I think the most oft-repeated lie in off-roading is that “plasma” rope doesn’t stretch, so doesn’t store energy to “whiplash” when it breaks.
This demo clearly shows this isn’t the case. This has been deliberately set up with a weak link of 8mm rope between the winch hook and the strop around the tree (and a snatch block to change direction to ensure the winch vehicle isn’t in the firing line when it breaks!)
From the driver’s perspective, once the rope goes taut you can clearly hear the winch moving – slowly – as the rope continues to extend and tension. Some of this stretch is coming from the weak link, sure, but most of it is coming from the plasma itself. And when that energy goes into a hefty winch hook, here’s the result.
It’s nothing like wire rope letting go, but there clearly is lots of energy stored there. Stay safe when winching folks, and that means well away from anything under tension.