View Single Post
  #2  
Old 07-29-2005, 03:41 PM
RickI's Avatar
RickI RickI is offline
Administrator
Site Admin
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 8,667
Default Re: Mauritius

"Lessons Learned

1. Kiteboard leashes have caused serious injury to riders in the past through leash propelled board impact and by holding the board between the rider and on coming waves. Board leashes have figured in two other fatalities and possibly a third in recent years.

2. Kiters should learn how to body drag upwind early on even before water starting to avoid using board leashes in most cases. Using a board leash solely for the sake of convenience is a poor practice. A helmet may or may not aid a board leash user as boards in the past have easily cut through helmets or gone around them. One fatality victim of a board leash impact was wearing a helmet. Helmets provide important protection for kiteboarders but may not be that effective in avoiding a board leash related injury.

3. Seek qualified, quality professional instruction in an effort to maximize the learning experience and minimize the hazards of the process. Ideas on selection of instructors appear Here and Here.

4. Select weather/water conditions and gear appropriate for your experience. Avoid squalls/storms. If you have little experience you will likely have no idea what is appropriate - seek qualilty professional instruction.

5. If you have any reason to suspect head or spinal cord injury, remain motionless until medical help arrives. Accident victims are not always that aware of these hazards. It is important the bystanders to try to help the victim from causing further injury to himself.

Commentary

Kiteboarding can be "dangerous easy." Like operating a car or airplane, the mechanics of manuvering can appear to be deceptively easy. Obviously there is a lot more to know and act upon in all three activities than simple "manuvering." Many kiteboarders have been injured by underestimating the power and potential hazards of traction kites. Seeking help from others is a natural step and may work out sometimes in learning the basic mechanics of the sport but perhaps not. It is likely that a quality instructor would not have exposed a student to such conditions complete with unstable squall weather. The "student" had no appreciation perhaps for the actual hazards involved. A quality professional instructor would have had a strong grasp on the hazards and would have conducted the training accordingly. A well intentioned but not professionally trained kiteboarder acting in the capacity of an instructor may not have had the knowledge or ability to effectively explain the hazards to the student. Seek quality professional instruction.

Board leashes have a long history of kiteboarding injuries. Some riders have mistakenly concluded that if they wear a helmet they are OK using a board leash. Experience has shown that this is a mistaken belief. Static leashes are certainly hazardous however even reel leashes have had their share of penetrated and fractured skulls as well. Work on body dragging upwind early in your training. If you are in hypothermic waters or in areas with adverse currents you may have reduced options regarding leash use. Your risks of injury has gone up substantially as a result. Finally, in not using a leash you may lose a board someday. The cost of the replacement board should be less than medical expenses, lost time off work and the pain of recovery from a board impact. Be sure not to put others such as bathers at risk if you lose your board. Avoid riding in crowded areas.
__________________
FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi
Reply With Quote