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.