Tag Archives: Kitesurfing

Six Tips to Help You Avoid Kite Surfing Accidents

Kitesurfers use power kites hooked into harnes...
Image via Wikipedia

Kite surfing provides many thrill-seekers looking for challenging ways to spend their leisure time. In this sport, a rider on a small board utilizes a kite to harness the power of the wind to move through the water. While control the power of the winds has been around for centuries, kite surfing did not develop till the 90s. By 1998, it had become a popular mainstream sport, with schools opening to teach it, with a competition held in Maui annually.

While exciting, kite surfing is also very dangerous, and requires training and supervision to ensure that it is done properly and safely in the beginning years. These kites are vulnerable to sudden gusts of wind, known as lofts that can carry a rider into the air before slamming them into the water, ground, buildings or power lines. It may also cause the rider to crash into other people, and more often than not, these accidents result in broken bones. According to KiteSurfingSchool.org, out of 105 accidents, 53% resulted in moderate to serious injury, while 13% of them were fatal. Many of these accidents are a result of inexperience and lack of training.

To minimize risk, take precaution to prevent kite surfing accidents:

- Make sure you have proper supervision and training before strapping yourself to a kite sail
- Be sure the equipment you use has a functioning safety release system that will disable the kite at any moment
- Check your safety equipment before going to the water
- Avoid kite surfing near power lines and airports, and stay out of the water when there is strong offshore wind or stormy weather
-Kite surf in waters with lots of open spaces to avoid the crowded beaches downwind — —If kite surfing through a vendor at a resort or cruise ship, be sure to read the fine print on the waiver or contract thoroughly. If you don’t, you may be releaing the vendor from their responsibility of training and supervising you

If you have been injured while kite surfing, or have been injured by a kite surfer, you may be able to file a legal claim to receive compensation. If you are involved in an accident, take detailed notes describing what happened, who was involved and the names of witnesses as well as injuries sustained. Keep as much evidence as possible, such as the equipment and any failed parts as you will need them later. Don’t forget to obtain a police report on the incident.

Be sure to consult a boating accident attorney if you are involved in an accident, as he or she can help you through the complex legal issues surrounding maritime and boating accidents and help you get the compensation you are due under law.

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What is Kite Surfing

Paraglider take-off in Brazil
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Kite surfing, also known as kite boarding, is one of the most exciting water sports, as it incorporates aspects from other sports, such as windsurfing, wakeboarding, paragliding, and power kite flying. In kite surfing, large kites pull a rider on a board across the water’s surface. Many participants of this sport prefer flat water over riding waves. Because you can enjoy kite surfing in a number of different settings, like light to strong winds or high waves, there is something for every participant.

This sport started when power kite flyers wanted to test their skills on the water with wind surfers. There were no specific boards for kite surfing, so riders improvised, using surfboards and wakeboard. Kite surfing has evolved since then, and there are now specific boards and kites that are manufactured.

Kites now have inflatable sections that function to hold its shape as well as float. Since these kites have no rigid structure, they can be packed up to be very small. Kites as large as 16meters or more can fit into a rucksack. These kites differ from power kites as they have one canopy skin, and the inflatable tubes have the shape of the aerofoil similar to the aeroplane wing.

These kites are steered by a bar that can also alter the power. It is attached to the kites using 4 or 5 lines made of dyneema, and a breaking strain of over 500 kg. Two of these lines are attached to the ends of the bar, while the others run through the center to a harness worn by the rider. Moving the bar along these lines, the angle and the power of the kite can be changed. The larger the angle, the more surface area of the canopy is exposed to the wind, giving the kite more power. In the opposite fashion, the smaller the angle, the less power the kite has. Also, when you pull in the bar, its power increases, and the opposite happens when you push it out. These adjustments did not exist at the beginning of the sport, and only adds to the amount of skill you will need to acquire.

Kite design has been changing since 2006, and kites now are much safer than their earlier counterparts. The ability to alter the power of the kites by pulling or pushing the bar helps control the speed to something manageable. Also, re-launching a kite once the bar has been released is a much easier task than before. Kite surfing, while still challenging, has over come technical obstacles, making it safer and easier to participate and learn the sport, therefore increasing the sport’s popularity.

Organizations dedicated to kite surfing have grown in many countries, and often assist with the club, competition, training, and kite surf schools network.

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Kite Boarding Equipment

Saut en Kite Surf: Aérial
Image via Wikipedia

Kite boarding is an extremely rewarding sport, but demands enthusiasm and stamina. An important part of enjoying this sport is your safety, and detailed below are the equipment you should have while enjoying this sport.

Kites, of course, are essential in kite boarding. If you’re interested in purchasing a used kite, many of them come with a warranty that guarantees any possible failures. Beginners should look at using trainer kites to familiarize themselves with the sport. The first steps are crucial as it is when novices learn to harness the power source and learn how to properly control the kite. Once past the beginner stage, be sure to look at other kites. Some suggested brands are the HQ Montana 5.0, the HQ Rush 250 and the HQ Beamer II TSR 3.6.

The board itself comes in three different styles, the Twin Tip, the Directional or Hybrid Directional, and the Wake style. The Twin Tip Type boards can be steered in any direction without jibing the kite, while Directional Boards are divided into sections that are used to steer. Wake style boards are considered dual directional as they can steer forwards or backwards. There is another board style called Landboards, which allow the rider to have more freedom in the way they utilize the kite’s power.

Harnesses connect the rider to the kite, and this piece of equipment often includes harness spreader bars, nitrous shorts, harness knives, waist harness and seat harness. Other vital parts of equipment are the foot straps, pads and fins.

Perhaps the most vital part of your kite boarding experience is the safety equipment. An impact vest is necessary while kite boarding since it will protect your body should the rider fall into the water. Wetsuits are important as they retain the boarder’s body warmth and protect against the chill.

Optional equipment includes travel bags and accessory back packs are also a good idea, as they will assist you in transporting your kite boarding equipment. While not necessary, instructional DVDs are essential as they provide tips to novices who want to learn.

Of course, your safety is vital, so never compromise when it comes to your equipment. Get the best equipment for your style and keep all safety tips in mind. Thrill seekers will definitely have an excellent time trying out this sport. The popularity of this sport has spread from beyond the US and everywhere in the world.

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