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Kitesurfing fatality at South Padre Island

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surfboy1968
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Kitesurfing fatality at South Padre Island

Postby surfboy1968 » Thu Mar 27, 2008 1:09 am

I had hoped to never hear of this here, but I heard today that a 40 y/o died last week kitsesurfing. I dont want to disrespect the family or friends and what I am reporting is second hand information. I am trying to get more information here. Apparently he was at the north flats, flat water and shallow spot, and was flying a SS Rev and it went into the dreaded death loop and he couldnt release the QR because it was attached wrong ? He drowned. I have heard he was still a beginner. If anyone knows anything else about thid tragedy please report.
My condolences to family and friends.
Peace and ride safe

KILLO
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Re: Kitesurfing fatality at South Padre Island

Postby KILLO » Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:24 am

Realy ad to hear about this....I go there usually with my friends from Monterrey.....please some one tell us what hapened!!!!!

Juan

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surfboy1968
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Re: Kitesurfing fatality at South Padre Island

Postby surfboy1968 » Thu Mar 27, 2008 3:29 pm

Rick, have you heard anything ? I cant find anything in local news. It happened during spring break.

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Re: Kitesurfing fatality at South Padre Island

Postby RickI » Thu Mar 27, 2008 5:24 pm

My sincere regrets go out to the lost kiteboarder's family and friends. Information is coming in, I hope to learn more about some particular aspects of this tragedy.

In the interim, kiteboarding can appear to be overly simplistic, in reality it is not. Adequate quality pro training is required. Be very well acquainted with your kite, proper setup, activation of the emergency depowering system, preflighting and avoid winds above 18 kts. when you are learning.

FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi

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Re: Kitesurfing fatality at South Padre Island

Postby Toby » Thu Mar 27, 2008 6:23 pm

sorry to hear this. My condolences to family and friends.

It would be good to get details, to be able to learn from it.

It sounds like the fatality in Egypt beginning of the year...the kite was also looping and the kiter drowned.

We need further investigation to what causes looping kites. This should be a separate topic though.

RIP !

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Re: Kitesurfing fatality at South Padre Island

Postby jjjlaudenslager » Thu Mar 27, 2008 11:31 pm

Those of us who were around and involved know that nobody knows why the kite started looping. Nothing was broken. So something got tangled (unless 11m Turbo 2's just do this sometimes when released to their front line as designed), but the kite and lines were in such a mess when recovered that we couldn't tell what got tangled when.

The victim was free of his bar when the first rescuer arrived. By that time he had been drug at high speed for several minutes, maybe 4-5, maybe more. His head was not seen above water for several of those last minutes. He was found unresponsive and chest compressions and mouth to mouth did not revive him.

He was being drug only by his leash, which was attached backward, that is, with the safety release away out of reach. If he did hand-over-handed up to it, and pulled, that wouldn't have worked because that release in that position needed to be pushed.

I posted most of this in The Safety Topic thread with the suggestion there be an industry standard leash with a quick clip at the long end only, a loop or something at the short end to encourage newbies to attach it to the harness and leave it, and the safety release activated by a pull away from the short end. New North, I think Mystic, and probably other leashes are already like this, but many aren't. His wasn't.

All kites can get into uncontrollable looping scenarios. Don't bother saying 5th line kites can't. They can.

But, a better leash could help, is so doable it's already done. It just needs to become standard. I wish shop owners would refuse to sell any other kind. And schools never use any other kind, and always teach leash safety.
Last edited by jjjlaudenslager on Fri Mar 28, 2008 12:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Kitesurfing fatality at South Padre Island

Postby KILLO » Fri Mar 28, 2008 12:13 am

ALL MY CONDOLENCES TO THE FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF OUR FELLOW KITER

FROM THE MONTERREY GUYS

REST IN PEACE

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Re: Kitesurfing fatality at South Padre Island

Postby Bron-Yr-Aur » Fri Mar 28, 2008 5:19 pm

This was from the Safety topic and I prolly should wait for more details to be posted, but wanted to ask about this before I forgot...

The leash was hooked to the correct ring, the ring hooked on the front line that lets that front line act as an extreme safety depower.

His bar was slid up that line about 10-20'.


I think it's odd the bar had only slid 10-20'. This seems like it might not be enough to completely flip the kite around and depower on a front line like it's designed?

My T2 has no flagging line stopper ball which means if I pull the safety the bar goes almost all the way to the kite. I guess it doesn't make a big difference as long as it goes far enough to totally spin the kite around and hang it off the front bridle, but 10-20' seems like it might not be enough.

As previously suggested, I think there might've been some sort of tangle involving the bar and/or leash which must've preventing the bar from sliding farther. I have had this happen before screwing up the bar trying to relaunch after a crash and if the kite starts looping the only option is to completely ditch the kite.

Anyway, I totally agree with kook-proofing the leash system (like the line attachments already are on the T2) and until it comes that way out of the box find some way to do this on your own. I would suggest adding a low strength quick release to your harness where you attach the leash. That way if the leash QR fails you have a back up. And if you are getting dragged by a powered up kite hopefully the damn thing lets loose on its own. The leash system should not be strong enough to drag a rider, only to hold a DEPOWERED kite. The breaking point should be designed to pull apart under a powered up dragging scenario. Leashes can kill seems to be a lesson we are sadly learning the hardest way.

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Re: Kitesurfing fatality at South Padre Island

Postby blowhard » Fri Mar 28, 2008 5:29 pm

Sad news ,
Condolences to his family and friends

My safety release is close to my body ,
pull away from body to release ,
and is my weakest link
but when kites start looping
shit happens fast
Still for all the folks who learn at SPI
It's one of the safest venues

jjjlaudenslager
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Re: Kitesurfing fatality at South Padre Island

Postby jjjlaudenslager » Sat Mar 29, 2008 12:06 am

Bron-Yr-Aur and blowhard, all I can add is: yes.


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