Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2002 9:50 pm Post subject: Bruno Legaignoux's Posting on the Yahoo!Group
Very interesting what he has to say:
I'm so hurted by this tragedy and disapointed with the people which are partly responsible of such accidents. So it is now time for me to tell a few truths :
*** Who has a part of responsability ?
- the manufacturers which don't offer their kites and bars with 2 quick-releases (QR) and leash (1)
- the distributors and shops which sell thies unsafe gears
- the manufacturers and national kitesurf associations which don't help IKO (2) to develop the sport safely
- the event organizers which allow riders to participate their event without the needful safety devices and don't organize the safety on the event area
- the riders which don't wear ALL the required safety devices In fact a large part of the people which make money with this sport...
*** most kitesurfing accidents could have been avoided if all of the above people more seriously took care about safety
*** most kitesurfing accidents can be avoided in the future if EVERY kitesurfer wears a QR on the center line, a QR on the harness loop and a kite leash, nothing less.
For those which say that wearing a kite leash is inconvenient to make loops, the problem is now solved : put a swivel block under the QR and attach the leash between them. I hope that all the manufacturers will offer this item in 2003.
*** the other accidents can be avoided if all the manufacturers take care about safety and if every kitesurfer respects some basic rules (don't fly kites over people, don't sail and make tricks close to the beach ie respect a minimum 50m/150 feet safety distance, don't fly overpowered or in gusty winds, don't let your kite up your head on the beach/always close to the water...)
*** the stainless steel shackle quick releases that you can find in the shops are not 100% safe. Although the best one is the Wichard, the "opening line" can break and the sand can prevent it from opening. It is made for Yachting (no sand), not for kiteboarding nor for man safety purpose. The other ones are worst and should not even be sold because nothing is more dangerous than a QR that you rely on but doesn't open when you need it. I warned the italian manufacturer which sell some of them several years ago unfortunately without result (I sold 100 of them in 1993 but had to trash another 100 due to
*** kites with glass fiber battens, especially at the tips, are more dangerous than the other ones (imagine a fiber glass batten which hits someone at 50 knots speed!), so should be PROHIBITED BEFORE a first accident demonstrates it
*** IKO is the way to go. IKO needs support from all kiteboarding actors to be able to organize worldwide efficient safety. End 2001 the manufacturers were asked to become partners but only two of them did
it: FLEXIFOIL and TAKOON.
YOU, kitesurfers and shops, can help IKO to convince the manufacturers joining it by purchasing only from these two brands and/or by telling the other brands that you won't purchase their gear in 2003 if they don't join. The schools can help by joining IKO network, using IKO standards, spreading IKO kiteboarder Manual, giving IKO kiteboarder cards to their students... If you have any responsability in this sport, join IKO !
*** IKO is braked in a few countries by national organizations which defend "their territory against intrusion/ingerence". This is for example the case of the french FFVL which refuses any collaboration. This is the case in USA too where business side prevails. However, in most countries the associations undertand the need of an international driving force (most kiteboarders travel all around the world, insurance must have worldwide coverage, etc...) and IKO's power is growing incredibly fast.
People can think that my opinion is biased because I have some business interests. So, to be clear:
- I'm co-inventor of the first water relaunchable kite - 1984
- I started Wipika and introduced the 2 line bar with 3 safety devices, both in 97
- I am Wipika School Network founder - 1999
- I exclusively work for Takoon since its founding, where I take care about kite design and safety, introducing to the market the first 4 line bar with 4 safety devices (1) in early 2002
I act about safety from the beginning because :
- I don't want to be hurt myself (I sail since 1984 with quick
- I hate hearing about accidents, especially when the victims are not responsible of it
- making it safe is the only way to develop the sport
Silke, we won't forget you!
It is so sad to tell that but at least your accident will be the cause of drastically reinforcing kiteboarding safety... Ride safe Bruno
(1) Takoon was the only brand to offer 4 safety devices with its 4 line bar in early 2002
- central line QR to fully depower the kite
- harness loop QR to fully depower the kite if hooked to harness
- leash attached to one of the front lines to avoid loosing the kite
- leash QR - to be used in peril of death only
(2) IKO is the International Kiteboarding Organization in charge of safety, all sides of safety : international teaching standards, instructor trainees, school affiliation, international safety rules, etc...). It was born 6 months ago and is driven by the very professional team which first developped the Wipika School Network. http://www.ikorg.com
I am not directly involved in IKO but closely collaborate with them to develop the sport safely
(3) I "officially" warned the French federation about the lack of safety devices on kitesurfers' gear 2 years ago. A few months later I got a reply taking act about my warning but nothing really happened since then.