1. Many riders push it to varying degrees. In a way it is who and what many of us are. How much and how far to push it can demand a good deal of judgment and sadly luck too at extremes. The thing is we can have close call, have a friend experience one and we might think well maybe I won't push it quite so hard in those circumstances in the future. It's a reality check of sorts. This sensation often doesn't last however, maybe it should though.
2. On a good day some very accomplished riders among us might be able to handle an inadequate downwind buffer with hard nasty stuff beyond with gusty winds but things will go wrong over time. It can happen on the first time or the hundredth of poor riding practices. We get complacent it is a normal human reaction. In our sport we really can't afford to be too complacent regardless of skill despite what may be normal tendency.
3. If you have a choice between riding in an area with a better buffer from an area with no real buffer and what amounts to likely severe injury if you're thrown ashore, logic tells us to move to the better area. If there are less gusty and hazardous winds further away from shore, along with few waves for tricks, we should ride out there and not in the unsettled wind zone nearshore. Location counts when things go south.
4. Wear reasonable safety gear for just in case. Few people do this these days, even fewer extremely experienced kiters. A good helmet might have helped him avoid loss of consciousness on the impact with sand, with those incredible responses who knows, he might have gotten things under control before additional injury occurred. It might have lessened the degree of the TBI and gash as well. An impact vest might have helped with the rib fracture and subsequent lung perforation, or perhaps not. The only certain thing is if you don't use this gear, it will do you no good beyond any doubt.
5. Just because we should do something doesn't mean we will. Lots of us suffer from this at times. Thing is, is any one session or dozen worth your ability to walk unaided, time off work or worse perhaps the rest of your life? Obviously not, "but this stuff always happens to someone else, never to me." So, just because you can get away with marginal practices at times doesn't mean you always will. In fact you can pretty much count on it not lasting, that is just the way life and reality are. Confidence is a great thing but it can't overcome physics when the tables turn against you badly. Making a habit of consistent good practices is about the only thing that might serve in such conditions.
6. Bottom line, if someone of this rider's major ability could get messed up by an inadequate buffer and excessively gusty winds, pretty much anyone can be harmed by the same. Take a minute and think about it now and when you ride. Allow a reasonable margin for error, it may be all that stands between you and a fun session or an accident that might change your entire life.