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First, let make sure you know how to fully open & close (lock) the ratchet mechanism...
Ratchet must be fully open (flat) when you want to release/remove the longer strap from the ratchet mechanism.
(1) Pull spring-loaded "release lever" in
(2) Move the ratchet handle upwards
Ratchet mechanism must be closed when you are securing your cargo.
(1) Pull lever out and (2) move ratchet handle down.
With ratchet closed, thread the end of the long strap (end without hook) through the center opening of the ratchet spool.
Pull strap over the top of the spool.
Secure both hook ends to your anchor points and pull slack all the way through until strap is snug around cargo (in this example we are securing a paddle board over an SUV roof rack)
Tighten strap by cranking ratchet handle back and forth a few times until cargo is fully secured in place (you will hear clicking noise during this). Try to keep the excess slack tight with other hand while ratcheting.
When you're ready to release strap, unhook one or both hooks from the anchor points, fully open ratchet (see step 1) and pull strap (from the end with hook) out of the ratchet mechanism.
To remove strap, fully open ratchet mechanism flat using the spring release lever, and pull the strap (end with hook) away from the ratchet spool.