RickI wrote:The vast majority of kiting fatalities involve rider or operator error and in some cases appear to have been readily avoidable. Proper training, knowledge, use of good judgment, procedures and reasonable safety gear are key in avoiding operator error or minimizing the effects of such errors when they occur.
Severe accidents frequently involve the lack of sufficient:
Hazard Awareness, Appreciation and Avoidance.
Understanding launch area and riding conditions, WEATHER, your gear, emergency procedures (especially solo emergency landing), maintaining a reasonable downwind buffer all go a long way towards avoiding problems and focusing on having fun with a reasonable degree of safety.
Pride should be based upon more than knowing how to throw down some tricks and riding into extremes. It should also involve commanding a great deal of knowledge and skill about the sport, gear, about the riding environment, emergency management, water skills and the like.
Just because there might have been operator error doesn't mean that these accidents aren't real. Jesus how many of auto accidents in hindsight are from operator error ....probably all. I know everyone here thinks they are safer,smarter, better looking , etc than every other dead kiter. But the fact is a lot of pros have died. This whole mentality to think oh good it was operator error well i'm always safe,smart,etc it can't happen to me is ridiculous.
I challenge anyone here that has been kiteing a while to come forward that hasn't ever been in a "bad hairy situation that could have gone really bad". Kiteboarding is dangerous but just because someone died from it doesn't make them stupid or reckless. You safety guys(well i wear a helmet,impact vest and never go out in gusty conditions or winds above 8kts) are just arrogant and it get nauseating.