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Time for Helmets

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  • Rick Iossi
    1. I have heard reports of two kiteboarder head injuries in the last two days. One rider died and the other was airlifted to the hospital and is recovering.
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 18, 2002
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      1. I have heard reports of two kiteboarder head injuries in the last two
      days. One rider died and the other was airlifted to the hospital and is
      recovering.

      2. Helmets could have made a difference in the outcome of these and many
      other accidents.

      3. Kiteboarding may be the only extreme sport involving altitude and
      impacts in which helmets ARE NOT routinely worn. This should change.

      and the details:

      I just heard a report this morning about another kiteboarding fatality
      resulting from a head injury in South Africa. I will do further research
      before writing the complete account. I heard about another serious head
      injury in Jacksonville, FL yesterday. The rider was evacuated to the
      hospital by helicopter for a concussion and a broken rib. This kiteboarder
      is recovering.

      Neither kiteboarder was wearing a helmet. There have been so many other
      cases in which a helmet may have reduced injury. Sometimes a serious head
      impact occurred, in other cases one very easily could have. If you aren't
      wearing a helmet you are putting your health and life up for grabs if things
      go wrong. Neither of these riders were out in what would be perceived as
      "extreme" conditions. They did make a few mistakes but were largely just
      unlucky.

      Virtually ALL extreme sport involving altitude and potential impacts
      routinely use helmets. Kiteboarding should be no different. This
      incredible, extreme sport can be relatively safe with the right training,
      gear and judgment. Millions of hours of injury free riding support this
      conclusion but accidents will happen as in any sport. It would be good to
      bring this young sport further along the learning curve to reduce the
      avoidable accidents. People needed to see serious consequences before moving
      to using kite leashes. This trend is building today fortunately. How many
      more avoidable injuries do we need to make helmet and other safety gear use
      routine? You can count them up including the two head injury fatalitites in
      the last few months. We really should react today to avoid more of these
      needless injuries. I believe that routine helmet use will come to this
      sport, sooner would be much better than later.

      It is not enough to simply use a "helmet" but it needs to be one appropriate
      for kiteboarding. Helmets can potentially cause injury too in the more
      extreme types of riding. More about this soon.

      Please think about it,
      Rick Iossi





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