to my impact vest, which has the added advantage of making me wear the vest. I could do a better job of attaching the harness reel, but this works very well. I'd have to lose the entire vest to lose the leash, and if that happens from some monster wave I'm fucked anyway.

All the same, I decided to see if I can upgrade my vest/harness. After all my shoulder surgeries I know I don't swim as well as I think I do.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2022, 09:37:07 AM by PonoBill »
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.

tj_boof

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Re: Plastic Buckles
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2022, 04:22:52 AM »
any chance you have a photo of what broke?  i'm using the 2022 NSI minimalist harness.  the harness is stout, including the strap buckle...so i am curious about your harness failure.  maybe you have a different version of NSI harness.

I have the NSI harness with the plastic buckle. They have caved in and donít have the plastic buckle anymore.

I find itís great aside from a few quibbles. Iíve snapped board leashes while flying away in the air and the board nosediving which left a welt on my back whipping to me. Harness held just fine.

Paddling through surf on the coast I had to eject from my board and wing when a huge set bore down on me. Just squeezed the buckle and I swam free. Board and wing were attached to each other at the harness but were safely 20ft apart with both leashes maxed out. Swam in and grabbed them before they got the beach. No gear issues.


Eating my words. A plastic tong on the buckle of the NSI harness snapped on me after a nasty crash. Wing and board attached to the harness. Fortunately the harness acted like a sea anchor and I could catch the board before I got swept to no-man's land with miles of cliffs.

I was able to use the climbing carabiner (non-locking, super light) that I use for my wing to connect the harness back together and ended my session using the harness. I've used it again a bunch of times like this. I don't want to buy a new harness now when I know a few good ones are coming out in the spring. Vinaka pro? Will pick up a new buckle somewhere.

I saw a windsurfer with a dyneema hand-sewn harness with a metal spreader bar and absolutely zero padding. It had to be lighter than mine. Some interesting options.

 


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