Updated: Dec 10, 2018
The Ocean Rodeo GO-Joe is the result of a quite clever idea transformed into an innovative product that is really helping beginners and intermediates having more fun on the water. Even more important, the GO-Joe can replace a very dangerous and evil gadget: the board leash!
Traditional surfboard style leashes used to connect kiters with their boards have proven to be dangerous in both the water and on land. Later came the roto-leash, that partially improved the situation but can still be dangerous in some circumstances.
The GO-Joe has therefore sometimes been described as the “leash free” tool to assist in the retrieval of your board without fear of being impacted or impeded by a leashed board.
As IKO (the International Kiteboarding Organization) notes, "The high accident rate caused by board leashes prompted the majority of kite schools to ban using board leashes long ago. However, some people may still think that they can get away with using one. But, our hard-won experience has taught us that there is no safe way to use a board leash and there are no safe types of board leashes either. Simply, don’t use one. Instead, learn how to kite better so you won't need one. If you are a beginner try using a “GO-jo” device. They look a bit funny but they really work great. If you are still tempted to use a board leash after reading this, then just Google “kite board leash injuries” and see what comes up."
How is it built?
Going back to basics, the GO-Joe is an inflatable tube structure, manufactured with the same techniques and materials used on kite bladders, attached to deck of the board that uses the natural forces of buoyancy distribution and wind to roll your kite board right side up (as foot straps down will inevitably create drag slowing the boards drift)
With the board right side up and foot strap resistance eliminated, the GO-Joe is positioned on the board forward of center allowing the wind to turn and sail the GO-Joe downwind towards the rider. If the rider maintains their position with the kite at the zenith the board will simply sail downwind towards you.
Another major advantage is an improved visibility of your kiteboard and additional floatation, making everyone’s life easier.
How long does it take to install it?
Simply screw the GO-Joe into the grab handle inserts found on any board. Pump-up the GO-Joe tube, and you are ready to ride! After your session, simply deflate the GO Joe and you are ready to go!
In case you wondered, one size fits all.
Does it get into my way?
Probably the most surprising element (as well as the most asked!) Designed to sit unremarked between your feet on the board, you won’t even notice the GO-Joe when riding. And why is that? No scientific explanation needed here, just ask your friend or test it yourself to see.
Is there a downside?
Body dragging is a fundamental skill that all kiters and should master and the GO-Joe is not a substitute for it. When learning to kitesurf, body dragging is one of the first skills your instructor should focus on and make sure you practice it properly. It is a fundamental skill that you will need as a kitesurfer allowing you to develop your kite control and help you remain calm in situations where you may be without your board.
Selected articles for you: 10 things to know when learning kiteboarding
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