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Old 09-07-2006, 09:15 PM
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Default Kiting Fatalities ... how many?

54 kiteboarder deaths worldwide have been reported to date since 2000.


How do kiteboarding accident fatality rates compare to that of other activities in the USA?

Motor Vehicle 15 per 100,000 *
Kitesurfing 6 to 12 per 100,000 ** 1
SCUBA diving 5 per 100,000 ***
Pedestrian 2 per 100,000 *

So, kiteboarding might be interpreted to safer than driving in the USA by this limited statistical indication. A more sensitive index would be offered by losses per hours kiteboarded just as in the case of losses per driving hours. No recognized estimates are currently available regarding hours kiteboarded vs. skill/years riding vs. time of year, etc..



* WISQARS www.cdc.gov/ncipc/wisqars (2003)
** http://fksa.org/ (pending, 2006)
*** http://www.diversalertnetwork.org/me...port/index.asp (2003)

1. Three kiteboarders were lost in the USA in 2005. Using estimated rider populations in the USA (25 to 50 thousand that own kiteboarding gear), this equates to roughly 6 to 12 fatalities per 100,000 riders for 2005. Sorry for the USA only statistics, global loss statistics are hard to come by.

NOTE: all of these statistics are estimates to varying degrees and are derived from differing assumptions. Also, actually fatality rates per country vary substantially year to year. The statistics have been calculated from generally unconfirmed reported observations received from around the world. If new credible information is received regarding historical accidents as happens on occasion these statistics can change.
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Old 09-07-2006, 09:16 PM
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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.
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Old 09-07-2006, 09:18 PM
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To my knowledge there have been no fatalities involving flat kites yet.

I fear we may be in for some significant losses as people rediscover reality particularly in high and excessively gusty winds with flat kites.

Flat kites give an edge but you can be undone in many ways at the high end. I am disturbed by all the reports of sessions in 35 to 50 mph winds. I suspect a good part of this may be exaggeration of actual winds but people may still be lead on by such reports to have their own personal collisions against hard reality in time. I would say for any reported session about 35 mph, make damned sure about the wind speed you are reporting. If you are uncertain, say so!

NOTE: For every fatality there is reason to believe that there have been many more non-fatal but severe accidents.

The good news is that in avoiding a fatal accident you can readily avoid less severe injuries as well by the same practices.

It is a numbers game.

Poor practices won't necessarily get you killed or even injured. They just increase the odds of having a readily avoidable accident that may take you out permanently, or lay you up with a lingering disability or trash your gear and/or our access.

Kiting past a minimum level is EASY, just like steering an airplane. It takes a lot more than that to do it well over the long haul with reasonable safety for yourself, bystanders and the good of our
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