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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2004 5:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2002 1:00 am
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Location: Florida
THREE fatalities within a couple of weeks, involving two experienced
riders and apparently a new rider. Lofting or dragging and severe head
injuries occurred in each case. No helmets are known to have been in use at this time in any of these three accidents. Details are still coming in but
they both appear to have been avoidable accidents.

Things may grow worse before they improve, based on the experience of last year. Reviewing information from the KSI in 2002:

June - Two fatalities

Sept. - One fatality

Oct. - One fatality

Nov. - Five fatalities

Desperation over so many avoidable accidents last November resulted in the preparation and translation of "Ten Ideas For Safer Kiteboarding" located at:

IF, these guidelines had been adhered to it is likely that many of these fatalities may have never happened. Add to that the many dozens of serious, non-fatal avoidable accidents many involving experienced riders that may have never happened IF these guidelines had been followed.

Then there are the accidents and fatalities that have yet to occur. Those are the ones that we might cause to NEVER occur by the choices we make.

* In kiteboarding and in life for that matter, bad things can happen. They don't always happen to the "other guy."

* Experience and skill are sometimes NOT much of a deterent to harm, unless suitable caution is practiced.

These are two of the most significant facts that are given here. You or someone you know could well be the next victim of a serious accident., largely determined by the care you choose to practice.

Lack of awareness of hazards or worse denial of their significance can injure and kill. This has happened in the past and will continue to happen.

So, take steps to avoid an AVOIDABLE accident or not, the choice is yours. People often need to see and hear about enough serious accidents to motivate them to take the hazard seriously and to take steps to avoid them. Are we there yet?

Kiteboarding is an extreme sport and will likely always have the potential to be dangerous. The key is to reduce the number of avoidable accidents. It is up to you to decide by the actions you choose to take, if any.

Some ideas on how to avoid kiteboarding accidents and complaints appear in the "Ten Ideas For Safer Kiteboarding" and even more appear in the "Safe Kiteboarding Guidelines." These documents were derived from actual accident analysis. Choose to be aware and try to avoid obvious hazards or not. The hazards are real and will effect some among us regardless of our views on whether they are a real threat or not. Do your loved ones a favor and think about it.

November is approaching along with what good and ill that it may bring. Our choices in how we ride will have a strong role in how things work out this fall. Safety devices in kiteboarding may only help to avoid serious accidents. In these early days it is essential to also use adequate knowledge and judgment to properly insure safer riding. Time to decide, with appropriate action our casualty rate could be less than last year, it is up to us. We should be doing more to improve the accident experience in kiteboarding.

Safe Kiteboarding Guidelines

Ten Ideas For Safer Kiteboarding

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