In the hydroflight sports group there are often good discussions that disappear in the roll or are deleted when the original poster finds things not going as planned.  Here is a great example of the various opinions on the need and reasons for quick release connections between the board and hose on jetboards.  We apparently have been blocked by Frank Zapata of ZR so it is not possible to include his contribution to this discussion.   See the original post at

Image posted to show formatting, full text below.

Caleb Gavic
In all seriousness, has anyone ever needed or used the quick release on the jetblade in a serious situation where it saved them? If so why and what was the story behind it?
Im just thinking I’ve personally never had a situation where I would have needed that.

David Enrique Duprat that’s a good question. I remember hearing that it was a requirement in some european country.

Mike Dear Yes Caleb. My daughter was trapped underwater and passed out whilst trying to free her boots. CPR saved her but was very close to death. The quick release would have given herself an instant rescue and I do believe it should be a feature of all decks.

Bobby Vance Cars have airbags as a safety precaution. You probably won’t ever use one, or at least you hope you never do, but it’s nice to know its there if you do

Bobby Vance We also had a situation where the ZR remote failed and would not shut off the ski. The hose blew off the U Pipe causing the ski to go backwards and was dragging Hunter by his legs. He was bobbing underwater and it was a very scary moment indeed. A simple quick release would have remedied the situation quickly. Instead he was in a bad situation for about 2 minutes until we could get a safety ski to him

Brandon Landis Jordan Finley has been trapped underwater by his hose, too

Charlene Lewis Jordan Finley had a close call as well at the lake but the most scary incident we had was with a client of ours in our very first season with a 2012 board. Jordan was flying a customer and the customer was a bit tired so Jordan cut the throttle. The hose sank to the bottom of the river (this is a lazy slow flow river) near the dam. After allowing the client to rest he turned the ski back on and it started to pull the client underwater. Being he is trained well he immediately noticed and cut the engine and the client came to the top but he did not hesitate and jumped in the water and released the client from
the bindings. These were Velcro bindings and done quickly and calmly. We- myself had already came with another ski to the situation. We took the client back to shore and then spent hours getting unstuck .when we turned the power the boots got drug to the bottom of the river about 28 feet. The current drag would not allow us to get unstuck. We initially tried flying out of the situation as Jordan but the bindings on and tried to go up river and all it did was drag him directly down so he had to release from the bindings although not strapping in completely..then we tried towing the ski upriver to unstick the Debris no luck! Too much pull! We were left diving for over 2-3 hours and it was nearing dusk! We thought of disconnecting the elbow but the risk of it ending up at the bottom of the river completely was too much It was hard to get a direct dive with that depth as well. We thought final resort is un-hook the hose from the elbow and hope the boots float up enough we can grab and pull but again we were we were worried of loosening it all to the bottom of the river and not knowing exactly where to find it again. Finally Jordan rested well and got a nice dive from up current and dove down and untangled it from a large branch way at the bottom! He did however pop a eardrum!! It was a stressful situation for a long time we always worried about cutting the engine and getting stuck on debris again. Hey why not experience it all! On a good note note our customer came back in the am and flew like a champ! I feel the quick release is a definite definite plus!! Crazy stuff happens!

Caleb Gavic How were people trapped? Like mud or weeds? Or just a heavy hose? If you’re getting thrown around, will you really have the power to be able to bend down and pull the pin? How easy is the pin to pull under pressure? Has anyone pulled the pin while flying to test it working under pressure? If so that could be a very funny video!

Brandon Landis I think his hose was caught on the bottom. I think if your life depended on it you’d get to the pin. It has a strap too that could easily be extended. Another reason to stay flexible and keep your core strong.

Brandon Landis And yes, they definitely tested it and everything that happens after, like getting away from a raging hose if the throttle is stuck.

Charlene Lewis No pin back then on the 2012.. The pin is one thing the twist is another. Just have to have observant instructors with good common since and there wits about them!

Craig Foust Back with the v1. Had the hose to come off the board, of course this was the wired emk at the time, so I know the quick release wouldn’t have help in this situation. But when the hose blew off of course it went straight down from the thrust, while the wired emk was still hooked to the board, it yanked me out of the air and took me down about 20′ under in a matter of seconds. I watched the surface disappear quick! I was trying to claw my way to the surface, was a sickening feeling to feel the hose was going to take me to the bottom and keep me there.

Thank God Logan was on the ski and had sense enough to yank the key after what felt like forever.
Like I said in this case a quick release would not have helped…. But now that we are all wireless, I believe the quick release should be a must, for whatever might happen, or someone at least watching close and ready to go to aid

Caleb Gavic Craig Foust my emk wire would always just rip out if I broke a hose! It was never strong enough to stay in!

Brody Wells I’ve had that too and it was not fun

Jay St John It’s not the quick release that will save you, it’s have the hyperlite system bindings that will.
Try this if your brave enough, do a deep dolphin, then you try and get to the quick release button, you won’t find it.
But the hyperlite binding ratchet is by your ankle, one pull and your off the board.

Brandon Landis 4 pulls to release the bindings. Much better to just extend the strap and stuff it in your shoe.

Jay St John Yep cool, then what do you do when the strap goes lose and as your drowning looking for it….

Brandon Landis Using your logic… what do you do if your binding system breaks and you can’t get your boots out? What do you do if you walk outside and get hit by space trash?

Brandon Landis I like Hyperlites, but I also like the safety release.

Jay St John Oh come on, I’ve been using system bindings for 3 years and one has never failed, but that’s why the knife is there, it’s call a backup plan, try it, it just might save your life.

Brandon Landis Ok. The safety release has never failed. You can’t have it both ways. If I’m on a board without a safety release I use Hyperlites. Not everyone wants to use them, which is why there should be a safety release.

Jay St John I’m not arguing about a safety release, I’m saying that everyone should have a stop drowning plan.

Brandon Landis The Jetblade comes with one, so does the Jetdeck, so do the new Wataboards… you’d think the board that’s been around the longest would have the same kind of safety features.

Jay St John I don’t disagree

Craig Foust You were lucky! Mine didn’t budge. Were the hose went lol I was tagging along.

Carey Whitley The weight of a kinked hose can pull you under in deep water. Also flying in an area with even a moderate current the hose can hook on something and you can get pulled under. This happened to one person and is the most serious accident to date on a hydro devise that I am aware of. It seems to be a pretty easy thing to have in case of an emergency.

Craig Foust We also have the hyperlite system, after that instance, I wanted a way out!! However we only used them a few times, Just didn’t care for the way they felt

Jay St John To follow on….. Everyone should always have a knife on their leg, and at least practice a recovery at least one a week from underwater. Simple really.

Carey Whitley I am not sure it is a good idea to fly with a knife on your leg. Unless you’re Tarzan.

Jay St John It’s simple really, it cuts the hose….. Still think it’s a bad idea?

Brandon Landis That’s going to take a serious knife… or you could just have a safety release.

Rigo Vargas um cutting an X armor hose with a knife when you’re chillin on land is hard enough…. not sure I could do it while getting yanked around under water….

Carey Whitley Not to mention that you ruin your hose.

Jay St John The point is, surely it’s better to have an action plan than to drown from not having one.

Brandon Landis Yea… if only there was a safety release. That’d be a great plan.

Carey Whitley Someone should invent some kind of mechanism where you could separate the hose from the board in an emergency.

Brandon Landis Yea, that would be a wonderful idea.

Billy Mac ^^ Brandon Landis, really beatting a dead horse, LoL !!!

Brandon Landis It flinched…

Jeff Luft The JTB in Jamaica was very concerned with how to release the board from the hose. Our drivers are required to have a knive next to the steering on our jet boats so if they have to they can cut the hose.. doubt it will ever come to cutting the hose. But it’s a regulation we have to follow.

Charlene Lewis Yes we have that in our emergency procedure plan and always have a knife handy.

Jay St John There is a safety release if you have the right equipment

Brandon Landis So… the board isn’t safe the way it comes?

Jay St John Ok get on s board with lace up bindings and try and get out of them underwater, only you can justify what measures you take for your safety

Brandon Landis If only someone made a safety release that came standard…

Jay St John I don’t disagree

Brandon Landis Well, it sounded like it.

Jay St John No I made the point that a self rescue plan should be in place

Brandon Landis That’s the safety release. Doesn’t hurt to double up with some Hyperlites too.

Jay St John And that’s called a rescue plan.

Brandon Landis I used to fly in not very tight bindings when I first started, because I was scared of getting stuck. I couldn’t do that once I got aggressive. Now, with safety features, I duct tape my boots, lol.

Brandon Landis I gotta go, there’s koolaid spilled all over this post, and I don’t want it to get on me and absorb through my skin.
Brandon Landis Lol Shaw Norris

Khi McCreary Sorry but I’m a little confused but what you guys are talking about. Where is this safety release located you mention? Are you saying the weight of the hose attached to the flyboard would pull you under? Wouldn’t the buoyancy of the board and vest be enough? And if so you’d sink while in the water with the engine off and that’s not the case. Sorry trying to figure what you guys mean since I own a rental company and am curious about this post. Thanks

Billy Mac Has anyone released the jetblade, jetdeck from the hose while it was under pressure yet ? Shaw Norris, Nick Homer has this been tested yet at the Stratospheric Industries lab, Defy lab ? I’m not saying that it doesn’t work, truely wanting to know how hard / easy it is to do ?

Shaw Norris X-Jets release clamp is not designed to release under full pressure of the hose. We have tested it underwater at pressure and the results are mixed, in some situations it will release, others is it remains locked. With another design approach, it could be designed so that it was constantly trying to open, you quickly see the problem, it increases the chance the clamp could open during normal use. The design of 90 degree flange surfaces means the forces are contained without expansion force and maximum retention. The clamp is designed to release when there is no, or low pressure on the hose. This we have determined is the case when a person is in need of rescue. If an EMK throttle gets stuck open is the exception, that is out of our control and why we recommend always to have a backup plan of someone on the ski.

Billy Mac a video would be awesome if anyone had one smile emoticon If no video and no one volunteers, I will volunteer to do it at the end of April / start of May. But only just above the water.

Carey Whitley No. What situation would you want it to release under pressure? We have tested it for what it is made for though.

Billy Mac when your pinned to something because of the thrust, and you have no way to get out. (stuck throttle, driver does not know better, EMK malfunctions, there are all sorts of reasons I can come up with / experienced myself frown emoticon )

Carey Whitley You also don’t want someone having there quick release letting go in the middle of a double or 45′ in the air. If you are pinned you better have someone good close by to cut off the ski. If youre hooked on the bottom in a current it may not matter who is there.

Nick Homer Maybe we can get an accessory switchblade bayonet attachment for emk/ducks that will let you swipe down and cut through the hose in those situations. Then we can turn them on each other… Hydroflight battles!! Last person still in the air without a sliced hose wins.

Carey Whitley A small explosive charge under the board and one under the Jetski seat for good measure.

Jay Tweedie Would it just not smarter and safer to have someone on the ski as a spotter like having a spotter and driver on a boat when pulling a skier or tubes.
Gretchen Vance Jay Tweedie Mike Mike Dear’s daughter had a driver but the water was murky and they couldn’t find her until the divers got there.

Jay Tweedie Thank God she’s ok

Jay Tweedie I do have an idea to where the flyer could just pull a cord and it would release both bindings from the board instantly but my idea would probably add some extra weight to a hydro device.

Shaw Norris We agree.

Gretchen Vance It is easy to remove bindings in an “exercise” in controlled conditions. When they found Mike’s daughter she had one foot out. But she obviously lost conscienceness before the got the last one off. Panic and adrenaline are unpredictable unless you have been extensively trained to control them. She is lucky to be alive.

Jay Tweedie The idea I have would release both boots from boards at the same time. The idea is in my head now just to put it on paper and do some back yard tinkering. And yes Gretchen, she is very lucky

Billy Mac one of the hyperlite system boots uses the boa system. But the boot is part of the hyperlite system. So if you had jetblade with a hyperlite systems bindings specifically the Kruz boot that has the boa system, you would have a quick release for the board, one for the boot, and one for the foot. Triple protection !!!!

Billy Mac agree with Franky you can get the boots off pretty fast as long as you do not panic. But if you do panic, none of these quick release systems can help you, so agree with Gretchen too from that point.

Brandon Landis Better to have one pin to pull, than 4 strings or 4 Hyperlite locks to hit.

Billy Mac true that Brandon.

Carey Whitley I have fought with getting customers boots off for way to long when it was not even an emergency.

Carey Whitley Anyone that says that is a suitable plan is obviously not a forward thinker.

Jay Tweedie My idea wouldn’t be a quick release on the boots but on the boards instead.
I don’t like laces on boots because when the laces are wet it takes more effort to slide them through the eyelets of the boots. That’s why I made my own fastening system for my boots instead of laces.

Kurt Binter I have to Chime in on this one. There is always a threat of getting pulled under on devices you are attached to. Which brings me back to the early days where this issue was was never really thought of (We all typically did not preach “Releases”) As in …See More

Gretchen Vance Here is a video of the JetBlade attach and quick release for anyone not familiar!!
‘For anyone not familiar with the swivel connection/quick release of the JetBlade maybe this will assist with the discussion at hand. Release bindings are an option but this is a one pull release. One pull and you are released and back to the surface!!’
Gretchen Vance to Hydroflight Sports

For anyone not familiar with the swivel connection/quick release of the JetBlade maybe this will assist with the discussion at hand. Release bindings are an option but this is a one pull release. One pull and you are released and back to the surface!!
Kurt Binter Just dont be a DINGUS and put your boots on backwards lol

Jay Tweedie Gretchen that is a great idea for safty but I think a longer cord that fastens to the lift jacket where it’s much easier to get to.

Gretchen Vance But if you do that you risk an arm getting hooked on the leash and releasing the hose mid-flight. Anyone who has fallen from 30 plus feet KNOWS that is dangerous!!

Gretchen Vance This leash is only about 2 inches under your feet. It is hardy and chunky and bright orange and visible.

Jay Tweedie That would be me, hurt like hell. Lol

Caleb Gavic If you fly where there’s a current….then your already choosing to fly dangerously.
If you fly/dive in shallow water…your asking for trouble. Be smart about what you do and where you fly. It’s your own choice to put yourself if those places. …See More

Gretchen Vance Caleb Gavic we can film it this weekend. We will have to do it above water or on the dock under pressure because I am not sure you could see it under the lake water. FYI…we have done it before and it works fine.

Gretchen Vance We will try under water but I am not sure you will be able to see it.

Caleb Gavic It’ll have to be Florida people who try it under the water!

Gretchen Vance The fact is, it works. All the majority of boards on the market are using a quick release. It is what it is.

Carey Whitley I apologize for some reason I can’t see everyone’s posts. Just to comment on what i am being told. In our experience with having 25 years in extreme activities we have found that relying on normal procedures in an emergency situation is not only foolish but irresponsible. As Jay st John said always have a plan.

Matt Neal This all gives even more credit to hyperlight binding systems!!! Or any version of this style. Forget those hose break your boots loose and your good, even in a current or under pressure all u gotta do is crouch to your board! I was in a river doing a show… my hose got stuck on a pipe and the current pulled me under, also I came into a dock onetime strong current pulled the ski past the dock and sucked me under, i held on just long enough to snap boots off.

Carey Whitley It is something that is rarely covered for first timers I bet.

Carey Whitley This is exactly what open forums like this should be about by the way. Discussions should cross boundaries with all manufactures, distributors, dealers and riders to make this a safer and more popular sport and industry.

Bobby Vance And I’ll add that its progress when we can all collaborate in a constructive way to bring about change and potential design advancements that makes the sport better and safer.
Shaw Norris This is a great discussion, all options should be explored as ways and options for the riders and for rescuers to be able to quickly detach riders. Scuba divers line cutters are also an option.
Shaw Norris’s photo.

Derek Crespi Ben Merrell has one built into his vest

Shaw Norris Be like Ben.

Billy Mac yup, was thinking of all of Ben stories related to this.

Carey Whitley We sell hook knives, the biggest ones on the market and they are not practical for a hose. It would work for your laces. It may be good to make one especially for boots.

Jack Stone I have the same vest like Ben Merrell too and love having knife with me all times incase of this happening!

Carey Whitley I like this one.
Carey Whitley’s photo.

Derek Crespi I got stuck about 10 feet down when the hose pressed up against my foot and pinned me to the bottom and eventually my driver cut the power. I don’t know if a quick release would have made a difference since the hose was pressed against my foot, but I agree with bobby. Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

Jordan Finley In my case Chase Finley and I were swapping out in the middle of the lake when you kill the power of the ski the hose sinks and in this case the hose wrapped around a log some how so when I strapped on the boots and chase started the ski and j felt a little tug which is kinda normal but when he powered the ski I started getting pulled to the bottom and had to frantically unstrap my boots while being sucked to the bottom chase killed the power but I was stuck about 10-15ft underwater till I was able to get the boots off

Carey Whitley I heard it on the Grape Vine you can take your boots off in 6 seconds. No problem!

Carey Whitley How is it possible you and Chase where the same size bindings.

Jordan Finley When your being sucked down and don’t really even know what’s going on takes probably 10 seconds before you even realize you need to do something and being able to reach down and get the straps undone I don’t know how long it took all I know is I was out breathe when I got to surface lol.

Jordan Finley Lol we had to meet somewhere in the middle on binding size haha so that was another issue is I had to force my foot out even with the straps undone

Shaw Norris This is the common case, hose gets caught on something, gets rigid when pressurized and pulls you down.

Shaw Norris over tight boots and bindings are the other case! that complicates rescue in the biggest way

Carey Whitley I’m just going off hear say brother. I wouldn’t want to count on undoing the laces in an emergency. I have spent long enough getting a student out not in a situation.

Brandon Landis Yea. Counting on your ability to get out of bindings is irresponsible. Especially those of us who like to go hard and put them on super tight, maybe even tie a not or use a little duct tape.

Carey Whitley You’re the lucky one Brandon Landis with your hose you will never be far from the surface.

Brandon Landis Omg… one of these days, Alice…

Jordan Finley Yeah absolutely I used to tie a knot to keep them tight. Also in other cases if a rider was to get knocked out or injured as far as rescuing the rider your not going to want to sit there and try and get him/her out of the boots especially if you need to swim under water and rescue them

Shaw Norris We studied scuba for years, they drill into you safety and rescue, tieing knots or taping something shut is 100% to be avoided. Brandon, design a big ass velcro closure that can overtighten a boot shell, but still be released by a rescuer. Give it a cool name and we’ll resell it.

Brandon Landis One pin, done. Hyperlites are a great backup, and I like them for the support, but Dat safety release doe…

Carey Whitley It would be helpful to have a place to report incident reports. Even if it was confidential.

Brandon Landis Shaw, I only do that when I use Hyperlites or have the release pin.

Brandon Landis …the strap is a good idea, but it still needs a ratchet design. Velcro straps don’t work well for long.

Shaw Norris overlock like a scuba tank

Brandon Landis No reason mounted boots couldn’t have ratchets instead of velcro or strings.

Shaw Norris ratchets require a bigger base of material layers in the boot construction to mount and distribute the forces. Plus the materials of the ratchets need to be marine grade if you want to do it right.

Shaw Norris the springs, rivets and frame for the ratchet levers.

Carey Whitley Springs and rivets! That gives me an idea!

Brandon Landis Snaps maybe? Something better than velcro, but not strings. Velcro made me hurt my ankle again.

Brandon Landis You gonna make a safety release clamp, Carey Whitley? Someone should really design one.

Carey Whitley If only some would just make it standard on there device. Maybe others would follow.

Brandon Landis Maybe someday…

Rigo Vargas Why don’t you like Velcro Brandon?

Brandon Landis Because it comes loose when you start flying hard. I had a healing ankle and when I did a missile my foot came out of some velcro bindings sideways hurting it all over again.

Rigo Vargas Gotcha.