mr moon wrote:Very interesting insight, well done
Kitesurfing is a complex recreational sport, a water sport which for many wrongly falls in the windsurfing, surfing, wake boarding type, while is actually the combination of more sports and a lot more dangerous than these.
One is very close to gliding / flying involving a chute like canopy = PULL
The other one is boarding (mainly on deep waters) = DRAG
Our body is connected between the two and joins them together, creating this kind of surface flying
A major risk factor (among many others) is that we perform this 'flying' sport during high winds, often in unstable weather conditions, deep waters, land, rough seas and waves (love these ), currents, reefs etc.. We land and take off on land, very close to all sort of hazards, such as rocks, buildings, cars and all sort of other objects, need say more?
We are the only 'pilots' who take off, fly and land so close to all sorts of objects without wearing helmets (so uncool)…
We are the smallest floating vessels (so we are considered by the international maritime code) without even 'have' a floating vessel as such, cruising deep seas without wearing life jackets
Despite all of this, unlike with planes and jets, in kiting there is hardly any training involved, especially on safety and on the possible worse case scenarios (too many!) which can so easily lead to death.
Not even the IKO apparently top standards of school/teaching in this sport, covers the essentials of safety (or just marginally and inefficiently) not to mention the worse case scenarios on either land or water, which all of us in one way or the other, and with more luck or less soon or later will have to face when the **** hits the fan
In my death ride / loop accident, although I followed all IKO safety standard procedures and much more, I ended up with a severe near-drowning experience miraculously rescued by some fellow kiters who luckily knew some kind of basic CPR rescue technique (not from any kitesurfing training of course!) and managed to give me my second chance...
I often take a look at this section of the forum, but by the comments I read I've realised that there is only a handful of people who actually care about safety.. and take it seriously.
I think it might be something to do with the image that both brands and magazines are marketing the sport with, the kind of cool surf kid, long hair, branded up head to toes with the irritating dumb attitude typical of the Burt** snowboarding teenage videos, rather than to appeal to the more 'pilots' or 'extreme sports' types
Have you ever seen a kite video with someone wearing a helmet? …Or wearing a safety knife? Or checking the sky above his head in pre-flight assessment to see if perhaps a major squall is about to wipe him out from the beach in a few seconds??? No dude, that is uncool in kiting, so uncool!
And what is even worse is UNAWARENESS, which is also so popular among kiters, and the biggest killer sometimes, just read some of the comments in the safety posts in this section and you'll realise
Kitesurfing is a new sport, unfortunately many more people will have to die or experience severe injuries in order to get some kind of standard safety guidances into place and make safety part of a compulsory training program, or we might even end up in a total ban beforehand!
Safety my friend is unKool, so unKool in Kiting!
FLY HIGH, SURF BIG AND RIDE SAFE
Well said ! thanks.