Quick Release Harness - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 10-27-2013   #1
 
Caleb125's Avatar
 
Edwards, Colorado
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Quick Release Harness

I have been looking into getting a rescue PFD and under product description/specs I have seen something called a Quick Release Harness. I am fairly new to kayaking and am curious what this is and what it does.

Thanks,
Caleb

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Old 10-28-2013   #2
Abron Cabron
 
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Santa Fe, Nuevo Mexico
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Caleb- the short answer is: take a swiftwater rescue class before or during next paddling season. If you love the river, and you love kayaking,and want to do it for the rest of forever that is.....
I am not an expert, but i can give you a brief description... and by all means...if you are gonna take the class, then get a rescue PFD cause you'll need it. (to practice of course )
dont wear a rescue PFD until you are trained to use it. (thats what i was always told....)the reason being- someone sometime on the river may need you to help in capacity you are incapable of, and you will put yourself and others in jeopardy using the vest without training...
the class teaches you how to utilize rescue PFDs and throwropes, pulleys,all the gear, and how to swim and read and navigate hazards in a safe (er) manner.

So.... to answer your question, A quick release harness is a belt around the PFD that has a steel ring on the back and a tether attached to the ring, with a carabiner at the end. the belt has a quick release buckle in front so that you can pull the red knob, and disentangle yourself from the rope or boat if necessary.

The theory is : never tie into anything on the river.it can tangle and drown you very easily.. (the reason river runners need to always have a knife on them...!)
The Caveat is: Never tie into anything, UNLESS, you have the training, and have practiced utilizing the equipment properly, and have NEED to rescue a companion or their boat. and you have help accomplishing the rescue.

THEN you clip in with the tether/biner to a throw rope for a belayed live bait swim to rescue a person.... or clip it to a grab loop to rescue/tow a boat. (being clipped to a boat full of water IS and can be very dangerous, and shouldn't be your first choice to help corral a boat in rapids. the quick release isnt 100% failproof especially under load.(so i have heard...sketchy....!)
you should push it (dolphin it) to the shore with your own boat first if possible. other wise let it go til the water calms then get it hopefully. life before equipment. yours and your companions. dont go after the gear until you are sure the swimmer is ok....


as mentioned above, the live bait Tether allows you to do several rescue functions. you can anchor yourself in to an anchor point quickly & easily (not totally secure,cause you could slip out of your PFD if you really fall vertically, but it is good for a quick assist when near an edge or belaying someone else...) you can do a 'live bait' swim, swimming on belay (roped in) to put hands on and ideally rescue a entrapped or unconscious swimmer. I am sure there are other uses too but those are the obvious ones.

OR since crazy super duper rescues dont happen every day....you can just look awesome in your rescue jacket at all times, but rarely use it and mostly just catch it on treebranches,sticks and bushes, thereby making yourself your own worst entanglement hazard..... lol

Also.... (sort of) last thing... your friends/paddling partners really need to take the class too, cause you are doing it for their benefit, and them for you.thats the commitment. and then you need to practice every summer so it doesnt fade....
we all know these last things from experience....

so heres a shameless plug for downstream edge.... they teach an awesome streamlined kayak rescue class. perfect if you arent career FD or SAR/tech rescue or whatever (even if you are actually) ....but you want the nitty gritty techniques you'll really use in day to day kayaking.....

http://downstreamedge.wordpress.com/

DSE and tons of other organizations in CO put on classes every spring.

And since i am from New Mexico i will give you this link too- for Steve Harris- my first SWI instructor (along with most all riverrunners in NM).
more river guide/rafting oriented classes.. (but top notch and totally 1000% applicable to kayaking)
Far Flung Adventures \| Swiftwater Rescue
Uncle Steve helped develop the SWI curriculum back in the day.

also google 'Swiftwater rescue" by Slim Ray. as a textbook to read this winter....
and KAYAK by William Nealy... that is essential reading for a new kayaker...
Both are available used on amazon for cheep....
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Old 10-28-2013   #3
Abron Cabron
 
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whew...and to think..all i really was gonna say was "take the class, young paduan!"...but a worthy subject is worth the thought.... i am excitable tonight, and yes, i am stuck at work....
anyway, hope that helps!
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Old 10-28-2013   #4
 
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abron View Post
So.... to answer your question, A quick release harness is a belt around the PFD that has a steel ring on the back and a tether attached to the ring, with a carabiner at the end. the belt has a quick release buckle in front so that you can pull the red knob, and disentangle yourself from the rope or boat if necessary.
Did your tether come with your PFD Abe? I'm pretty sure they are an additional piece of equipment... at least it didn't come with mine

Stohlquist Re-traxt 4'

Here is an excellent video describing the benefits of the quick release harness and how to use it:

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Old 10-28-2013   #5
Abron Cabron
 
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Originally Posted by lmyers View Post
Did your tether come with your PFD Abe? I'm pretty sure they are an additional piece of equipment... at least it didn't come with mine
yup. its additional. but since he asked what it was actually used for.....

btw, good video, good series.. that would have saved me some brain cells .
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Old 10-28-2013   #6
 
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Edwards, Colorado
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Thank you! This is helpful and I will take a class, however, this is not exactly what I was looking for... Some Rescue PFD's say that they have a quick release BELT (What you all are talking about, and a quick release HARNESS (????). Any insight is appreciated.
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Old 10-28-2013   #7
 
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Silverthorne, Colorado
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Harness and belt are interchangeable in this situation. The only difference is some jackets have the buckle end of the belt affixed to the PFD (read this as the "QR harness"), where others allow you to be able to remove the belt all together (read this as the "QR belt")

Hope this helps.
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Old 10-29-2013   #8
 
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Edwards, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleYouEss View Post
Harness and belt are interchangeable in this situation. The only difference is some jackets have the buckle end of the belt affixed to the PFD (read this as the "QR harness"), where others allow you to be able to remove the belt all together (read this as the "QR belt")

Hope this helps.
Perfect! thanks so much, that was exactly what I needed.
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