Rick first off your work is EXCELLENT! It's very educational and helpful.
Just one qeustion.... I always seen video of snowkiters jumping and getting caught in thermals and hovering 40-50ft off the ground.... has there been any reported deaths from this activity?
Thanks! If we can get more kiters to think about this stuff a bit more carefully we should all be better off.
I have been somewhat disconnected from accidents in snow kiteboarding. The only snowkiteboarding fatality that I have much information on deals with the snow kiter that was hit by severe weather in Alberta. More about this Here
Snowkiting has been around much longer than the water variety. As such losses may have started to occur quite a ways in the past, in Pre-Internet days. So retrieving such information may be tough both years back and even recently.
I would be willing to incorporate a section in the new accident database on snowkiteboarding accidents and incidents if there is interest in this out there.
Regarding paragliding with kite gear in the mountains, because that is exactly what this is. First, paragliding may have a time averaged loss rate of 88 per 100,000 per USHGA published records. This is a great deal more than the 6 to 12 per 100,000 estimated for kitesurfing.
So, paragliding appears to be more hazardous than kitesurfing. Now how hazardous do you think "paragliding" with gear that was never
designed for this sort of activity might be? Instead of numerous high strength shroud lines, reserve chute, decades of safety and training evolution, well designed helmets you have canopies than can readily tear, only four long lines that can readily break, an LEI lifting surface that may
be more prone to stalling and harder to recover than paragliding ram air wings, no reserve, no proper harness just a hook ... ? We're talking about something VASTLY more hazardous than paragliding and well beyond comparison to regular kiting. I haven't heard about any fatalities involving this, then again, I might not either. Good luck to anyone doing this. Unlike paragliding with proper kit you may be relying more upon luck than gear.
Talking about misusing kite gear for things it was never intended for, can anyone find a post that went up on here about a guy that was found dead of the roof of a building next to an LEI kite? The theory was the guy was trying to soar after launching off the roof of a higher building? I have yet to be able to find it again.