I have reproduced the database below for easy access by participants in this forum. The database is periodically updated with new accounts and perspectives on old incidents. I thought for the convenience of the readers it might help to post it here at least once.
Toby, the file size of this is about 170 k. If this is too large please let me know and I won't upload content of this size in the future.
Kitesurfing Accident and Incident Database
The following knowledge database has been assembled to pass on important safety information and precautions learned from both observed and reported accidents and incidents. When feasible independent verification of the account has been attempted. Kitesurfing is a new sport with its share of growing pains and hard won knowledge. The Lessons Learned/Prevention section provided with each account present opinions regarding the possible cause(s) and potential means of avoiding similar accidents and incidents. Commentary included with each account provides opinions on trends in the sport, relation to similar incidents and other relevant information. As additional incident information may be provided and kitesurfing techniques and state of knowledge improve over time some of these accounts may be periodically updated with additional information and/or commentary. These accounts may be reproduced as long as appropriate citation is given.
Kitesurfers are encouraged to contribute to this knowledge database with actual confirmed, incident and accident information so that others may also learn from the experience. Accident/incident forms are included with this folder. These forms may be completed and emailed in to firstname.lastname@example.org possible inclusion in the database. If you have questions, additional information, alternate approaches to avoiding some these accidents or corrections, please email them to me privately.
We need to try to use the lessons of past incidents, they may be the ONLY WARNING that we receive. All kitesurfers are encouraged to periodically review this database.
Rick Iossi email@example.com
Incident # 2 02 8
Date: Feb. 2002 Location: California
Title: That Board Is NOT A YO YO!
Posted by: Mel
Summary: An experienced rider had just launched either an AR5 9.5 or 13.5 m kite. He had attached his standard Dakine board leash just prior to launching as high gusty winds normal at this launch donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t permit one handed bar control readily. His kite was near neutral or the zenith when a gust hit. The gust may have been preceded by a lull that dropped his kite lower into the power window and at a high angle of attack. He was then violently lofted up high enough to where is board, hanging below him from the leash went OVER and CLEARED A WINDSURFER that was standing by his rig downwind. The kitesurfer landed on sand away from rocks and other bystanders and was able to get his kite under control with no one suffering any injuries.
Lessons learned/Prevention: To avoid having the same thing happen to us, we local riders had already learned to keep their kite low. We only needed to hear about the guy who was seriously injured lofting here (see Incident # 1 00 1), & experience our own 6 to 12 ft. loftings even in light winds (like after quitting due to lack of wind!) and didn't need a 25 ft. lofting to convince us.
Comments: So, another lofting incident goes into the accident database and another extremely lucky kitesurfer dodges a howitzer shell. Probability indicates that only so many riders will enjoy these benign outcomes. For many others the consequences will be grim at best. There are lots of lofting incidents in this database already, some with serious and even terminal injuries. If you put your kite up, sooner or later expect the kite to do what it does best, lift or LOFT you up with a sudden but inevitable gust. If you are near hard objects you will roll the dice on how intact and uninjured you come out of it. Kitesurfers really need to make how to avoid lofting COMMON KNOWLEDGE to needless repetitions of the often avoidable and very dangerous phenomena.
SO TO REDUCE THE CHANCE OF LOFTING immediately after launch, raise your kite only minimally above the horizon to a safe altitude to permit maneuvering. Do not bring it up to neutral or the zenith as if you are hit by a sudden gust YOU WILL GO FLYING INTO ?. If you need to reverse the placement of the kite, do it quickly but not so quickly as to build apparent wind speed. If you are using a center or chicken loop, sheet out as much as you can while maintaining stable flight before changing the Also, if you have a depowering strap, depower the kite as much as possible by sheeting out while still maintain stable flight for the available winds while near hard objects.
Incident # 2 02 7
Date: Feb. 2002 Location: Sydney, Australia
Title: When Waves Decide To Fly Your Kite Ã¢â‚¬Â¦
Posted by: Steve and Callum
Summary: An experienced kitesurfer was out in major swells on an unspecified kite in unspecified winds. He was heading out through a wide breaker zone when passing through a breaking wave he was knocked off his board. The next wave broke over him and slammed and violently tumbled him towards shore. His kite wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t waiting patiently through this, as it was dragged shoreward, it was sufficiently near neutral to lose sufficient forward flight speed, causing his kite to stall or luff. The luffed kite provided lots of slack in the bridle and flight lines which through the tumbling of the wave turned Callum into a nice sushi roll, line on the outside. When he was allowed to come up for air when the wave passed his kite lines had wrapped around his neck and his board leash was tied nicely around both legs. The great and terrible thing about traction kites is that they often will not stay stalled for very long, generally only long enough to fall closer to the center of the wind power window, where they will very nicely POWER UP and apply major tension to the flight lines! So he was trussed up and largely immobile except for a heavily repowered up kite pulling very hard on the mess around his neck while the board dragged him in another direction. He of course was along for the ride as he couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t even move with major swells spanking him throughout! He didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t detail how he got out of all this but very fortunately he did, apparently without serious injury. Callum described this experience as Ã¢â‚¬Å“the single scariest moment in my life.Ã¢â‚¬