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Goodbye to the sport that I love

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Goodbye to the sport that I love

Postby njrider » Sun Apr 28, 2019 4:31 am

Hi everyone. So let me give you a quick setup - My last ride was Oct of last year and I landed for the first time, a Raily to blind - stoked and a great way to end the season. Fast forward 4 months and I'm a near cripple thanks to extensive degeneration of my spine that I guess was just waiting for the right time to show up 47 years old. So all in all, I'm stoked to be alive but heartbroken to be forced to give up this beautiful sport.

My only shred of hope is that someday I can try foiling as I'm guessing that it is lower impact on the body? If this is in fact true, can any foilers out their give me some tips on brands of kites and foils that will be the least punishing to learn on.

For now kiteboarding comrades, ride like it's your last time. PEACE

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Re: Goodbye to the sport that I love

Postby longwhitecloud » Sun Apr 28, 2019 4:52 am

what is wrong with your spine?

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Re: Goodbye to the sport that I love

Postby GregK » Sun Apr 28, 2019 4:56 am

IMO and experience freeride foiling, Boardriding Maui Cloud kite are the best "cruising" foilboarding kites because they depower and turn quickly, and are very powerful when working the kite, so you get away with a very small kite. Water relaunching may take a little getting used to, but once you learn the tricks to get any water on top of the canopy off the kite, they re-launch great.

Any large ( 1,000 - 1,200 cm2 or so ) surf-style foil should do fine, just don't get anything taller than a 85 cm / 32 inch mast to keep your height low and falls off the board less severe. Any graduated-mast set-up will also make the learning easier.

Hope you can get back riding !

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Re: Goodbye to the sport that I love

Postby Flyfish » Sun Apr 28, 2019 5:04 am

Dude. Fear not. I'm 51. I had a bad paragliding accident where I stalled and fell about 40 feet. Ive been dealing with back pain with Sciatica bad for 4 1/2 years. I'm currently sitting in bed after surgery 1 week ago. I finally pulled the trigger on the surgery and I'm praying to god that I didn't create two problems when there was only one. But time will only tell.
BUT, nothing will keep me from coming back once I'm healed. Maybe I have to modify, but never give up that easy.
I'm out for one season. I'll be back. You can too.
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Re: Goodbye to the sport that I love

Postby deniska » Sun Apr 28, 2019 5:09 am

Shit.. I am almost 47...
To answer your question, yes foiling is way less taxing on the body, especially if you take the slow wing path and short masts for learning...
still lots of fun to be discovered.
Dont give up! you probably have enough kite control to make it a fast and painless transition..
It took me about 5 hours to star flying long tacks, 20-30 hours to dial jibes w/o foot switch... if you last through that - you are golden.. it's less stress on your body than walking..
no advice on the gear- it's all subjective.. check out hydrofoil section of this forum
good luck!

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Re: Goodbye to the sport that I love

Postby juandesooka » Sun Apr 28, 2019 5:39 am

My buddy has ankylosing spondylitis, which is basically arthritis leading to fusing of the spine. Causes him to get hunched over and painful. But with an exercise regime he has stalled it. He doesn't kite, but still surfs ... though longboard only. So if that's what you have, there's hope!

Foiling can be pretty intense in initial learning stages, unless you take it easy: start with short mast for sure, makes it so you don't wipeout when you come off foil, and even if you do wipeout, not much consequence. I am believer in starting behind boat....really slow to start, so slow you can't possibly get on foil, then gradually increase until you can just barely pop up briefly, and then steadily increase. If you take a gradual approach, it can be pretty low impact.

Bigger surf style foil will make it easy, slow cruisey. Slingshot hoverglide is a slower easy kite foil, then the H2 and H4 wings are the surf wings that also work for kiting.

For kites, any surf/wave kite is ideal, steady and predictable, sits in back of window for fun downwind foiling in swell -- you'll be stoked, feels like snowboarding in powder. Personally I am not a big fan of clouds, find them surge-y, but I had the C1 initial version and probably didn't ride them long enough to get used to it. (broke my ankle and sold it! ;-)

Anyways, bottom line ... follow the advice of your doc/physio, do those exercises religiously, and get back on the water. Movement and action will keep you going! Best wishes

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Re: Goodbye to the sport that I love

Postby plummet » Sun Apr 28, 2019 8:37 am


Is this a perminant thing rendering you disabled forever? or is it something you can recover from?

There is more than one way to kite!..... Explore other avenues as well.

Hardwired kite buggy might be an option.
longboard kiting uses very little power.

Foiling once learned is easy on the body. But man i have never crashed so hard in my life! Well I actually have crashed harder mountain biking. But the initial foiling learning curve is painfull and hard.


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Re: Goodbye to the sport that I love

Postby Slappysan » Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:27 am

Even slow foil surf wings you'll get some falls that will hurt.

Best bet for you would be a softtop surfboard like I ride, they can be fun even when underpowered and that's the key to keeping it impact free, being underpowered.

Now to be even safer you could go with a Shinnster. They are fun to ride and super smooth but don't jump for shit and that's probably the best bet to stay safe for you.

You can check out my prefered board the Wave Bandit Performer 4-10 in many of my vlogs:

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Re: Goodbye to the sport that I love

Postby njrider » Sun Apr 28, 2019 1:21 pm

Reading all your comments is totally uplifting - thanks for that mates. The sobering news from the docs is "if you continue kiteboading you stand a chance of paralysis". Not to go into the gory details but my feet feel like they are on fire and someones driving nails through them (somehow that has to do with a f@%ked spine).

In the meantime I'm working on strengthening my core in the hopes that I can pull this foiling thing together before it gets worse. Thanks again for all your advice :)

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Re: Goodbye to the sport that I love

Postby FLandOBX » Sun Apr 28, 2019 1:55 pm

njkiter, I'm sorry to hear about your situation. It shouldn't happen to anyone.

Here is a perspective to consider. Don't give up the sport without a fight. I don't mean to minimize your condition by any stretch of the imagination, but every kiteboarder "stands a chance of paralysis". It's just that your risk is higher than the norm. But there are many examples of docs telling patients "you'll never ****** again" and being proven totally wrong. With all respect to the medical profession (I grew up in a medical family), doctors don't always provide reliable information, so it's important (you already know this, of course) to get second and third opinions. With as much information as possible (taken with a grain of salt), you can assess your personal risks and make your own choices. Raleys to blind may be unlikely, but foilboarding could be your ticket. I'm just a beginner foilboarder, but have found it to be easy on the body, very relaxing, and much easier to learn (short mast system) than I expected. Good luck, my friend. Hope to see you on the water soon. :thumb:

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