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The rope release seems to be the standard for toe tricking
these days. For a very long time now so it seems.
I have always wondered who invented it.
Who can say they were the first to use it?
In what year was it first used?
Did awsa have problems with allowing it to be used?
Any info or history facts, about rope releases would greatly
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the guys down under where the first ones to use it from what I can recall ... but not sure exactly who ...
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Pertinent AWSA Rules are 11.16 B and C, plus 12.05 C. 11.16B allows for a release person
and has some specifications about the release person. 11.16C has some rules and specs. about the release, including a rope release. 12.05C prohibits manipulating the rope release. Such as might happen to reduce the shock of slack line or save an imminent fall. Requires attachment to the pylon, although I have seen the rope end actually held by a release person for young kids. Need to be sure that a rope release can't snag or wears out from friction. The "Robbins" release, now sold by Masterline, appears to be a near-foolproof solution compared to several designs of the past.
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Probably not the first release but in 1977 , Tom Beck who owned Proline, sponsored my ski school in Twin Lakes Wi. He had us test a trick release built into the rope about ten inches back from the pylon, a metal hooklike mechanism that released when an observer pulled the cord. It worked great and was inexpensive, but wore out quickly. Sidebar...
We had a trick skiing clinic with Ricky McCormick and he taught us toehold backward starts, toehold sideslide starts (much harder) and two ski frontflips off the wake.
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Not sure of its exact origins but pretty sure it was and Aussie invention , first time I ever came across it was skiing at 89 junior Moomba . Compared to some of the clunky unreliable mechanical releases of the 80's it was amazingly simple and safe .
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Is the Robbins release still available ?
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Robbins release is available from Masterline.
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You correct Glen, they were made by guy called Steve Healy from economic Industries who had a engineering company and also set up all the land infrastructure for Moomba
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This thread offers some great insight and advice. The Vortex "in line" release is rather unique, and it's built to be safe, reliable, and strong. It mirrors the function of a rope release without having to hold too tightly against the pull of the skier. Unlike a rope release, you cannot create slack. Like a rope release it allows the pull person to flinch and give the skier a tad bit of rope without releasing ( 1" of travel ). The ski rope is in it's natural position, creating a direct line between the pylon and the skiers foot. It also does not bind in any way when the skier is outside either wake as there is no twisting torque on the swivel pin. I have a few in stock and I can be reached at
Dave@travismarine.com if interested.