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Why ropes and fingers should be kept straight


skibreeze

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My buddy was trying to surf today and managed to get a small loop in the rope. When he fell, the loop tightened over 3 fingers, ripping his middle finger tip off. They don't think that it will be able to be reattached, even though we got him to the ER within an hour of the accident. Just a reminder of how dangerous these little oversights can be.

http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s312/tudizzle/2011-07-17_21-01-43_25.jpg

http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/ff134/Bossrev/Resampled_2011-07-17_20-29-28_316.jpg

Edited by skibreeze
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I'm sorry that this happened to your friend and wish him a speedy recovery.

Can you share a few more details so that we can all learn from this.

What type of rope was he using? We use a thick surf rope and I'm not sure how we could get a small loop in it.

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It was a CWB surf rope that came with the board and video package. The end is the thick macrame, but the closer to the boat you get, it is like a regular ski rope.

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Lost 2 finger tips the same way 3 years ago. Had 3 surgery since as finger nails keep growing (internally) and generate an infection.

My buddy was trying to surf today and managed to get a small loop in the rope. When he fell, the loop tightened over 3 fingers, ripping his middle finger tip off. They don't think that it will be able to be reattached, even though we got him to the ER within an hour of the accident. Just a reminder of how dangerous these little oversights can be.

http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s312/tudizzle/2011-07-17_21-01-43_25.jpg

http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/ff134/Bossrev/Resampled_2011-07-17_20-29-28_316.jpg

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I had a buddy break his middle finger this weekend the same way even after repeated warnings of "do not coil the rope and hold it in your hand!" I will be forwarding this on to my surf buddies as yet another reminder to not coil the rope while surfing.

Thanks for sharing.

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Brandon did lose the end of his finger, looks like the others will be ok though.

Jeez Skibreeze, you've had a rough couple of weekends on the water. First a swamped john boat incident and now a buddy looses a finger. Lets hope the trend does not continue.

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I have seen people throw a rope to a surfer who is about to lose the wave. Equally bad idea. Once the damage is done you just can't take back these bad decisions.

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I just sent an e mail to the owner of Cinch Hydrofoil Products to ask if he can come up with a safe surfing tow rope with a velcro section. He already makes one for hyrdofoiling, but I don't think it is sensitive enough to save a finger.

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I just sent an e mail to the owner of Cinch Hydrofoil Products to ask if he can come up with a safe surfing tow rope with a velcro section. He already makes one for hyrdofoiling, but I don't think it is sensitive enough to save a finger.

Sorry to hear about the fingers, hope it turns out well.

I'd be very interested in a quick release surf rope too. Keep us posted.

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Side note on ropes and dangers: For any skiers (or riders) out there, there are a lot of guards out there to prevent head or limbs going through bridle which has caused many serious injuries and death, one at famed Ski Paradise Acapulco. Recently a buddy of mine had a wake up call. At the end of a wakeskate session, he did a double up and front flip off the skate but put a leg through the handle on a SPECTRA rope, when rope tightened, it snapped the line. Think about what it would take to snap a spectra line. No more front flips for a while without a handle guard.

Carry on.

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Rope injuries are all too common in this sport. I can't tell you enough that the rope is probably the most dangerous & overlooked piece of equipment we use. It should be respected & feared.

Over the years I've seen a guy loose 2 middle fingers at the first knuckle, a girl loose her entire hand just above the thumb, and another guy loose his big toe. The last two were not even the rider at the time.... just happened to be in the boat & got tangled up in the rope at a bad time.

I use a Cinch release on my rope at ALL TIMES. Everyone should use some kind of quick release, PERIOD.

Good luck to your buddy, skibreeze.

Edited by Bill_AirJunky
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MalibuNation

One of my biggest fears is kids love to hold on the rope while in the boat - they think they are helping ... they have such a short attention span, explain to them why it's bad ... couple of minutes later they are doing the same thing.

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One of my biggest fears is kids love to hold on the rope while in the boat - they think they are helping ... they have such a short attention span, explain to them why it's bad ... couple of minutes later they are doing the same thing.

This sounds cruel, but if their not listening, grab their hand and crush it with yours. Explain to them that it will hurt 10 times worse if the rope gets into the prop. My kids know never to touch the rope unless I ask them too.

Another one, they like to try to catch the pier when you pull up along side (they see mom & dad to that too...just trying to help). Close your fist and smash/punch their fingers when they are on the gunnel or pier the next time they try to help (assuming they aren't listening). Explain (again) that it will hurt 10 times worse than that when a wave pushes the boat into the pier and their fingers are in the way. Yes you are looked at like a real jerk, but it gets the point across.

We had some guests over a few weeks ago, talking about this same thing in the kitchen. Radio on, kids are upstairs playing. I loudly ask "What's the most dangerous thing in a boat?" and from upstairs my two boys yell "The rope!". Another time recently we pulled up to the pier, and I asked my 5 year old daughter "You gonna catch it?" She shakes her head laughing at me "NO WAY!"

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We ski a lot of short line and another thing to watch is if we miss a start the handle will often end up in the boat. If we have any small children in the boat the sporter is assigned the job of holding or watching the kids to block handles.

A lot of load in the rope getting our fat butts up. :biggrin:

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Rope injuries are all too common in this sport. I can't tell you enough that the rope is probably the most dangerous & overlooked piece of equipment we use. It should be respected & feared.

Over the years I've seen a guy loose 2 middle fingers at the first knuckle, a girl loose her entire hand just above the thumb, and another guy loose his big toe. The last two were not even the rider at the time.... just happened to be in the boat & got tangled up in the rope at a bad time.

I use a Cinch release on my rope at ALL TIMES. Everyone should use some kind of quick release, PERIOD.

Good luck to your buddy, skibreeze.

Can you tell us more about the Cinch release. The Cinch website is rather lacking... Do you think it would have saved the finger in this case?

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My buddy was trying to surf today and managed to get a small loop in the rope. When he fell, the loop tightened over 3 fingers, ripping his middle finger tip off. They don't think that it will be able to be reattached, even though we got him to the ER within an hour of the accident. Just a reminder of how dangerous these little oversights can be.

http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s312/tudizzle/2011-07-17_21-01-43_25.jpg

http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/ff134/Bossrev/Resampled_2011-07-17_20-29-28_316.jpg

Best of luck too your friend! Thank you for sharing!

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MalibuNation

This sounds cruel, but if their not listening, grab their hand and crush it with yours. Explain to them that it will hurt 10 times worse if the rope gets into the prop. My kids know never to touch the rope unless I ask them too.

Another one, they like to try to catch the pier when you pull up along side (they see mom & dad to that too...just trying to help). Close your fist and smash/punch their fingers when they are on the gunnel or pier the next time they try to help (assuming they aren't listening). Explain (again) that it will hurt 10 times worse than that when a wave pushes the boat into the pier and their fingers are in the way. Yes you are looked at like a real jerk, but it gets the point across.

We had some guests over a few weeks ago, talking about this same thing in the kitchen. Radio on, kids are upstairs playing. I loudly ask "What's the most dangerous thing in a boat?" and from upstairs my two boys yell "The rope!". Another time recently we pulled up to the pier, and I asked my 5 year old daughter "You gonna catch it?" She shakes her head laughing at me "NO WAY!"

MB

Great advice in sentence number one ... can't wait to use it.

EDIT Maybe compare it to a red hot wire.

Edited by MalibuNation
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Oh snap Dizz!!! I clicked on this thread and my first thot was "I hope thats not Brandon's".....

Sorry to hear that D. We just looked at the pics/thread on SW. Nasty bad. So sorry Dizz.

Lets all be more aware of the dangers of the rope. My worst injury so far on a boat has been from the rope. Learning inverts on the Ski and got my left arm thru the handle while landing/crashing, then the boat proceeded to try and rip my forearm off. Bad day.

Thanks for the tips guys. Going to have to go over some rule with my kids.

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Thanks for sharing, skibreeze. When you said tip, I was imagining it wasn't nearly that bad. I hope it works out ok.

Just this weekend I got the rope wrapped around my arm while it tightening up for a start. Fortunately my driver was totally on top of it and reversed before I could even open my mouth, but it could have been very bad as we don't usually ever stop the boat competely when picking up an experienced rider.

Our newer riders like to choke up on the rope in various ways. I'll keep a doubly sharp eye on how they hold the rope from now on.

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Sorry to hear about the fingers, hope it turns out well.

I'd be very interested in a quick release surf rope too. Keep us posted.

I just got off the phone with the owner of Cinch Hydrofoil Products (Lonnie) After discussing the surf rope problem, Lonnie says his existing release may or may not be able to be set light enough to save a finger. It will most certainly save anything bigger than a finger. The trick is to set the release strong enough to get a rider up, but light enough to release if the rope gets wrapped around something. I have had my Cinch release pop after I caught the rope with my hydrofoil wings and I barely felt it. The point is it does not take much to cause the release to let go. Even if you keep it set to it's max setting there is still not a direct connection to the boat......if you hook an arm through the handle it will definitely release.

The release is basically hook and loop velcro and is "set" according to how much overlap there is between the inner and outer pieces. The directions are here http://cinchmax.com/id4.html look about halfway down the page under "release". You will learn through trial and error how many inches of overlap you need for a given rider weight. Once it is set properly you do not have to worry about it letting go during tricks where there is lots of line load. I have been using the release for about six years and it has never released when I did not want it to. I have heard stories to the contrary, but they are few and far between.

Almost everyone on my crew uses it when they ride foils or boards. I keep the Cinch release tied to the tower tow ball and a carribeaner tied to the other end. That way I can just clip on whatever line a rider chooses and they are still protected. We don't surf much, but we will now be using it for surfing off the rear pylon as well.

The Cinch release can also be used as a manual pull trick release. If you see a rider in trouble you can just pull on the release cord and the rider is no longer connected to the boat. This thing is worth it's weight in gold when you are learning or teaching certain tricks where there is a high probability of becoming one with the tow rope. Some sort of release really should be considered as standard equipment. The idea is way overdue.

One more tip.............my line has a large diameter braided section just ahead of the handle. It is very unlikely that this large section could wrap around an arm without sliding off.

Bill.....I know you are far more familiar with the Cinch release than I am. Can you add anything to the above?

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A guy on Tigeowners.com got his whole arm put through the handle about a year ago. The force on the handle lacerated the entire arm from just below the armpit to the elbow. Then again in his forearm. This ripped his brachial artery. He would have died had it not been for some intelligent first aid. After multiple surgeries, he is doing pretty well, but was lucky given the amount of damage. He also suffered complications of a pulmonary embolism, where a blood clot went to his lungs, so this might have even been indirectly fatal.

Thanks for the refresher on how dangerous the rope can be. I once fell on the rope while surfing, and it gave me a nasty rugburn under my arm. Luckily that is the only rope injury I have seen directly.

A guy on my lake wrapped the rope around his wrist while tubing (not very bright for sure) and when the slack came out, it just snapped his hand off right at the wrist. The hand is still down there on the bottom of the lake. Divers could not find it in 100 feet of water.

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