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POV Video Kiter Lofted Up & Thru Tree Canopy

Posted: Wed May 15, 2013 4:32 pm
by RickI
RickI wrote:I inserted some of this info in the other POV accident thread but not sure if many folks saw it. This is a case of a guy with no training figuring things out on his own as I understand it with an excessively large kite in high gusty winds. He caught the whole thing on his GoPro camera and even did an animated reenactment of the accident. I believe he healed from the accident but resolved to not kite again.

Take adequate quality pro kiting lessons, even if you have to travel to do it. Don't experiment with a full sized kite without good lessons.

Big thanks to Clew In for posting this on The post from that site follows:

(Thanks for the working embedded video Acctx!)

The imagery including the animation of the rider getting pulled through the top of the tree is startling. The trouble is the branches act as pulleys so as long as the kite is powered up, the lines and rider will follow. This can also happen with current pulling your kite on the water if your lines slide under a rock or fouling on a piling. This can cause you to be pulled and held underwater. Something similar happened to a kiter eight years ago with him being pulled through the canopy of a tree resulting in him suffering paralysis in his lower legs.


I am not quite sure what went wrong in this case although it seems the kiter was very inexperienced. It looks like he held on to one bar end forcing the kite into a radical looping turn. Not sure if once he was overpowered after launch he simply failed to do anything to help himself including Emergency Depowering the kite.


Some comments he made on the Youtube post appear below:

"On 16 June 2011, a small group of friends went to the Vaal Dam to take advantage of the strong wind forecast. As a novice kitesurfer, I underestimated the conditions and made a series of bad judgments resulting in a very serious freak kiting accident on land."

"The worst part is that I actually did know how to eject the kite but I was not FAMILIAR enough with it for it to be a natural reaction in that very quick moment when it all went wrong. That's the importance of practice until something becomes muscle memory. It's all well and good to know your procedures when you're methodically thinking about them; a completely different story in the heat of the moment. I hope that I have been able to caution people through this."

"Thank you for your kind sentiments. I really have recovered well but I won't be kiting again due to the possibility of a repeat injury.
Truth be told, I could very easily have avoided the accident if I'd reviewed my safety procedures before hooking up. Get familiar with them, practice them, commit them to muscle memory and remember that your kite is not worth your life. Happy kiting!"
Original post at viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2379868