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On avoiding knee injuries

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Instalexandrem
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On avoiding knee injuries

Postby Instalexandrem » Sun Jul 11, 2021 9:52 am

Hey fellow Kitesurfers,

I have been a long time observer of the forum, but refrained from posting too much. Too much of a newbie to say smart stuff.

I’d like to ask an unusual question, if I may.

What is the best way to avoid knee injuries with kitesurfing? Should you go strapless? Should you set your strap specifically (i.e. orientation)?

I’m asking because after a session in April, I actually blew up my meniscus while folding my kite. The muscles were probably tired, and as I stood back up my knee what slightly dislocated (without me noticing beforehand). It knee blew everything up when popping back in. Seven weeks of monitoring and pain, then surgery, then six weeks on crutches. I’m still in the process of recovering. And I don’t want that to happen again!

Also longer term, do you guy use braces? Any advice on those?

Thank you so much for your help. And safe rides.

Alexandre

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Re: On avoiding knee injuries

Postby sarc » Sun Jul 11, 2021 1:18 pm

Exercise your legs (running, weight lifting). Stretch. Keep fit. Know your limits. Don't use boots. That should do it I reckon.
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Matteo V
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Re: On avoiding knee injuries

Postby Matteo V » Sun Jul 11, 2021 1:37 pm

Strapped vs strapless and even vs boots dosen't really matter. It's all about how hard you push it inside of each of those disciplines.

Even though strapless puts some limits on how hard you can go at it, those limits exist at the point where you will get hurt if you push through them.

And even though straps can help you retain control at higher speeds and more "G's", you can still make a mistake at those even greater (than strapless) limits.

On a TT, boots can increase overall forces on your knees, BUT they also can reduce the likelihood of one foot coming out while the other foot is retained. And that situation is the most dangerous to your knees.

But at sketchy launches with dirty wind, using straps/pads on a TT can be safer simply because of the lessened exposure time while putting the board on.

Even things like how clean your wind or waves are can be more of a factor than what board/bindings you ride.
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Re: On avoiding knee injuries

Postby sarc » Sun Jul 11, 2021 2:01 pm

Hey I just thought of another one (based on personal experience although I never had significant problems): think carefully about your straps angle ('duck'), try different angles and see how they feel. And try different settings for your footstraps : width, duck angle, very loose for surfboard, a little tighter for twintip. Very tight foostraps and wrong width / duck can put a lot of strain on your knees
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Instalexandrem (Sun Jul 11, 2021 8:51 pm)
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Ludmil
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Re: On avoiding knee injuries

Postby Ludmil » Sun Jul 11, 2021 4:10 pm

Instalexandrem wrote:
Sun Jul 11, 2021 9:52 am
Hey fellow Kitesurfers,

I have been a long time observer of the forum, but refrained from posting too much. Too much of a newbie to say smart stuff.

I’d like to ask an unusual question, if I may.

What is the best way to avoid knee injuries with kitesurfing? Should you go strapless? Should you set your strap specifically (i.e. orientation)?

I’m asking because after a session in April, I actually blew up my meniscus while folding my kite. The muscles were probably tired, and as I stood back up my knee what slightly dislocated (without me noticing beforehand). It knee blew everything up when popping back in. Seven weeks of monitoring and pain, then surgery, then six weeks on crutches. I’m still in the process of recovering. And I don’t want that to happen again!

Also longer term, do you guy use braces? Any advice on those?

Thank you so much for your help. And safe rides.

Alexandre
Hello,
Sorry for the situation you are in mate.
According to me, maybe you need deeper examination of your knees/legs (in case you haven't done it). Ligaments, muscle weaknesses etc., basically the reason which led to that injury
Your PT can help a lot in this regard.
I am saying this because the way you got injured.I am not a doctor, but it sounds your knee buckled in relatively easy situation.
Imho It's key to find the reasons beforehand, and then to decide straps, strapless or boots in order to avoid injuries
You could consider a knee brace as well, in case your doctor/PT support the idea

PS. ACL surgery here :)
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Instalexandrem (Sun Jul 11, 2021 8:52 pm)
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Re: On avoiding knee injuries

Postby frequentflyer » Sun Jul 11, 2021 4:16 pm

It sounds like you had existing instability prior to the injury. Working with a pt to build strength and flexibility is always a good idea.

I can say with 98% certainty that strapless riding will be lower impact, even if you’re an elite strapless freestyle rider.
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Re: On avoiding knee injuries

Postby Peter_Frank » Sun Jul 11, 2021 4:53 pm

frequentflyer wrote:
Sun Jul 11, 2021 4:16 pm
It sounds like you had existing instability prior to the injury. Working with a pt to build strength and flexibility is always a good idea.

I can say with 98% certainty that strapless riding will be lower impact, even if you’re an elite strapless freestyle rider.

Definitely, strapless is the way everyone starts after any knee injury or surgery.

If you do strapless foil, there will be even less impact actually, than strapless surfboard.

No doubt whatsoever - I dont understand how some can say it does not matter?

It does, go strapless, surf or foilboard :thumb:

8) Peter
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Re: On avoiding knee injuries

Postby Adventure Logs » Sun Jul 11, 2021 5:10 pm

I have bad knees, usually wear a brace. To make it more fun, ended up with an impact fracture on my hood knee this last winter on a bad kiteloop.

Strapless hydrofoil is no impact for me. I can ride for hours and hours. In twintip I have started using the more narrow stance which helps and I keep my bindings fairly neutral and a little loser so I can shift as needed.

Lastly I do try to stretch before and after if I remember to do so. Mostly though I stretch for my lower back.

=Jason-

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Re: On avoiding knee injuries

Postby kct » Sun Jul 11, 2021 5:33 pm

Kind of impossible to this advice but, when you crash, both feet in the straps or both feet out. Don't let one foot slip out and leave the other to drag the board on it's own.

Agree that strapless is 10x easier on knees and less likely to result in injury.
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Re: On avoiding knee injuries

Postby Herman » Sun Jul 11, 2021 6:07 pm

You seem to be reporting meniscus damage rather than ligament damage and so hopefully it is not as bad as it first felt. Going back to riding, I would choose whatever you are most comfortable with and ride conservatively. The exception to that might be boots. But staying in control is the aim.

I would not recommend trying to restart strapless if it is not already familiar to you but you may wish to explore the benefits later.

Personally my knees are well shot but I still prefer the locked in feel that can be achieved with straps, particularly on a TT. Having muscles fully braced compensates for my stretched ligaments. It is not just impact that needs to be managed, if you have any instability. I can have a good jumping session on a TT where the muscles have been in control and then have a little slip on wet grass while relaxed and tweak a ligament. My strapless gear has to be well waxed etc to make sure I don’t slip.

There are threads on stance and the jump test etc, but as you get older you may find riding looser/wider straps that allow you to twist your foot into your optimum position more comfortable or even essential imho. Good luck with your recovery.
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