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 Post subject: Long term (10 yr+) health effects from kiteboarding impacts?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 5:38 pm 
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Takes a long time for something like this to come up, at least for me. How could something that feels so right, natural (not sure how but it does) and beneficial be all that bad for you in the long term? You may go out feeling crappy but when you return often enough you feel better than when you started in mind and body. Even when you have some strains, pains, soft tissue injuries you rehab, heal and get back into it feeling better for continuing.

Not talking about just shorter cruising sessions but long, sessions in high winds, waves, wipeouts, etc. and over many years approaching a decade or more. At the same time, there is nothing to say kiters have to suffer this frequency of impact or trauma either through choice of riding style. I am having trouble thinking of another sport or activity that mirrors the frequency and type of body trauma that a kiter might undergo. Wakeboarding wipeouts, dirt bike, boarder cross snowboarding or skiing wipeouts, rodeo riding and the like. The intensity, type and duration of trauma and related injury varies among these activities.

Still, how much repetitious ACL, rotator cup trauma, rib fracture or ligamentous strains, spinal trauma, disk distention, nerve impingement and more abuse can and should a body put up with and over how many years? There are still more injuries that kiters report not uncommonly. Age and health factors into this in a big way as do the specifics of the injury, rehab and strangely even tolerance to pain. A high pain threshold isn't necessarily a good thing when it allows more extensive trauma. Also, the effects of some of this trauma can be cumulative over time. Screwups far in the past can stay with you and develop years later.

In these other activities people back off or ease off more extreme, impact prone expressions at some point, right? Perhaps prematurely after some particularly acute injury or at some point over time due to long term stresses? So, over the long term is repeated high speed water impacts a bad thing? The answer seems obvious and yet, there's the feeling your more frequently left with along the way that says maybe not that bad.

It would be good to get the views and experiences of guys that have been hitting kiting hard for a long time and had injuries along the way.


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 Post subject: Re: Long term (10 yr+) health effects from kiteboarding impacts?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:49 pm 
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ive been wakeboarding since i was 7 started competing 2 years later until i was 15 and i still wakeboard 5 years on. in 2003 i started kiting peoperly and have had more hours on the water than most people will ever have..........
both knees suffer pain that arises randomly, and after a session hurt considerably
i walk hunched a little, perminatly .beacuse my back hurts from impacts
one of my collar bones sticks up funny after one mjour crash but never went to hospital

if i told you more i think people would be able to tell who i was in town hahah.......and id' never tell someone what my ID was on here!


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 Post subject: Re: Long term (10 yr+) health effects from kiteboarding impacts?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 8:30 pm 
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Location: Cardiff, Wales UK
I've been wanting to ask a question on this forum, but didn't want to sound like a whinger or start an agony column.
I am 51 in 2 weeks. Played rugby till 46, started snowboarding at 40, and started kiteboarding 4 or 5 yrs ago. I've broken the small bones in both feet and smashed my heel pretty bad in the past 3 years while kiteboarding. No real drama, 5-6 weeks then back on the water. Up till now i've felt kinda invincible. Plenty of small pains from past injuries, but nothing a good kite session wouldn't cure.
4 months back I started getting tingling in my fingers and pain in my right arm. I carried on kiting but eventually got worried enough to pay for an MRI scan. Turns out I have 2 protruding discs in by cervical spine which are trapping nerves.
For the 1st time in my life I am scared to do my chosen sport in case I make things worse and end up proper crippled. Getting to see a Neuro surgeon in UK or Ireland is like trying to get an audience with the Pope. Has anybody else suffered this? I have heard so many different stories about this injury, some say surgery is only way, others say it will eventually get better.
Sorry if I've hijacked your thread but I need to know if to sell my kite gear,motorbike etc and find another interest. God knows what tho!


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 Post subject: Re: Long term (10 yr+) health effects from kiteboarding impacts?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 8:43 pm 
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Hi Ricki.
Started 1998 Wipika 2 line and F1 directional. Average 150+ days a year here in the SF Bay area.
My ACL's torn from windsurfing, without surgical intervention, are doing quite well with kiting.
After recovering from a loft and while holding kite sitting on beach counting my blessings another kiter "saved" me by jumping on my shoulder with his knee and dislocating it, resulting in a torn rotater cuff and luxation of shoulder, still not healed well.
Have had two different rib fractures from crashing into bar.
Gained 15 lbs, kiting doesn't give the workout windsurfing use to, or maybe it's the age thing, just turned 62.
Windsurfing did more damage to me than kiting for same time period.


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 Post subject: Re: Long term (10 yr+) health effects from kiteboarding impacts?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 9:08 pm 
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I have 3 fused cervical discs from a surfing sand bar accident when i was 16. I had the tingle hand/finger thing a couple of years back.
What saved me was going to Physical therapy and having neck traction 3 days a week for 1/2 hour for 10 weeks. The tingling went away and has not returned.

That said I prefer wave riding over unhooked tricks where crashes are less.


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 Post subject: Re: Long term (10 yr+) health effects from kiteboarding impacts?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 9:27 pm 
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Thx Slokiter. You have given me some hope. I got into wave riding 18 months back, haven't been on a twintip since. Living 100yds from a kiteable surf beach is not good for my sanity. I was wondering if riding toeside more has caused the problem, although I prefer to blame working at a computer.


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 Post subject: Re: Long term (10 yr+) health effects from kiteboarding impacts?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 9:30 pm 
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garyb wrote:
I've been wanting to ask a question on this forum, but didn't want to sound like a whinger or start an agony column.


No hijack at all, examining the possible long term, even subtle impacts of the sport we love is spot on. I've been going through something similar a couple of pinches nerves one associated with a trigger point in my trap and the other related to a herniated disk between C6 and C7. I've had referral pain, tingling and numbness down my left arm and into some of the fingers for a couple of months. The injury was a product of two things, I think, one was being dragged a 100 ft. through the dunes recently and the other was a decade of kiting related impacts including a couple serious ones, hitting houses, etc.. I believe this stuff can be cumulative. In my case, with PT, acupuncture, cervical traction, icing, padding the impacted area when pressured (sitting or lying down) and a rehab activity, the symptoms are almost gone. Yeeha! Rehab activities will vary but in my case swimming free style for a nerve impingement years back and today strangely enough riding a bike have caused symptoms to ease. Back to core strengthening and other conditioning soon. At the same time, not sure about cracking the whip with my spine in wipeouts from 30 ft. anytime soon at this point. Loss of function is a scary prospect but perhaps not as likely as it seems sometimes.

There is some good advice out there, "if it hurts to do this, don't!" I used to compensate for some sprained wrists, unknowingly, with wrist bands. Not real smart but we all learn eventually. Not saying to give up kiting or other impact prone activities but suggesting taking on and trying to heal through whatever means some of the underlying problems. Ease off kiting as things come together if it is aggravating things. You should know if it is.

As unsettling as disk issues, pinched nerves and pain can be, I've learned that some have surpassed these issues in a very big way. Of course they also did this when they were in their 20's. One guy won an Olympic Metal with a pinched nerve causing some internal issues and another became a world champion free diver despite cervical fracture and related effects at an early age. Each case is different, as are the symptoms, rehab and succession but there are some amazing stories out there.

Good stories out there, please keep them coming. This isn't something for older guys alone either. Lots of young folks have been forced away from activities due to trauma and resulting complications. Then again, the demographics of our sport favor older guys having been into it about ten years ago anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: Long term (10 yr+) health effects from kiteboarding impacts?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 9:33 pm 
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a very enjoyable life, take your fish oil and think about motorcross and skateboad slams and you will feel better.


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 Post subject: Re: Long term (10 yr+) health effects from kiteboarding impacts?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 9:42 pm 
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moblvet wrote:
Hi Ricki.
Started 1998 Wipika 2 line and F1 directional. Average 150+ days a year here in the SF Bay area.
My ACL's torn from windsurfing, without surgical intervention, are doing quite well with kiting.
After recovering from a loft and while holding kite sitting on beach counting my blessings another kiter "saved" me by jumping on my shoulder with his knee and dislocating it, resulting in a torn rotater cuff and luxation of shoulder, still not healed well.
Have had two different rib fractures from crashing into bar.
Gained 15 lbs, kiting doesn't give the workout windsurfing use to, or maybe it's the age thing, just turned 62.
Windsurfing did more damage to me than kiting for same time period.


I always thought windsurfing was more work! That was a rough break with your lofting rescue though. I've met a lot of people from all ages with some serious rib trauma from spreader bars. Some rib cages have permanently altered shape through repeated fractures too. I've heard from quite a few people how changing to strapless surfboards has eased some leg (ankle or knee issues).

I have to think you have a special drive and likely a high tolerance to pain too. Do you think that might contribute to the expression of some of the more gradual injuries? I wonder how many on here of any age could have pulled off that surfer rescue you accomplished two years back standup paddle boarding? More about that HERE .

Thanks again for that and for contributing


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 Post subject: Re: Long term (10 yr+) health effects from kiteboarding impacts?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 9:57 pm 
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PKPC08 wrote:
ive been wakeboarding since i was 7 started competing 2 years later until i was 15 and i still wakeboard 5 years on. in 2003 i started kiting peoperly and have had more hours on the water than most people will ever have..........
both knees suffer pain that arises randomly, and after a session hurt considerably
i walk hunched a little, perminatly .beacuse my back hurts from impacts
one of my collar bones sticks up funny after one mjour crash but never went to hospital

if i told you more i think people would be able to tell who i was in town hahah.......and id' never tell someone what my ID was on here!


I would have it checked out. You're plenty active. Hopefully after diagnosis, treatment (could just be chiropractic or PT) and rehab you might be able to get the joy out of kiting without paying an unreasonable price in pain or discomfort. From the sounds of it, it seems like time and repetition may not be the best fix.


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