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Chicken-Loop and Kitesurfing

chicken loop

Some visitors might be wondering why a site dedicated to kitesurfing jobs is called "chicken loop" (though those who are already kitesurfers may know it). Let me explain; the chicken loop is a safety device which allows the kiter to connect to his kite as well as quickly detach in case of an emergency.

During the early days of kitesurfing, people used a simple hook or loop to attach the lines of the kite to their harness, very similar to how it is done in sailing or windsurfing. However, while in sailing or windsurfing a simple tuck on the line or boom is sufficient to let the loop fall out of the harness hook to free the rider from the sail, the strength and direction of forces in kitesurfing did not guarantee a simple un-hooking every time.

A fully powered-up kite, or a kite tangled up with another kite generates too much force and momentum to allow the rider to pull on the power lines until the hook is freed from the harness. Moreover, once the kite starts pulling you uncontrollably across the water, your harness loop might not even point down anymore, making it virtually impossible for the loop to 'fall out' to stop the crazy ride you are on and get you back to safety. Also keep in mind, that pulling on the bar will power the kite up even more. In fact, there were quite a few casualties even during official competitions, which contributed to giving kiteboarding the image of a dangerous past time for daredevils.

The chickenloop allows the rider to simply and quickly open the loop that attaches him/her to the kite. The slang term for the device was coined by surfers who mocked anybody who needed an escape device as a "chicken."

The invention and introduction of the chicken loop was a major milestone towards making kitesurfing safe. Without it, kitesurfing would not have experienced its rapid growth. And it would certainly not have become a serious career option for people looking for a work-life balance in their job. So the next time you talk with someone who claims to be a kiteboarder, drop the word “chicken loop” to find out if he is real or a fake. And if you are looking for jobs in the kitesurfing industry, is the place to look!