This issue of inexperienced people buying kites was shown to me again
As a kite retailer I avoid sales to those who can't after purchase come
with me to the beach in under 10 knots and be shown safely how to
control their powerful new toy, or go to a proper instructor for
lessons. However while down the beach a few days ago I came across a
kitesurfer with an 11.5m 4 line kite setting up. The wind was 15 to 20
knots and I asked if he'd been out in this strength of wind before. He
said he had not but had practised body dragging in lighter wind and
claimed he had a good understanding of kite control. So in assistance I
helped him launch. The kite was airborne for about 5 seconds each
launch with the inevitable crash preceded by a massive drag or lift on
the fortunately soft sand which left this kiter somewhat bruised.
Each time the kite launched this kiter was apparently not able to
carefully bring the kite to the zenith via the window edge. Instead the
kite would careen across the powerzone with no control evident, with
the kiter just hanging on.
After these events the kiter decided wisely to stop. Fortunately the
beach was relatively deserted otherwise things could have got worse.
I'm not sure exactly where he purchased his kite from, it was possibly
a friend who said it was easy to learn.
Anyway, although it may not be possible to stop beginners buying a kite
with no lessons but the ability to harm themselves, others and our
sport there is something most kitesurfers can do. Even if the person on
the beach says he had some experience, (and you don't really know how
much), check his setup and help him to launch safely in a safe place
and see if he can control the kite. Then if he looks like he can't
really control the kite offer the assistance of someone who can to help
I would have followed this person up further but there was another
kiter in trouble in the building wind and by the time I'd helped him
the first kiter had gone.
It could be a wild summer in Australia if we aren't careful so please
take care and help others to do likewise.
And have fun, Dave (Dr Surf Australia 02 4443 7665) COM
--- In kitesurf@y..., dixon76710@y... wrote:
> --- In kitesurf@y..., jeff@k... wrote:
> > About a week ago, I posted my concerns about people "beginners"
> > purchasing kites online with "blind" shopping carts.
> > without screening the customer. The result is a rookie with a new
> > traction kite showing up at the beach and flying the kite "without"
> > proper instruction. Lessons cannot "guarantee" safety, but do make
> > HUGE difference in keeping accidents and dreaded kiteboarding bans
> > a minimun.
> > -Jeff
> > Kitemare.com
> Certainly a good idea to encourage lessons and safety but I wouldnt
> condemn anyone for selling kites without investigating the purchasor.
> Are the newbies causing the accidents and the bans out there? All I
> hear on the web and in the magazines is accidents with pretty
> advanced riders.I would imagine bans are more related to crowding and
> not complaints on new kiters.
> I've never been a big fan of rules to protect people from
> themselves. I think retailors that dont inquire into someones
> experience level and arrange lessons can provide a simple written
> cautionary directions explaining potential dangers of lofting,
> dragging etc and instruct on the size of clear area needed and wind
> for safe practice. M. Elliott