Power kites can be dangerous… read on!
Because of strong forces that can be generated by sudden wind gusts, people can be lofted, carried off, dashed against water, buildings, terrain or power lines, resulting in what’s termed a “kitemare”.
Most kiteboarding fatalities are the result of being lofted or dragged out of control, resulting in a collision with hard objects including sand.
It is possible to be seriously injured simply by hitting the water surface at speed or from a height. Jumping and being airborne at inappropriate places (such as shallow water or near fixed or floating objects) can be a contributing factor.
To maximize safety, basic safety guidelines should always be followed, some of which follow:
Always check the weather forecast, color radar, real-time wind reports on the Internet for indications of storms/squalls and excessively gusty winds, wind direction changes and lightning hazards. Do not launch or ride in or near squalls or storms.
Avoid kite surfing in crowded areas, near rocks, trees, or power lines. In general there should be a minimum of 100 meters of safe distance from all obstructions.
Try to ride with side-shore winds. Avoid offshore or directly onshore winds.
Pay attention to changing weather and wind conditions. Particularly dangerous are storm fronts, which are often preceded by strong, variable wind gusts and sometimes involve lightning. If a rider feels a static shock from the kite bar, they should land the kite immediately and seek shelter.
Helmets and impact vests can save lives and add substantial convenience if a rider wears them.
Wear appropriate exposure clothing for conditions and a reasonable period of time in the water, should you become disabled.
Do not remove or disable factory-installed safety equipment or releases.
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