Ruben Lenten is feeling positive.
Normally I'm pretty good at replying to comments but I just haven't felt like it this time as I’m tired from the pain and meds. Also this safety and brand thing is a never ending ‘progressive’ and opinion and experience based story.
I read some super nice and understanding comments, thank you, also some critical comments, thanks for that. But some people are just wrong and I wanted to make my stand and learning points very clear so that all the stupid shit talk can ‘stop’. (yeah right) Haha.
Anyways, first of all I want you to know that Ozone doesn’t push me to say or do anything. Whatever I do/say is all free will and what I think is best for everyone. I obviously wanted to share my quick release accident in detail so we can all learn ‘multiple’ things from it.
Kiteboarding is being taken to the next level at a rapid phase with more and more (young) riders going bigger and more extreme. That also brings more risk and responsibility to us all, and the gear that we build, use and will built, on and off the water.
Quick-releases are like seatbelts and they’re basically all the same, yes some are bigger, smaller, more/less sensitive but there is an AFNOR standard regulation that has been set by ISO. Most releases meet this standard so you can feel safe out there and rock your session without worries. Please don’t forget to use your release ASAP when something goes wrong and it’s safe to do so. Don’t worry about your gear being damaged, because in a split second you could end up way worse than your gear. Just release before you loose control during launch, on the beach, on the water, it will be there dangling for you without power.
Once you push/hit/twist the release it opens, that’s how it’s designed. This can happen (to any brand) by accident unfortunately, which can be very dangerous/painful/annoying. So be careful where you put your hands. It doesn’t happen that often and sometimes people can’t open their release in times of danger due to it being too stuck, bend or sand inside. Design never ends, especially safety design. In the end our lives our hanging on the line. So we better take excellent care and the necessary extra steps/time/thought in order to prevent any further ‘disasters’.
My point is that we have to rethink the whole safety system mainly for advanced riders that love getting huge air, not to forget about snow-kiters with their insane heights and hang-time. So let’s focus on that and see how the designs progress into something epic. Not only for Ozone but for all brands.
The kiteboarding community is very active online and that’s the power we have to keep communicating and sharing stories to learn from. Some brands are super competitive and crazy in their actions/words towards other brands and fighting for their piece of the pie. I’m not like that, I’m here to grow the pie and get more people into this beautiful sport and lifestyle to enhance peoples lives and make kiteboarding, it’s products, and riders grow in a beautiful, peaceful, and epic way.
And that’s why I wanted to share this story and this video attached as Cape Town was an absolute shit show at some points. People jumping (20+m) when there are people downwind of them, or people turning around and not looking properly behind and upwind before doing so. Super dangerous and we’ve seen some very close calls. I also make mistakes, like this scary jump here I was so focused on the takeoff that I didn’t see the guy turn around on time, and he didn’t see me until the very last moment. (once again, sorry dude).
First of all I advice everyone to double check before jumping and/or turning around to make sure the area is way clear on the water and in the air before you make your move. When you turn around don’t just turn your head and quickly look but scan the air upwind of you as well as there might be someone incoming from way up there. This might just save the day. That’s why I want to use this opportunity to gather the kiteboarding community to stop nagging on brands or people but instead to help think how we can all make it safer for everyone together.
We’re all energy, let’s make it good energy… ride together, safely.
Sending love, a lot of wind, and waves your way.
Ride hard and fly high.
Safety third. ;-)