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Old     (mucktoerider)      Join Date: Jan 2007       03-16-2007, 4:21 PM Reply   
Share your stories of mishaps with tow ropes. I was just thinking back a few years back when spectra line first came out. Someone on Lake St. Claire someone got tangled in the spectra line and lost their arm. Now I was not there, but it was on the local news. Please no pictures if your story turned out like that poor soul. I guess someone yelled from the boat are you ready to go....he yelled back NO and they thought he said GO!
Old     (malibu73)      Join Date: Jun 2006       03-16-2007, 4:42 PM Reply   
my dad told me about a time when he was skiing back in the day and the driver slowed down so to stay up he started pulling himself in on the rope and wraping with his elbow and had, when the guy spead back up the rope slipped and wrapped around his writs. No permanant, but he ended up going to the hospital.
Old     (flux)      Join Date: Jun 2003       03-16-2007, 4:51 PM Reply   
I am gonna say before this thread get's going that rope mishaps scare me good. As the driver, I am very conscious of the rope, folks around the rope, and the rider. Paying attention when it goes taught is key. I think people misjudge how dangerous the little things can be. Things can happen though, but I try my best to keep everyone on their toes about the rope.
Old     (airagain)      Join Date: Jun 2006       03-16-2007, 5:06 PM Reply   
When my son was about 6 or 7 we had the tube(I know, tube is a bad word around here. I swear though, the lake was completely blown out and there was no good water in sight.) with the rope attached and coiled on the floor of the boat. As we left the no wake zone and I started to get up to speed the tube flew out and landed upside down in the water causing a lot of drag. The rope quickly wrapped around my sons ankle and almost pulled him right out of the boat. Fortunately, he was not hurt aside from a really bad rope burn around his ankle.
Old     (otiswunguy)      Join Date: Apr 2002       03-16-2007, 5:17 PM Reply   
Lots. I managed to break my little sisters cheekbone, eye socket, and nose about 12 + years ago from a strechy slalom ski rope recoiling into the boat. I still here about that one at least 10 times a year. Lucky for her plastic surgeons work wonders. As for my self I have had 2 close calls. Bad rope burn on a wrapped 3 and I stuck my arm through the handle on a three and got a really good jerk on my arm from the rope. I have also met one guy who lost the tip of his finger while teaching wakesurfing to someone else. The rope looped around his finger while he was trying to get the surfer into the sweet spot then the surfer cut away suddenly and took the tip of his finger with him.
Old     (kraig)      Join Date: Dec 2002       03-16-2007, 5:32 PM Reply   
Ok, I've got to chime in here. This rope mishap happened back in the summer of 2003. Back then we were still using a stretch rope made my straighline. I had a DD ski boat. Let me set the scene: My friend was driving the boat. Behind the engine clamshell was a huge ballast bag. I was sitting on the bag with my back leaning on the engine facing backwards. I was behind the driver and slightly over to be able to use the engine as my seat back. To my right was a friend who was facing backwards sitting on the ballast bag as well. I had a glass beverage in my left hand so it was in line between the driver and the rider behind the boat. I had a friend who was riding who was trying to do a 360 by wraping wraping the rope behind his back and then spinning in the air for a 360. He hadn't landed it but was really really close. But every time he tried it he would wipe out however he would try to salvage the trick by holding onto the rope as long as possible. He's not a light guy either.

Anyway, he tries it, doesn't quite land it. He holds onto the rope as long as possible until he can't anymore and gives up on the trick. By this time the line is loaded to the gills with tension. The rope handle recoils right at me! I lean to my right up against my friend who's sitting next to me but I kept my drink elevated where I was holding it. The handle hits the glass bottle right above my hand breaks the top of the bottle clean off and then the handle nails the driver in the back of the head. I was still holding the bottom part of the bottle in my hand. My friend who was driving got a small cut on the back of his head. I think he blacked out for a split second. I still have the bottle on a shelf in the garage. It's on a wall called the "Wall of fame, wall of shame." It has all kinds of things that we either broke, messed up or pics of great happenings!

So there's my biggest rope mishap.

Edited for grammar

(Message edited by Kraig on March 16, 2007)

(Message edited by Kraig on March 16, 2007)
Old    walt            03-16-2007, 5:34 PM Reply   
A good friend of mine flipped a brand new wakeboat by driving by and grabbing the ski rope with his lower unit. I think he said it was a woman and five kids with no PFD's. Brand new boat was totaled but everyone was ok.

Thats why we use flags and the 100/200ft rule !

Another friend is a paramedic and came across a accident scene on the water. A boat crossed in-between the tow boat and a skier. The rope got hold of the skiers arm and stripped all the flesh off from the bicep down. He said it looked like a chicken bone.

I've actually almost had this happen to us @ Lake Sonoma.
Old     (breakz77)      Join Date: Mar 2003       03-16-2007, 5:50 PM Reply   
In 05 I was wakeskating up in shasta being pulled by a seadoo. They stopped and I let go of the handle (threw it to my right side) and rode until I finally sank down. When they came back to me (on my left) I told them I would swim back since I was pretty close. After the passed me they hit the gas and shot behind me not remembering about the rope. The Rope wrapped around my neck and drug me under. Some how I got a finger in between the rope and my neck and forced my head down deeper into the water and was able to free myself. They never knew anything was going on until people on the houseboat where screaming at them. There was a lot of blood and I have a scar on my neck that looks like I tried to hang myself.... very scary situation!!

A week later I was doing a 3 and my knee's collapsed on the landing, splitting my chin (9 stiches) and shattered a rear molar. Every Dr. had to come look at my neck and tell me I was lucky to be alive.
Old     (solo)      Join Date: Oct 2001       03-16-2007, 6:08 PM Reply   
You asked for it.......

Jon Lindsay from the mission2ride was holding onto the rope as someone was wake surfing. The rider cut out hard and somehow the rope got wrapped around his fingers and as it slide off, took the end of his middle finger right off.
Old     (wakedad33)      Join Date: Oct 2005       03-16-2007, 6:43 PM Reply   
Thanks for sharing Hahn Robby Carter just ran his arm through the handle this week, partiality torn bicep. Out for 4 to 6 weeks.
Old     (timmy)      Join Date: Jul 2001       03-16-2007, 6:55 PM Reply   
once i was on a slalom ski with a stretchy rope, a little to hot of a start, popped the handle out of my hand, and it flew into the boat and gave the spotter a facial fracture. lots of blood, i felt real bad about it.
Old     (ncwake)      Join Date: Nov 2006       03-16-2007, 7:37 PM Reply   
So i was at the beach on a real windy day and there was so much chop so we decided to tube. Well we were coming back and i was the only one sitting on the tube in the front of the boat. We we hit another wake and the I fly up and the wind gets underneath the tube. The tube flys out and the rope wraps around both of my legs and pulls me to the back of the boat. I slam into the back and my legs were instantly purple and black from bruising. I will never sit on a tube in the front of a boat on a windy day.
Old     (mkperceptions)      Join Date: Jan 2007       03-16-2007, 8:19 PM Reply   
I only had one incident ant it was my new rope getting eaten by the prop :-(
Old     (alanp)      Join Date: Apr 2001       03-16-2007, 8:29 PM Reply   
my arm got caught in the handle during a handle pass. my right arm slipped through up to the elbow and i fell. i felt this huge pop and i thought i lost my arm from the elbow down because i couldnt feel anything. easily my scariest moment ever riding.
Old     (wakeboardlasvegas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       03-16-2007, 9:07 PM Reply   
closest thing i had was getting ready to go and the rope made a nice little noose around my thumb and good thing me and the driver were both looking at each other at the same time as he went by cuz it was only the slightest of tugs and even then my thumb was sore for weeks

definitely something i dont ever wanna have happen again!
Old     (mnwakerider)      Join Date: Jun 2004       03-17-2007, 12:51 AM Reply   
Nothing too serious but while surfing I got a little shiner from a carbon handel being tossed back at me.

I have heard stories before of people knocking teeth out with a carbon handle, any body actually see it happen?
Old     (phil06140)      Join Date: Jul 2004       03-17-2007, 4:14 PM Reply   
My friend and I were riding doubles with me in the back him up front. He decided to jump over my line(he didn't clear it). He was riding a Bylery can-opener and My rope caught his cutout. I heard the rope start to buzz on his board so I let go.. The rope ended up getting caught in that cut while he let go so it slammed the handle into his board(carbon). The handle broke in half and he had some carbon splinters in the back of his leg..
Old     (boarditup)      Join Date: Jan 2004       03-17-2007, 5:03 PM Reply   
A friend and I engineered and have produced a release for the line that fits on the tower. I have a scar that is hidden under my watch band that reminds me of rope issues. An attentive observer can release the line. It is a stock piece for all of my tournaments.

Here is the link:

It has already saved us once on an out the front fall where my arm passed through the handle yoke. The only downside is the increased potential of running over the released rope in the water. We approach all fallen riders from 90 degress from the fomer direction of travel now.
Old     (timmy)      Join Date: Jul 2001       03-17-2007, 5:41 PM Reply   
what did you do to the release other than flip it upside down? I have had a very similar KW trik release on my pylon for years.
Old     (boarditup)      Join Date: Jan 2004       03-17-2007, 7:08 PM Reply   
It is a KW release. Karel is my friend and we are on the same show ski team together. The difference is the swivel that allows the release to ride the swivel on the tower. Without the swivel, it binds and unscrews the assembly. The It took 3 prototypes to get it right.

Good eye. Most do not know about the KW release unless you know show skiing.
Old     (timmy)      Join Date: Jul 2001       03-17-2007, 7:18 PM Reply   
yeah i used to show ski :-)
Old     (wakeme884)      Join Date: Jul 2004       03-17-2007, 7:53 PM Reply   
Upload This is what happens when you have a hungover spotter. This thread needed some levity...
Old     (cfd313)      Join Date: Sep 2006       03-18-2007, 3:26 PM Reply   
like the other guy, i know tubing sucks but my wife and friend just had to one day. They were doubling and his rope was longer. His rope got caught around her neck and actually snapped in half. True story...all it did was give her bad rope burn and rip and ear ring out. And scare the heck out of her
Old    walt            03-18-2007, 3:31 PM Reply   
That's a scary story for sure Chad. IMO the only thing a tube is good for is shooting photos or videos. I've seen to many people get jacked up on them.
Old     (zipe)      Join Date: Mar 2002       03-18-2007, 3:39 PM Reply   
Many years ago saw a guy with his boat beached and standing on the sundeck of his boat. He was winding the rope around his hand and elbow to coil it up. It was still attached to the back of the boat. Just as he reached the end, he got knocked of the back of the boat by a roller. With the rope still attached, it ripped his entire thumb off almost all the way to the wrist, only being held on by a flap of skin. He got a nice helicopter ride.
Old     (skeetersky13)      Join Date: Feb 2006       03-18-2007, 7:36 PM Reply   
my mom and dad bought a jet boat. i know i know..but anyway, i kept telling them what they thought wouldnt happen. like any jet, it still runs water through it even if its in neutral. so we were trying to teach my brother in law how to ski, i was moving the rope from one side of the boat to the other and took it off of the wakeboard tower and it jerked and almost pulled me in. we had sucked up our 75 foot ONLY wakeboard rope. wrapped at least 100 times around in the shaft....took us 2 hours to unwind it and we were rowing the whole time. disaster.
Old     (mucktoerider)      Join Date: Jan 2007       03-19-2007, 4:32 AM Reply   
I am glad to view your stories. A lot of the time we take the simple things for granted when we are out on the water that could completely ruin our day.. These are just a reminder and good education. I have picked up on a lot that I thought were perfectly good practices. But you can bet I am going to be way more careful when boating this season. Keep your examples coming. and provide any tips that would help avoid any disasters.
Old     (o2binvallarta)      Join Date: Jul 2006       03-19-2007, 10:02 AM Reply   
Great post Scott. I've always considered myself very rope cautious, but this brought up so many other things to be aware of.
Old     (boarditup)      Join Date: Jan 2004       03-19-2007, 11:09 AM Reply   
A loop in a rope is called a "bight" and is pronounced "bite." Just let that roll around in your cranium for a while. Any loop in a rope is dangerous, especially on water where EVERYTHING is in constant motion. Never stick any part of your body through a bight or stand on any coil. As you have seen, lots of injuries and a few deaths are from ignoring this simple rule.

1. Never coil a rope around your body. This includes your hand to elbow.

2. Never step on a coil of rope.

3. The bitter end (the very end of the rope) should be secured at all times. If you cannot (take off loops), secure that end out of the way so it cannot come on contact with anyone. We have a velcro rope keeper on the tower to hold that line out of the way.

4. The only command to hit the throttle is "HIT IT!" "Go" means nothing. Anyone can yell "stop" and the driver will go to neutral.

5. If using a release, use it on every fall.

6. When picking up a rider, it is safest to take in the rope and hand it back to them. If you do wrap them, do so only at idle speed and the driver must be in eye contact at all times.

7. Any rope injury can have internal complications. Get it checked right away.

8. Commons sense prevails. Use your noggin. Most people will come up with a good answer when they think about it.
Old     (zipe)      Join Date: Mar 2002       03-19-2007, 11:24 AM Reply   
Ahh, and there is the flaw in the comprehensive rope safety plan...

"Commons sense prevails. Use your noggin"
Old     (fish6942)      Join Date: Dec 2005       03-19-2007, 2:51 PM Reply   
Like Karl said earlier, "hit it" is the only command I use to take off. It's hard to mistake it for much else.
Old     (wakedad33)      Join Date: Oct 2005       03-19-2007, 2:58 PM Reply   
Robby Carter's handel after he ran his arm through it up to his arm pit last week, his arm dosen,t look much better.Upload
Old     (attila916)      Join Date: Oct 2005       03-19-2007, 5:02 PM Reply   
Randy has some class! Thanks for showing the handle instead of the arm!
Old     (l7wakeboarder)      Join Date: Feb 2005       03-20-2007, 7:07 AM Reply   
Three seperate incidents for me. First one was a couple years back when my cousin was driving my parents jet boat. I fell and he came around to pick me up but was going way too fast, the rope caught on to the board and popped my knee big time. I ended up with a sprained MCL and had to sit out the end of july and most of august, and of course my parents were getting a new boat rhe next day.

Second incident happened when I was trying a wrapped three and had the rope way too high. I took a header and my head went through the handle. I ended up dislocating my jaw and looking like the elephant man for a couple of days due to swelling.

Third incident happened when the rope wrapped around my arm. Driver was just idling to take out the slack nd even after that slow of a speed I could barely move the arm for a week. Upside was that I had to use my other arm all day and landed my first scarecrow!

I guess I am pretty accident prone huh?
Old     (shredthegnar)      Join Date: Feb 2007       03-20-2007, 8:05 AM Reply   
on a lighter note, i rode with the accurate jacket this weekend, solid, solid. love it.

a good friend of mine was @ a church river trip, they were tubing with a bunch of kids and as he was climbing back up on the tube after falling off, he managed to get the rope around his calf.

the driver of the boat hit it hard, as the slack got yanked out of the rope, it tightened around my buddies calf, ripping it off, literally.

his entire calf muscle curled u pand the whole inside of the back of his leg was exposed.

medivaced out, couldnt sew it up right away either cause the bacteria from the water.

dude doesnt really have a calf on his right leg anymore, walks with a limp, but he tells a great story.

Old     (eternalshadow)      Join Date: Nov 2001       03-20-2007, 12:29 PM Reply   
Friends tubing x 3. All sitting in their tubes. One friends tube rolls and as he falls the slack from the tube wraps around his heel. Stripped the skin off his heel. He required something like 20-30 external and 10-20 internal stitches and thankfully he didn't do any tendon or permanent damage.
Old     (lmtwa)      Join Date: May 2001       03-20-2007, 12:51 PM Reply   
22 years ago - Trinity Lake (NorCal) - Shaun and Chris skiing - wanting me to pull them double. For 2 days I say "no". Finally they convince me. One rope 6 feet shorter ("so we can cross-over") . Everything was fine until I asked them to go a second time to film. Chris (12 at the time) cut out to the right and Shaun (9) followed him just in front of him. They both let go of the rope at the same time. As Shaun sank into the water, Chris' rope wrapped his lower leg, pulled him out of his ski and lifejacket and into the air. By the time the driver realized it he was dragged quite a few feet. BTW - we still have this on video. It's not pleasant to watch and you can still see the scar on Shaun's leg.

Point is - instinctively I knew it was something we shouldn't be doing - but my main concern was one falling in front of the other. We didn't see the hidden danger in dropping the rope.
Old     (dcooper)      Join Date: Mar 2005       03-20-2007, 3:08 PM Reply   
My nephew was trying to get up on a wakeboard for the first, we had a knot in the rope and it snapped... the rope flew over the top of the tower and over the bow of the boat. I cut the throttle immediately and the prop was still spinning, winding the rope up around it. Luckily it only took a few minutes to get the rope untangled. Lesson... don't let your rope get a knot in it.
Old     (bftskir)      Join Date: Jan 2004       03-20-2007, 6:52 PM Reply   
There was an incident at a tournament in CO where a barefooter was doing a neckhold where the handle is placed over your head and "held" behind your head on your neck, normally if you catch a toe and fell forwards you come right out but this guy fell to his butt at 40 or so and the handle bent and wrapped around his neck and broke his neck/choked him to death instantly, the boat raced back to him and they said you could not recognize him from swelling just a few seconds after it happened. RIP

I have seen some nasty rope burns/cuts which are pretty much always the boat drivers fault, not watching his rope and what its doing and having it in gear...
be very careful with your ropes my frinds, a good rope is almost as strong as steel cable and will cut people like butter.
Old    unclebill            03-20-2007, 9:13 PM Reply   
Cinco de Mayo on the Colorado River, trying to perform a barefoot stunt. The trick was to step off the swim step going 40 mph barefoot. The rope was shortened for placement just back of the swim step. We shortened the rope without disconnecting the full length loop. I fell, the rope dislodged, my arm fell into the handle "V". The rope went flying out of the boat, 75 ft later tuging on my arm @ 40 MPH. Broken arm with fragments shoved into my hand. It is a miracle it didn't sever my arm. I second an earlier post, make sure the rope is connected to one loop and keep everyone clear of the coils.
Old     (blxboarder)      Join Date: Aug 2006       03-20-2007, 10:32 PM Reply   
I was kneeboarding a couple summers back, starting off of my pier, when the driver floored it without telling me. I flew off of the five foot drop with my arm wrapped up in the rope, so it pulled me like ten feet or so under( or so it seemed). It sucked real bad and my arm was all blood blistered and bruised. Needless to say he never drove again lol.
Old     (clay_fraley)      Join Date: Jul 2006       03-22-2007, 2:57 PM Reply   
Ive gotten my arm stuck through the handle a couple of times, the first time was a couple of years ago when I was learning a toe 3, and I landed wrapped and I kinda landed on my heels so I was tying to get the handle with my other hand I and I started to fall back and just got my arm in the handle, and my whole 4arm was purple!

the second time was on a heel 5 off the double up last year, I came around on my last 180 and missed the handle and went right through, but this one wasnt as bad, I only missed one day of riding but it was sore for a while!
Old     (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       03-22-2007, 3:05 PM Reply   
One thing I always avoid is shortening the rope while keeping it tied in the original location. Many years ago we shortened a rope like that and it broke loose. The loose rope managed to lasso the skiers arm before it hit the still tied end and pulled tight. Fortunately it was only a rope burn and a lesson learned.


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