I didn't reply because I thought Neil covered the topic just fine. And everything else on the topic has already been said in the 12 other threads covering this accident. Good interview and good point about only learning from your mistakes if you teach yourself vs. going to an instructor.
That accident of Neil's is very old news. We all make mistakes, learn from them, and move on.
You are correct, though, that it is easy to look at an accident after the fact and make judgments. These things happen fast and everyone doesn't always react correctly. On this particular accident, though, it seems clear to most people that there were a chain of mistakes leading up to the lofting.
Thanks for your comments Neil, good points and on video. Also, thanks to Ryan and Toby for assembling the clip and putting it up for us to see.
It is true that many people don't try to Emergency Depower once lofted. It was just never important enough to think about much less practice. How many of us is this still true about today? Then in other cases there just is no time.
Kiters have dropped free after lofting or steered to a less serious impact in the past though. Shannon Best detached and dropped from his kite to slam into the beach to avoid being blown into the road and powerlines. Pato, steered into a softer landing in a pine tree. I tried to disconnect and fall to the sand but couldn't before smashing through trees and into a house. No QR, they weren't commonly in use in 2000 and I was still a newbie then in quite a few respects. Still, I tried to disconnect and while flying fast inland. There have been quite a few other cases in which people did punch out or tried before being flown into whatever.
Still, we all screwed up by getting lofted in the first place. We all should have never gone out in obvious hazardous conditions, landed early or emergency depowered well before the gusts came in the first place. The mark of ability isn't getting out of this crap, it's avoiding it in the first place.
Kevin has been vilified in the global kiteboarding community by his actions. I wonder what percentage of the community is pissed off at him because he came off as so "uncool" on TV (more than once). Versus, putting himself, bystanders and our access at risk by being out in those obvious and intense storm conditions in the first place and leaving the lay community with the conclusion that we're a bunch of out of control kooks? How many of those condemning would ride with threatening storm conditions themselves? Too many I suspect. Kevin screwed up and brought home some valuable lessons, but only if we pay attention to them.
I am reminded of what I heard about a pattern with early snowboarders when they were still being banned all over. If a guy got hurt, he quietly dealt with it to the best of his ability. He didn't go to the slope authorities, sue them, talk to the media or do anything else that would fuel the efforts to ban snowboarding or put his sport in a bad light. This was in the US too, the land of torts. More lessons from the past?
My fatalistic .02 cents is that it's not if your going to get injured kitesurfing. It's when your going to get injured kitesurfing, and to what degree. If you've been kiting long enough, you've suffered some form of ding, scratch, tear, or break. I don't think a lesson three or four years ago would have helped Kevin that day. Realizing his limits may have helped. I'm not defending Kevin, but at the end of the day, no kite lesson can train you for a kick in the nuts.
However, I do believe that lessons with the right teacher do benefit a new kiter. (I've seen so many kook "instructors") Sadly, many so called "instructors" are all about the money grab and follow on gear sale from tourists and kooks and don't really "teach" much at all.
Part of the problem is that IKO and the like require little from their instructors other than some money every year. There really is very little oversight from these bodies. In diving, PADI takes the money every year alos, but there instructors do actually have to be able to teach skills. IMO, the same can't be said for IKO. There are instructors out there that can't self launch or land.
I learned how to land a parachute jump in the Army through repetitive drills over 20 years ago. To this day, I can still do a PLF without thinking about it. When I learned to dive, my instructor did basic things like shut off my air supply, and remove the regulator underwater, so I would know what it's like.
I've been kiting since 2002. I'm a self taught kiter, mainly due the lack of tuition where I learned to kite. However, I have observed instructors in popular schools in places like Egypt and Fuenteventura and I believe that kitesurfing instruction curriculum needs, among other things, to add repetitive drills that build muscle memory and intuition. (i.e having people disconnect while actually under load).
fokiten or his newly assumed handle has continued to posture round the kevin kearny kitemare. what is the point? should we continue to burrow our heads in the ground and wait for the next idiot to go out in a tropical storm using a traction kite to injure himself or others and endanger kiting access for kiters round the globe. we love to kite and we do so despite the risk and dangers, yet we run the risk of being denigrated to a lunatic fringe activity. i enjoy skateboarding, yet i am only able to pursue this on the potholed and taxi riddled thoroughfares of manhattan because of perception. i have received a fine for skateboarding to catch the subway to work posing zero danger to myself and others. this is a perception issue having zero to do with public safety. please move on and try and be part of a unified and positive group trying maintain and develop kiteboarding activity and access.
if there is any criticism of neill and ryan's presentation it is that talking over brewsky's about a an activity that has led to personal injury is not going to convey responsibility or seriousness to non kiters. toby you need to lose this video of ryan and neil. it is a zero to have the editor of one of our major mags and a national rep do a 'happy hour' rap on safety. also please do not monday morning quarterback over what would have shud have happened. none of the kite companies test qr's under load so please do not intellectualize a lofting and hypothesize that you can always activate the quick release mid-air under load. shit happens and it happens fast. i have bought a number of kites and none of the bars come with labels specifying the max load pressure under which the quick release will work!
safe riding and fo please get back on track, i always thought you had something to contribute on this forum, but on the kevin kearney lofting you seem to have lost the thread.