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August 20, 2008


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Man - 0 Nature - 1

One of the prime safety rules in kite surfing is....can you guess?...."Don't kitesurf before, during, after a thunder storm or in stormy weather!"

nice camera work!

I'm sorry for that guy, but he totally deserved it.
First, you don't kitesurf in those conditions.
Second, why he didn't let go with the bar? The only reasons I can think of are:
a) brain freeze (which should not happen even in such circumstances to an experienced kitesurfer)
b) he was hooked in a fixed loop and not in the chicken loop (that will activate the depower of the kite).
Bah... what do I know?

Giampaolo, I suspect he had a brain freeze, or momentary paralysis from terror. This is my problem with the sport...a mental error or moment of indecision can get you severely injured or killed. Yes this knucklehead was kiting in a storm, but the list of kiting fatalities includes more than a few people getting slammed into buildings when they made a mistake on land in more reasonable conditions.

Michael, I have discussed similar accidents with kiters and instructors of kiters that have resulted from the failure to disengage from the kite quickly. You can call it brain freeze, but actually it's really the inexperience with that quick change in habit (holding onto the bar vs. releasing it, etc.) that results in failure. Not enough people practice letting their kite go. Often they don't want to face the unknown which may result in a damaged or lost kite. In this guys case, he was also facing the risk of bodily injury even if he could have lost the kite. Fancy safety equipment doesn't help unless you are practiced in using it. It doesn't matter if you are using fire extinguishers or chicken loops. People also don't realize the true dangers of being airborne or traveling in speed. I broke both wrists in a fall from a height of ten feet. I know a kiter who lost consciousness and had a serious brain condition for months due to a fall from a kite into shallow water.

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