I just heard about a second serious accident that happened in onshore winds last weekend. First, there was Peter Nordby's tragic accident in strong gusting onshore winds. The second accident happened in Florida. It involved a new kiter, apparently with no previous instruction out in light 12 kt. onshore winds with a 12 m kite for the fourth time.
The kiteboarder apparenly lost control of his kite, over-compensated and looped the kite. He was hurled/dragged over a rock jetty and into a van, he looped the kite again and was dragged into a car and subsequently into a third vehicle. He was hooked in and couldn't unhook. He was not wearing a helmet or impact vest. He amazingly enough didn't lose consciousness or suffer head injury by pure luck. I am not sure what other injuries he came away with however. He was removed by ambulance and his current condition is unknown but inquiries are underway. Severe damage resulted to at least two of the vehicles.
Lots of problems here.
1. Riding in onshore conditions and upwind of hard objects.
2. Didn't take any lessons.
3. Flying way too large a kite to safely learn with. When you are learning small is the way to go.
4. Wasn't wearing any safety gear.
5. Was hooked in and not using a QR.
There are lots more things to question about this needless, avoidable accident. This is a potentially DANGEROUS, EXTREME SPORT. It can be SO EASY, very much like flying a big toy kite until something goes wrong. Then it can become as technical and experience demanding as flying in severe weather. I hope the quantity of these accidents starts to ebb soon, until then we really need to get involved online and at our local launches. If you see someone that needs advice try to pitch in as tactfully and effectively as you can.
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