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 Post subject: Kiting, Loftings & Injury - Images
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:36 am 
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Lets have a look at some images from a few loftings, sometimes there are head injuries, sometimes not. There has been talk about helmets again, here is some more food for thought for folks debating wearing one. Considering the speed of travel, momentum and possible rotation, I doubt the riders have a lot of control how they hit and minimize injury. That is short of doing some reverse kite loops to slow things up. Beyond that, watch your weather and buffer.


Image
This guy lucked out by cutting a 60 ft. tunnel through sea grape trees before striking the house. He had a helmet on but still suffered a bad concussion, brain hemorrhage and amnesia. It took three months for things to get back to normal. The doctor was surprised when the recovery happened so soon and completely. He attributed the guys survival to the fact he was wearing a helmet.

Image
Another view of the same lofting. A 165 ft. doesn't look that far after all.


Image
A well experienced kiter reported struck the rock around that white water line further out in the frame in Aruba. He died as a result of the impact.


Image
This guy got lofted by a mere 30 mph squall gust a 100 ft. high and 1200 ft. horizontally. If he had landed anywhere short of 50 ft. of where he ended you would wonder about the odds of survival. He skimmed in a speed into shallow water at a low angle through luck and came out without injury.


Image
This well experienced kiter suffered a fatal traumatic brain injury after striking the rocks in a messed up transition in 11 to 12 kts.


Image
An athletic teenager was lofted repeatedly over an overall distance of 600 ft. over land. He struck several objects along the way. He also hit a curb at the end with the back of his head, once things had slowed down suffering traumatic brain injury. He was not wearing a helmet. I understand in time he recovered quite well.


Image
A well experienced kiter was lofted in a 15 kt. gust into the rock field in the spillway suffering fatal traumatic brain injury. He was not wearing a helmet.


Image
This guy got lofted in a 52 kt. gust and was flown about 100 ft. high and 800 ft. horizontally. He steered towards a pine tree, ended up hitting saving himself and spending a few days in the hospital. He was one very lucky guy and was not wearing a helmet.


Image
Shannon Best got lofted in a summer squall gusting to about 30 kts. and went flying about 100 ft. along the beach and to a height of about 20 ft. if memory serves. He ditched the kite before flying into something hard, the road or powerlines. I think he got a real bruised butt out of the experience.


Image
Several kiters rode in the vicinity of this water spout until it picked some of them up lofting them shoreward. One guy destroyed the front end of a car landing on it. Another was lofted 100's of meters into the side of a house. He didn't survive the impact.

Image
A well known kiter was dragged over shallow rocks here in a gust shredding his scalp and causing traumatic brain injury. He feels a helmet might have lessened the damage. You can see photos of the head injuries, pretty gory stuff by the way at: http://fksa.org/showthread.php?p=2264

This could go on for many more pages and that is just the fatalities but I will stop here. There have been many more accidents which were survived with varying degrees of injury. My sincere regrets go out to the family and friends of those kiters who were lost and best wishes to those that survived to not repeat the experience. Try to learn from the past or be fated to repeat it.

There have been many dozens of fatal loftings related to traumatic brain injury worldwide in the last 11 years. There have been many more serious but non-fatal traumatic brain injuries. All the above and a good deal more accidents are described at http://www.kiteforum.com/viewforum.php?f=131 You NEVER know how you will hit if you are lofted, some have brain injury, some don't. Some benefited from wearing a helmet, some might have and in some cases it may not have made much difference. You never know how you will strike in advance. Take reasonable precautions or trust to luck, riders choice.

p.s. - want to see what an Epidural Hematoma (a shallow brain bleed) looks like? I elected not to embed this image in the post because it is pretty intense. If you aren't worried about the consequences of a head impact, perhaps you should have a look at this. The dark red section is the area of injury. I've had one of these, a lesser version I think, a number of us have worldwide. It is a good thing to try to avoid.

http://www.neuropathologyweb.org/cha...ages4/4-1L.JPG

FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi


Last edited by RickI on Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:29 am, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Kiting, Loftings & Injury
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:47 am 
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Oh thank god I thought this was going to be a link to the video of me getting lofted by the trainer kite on saturday, haha


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 Post subject: Re: Kiting, Loftings & Injury
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:20 am 
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I think I missed shooting your more dramatic incidents with the trainer kite on video. I do need to process the video interview of the guy that was overpowered and then lofted just north of us on the same day. Don't go out rigged too big particularly on strong wind days.


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 Post subject: Re: Kiting, Loftings & Injury - Images
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:48 am 
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Thank you!
This is a much better thread to promote helmet awareness than the other one that was posted a few days ago. I usually wear a helmet if its gusty or I'm pushing myself but you really never know if or when something could happen. I've had a helmet save my life once already in a motorcycle accident. I always think that the helmets we have available to us are really inadequate for the amount of power we have in our hands. On the road we have snell and dot ratings for impact ratings. The speed involved in a REAL accident like a lofting or a 20+ft boost/ trick gone wrong would push these helmets past their protective limits. I'm sure we have the technology out there to develop and mass produce a helmet that has similar protection to a motorcycle helmet without all the weight. It may already be out there but if it isn't it would be nice to have some sort of standards...


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 Post subject: Re: Kiting, Loftings & Injury - Images
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:38 am 
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Yes I always enjoy Rickl's posts very informative.

Lets face it my provocative "don't be a dick, wear a helmet" thread was designed to evoke passion and get people thinking about helmets. Since then its spurred 3 extra helmet related threads.

So.... The thread did its job.

Lets now talk about actual acidents.

These days I will not do an extreme/adventure sport with out a helmet and its because i've smashed my head in every sport i've done and saved my life several times.

Here's some of my incidents

Landboarding:
Attachment:
DSC07529 (Small).JPG
DSC07529 (Small).JPG [ 23.24 KIB | Viewed 2461 times ]

I posted this up a few weeks back on another thread. But here it is again. I was lofted into a fence while landboarding. The line wrapped around the fence post snapped it like a carrot and smashed it into the center of my forehead. I was wearing a helmet and that took most of the impact and i didn't die. Still it hit with enough force to squash the helmet foam flat and split my head open.

Kitesurfing:
Crashed down wind of the board. A 6foot white wash washed through picture the board up and center punched it directly end on into the back of my head at the top of the spin. It hit hard enough to give me mild whiplash. luckily helmet saved me.

Freeboarding:
Cought an edge riding toeside. I was thrown backwards onto my head.should onto the tarmac at 30mph. That hurt like hell. But I got up and carried on. Lots of brused. but again no hospital for me.

Cross country mountain biking:
Chasing a rabit during a night ride. Rode around a corner and smashed head first into a low branch. That compressed my neck and left me dazed and confused. but again still alive and able to ride home.

Down hill mountain biking:
Punched a 30 foot gap jump. Ran short, nosed into the back face at 50kph. I smashed into the seat with my guts, gave myself a hernia then flew over the handle bars, rag dolled for 20 meters. Sat up then my 20kg mountain bike lands chainring first on my head. The massive gouges in the helmet from the chain ring convince me its daved my life.


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 Post subject: Re: Kiting, Loftings & Injury - Images
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 12:05 pm 
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That is why I put in a wide cross section of accidents. Who would think you could survive an 800 ft. lofting, with or without a helmet? Yet this rider did, largely by steering towards a pine tree (as opposed to cliffs and powerlines) and survived by sheer luck after that. If he rotated into the trunk, a large branch before he slowed down and hit his head particularly without a helmet, you wonder if he would have survived or come out without severe TBI or traumatic brain injury.

Then there are fatalities included in 11 to 15 kts. involving very experienced kiters. You have to think a helmet would have had a good chance of saving these lost riders. We can't wear massive, very well padded helmets as you say, they weigh too much and have too much drag. We have to compromise wearing something lighter with less weight and drag. Still even that would be better than trusting your life and future to hair, skin and skull for impact protection. Most kiters do just that, some are fine, some are hurt, some with lasting injuries and some die. Staying safe in kiting involves a lot more than wearing a helmet, I hope that is obvious. A lid can help if things go wrong however in ways you may not appreciate until after it happens.

LastChance813 wrote:
Thank you!
This is a much better thread to promote helmet awareness than the other one that was posted a few days ago. I usually wear a helmet if its gusty or I'm pushing myself but you really never know if or when something could happen. I've had a helmet save my life once already in a motorcycle accident. I always think that the helmets we have available to us are really inadequate for the amount of power we have in our hands. On the road we have snell and dot ratings for impact ratings. The speed involved in a REAL accident like a lofting or a 20+ft boost/ trick gone wrong would push these helmets past their protective limits. I'm sure we have the technology out there to develop and mass produce a helmet that has similar protection to a motorcycle helmet without all the weight. It may already be out there but if it isn't it would be nice to have some sort of standards...


Last edited by RickI on Tue Oct 11, 2011 12:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Kiting, Loftings & Injury - Images
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 12:20 pm 
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Excellent points Plummet and thanks for sharing your experiences. People do seem to like some sensation at times to focus attention. I am glad you have come through ok despite some nasty accidents.

Picking and choosing when to wear a lid doesn't make a lot of sense from the accident experience. I had a rule of thumb to wear one above 20 mph way back in the day from windsurfing. I put one on in 15 to 20 mph despite this, later gusting to 50 to 60 mph and saved my life. There was a guy in England who stopped using helmets but cut his head that morning at home and put a lid on to protect the bandage. Little did he know he was going to be lofted over a powerline melting his spreadbar hook, hitting an eave and slide down a spiked pole. There have been other cases like this. We don't know what fate has in store for us, in detail anyway, in advance. Follow good kiting procedures paying attention to weather planning, monitoring, launch selection, self-rescue, kiting with friends, exposure protection when needed and use reasonable safety equipment like a good lid for the demands of kiting.

[quote="plummet"]
These days I will not do an extreme/adventure sport with out a helmet and its because i've smashed my head in every sport i've done and saved my life several times.

Here's some of my incidents

Landboarding:
Image
<snip>


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 Post subject: Re: Kiting, Loftings & Injury - Images
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 12:32 pm 
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Someone said skateboarders don't wear helmets anymore because they control how they fall. Many of the accidents I have looked at in the last decade show a good deal more randomness in how things work out. Flying hundreds of feet or even 30 can't be readily related to falling six feet or less off a skateboard. That said, take a good look at the kiter rotations in this now famous lofting in the video below. His body is moving all over the place and has no practical control of his body. There are two impacts that don't even show up in this clip. Whether you strike your head badly or not seems to almost be random. That is assuming you aren't knocked out before the kite stops as well and prior to additional impacts. Kiters have been knocked into coma just by striking sand and in winds on the order of 14 kts. You never know how you will slam in and what may be harmed and how badly. As far as becoming overconfident? I forget I am wearing a lid within a few minutes. Also, I know that a helmet isn't a magic bullet against injury but it sure beats taking things on your bare skull. You can't really anticipate things in short, follow good procedures and use reasonable safety gear.



There are various lofting sequences shown through this segment. One appears after 1:20.


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 Post subject: Re: Kiting, Loftings & Injury - Images
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:44 pm 
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RickI wrote:
Someone said skateboarders don't wear helmets anymore because they control how they fall.

3:11, 4:25, 4:50 etc ... using one's face doesn't count :nono:
http://www.leenks.com/link381801.html


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 Post subject: Re: Kiting, Loftings & Injury - Images
PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:57 am 
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RickI wrote:
Someone said skateboarders don't wear helmets anymore because they control how they fall.


... which is just bollocks. They don't wear helmets because it messes up their hair, and doesn't look the part. Same as ballet dancers.


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