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Old     (somebuddy)      Join Date: Jun 2009       07-14-2009, 9:10 AM Reply   
I know this gets discussed on here quite frequently, but I wanted to let everyone know to be careful about putting their arm through the handle. Some people are starting to throw tricks with their arm through the handle and I donít think the payoff is worth the risk. (I donít think it looks stylish anyway).

Last week my sister was at Powell with her in-laws and she was just doing some basic riding. As she and lots of boarders usually do, she put her arm through the handle to hold it in her elbow to give her arm a rest. A huge roller came and rolled over her board, causing her to go down. The handle ripped out of her arm and she said it was so painful she thought her arm was ripped off (she has been through childbirth twice, so she is no stranger to pain).

The medical facilities at Bullfrog were insufficient so they had to drive her up to Provo. The X-ray showed that the arm was not broken so they referred her to a specialist because the arm looked pretty messed up. They gave her an MRI and found that the tendons had been severed and the muscle was severely torn.

She is going into surgery tomorrow and they are hopeful everything will heal well through physical therapy. She currently cannot move her fingers and has only about 40% feeling in the lower half of her arm.

Please be extra careful and think twice the next time you deliberately put your arm through the handle.
Old     (tom13knotek)      Join Date: Feb 2009       07-14-2009, 9:46 AM Reply   
about 6 years ago i threw a scarecrow and pulled the handle in too far getting it stuck around my arm. the handle ripped on my arm when i hit the water and my arm came out. it is by far the scarriest injury i have ever gone through. i had surgery to drain a bunch of dead blood that built up under my arm. i am curious, what is the surgery for? what muscles did she tear? i ripped my brachealis severely
Old     (boarditup)      Join Date: Jan 2004       07-14-2009, 1:44 PM Reply   
I help design and sell a Tower Safety Release just for this. I is mounted on my boat all the time. We have pulled it maybe 6-7 times and it saved the bacon 3 times.
Old     (wake_it_up)      Join Date: Nov 2008       07-14-2009, 2:17 PM Reply   
Could you explain this release please Karl? It sounds interesting...
Old     (dabell)      Join Date: Apr 2007       07-14-2009, 2:23 PM Reply   
Old     (boarditup)      Join Date: Jan 2004       07-14-2009, 3:26 PM Reply

It is a basic KW Trick Release set up to be used on a MasterCraft tower. Just as with a normal trick release, the operator pulls a rope and the release of the rope is complete.

If you have extra rope, use the velcro wire ties to bundle it together so the released rope does not cause an issue.

Trick releases are required for trick skiing, kneeboarding, and show skiing - anytime the rope is around the body at all. This includes many wrapped tricks. My major concern was blown handle passes and falls where the head passes into the yoke. A couple of slalom skiers have died from this. It is only a matter of time before a wakeboarder suffers a similar fate. It is a totally freak accident, but an inherent risk to the sport.
Old     (chaser)      Join Date: Sep 2006       07-14-2009, 5:54 PM Reply   
not really familiar with the device, but I would think your spotter would have to be right on the ball as I'm guessing the damage/injury is done in a mere second? so do they pull this device on every fall?
Old     (boarditup)      Join Date: Jan 2004       07-14-2009, 6:28 PM Reply   
The release has to be actuated every time you want it to release. It is not automatic. The observer has to be observant. If you ride with the same people every time, they know when you are in trouble and will let the rope go for you.

Other release types rely on a level of tension to break the release free. I do not support that type of device because the damage may already be done to either your arm or shoulder. It does not take much to tear a rotator cuff or wrist from the wrong angle. Think of how little pressure it takes to make somebody wince from pain with their arm twisted behind their back or with the wrist bent down.

I have a scar on my left wrist, typically covered by a watch, where I got the skin peeled off due to a loop in a ski rope trying a 3 on a Skurfer back in 1983.
Old     (bmartin)      Join Date: Jan 2007       07-15-2009, 7:07 AM Reply   
Good advice. It is a senseless injury if you put your arm through the handle intentionally ie. to rest your arm. Ride switch or blind(cuffed) if you want to rest the arms. I have fallen with arm through the handle on a wrapped trick and it is a mother. Russel's post describes the carnage well when this happens.
Old     (somebuddy)      Join Date: Jun 2009       07-22-2009, 4:55 PM Reply   
Hey Tom,
Sorry it took so long to respond. She said it was her brachial radialis. The good news is she didn't have to have surgery! There is enough muscle tissue connected to mend it with therapy alone.
Old     (tom13knotek)      Join Date: Feb 2009       07-27-2009, 9:25 AM Reply   
good to hear, have a relaxing rehabbillitation
Old     (radikal)      Join Date: Feb 2004       07-27-2009, 9:42 AM Reply   
NEXT PATENT : An RC tied up to the handle so when the rider is in trouble he press the button and the rope release with the tower. All this will be electronic systems.
Old     (boarditup)      Join Date: Jan 2004       07-27-2009, 11:42 AM Reply   
How would you push the button with your arm through the handle's yoke?
Old     (radikal)      Join Date: Feb 2004       07-27-2009, 11:51 AM Reply   
other hand ? Or if you push the limits with a high tech Cordless RC remote attach to your life vest you push the button withy your other hand.
Old     (boarditup)      Join Date: Jan 2004       07-27-2009, 12:59 PM Reply   
Maybe...When I get into trouble I don't think - I just react. Difficult to tell if I could keep my wits about me and hit the button. I have been wakeboarding for 26 years now and have fallen a lot. Hard to say if I could add a step to the fall.
Old     (xbones)      Join Date: Mar 2007       07-27-2009, 1:54 PM Reply   
Sorry to hear about the injury! Comes with the territory I'm afraid. Hope for a speedy recovery and return to the water.

Karl - It sounds like you've got a perfect product for some of these folks:

All this safety stuff just keeps getting more and more amusing. JUST RIDE PEOPLE! IF YOU DONT WANT TO GET HURT STAY ON YOUR COUCH!
Old     (boarditup)      Join Date: Jan 2004       07-27-2009, 3:04 PM Reply   
Some of it depends on age. At 45, I cannot afford to be laid up - I have a family depending on me. Yes, there is risk all the time, but I don't get stupid out there. I have often said that the most dangerous words in the world are: "Hey guys, watch this!" Especially when uttered by a Marine Corps Second Lieutenant, but any young male under the influence of alcohol will do as well.

You need to know your limits. When pushing your limits, you may need to use some safety gear or different techniques (such as a wakeskate for learning the Raley or practicing surface 360s before taking it to the wake). The goal is to ride, not recover from an injury.
Old     (nickdakoolkat)      Join Date: Sep 2005       07-27-2009, 6:53 PM Reply   
I had a similar injury, i was wakeskating and i was doing a bs 180 in the flats and i fell off the skate away from the boat , my feet kicked out towards the boat and as i dropped the handle it caught onto my foot.... i was being pulled for what seemed like eternity, and my ankle felt like it was on fire.... i only spraigned my ankle, but it was sore, swollen, and rope burned for a at least a month... I was lucky it wasnt worst!
Old     (waterdork88)      Join Date: Aug 2005       07-27-2009, 7:53 PM Reply   
I also think that the arm through the handle (trick or just riding) doesnt apppear stylish to me whatsoever. Just a good way to permanenly screwup your arm.
Old     (cheesydog)      Join Date: Mar 2009       07-27-2009, 8:18 PM Reply   
friend of mine does a roll to revert and halfway through hooks his arm though the handle and lands like that. It actually looks pretty cool, but I just dont think the risk/reward supports doing that


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