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On snow or on water the most important skill to master in kiting is being able to activate your quick release when things get dodgy. New kiters should practice their QR repeatedly before ever going out, the idea is to commit this action to muscle memory. When things go bad it can happen very fast, you do not want to think about letting go - you want it to be a reflex.

On a few occasions this past year I have come across newbies concerned about heading out in given conditions. After evaluating kite size, wind velocity, etc.., my ultimate reply is "are you comfortable using your quick release"? A few have had no idea how to use it.

Awareness and forethought as to when you might need to release is also very important. Sudden Weather changes or downwind obstacles should have you thinking about letting go well before you might need to. Limit your exposure to bad situations.

Get it dialed. Being able to let your kite go is the key to this variable and powerful sport of ours. Master a few safety fundamentals and its all Gravy.
Steve Martin
Good information. Scary to think that some newbies don't know how to use their quick release. "Oldies" should also practice using their release once in a while to make sure that it still works well.
Im happy to say that I was quickly able to hit my QR instinctually when I needed to recently. Kiting at Boca Grande this Dutch guy is ahead of me on port tack and misses the handle on a sent mobe, his suicide leashed kite floats back across my lines and starts to loop my kite. Without even thinking about it I popped the 5th Element Chicken loop. We were'nt that far upwind in side on conditions - my kite landed on the beach. So glad I wasnt too rusty and didnt get worked on the beach!

If someones kite loops through your flat bow - sle - kite lines do you release the kite altogether even if you dont have kite leash?
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