I came across the following kitesurfing accident account in another forum,(see below), from Auckland, New Zealand. I was hoping to obtain more details regarding the cause of the accident, kite size, winds, rider experience level, etc. for the accident database. If anyone has some information to add to this account it would be much appreciated.
This is an accident that involved a new twist to the board leash question, so here it is for consideration. Co-worker of mine, riding with ambulance staff in Auckland New Zealand responded to kite board accident. From report, guy got lifted and carried about 100ft before impacting ground. Sounds like the kite tomahawked with him in tow. There was a visible impact mark where he hit. To make matters worse, the guy's board (leashed) followed him to impact and struck him in the head (helmet-less) resulting in likely skull fracture. His other obvious injuries were mandibular (jaw) and peri-orbital (around eye) fractures and others.
In my opinion and after watching and reading about a number of accidents involving boards,leashes and broken skulls there is no question:
-IF YOU USE A BOARD LEASH YOU MUST WEAR A HELMET-
if you don't follow this rule you are likely to eventually get hit. I'm saying this also because I did get hit too and I wore a helmet ever after until I eventually I stopped using a leash. But before you do you do that you need to be able to kite back to your board using the proper tecnique.
I agree, if you use a leash you have to wear a helmet.
I stopped using a leash when my board flew headhigh towards me and luckily missed me.
Also when I did tricks and the leash got stucked in the steering lines.
And I never regreted it, I always managed to come back to my board, even in 5 degrees Celsius air, 4Ã‚Â° water.
Maybe this should be an issue for the schools worldwide. They should teach the newbees how to get back to the board using the power of the kite and their body.
As a health care professional I don't see any reason why NOT to wear a helmet when unsing a board leash, especially in heavy surf. I use one. In fact, I'm the only one using one where I kite and it puzzles me when guys ask me why.
Yes, the common lack of helmet use is a surprising. Then again, American football players went without helmets for years and no doubt for dozens of serious injuries or worse. I can't remember the last time I saw a football player bodily lifted and hurled 10 to 20 m horizontally through the air to a hard impact. Of course kitesurfers don't need helmets because they never have hard impacts!?
I seem to be one of the few guys (out of a few hundred riders), to wear a helmet regularly in my area. It saved my life over a year and a half ago. If I am kiting, even in lighter air and without a board leash, I wear it. Why tempt fate, in my case, twice?!
I allways kite WITHOUT a leash (board leash) and WITH a helmet...
When powered up if you leave your board it can submarine in the water and anchor while the kite is pulling you real hard.... leash gets tight... you get stretched bigtime... watch that leash... it snaps and whips you on the ass... yow !!!!!!!