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 Post subject: WARNING Graphic Account: Three Years Ago ...
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 3:17 pm 
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Location: Florida
... there was a kiteboarder lofted in a squall. He was flying a 23 m kite in light winds when he ignored an incoming squall, was lofted and teabagged across the beach and between two buildings. By one eyewitness account, he was lofted into a palm tree and dropped down to the pavement head first. The accident summary appears below. He entered into a coma for about five weeks and no additional information was learned, until recently.

About a year ago, someone ran into the girlfriend of the victim. She had visited her former boyfriend out of state where he is being cared for by his parents. He can no longer walk, suffering partial paralysis. Sadly, he had no memory of ever having known the woman or even having lived in Florida. That time in his life, all the memories have been lost. He was in hospital for about six months and suffered nervous system damage and loss of memory and mobility. Thankfully he survived and came out of the coma but with serious losses all the same.

It was stated that the man was a loner, tried to figure things out on his own, didn't readily consider well intended advice or suggestions to take kiteboarding lessons. Some other victims of serious kiteboarding accidents have had some of these traits as well.

Some people still largely ignore squalls or don't bother to learn about them.

A summary prepared three years ago appears below:

60. Incident # 9 02 7 "Squall Injures Rider, Again" Location: Pompano, FL, USA
Date:9/29/02 Participant account included: No Number of independent accounts: 3

Summary

A new kiteboarder was out with an approximate Naish 23 m four line inflatable kite. He was flying over one half mile south of a group of other kiteboarders to the north. Squalls were in the area but many of the riders were ignoring them. One rider had to be grabbed while onshore as he was being lofted as one more squall moved into shore. The single rider to the south had been out trying to get some of the increased wind from the squall as it moved closer to shore. He succeeded in getting more and to the point of being overpowered. He worked into shore and then was lofted several times in succession, being "teabagged" across the beach until he went out of sight behind a building. The riders to the north later learned that there had been a serious accident.

From various reports it was concluded that the rider was lofted up into a tree where he hit and then fell from a substantial height, hitting his head on impact with the pavement. The rider was taken to the hospital. He was not wearing a helmet, impact vest or QR. It is presumed that the rider attempted to unhook but could not. The rider entered into a coma and is rumored to have come out of it after several weeks. This is still being attempted to be confirmed.

Lessons learned

1. Kiteboarders must avoid squalls at all costs.
2. Kiteboarders should always practice anti-lofting technique.
3. Always use minimum safety gear including a good helmet, impact vest, reliable quick release (QR) chicken loop attachment, a tested kite leash, hook knife(s), gloves and a whistle.
4. Rehearse dealing with emergency situations both mentally and physically to reduce reaction and response time. An early high priority should be to activate your tested quick release and kite leash.
5. Depower your kite sooner than later even if it is less convenient. Later, you may not have time.
6. Take adequate quality professional lessons to improve the odds of avoiding serious injury
7. Kiteboard with others. Talk about weather issues and how to deal with them. Some popular launches have even come up with a Squall Warning. The warning is something like several repetitions of three fast blasts on an airhorn and in some cases the hosting of a pair of square red flags as well. Riders should never be out with squalls nearby as they can strike too quickly for proper reaction. Until time and hard experience cement this conclusion in the kiteboarding community, a warning system is better than none at all. More about weather planning and kiteboarding appears at: http://www.kiteforum.com/phpbb/viewforum.php?f=131

Commentary

Riders seem to routinely ignore squalls and the danger and violent power that can come with them. Accidents including particularly spectacular ones have occurred over the last couple of years but apparently the word is still not getting out. Kiteboarders love wind and particularly when wind is light much of the time as was the case in this accident, kiteboarders intentionally put themselves at risk of injury. Many riders are not aware of this hazard while still others don't take it seriously enough. People trying to learn on their own are only more vulnerable. The term "cannon fodder" comes to mind in describing riders that expose themselves to such conditions out of ignorance. Please talk about weather issues with your friends and at local launches. Weather planning and awareness are key aspects of safe kiteboarding and too many riders are not aware of this yet or do not take the risk seriously yet. With time, there should be enough serious injury stories out among riders to overcome this ignorance and indifference. Until then there will be more such avoidable accidents until a critical mass of accounts and stories are in circulation.

FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi


Last edited by RickI on Tue Sep 13, 2005 7:48 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 3:28 pm 
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That's a real downer of a story and goes to show how quickly things can change in this sport from fun to disaster.

The flip side of course: I've had a few girlfiends I wish I could forget.

Go on, flame away, I'm having a bad week.......


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 3:44 pm 
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Location: Florida
It is a downer, sorry for that. In three years people have become a lot more sensitive to weather planning. Still, there are still some cannon fodder candidates ignoring squalls today. What can you do? Natural selection at work can be a real downer!

I hear you on the former girlfriends and ditto. They might say the same though, ouch!

Hope the week improves. I had wondered what became of this fellow for years. I just learned the additional details. This sport is all about fun, focus on the details of what it takes to ride for the long haul and shred hard. Ignoring things that count can hurt way too much.

FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 6:13 pm 
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I have assumed that more people are aware of unstable weather/squalls from comments about checking color radar, coming in when threatening clouds loom, avoiding tropical weather systems, etc.. Still, these are one on one comments, then there is the odd guy or two that I see on occasion riding into threatening weather, oblivious or indifferent.

How is it out there? Are riders more aware of weather, do you check forecasts and consciously avoid squalls? Three years ago, I think I knew the answer, not a very good one. Today, things have improved, right?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 7:54 pm 
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Atta boy :thumb:. Edit the title to add "WARNING Graphic Account". Get more punters in to gawk in disbelief (save you talking to yourself)

I can't believe how you would want to kick a guy when he's down to tweak your angle.

The guy was a loner, outcast type who didn't give a flying f*ck, as "stated". Suppose he had it coming then :-?

About the "Lessons learned"? What, when - 3 years ago, who learnt what, how...?
1. "Avoid squalls at all cost"... or learn to work around them if you kite Florida etc. Just listen for the warning horn to sound.
2. Yep, "alway practice anti-lofting technique". Forget about boosting & busting trick moves.
3. "Always use minimum safety gear" :D
4. Develop your muscle memory for lightning fast response (maybe kinesiology might help that ;)) but most importantly remember your lightning fast skillz won't cut it.
5. Sure, that works. Kill it early. Everytime you sense imminent danger or think you hear the horn sounding, just kill it.
6. True. The more you know, the more you see, and there are as many ways to learn as there are learning styles. Commercial mentorships are just one way.
7. Whatever you do don't be a loner!!! Those guys are just asking for it.

How about we all just ride at spots with wide beaches & predictable cross on wind (as forecast ). Then keep a weather eye out for white caps, your buds (if you're not a loner), poleboarders, kooks, waves, sharks, boats... just the usual stuff. Love it, don't fear it. Plant the graphic WARNING signs in the ground at the f*ckedup spots that we all know are off limits because they pose unacceptable risk. Ahhh... but what's unacceptable, when, who learnt what, how...?

Gotta say, many a time I find myself out on my foil by myself because the blow up boys got sick of getting jerked around, packed up & went home. Shit, it doesn't get much better when it's nuking and you got the place to yourself.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 8:36 pm 
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"the man was a loner, tried to figure things out on his own, didn't readily consider well intended advice or suggestions to take kiteboarding lessons." was a direct quote.

Nothing against loners whatsoever, I can closely relate in fact. The "didn't consider well intended advice or ..." cost this fellow in a very big way along with a number of other kiteboarders.

Your formula for safe kiteboarding "How about we all just ride at spots with wide beaches & predictable cross on wind (as forecast ). Then keep a weather eye out for white caps," won't work at least not without additional input. Do you honestly think all threatening squalls are forecast or come with whitecaps? Lots of injured guys to prove it. I am evaluating some serious accidents currently that back it up as if more examples are even needed.

Kiteboarding can be complicated, more than people give it credit for sometimes. Know your game and ride smart. Blow off the details and use of good judgement and plan on a bad session someday.

The warning was added because this is a particulary depressing account, as if there is any other kind of severe accident summary.


Last edited by RickI on Tue Sep 13, 2005 9:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 8:56 pm 
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Rick...I thank you for the update. He was visited in the hospital by the local kiters...then one day he was gone. I always assumed he had died...coma for an extended period = not good...

Glad he is alive...sorry for his life altering injuries.

I have made better decisions lately about heeding the warnings of Ol' Mother Nature....not always the best...but better...missed being Bi*** slapped twice in as many months...

Stoner...as for your contribution....uhm...good luck with that.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 11:06 pm 
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The man was a stoner

That about sums up that stupid reply from the Stoner.

Thanks for your persistence Rick.

Cya and

Goodwinds

Steve McComack


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 11:18 pm 
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Location: Titusville - soon New Smyrna Beach
what happened to the guy that got lofted I think it was in Jupiter kite beach and ended up in the carpark , cracked his head against a pole.
I understand at the time I was told ..around this time last year that he had never regained conciousness and is still out.

I also heard the familiy pulled the plug.

Its weird as I heard about this young guy on my first time out kiting lesson and it just stuck with me.

HA :-?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2005 12:00 pm 
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Ok, so I got arced up when I clicked on a boring victim bashing thread then clicked it again later because it had been renamed with a :alarm: gratuitous title :alarm:. I hope all you guys hear RickI's preaching, or your own inner voice, or your lifestyle gurus (eh kitepower ;)) and you never end up in one of RickI's threads where your character will get flayed by needless hearsay.

RickI wrote:
Your formula for safe kiteboarding "How about we all just ride at spots with wide beaches & predictable cross on wind (as forecast ). Then keep a weather eye out for white caps," won't work at least not without additional input.


What's your formula then -- additional input? Don't leave me hanging in ignorance. You're here to educate, right... & not just sound the :alarm: WARNING horn :alarm:? What kind of f*ckedup spot needs warning horns anyway? Yeah, that will work but watching the effects of wind-on-water "won't work"? :roll:

RickI wrote:
Do you honestly think all threatening squalls are forecast or come with whitecaps?


Again with the squalls. Look, you FL guys seem to have a high tolerance for kiting in f*ckedup fickle all-or-nothing-this-way-then-that conditions so we're not even on the same page RickI. You say "Know your game and ride smart" which is a catchy slogan and in that spirit I prefer to K.I.S.S. rather than >> calibrating advanced safety strategies to mitigate damage in elevated risk conditions << I just don't go there! I don't go out in front of or behind storms (squalls?) -- leave it for another day when it has settled. Wait for the smooth predictable weather to return and then use local knowledge, forecasting, building cloud fronts, cloud movement... and yes, even watching whitecaps... to spot variances on the day.

If you're suggesting it's an acceptable risk to expose yourself to this level of danger >> kitesurfing in locations where squalls can come out of nowhere -- that you can't possibly forsee -- then maybe you need to check yourself. Is it any coincidence that this guy was from Florida, and experienced kiters were out that day in onshore shit, probably with big mutha!! kites up too, trying to milk bug fart breezes that can amp up without warning (apparently) :roll:. Sheesh... who's advice is a newbie (loner or non-loner) going to listen to, if not the guys already on the water?

If your spot experiences sudden windshifts/windspeeds then you need to check yourselves. Relocate! I did.

Kitepower, you're still calibrating like a shallow spacehead. Stoner is just a screen moniker. I got a feel for the name by watching Casey Stoner in action -- you won't find a more focussed dude -- but I thought I'd embellish an "image" here to give guys like you something to work with. :D

Ryansurf: Another Florida guy, yeah? Uhm... good "luck" with that. You watch out for those squalls now.


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