Monday, June 20, 2011

A quote from wikipedia

Learning to windsurf can be compared to chess in that there are many pieces moving in different directions which you have to keep track of. After a few goes most finally catch on. Whereas learning to kite board is more like learning checkers.

Among the people that I find kitesurfing there are several that have never tried windsurfing or tried and failed to progress. Kitesurf has brought the feel of being pulled by the wind to a more general population and for that I am glad the sport exist.

Unfortunately that generalization also open the door to a dangerous activity to several individuals that are incapable of risk accessing and analysis and although kitesurfing is dangerous to the practitioner it's a lot more dangerous to the people around the kitesurfer. The 25 meters of lines and the way a kite can be easily dragged create a dangerous zone downwind form the kitesurfer that is quite big (depending on the force of the wind and gusts it would be anywhere from 30 meters to a lot more).

I have lost count of the times I see guys using the kite for jumping on the beach, right next to people that are just there to enjoy the sun, or that jump when upwind from swimmers, surfers or other people that are enjoying the water. I myself have had two incidents were a kite was banged against the water, fully powered up, not more than one meter from me. I have no idea what would be worse, to be hit by the kite or to the enrolled in the lines...

The low entry level for kitesurf as well as how easy it is to go for a high jump (flashy for those who are testosterone filled to impress whoever is looking) also brought practitioners without no knowledge of sailing or safety rules. Which is worrying for the future image of the sport.

What I would like to see is that the real kitesurfers, those that enjoy and understand the sport, start pushing the other ones for a bit of responsibility and regard for the safety of others. Simple things like not passing other people upwind, not playing around while on land, not launching the kite in places with people that are not into the sport.

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