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 Post subject: Working To Avoid Fatalities, DRAFT Kiteboarding Guidelines
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 1:34 am 
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I have tried to put together a set of draft guidelines that include some consideration of both traditional C kites as well as flat kites. The duality has added to the number of words and may have cost some clarity as well. Sorry for that.

As far as shortening or "dumbing down" the guidelines, that presents a problem. Major factors contributing to almost 70 fatalities and hundreds of accidents and incidents worldwide evaluated over the last six years were considered in the preparation of the guidelines. New gear creates new precautions. I don't view it as being responsible to chop out content that might result in someone avoiding injury someday. Some simple editorial streamlining can and will be done however. As it is more content could be added beyond what appears here but I have tried to cover some major points. You have to read and think about this but that's life.

Constructive input is welcome.

FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi

DRAFT KITEBOARDING GUIDELINES
(September 10, 2007)

The following ideas are presented to try to improve kiteboarder and bystander safety, to reduce complaints and attempt to preserve our access to ride. These ideas have been taken from the analysis of hundreds of accidents that have been reported worldwide over many years. Often accidents might have been avoided if more knowledge and care were used.

Kiteboarding can be hazardous to the rider and to bystanders, particularly if practiced without adequate training, safety gear, knowledge and caution. NOTE: Riders must accept that even if these guidelines are followed, that accidents, injury and even death may occur in kiteboarding.

Kites can exert very substantial force with little to no warning with sudden gusts, improper line attachment, mishandling, tangling, malfunction, etc., resulting in dragging and/or lofting, frequently with insufficient time to effectively react. Riders have been lofted in excess of 1700 ft. downwind and 300 ft. high in strong wind gusts. And, NO “you may not always be able to just let go or kill the power of the kite,â€Â


Last edited by RickI on Wed Sep 12, 2007 2:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 2:47 am 
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Location: Pickering, ON
Good post Rick.

I have an additional suggestion for the landing section. It might be good to add a section to use your safety system to depower the kite and self rescue out in the water away from the beach / obstacles / beach goers. I've seen several people almost get lofted because they didn't want to get their kite wet! Here is my attempt at it.

-------------- start ----------------
If you have been caught out from shore kiteboarding and the wind is at the upper limit of the range for your kite, rather than try to go in and land on shore, activate your safety system a safe distance from shore. Note that water condition i.e. waves / shore break, the speed at which the wind is increasing all will contribute to where this is feasible.

--------------------------- end section ---------------

I think this might be useful because despite our best intentions and reading forecasts, sometimes the weather changes in a way that even the forecasts didn't predict. This especially happens in fall it seems up in Ontario. It sure happened today! Three wind switches in under 4 hours!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 3:59 am 
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Too much information...

(WAY too much)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 8:13 am 
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Original message expired.


Last edited by tungsten222 on Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 8:40 am 
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Location: London, UK
This is all good stuff but exactly who is this aimed at? If this is intended as a "manual" of sorts for new kiteboarders then I think it is about the correct length.

However, if it is more of a "reminder" for existing riders or is intended for beach signs etc. for the public, then it is much too long as most people will stop reading after the first 100 words. If you don't believe me look around you at how professionals (i.e. advertisers) communicate. You will rarely see many words on the page.

For a reminder or a sign I would prefer something like this:

South Beach welcomes careful kiteboaders

Riding guidelines

- riders must have insurance
- set up and launch/land North/South of the car park etc etc.
- weight kites and roll up your lines when not in use
- no "learning on the beach" - learners must be taking lessons from a qualified instructor
- watch out for other riders - if they look like they may be in trouble, go check
- know your equipment and how to rig it
- know your rights of way (summary below)
-- riders just leaving the beach have priority over those coming in
-- when out, starboard tack (right hand forward) has priority over port tack
-- same tack: rider to windward (nearer the wind) gives way (and keeps kite high)
-- a kiter overtaking another must keep clear
-- look before turning, jumping or doing a trick

Non-kiters are respectfully asked to keep clear of the kite launch zone

Thank you for your co-operation

----
This is a 12 point summary. It could of course be refined etc. but my point is that it boils down the essentials into something that busy people might actually read.

Best,

North Wind


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 8:43 am 
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Location: Mtn View, CA (S.F. Bay)
Rick, as always I think you've done a great service. But I worry that the people in need of this info are too often not the people that are on the forums and gathering the necessary precautions and instruction. So I have (sort of) a suggestion. When you think the list is reasonably complete a DVD could be made. Wouldn't hurt to have a couple of the Best girls help out - they're down your way right? If no one's looking to make money on the project DVD's can be made available with new kites, from the shops, at the concessions... for about 0.30 each. I just have a feeling that people are more likely to watch a DVD if it's easy enough to get in their hands. In the best of worlds we'd figure out how to offer them for free. In the worst, maybe they'd cost $1 each.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 8:58 am 
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Wow, Rick, excellent. I really mean this. I agree that maybe some of the guys that should read this doesn't, I do think though that this is a document that will help a great deal of people.

Let me know if there is anything I can do.

Alex


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 4:40 pm 
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The guidelines are intended to pass on ideas on how to try to avoid incidents, accidents, death and threats to access.

They are derived from hundreds of incidents and almost 70 detailed fatality evaluations over many years. That is a lot of information and lets face it, necessary knowledge. It can't be effectively summarized in ten short points. The bold face text is a stab in that direction for what it is worth.

They are not intended to be any shorter or longer than they need to be to convey this information. Where else does most of this information appear, anywhere? If not here then where?

Who is most at risk of severe injury? Experienced guys as of July 2006, FAR more than newbies, almost 5 times more likely.*

Who may be less likely to carefully consider the guidelines? You guessed it, experienced guys (more than 1 yr. experience). Whose accidents provided the majority of the object lessons contained in the guidelines? Right again.

Much of this information should be common place in instruction and manufacturer user documents. I don't believe it is, yet. Where should this information appear? I've found my answer and many years ago. Use it or risk contributing to it, riders choice.

p.s. - thanks for the content suggestions! I need to get into them and work out an other draft. It needs to be clearer with less flat-C kite ambiguity and only enough repetition as demanded for effect. More editing to follow in other words.


* http://www.kiteforum.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=2341953

FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 4:49 pm 
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The reason this is too long is because:
1) You're saying the same things repeatedly. It will carry greater weight (and people are more likely to read it) if it's more concise.
2) You're working too hard to justify yourself. The guidelines are common sense - no need to be defensive.
3) You're trying to cover every possibility. (the 1% doctrine) Focus on the biggest risks.

Also, it is politically dangerous to make such broad statements as "Kiteboarding can be hazardous to the rider and to bystanders, particularly if practiced without adequate training, safety gear, knowledge and caution. NOTE: Riders must accept that even if these guidelines are followed, that accidents, injury and even death may occur in kiteboarding."
I understand what you mean, but to an outsider (like the local authorities), it probably sounds like bystanders are at just as much risk as we are (not true), and that training/knowledge/caution don't help very much (also not true). And if the local authorities read it that way, you're asking for a ban.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 5:23 pm 
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This is probably version 25 or something over 6 years. With flat kites they have expanded in size and clarity has suffered somewhat as well. Editing is needed and redundancy needs to be reduced, true. With streamlining based upon past experience I would guess the size might be reduced by 20%, perhaps less. This is just a draft with more revisions to follow.

The intent isn't to make a very short reference. Many of the small points included factored in a number of severe accidents. Most of the content is important based on my analysis of accidents and incidents.

"Kiteboarding can be hazardous to the rider and to bystanders, particularly if practiced without adequate training, safety gear, knowledge and caution. NOTE: Riders must accept that even if these guidelines are followed, that accidents, injury and even death may occur in kiteboarding."

This has been in the guidelines for several years and a number of draft cycles when comment was requested. Also, it is true. Looking at how people often ride, we could do with more awareness when it comes to bystanders. The second sentence is a simple disclaimer and also happens to be true as well.

If people used common sense more and followed guidelines like these we would have far fewer access problems.

FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi


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