I dinged a rib this weekend after an involuntary "kiter loop" followed by a kiteloop. I think my spreader bar had become slightly loose over several hours of riding. My mistake in not stopping to tighten it. I think if it were snugged into place it would never go up that high to be able to hit a rib. It was a Fusion seat harness, my third one over the years.
I started to ask around and come to find rib fractures and other injuries aren't that uncommon apparently. Have other folks suffered dinged or broken ribs from spreader bars, if so, how? The dynamics may differ from seat to waist harnesses as well.
Unfotunately I broke a rib 2 yrs ago when my spreader bar got slammed into my lower ribs. Basically was coming out of a turn and the conditions were really gusty. I got frustrated while working the kite and trying to stay on a plane. A gust hit right as I yanked the kite back up to 12 and was flung forward onto my stomach. Kite proceeded to loop around and I got slammed down onto the water hard. Kite pulled the spreader bar upward at the same time. Impact on water caused spreader bar to hit my lower ribs and that was it. Out for 5 weeks and took most of the summer to feel comfortable again. By the way, I was wearing a Fusion harness as well.
This appears to be a pretty common injury. One of the guys I kite with said I was now an official kiteboarder since I broke my ribs. Same day another guy in our area broke his ribs as well.
I cracked a rib (bottom right) many years ago with an old school windsurfing seat harness.
The cause was a sudden and severe pull strait-up (wndsurfing catapult)which drove the end of the spreader bar (the fat part that the strap goes through) into my rib cage.
Ever since the injury, i have been using a Waist harness, which sits higher (over the old injury) and haven't had any problems.
Sorry to hear about your injuries guys. Glad they are in the past and you're back on the water. Have riders used spreader bar pads with any success out there? Considering the force and speed we can be yanked around at, it isn't too surprising that metal bearing on our body can cause some issues. I suspect that there have been a lot more of these, so what happened?
im still learning and was doing a downwinder in a bit overpowered conditions when we took off, im sure it wasnt too much but i was on an 11, and my friend was on an 8, both sonics... i was doing fine til about halfway ( 5 miles down) when it startd to pick up even more, my harness started to loosen up and it was pulling up really bad into my ribs... rode another 5 miles or so like this and afterwards i was just a little sore nothing really bad... because of the bar pad... I wont ride with out one now. I ride a dakine tabu, with bar pad, i love it
Rick, Is Sonja Fischli still there in Florida? She developed a problem with her ribs because she rode so much with a waist harness. She was always the first on and the first off the water in Cabarete, charging constantly. She had to stay off the water for quite a bit b4 they healed....
I'm sure I've posted this before, but I've cracked a rib kiteboarding. Older waist harness, with a pad. I've got ribs that stick out a bit and the harness sits below my ribs. I took a fall over the front with the kite heading to the top of the window and the bar and pad just jammed straight up into my ribs.
I know probably 5 other local kiters with rib injury stories.
I have been wearing seat and Nitrous harness ever since with no problems. I love the lower hook.
I just tried out a Mystic Warrior this weekend, hoping it would be comfortable around my ribs. Unfortunately it rides up just enough to put pressure against my ribs that stick out. With the Warrior seat/waist it was much better, but felt like I had a major wedgie. The waist is a SUPER comfortable harness though! If you don't have ribs that stick out this harness is awesome.