Opportunity and A Caution
- The KSI has been updated with several new accident accounts including four
new fatalities since the last update in September 2002. That makes a total
of seven fatalities in less than six months. Some of these accidents may
have been avoidable to varying degrees and others perhaps were unavoidable.
The fatality rate of this sport is still very low considering the estimated
many millions of hours riders spend on the water. Despite this sobering
news, there may be a benefit to the kiteboarding community from all this, if
riders choose to seize it.
If riders choose to learn from the lessons of these sad accidents,
kiteboarders in the future may well avoid or at least minimize the
probability of such incidents. So there is a tremendous opportunity with
knowledge and appropriate precautions to capitalize on the great pleasure of
this sport while minimizing the risks.
Kitesurfing Safety Information Year2002-Vers. 11_18_02 located at:
under:KSR - KITEBOARDING SAFETY REFERENCES
Analysis of these accidents will follow in future posts and will underscore
the importance of adequate training, use of safety gear and use of proper
judgment weighing in the hazards present. It will also highlight the
discontinued use of fixed board leashes as posing a far greater hazard than
benefit to riders regardless of whether a helmet is worn, on the basis of
Accidents are inevitable in most sports and kiteboarding is no different.
With knowledge comes the means of avoiding some of this misfortune. Whether
it is actually avoided or not will depend in many cases on whether the rider
chooses to avoid it by learning, research and most critically by action.
The opportunity is there for those that choose to seek it both here and in
Finally, the Safe Kiteboarding Guidelines, currently being updated, were
derived in large part from the analysis of the accidents of the KSI. It is
possible that if these Guidelines were followed many of these accidents
could be avoided. Again, it really comes down to choice. The current
version of the guidelines is available at the link listed above.
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