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beginner death in france, detailed by the teacher.

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Re: beginner death in france, detailed by the teacher.

Postby JMF » Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:21 pm

Condolences to the Family very sad news.

Sad as it is unfortunately it takes a incident often loss of life for everyone to take a moment and review safety measures. When I started out many moons ago I looked at a lot of different knives I could carry on my harness in case I needed to cut away for whatever reason. I remember I had the orignal Dakine Pyro with orange hook knife that only last a few sessions until sea had it's way with the blade.

I eventually found the CRKT Bear Claw. Originally developed as a woman's self defense tool. The subsequent blunt nose version became a very useful emergency knife for EMT's and the likes that would allow them to cut through seat belts like butter. Best part of this knife is that the injection molded sheath allowed a person to strap it to the harness webbing for close access. Point is many hook knifes supplied with Kiteboarding harnesses do not allow a person to cut through thicker leader lines which in many cases are covered with floaters making them difficult to cut. Best bet (cheapest, safest) would be to cut the centre line and I have yet to see a harness with a hook knife that can tackle a centre line in a hurry.

I tested my bear claw on kite lines and center lines leaders under load and they were no match for the Bear claw. Another plus point is that the hook profile allows you to scoop up and gather whatever you are trying to cut with almost no need to actually perform cutting motion on lines. Due to the tentsion you literaly only have to touch the line and they're cut it's pretty impressive actually.

I'm not going to lie I stopped using my Bear Claw many years ago. I suppose you get complacent through the years. Another reason was the sea water started rusting the screws on my bear claw, lack of maintenance on my part. Going to start wearing it again, if not for my own safety maybe it comes in handy for someone else in trouble.

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Re: beginner death in france, detailed by the teacher.

Postby ChickenTikka » Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:25 pm

Sounds like a pretty unfortunate accident. Sounds like the guy was not exactly physically fit for the sport. It sounds like a younger person might have came out ok.

Did he get stuck under the boat? It sounds like he was getting dragged but communicating just fine for awhile until this boat maneuver happened.

That bear claw looks like something I'd be more likely to stab myself with by accident then save my life. However, maybe a good thing for the instructor to have it.

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Re: beginner death in france, detailed by the teacher.

Postby exuma kitesurfing » Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:26 pm

rip and my condolences to your family.
i don't know the details because, i wasn't there. but i keep my school safe by adhering to:

student must wear helmet and impact harness

no water lessons in winds above 25mph or kite size below 7m
(asking a beginner to control a fast kite smaller than this is too much)

no water lessons in winds with gust variance above 10mph

no more than two students ever in any water lesson
(one instructor simply CAN NOT safely be effective with 4 beginners in the water ... even if the students have radios)

water lessons in knee to waist deep water
(it really makes a difference when a student can stand ... they're in their comfort zone and can much more easily get out of trouble)

no board leash

students must be a minimum of 3 line lengths away from shore

side-onshore winds

i'm in a rescue boat following student or i rig a kite and ride with them as i give the water lesson.

student must have a safety knife.

to be honest, i don't think it makes a difference where your instructor has received their instructor certification... it's how they apply their knowledge and their regard for safety. i've had so many students that come to me that have had several water lessons and have no clue what a safety knife is or how to perform a self-rescue... that's just wrong!
that said, i know i'm lucky here in exuma with my lesson area conditions.
Last edited by exuma kitesurfing on Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: beginner death in france, detailed by the teacher.

Postby alexrider » Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:29 pm

edt wrote: But thanks for that wind chart. I see they got slammed at 3:45 (at the wind meter) winds going up to 40 or 50 mph, with gusts all day up to 30, wow.
So it turns out to be, once again, the ignorance or disregard of meteorological and/or aerological fundamentals.
In all the other sports involved with wind and water (from aviation to sailing), meteorology and aerology are always taught in priority. I don't know about the French schools and their syllabus, but in the area I am, I haven't seen any IKO certified instructors teaching these basics let alone knowing them.
If this unfortunate instructor is to be sued, the schools and kite organisations certifying and employing instructors should be sued first.

PS: the spiral of death is an issue manufacturers should be dealing with; something like fuses (at the kite) which breaks beyond a certain level of strain (or if possible, a certain number of loops).

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Re: beginner death in france, detailed by the teacher.

Postby markchatwin » Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:47 pm

To call this instructor a "killer" accomplishes what? This sounds like the type of behavior that starts a riot in city streets when some "unjustice" was done.

nikalaitzian - why not wait for all the evidence to come in? Those with clear heads will decide whether a "killing" was done.

I would think an X Navy Seal would be calm and rational in judgement. Clearly this instructor and his business model needs to be addressed and curtailed.

This is a horrible accident that probably could have been prevented. Imagine the hauntings this instructor will carry with him. To say nothing of the family of Rene and what they must be going through.

Every time something has gone wrong in my kiting world I have learned a lesson that hopefully will last a lifetime. Trouble is something new happens about once a year. It's a damn dangerous sport. The beginner should be well mentored. Not the case here...

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Re: beginner death in france, detailed by the teacher.

Postby JGTR » Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:08 pm

4 students to one instructor is a bad idea, but on the other hand here in the UK the price of lessons has not changed in 6 years, even gone down in some cases - how can a school make money without cutting corners like this :-?

Was he teaching in off shore winds as he had to chase the looping kite by boat - or was it cross shore - whatever if the teacher hadn't tried to rescue the guy with the boat sounds like he would have died anyway with the kite looping out to sea :-(

Highlights the dangers of 4 line 100% depower kites - o shits, although may not have helped in this case, should be standard on all bars!

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Re: beginner death in france, detailed by the teacher.

Postby jkiter » Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:20 pm

I thought having a boat always made learning/teaching safe.. Wrong...

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Re: beginner death in france, detailed by the teacher.

Postby FredBGG » Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:26 pm

edt wrote:

It's hard for me to blame the instructor for anything that happened after the kite begins looping. What he did with the boat, whether or not to try to cut the lines, how he tried to flag out, you are talking about a situation that is already out of control. He did what he could. Until you've been there, it's hard to understand just how fast things happen. It seems to me he kept a calm head the entire time, and acted quickly to do what he could.
No it's not hard to blame the instructor for what happened. The instructor had the student using a board leash. Getting dragged by a looping kite is a hazard, but with a board on a leash it is far more dangerous. The leashed board nose dives and drags the kiter under water.

Also how much of this instructors story are we to believe. His "wind report" does not come close to what sensors indicated.

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Re: beginner death in france, detailed by the teacher.

Postby FredBGG » Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:29 pm

markchatwin wrote: Imagine the hauntings this instructor will carry with him.
He doesn't seem to be that concerned.

Here is his only follow up posting so far:
Au nom de l'équipe de Fil d'air, je tiens a remercier chaleureusement toutes les personnes qui se sont manifestées sur ce forum a l'issue de ce dramatique accident.
Beaucoup de messages m'ont particulièrement touché, ce soutient m'est très bénéfique pour surmonter ce traumatisme. L'enquête judiciaire se poursuit dans le secret de l'instruction.
Le soutient et la confiance de mes stagiaires m'ont permis de reprendre l'enseignement et de continuer à partager notre passion.
Soyez prudent....
A bientôt sur l'eau

He has resumed giving lessons. He says that thanks to the confidence his students have in him he had starteds to give lessons again.

What do the students know about kiting... they are beginners :roll:

Only two days after the death of his student and for him it's business as usual :roll:

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Re: beginner death in france, detailed by the teacher.

Postby aircatcher » Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:12 pm

Teaching in group from boat in 30 mph wind!!! Very bad idea,the least thing beginners can do is carefully choose instructor with good history and able to demonstrate excellent kite maneuver skills .Take your time,fly your kite on land in light wind days only to build muscle memory first.Don't rush.If someone tell you they can teach you all in one day then do yourself a favor, just walk away and don't look back.Don't try to learn while you are on vacation away also,local conditions are very different , you really need to find a safe local condition uncrowded with plenty of room to practice regularly.

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