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Kitesurfing looks absolutely fantastic. Id love it I just know I would. I love windsurfing, surfing, in fact all forms of fast thrilling water sports. You could say that I'm a water sport junky. However I've heard so many horror stories about things that can go wrong and have personally witnessed things going wrong that I've finally decided (I think) that I'm going to stay clear of this particular water sport.
Dangers Ive witnessed and heard about kitesurfing:
1. I went on a 3 day course (in Borth, North Wales) and the instructor and his friend spent most of the three days telling everyone how dangerous kitesurfing was. In fact his friend said he'd given it up altogether and just kite buggied instead.
2. Everyone knows about getting dragged along the beach and not stopping until you hit something.
3. You can get lifted right up into the air (by freak uplifts). A hundred feet is no exaggeration. The trouble is that the kite is not a parachute so when the air current decides to dump you, you just plummet to the ground. Check out youtube for videos
4. I was on a windsurfing holiday in dahab and saw a kite surfer get it wrong. He ended up being dragged face first across a coral reef. It was a horrible thing to see. The windsurfing guys jumped into the rescue boat and went and got him. When they got back some of them were puking at what they saw. Basically all the skin had been torn off his forearms, nose and chin
5. If you jump up and get air great, but if you go higher than you expect and the kite collapses you fall straight back down into the water. Trouble is if you land on your back your ribs will pop out and push through your wetsuit. This does happen!
6. Lifeboats will not touch a kite, they completely abandon it. This is because there was an incident when a lifeboat man had his ear sliced off by the kite wire when he tried to untangle it
7. I know a guy who had to have a skin graf on one of his arms because when he went to untwist one of the lines on the kite, the kite suddenly lifted and the taught line (thin wire) caught his arm and took the skin off
Kitesurfing is a relatively new extreme sport. It's a mixture of windsurfing, wakeboarding and kite flying all mixed into one to create an exhilarating sport. The idea is that 'surfers' fly their kites into the wind to propel themselves across the water, reaching phenomenal speeds, the stronger the wind the faster you'll go. So long as you have a large body of water and wind you can kitesurf. There are actually two different disciplines, kitesurfing and kiteboarding, they're similar but a bit different. Kitesurfing refers to using the kite to jump waves, while kiteboarding is where you just board across open water.
It's now a massively popular sport, especially near the coast, with the number of people buying the equipment and having a go for themselves increasing year on year. The only problems are that it can be quite dangerous if you're a beginner and therefore it is a good idea to take lessons from some more experienced riders. The second obstacle is the cost involved. If you're thinking of taking the sport up seriously then you'll probably want to buy the equipment, which isn't at all cheap and there's lots of it too: kite, board, lines, control bars, harness, wetsuit and a helmet, these are just the basic pieces.
I've tried windsurfing and normal surfing and loved it, so this sounds like something I could really have a go at, but I would be a bit worried because it is quite dangerous; there are water hazards you need to take into consideration when surfing normally, but to fly a kite at the same time surely increases the risks.
Thanks for reading, feel free to comment.
The Prism Flashback is a 6-foot dual line sport kite, it is classed as a beginner’s kite but this baby has one little trick up its sleeve. The kite sail is made of rip stop nylon and the leading edges are made from the new hemp cored carbon fibre with the spreaders being made from Avia sport carbon fibre. The bridle is a reverse turbo job BUT with the little trick I referred to earlier. It has 2 distinct settings. In the normal position the kite is a sedate and calm being easy to fly, pop the bridle down a notch and the kite turns into a raging mental beast, with the whole world of trick flying becoming available. The speed increase is incredible and its turning speed is increased many times. A competent flyer will find axles and 540 flat spins well within the range of the Flashback. To launch the kite only a gentle tug on the lines is required and it rockets straight up with perfect poise and no wobbles. The Flashback has a wide wind range from 4 to 25 MPH. The only fault with the kite is the supplied flying lines which are a Spectra/polyester blend, although these are nice and thin I would advise spending an extra tenner on a set of Dyneema lines. Over all an excellent package, a kite that will advance as you advance, Prisms renowned quality, a good quality bag and topped off buy the inclusion of a CDROM with all the information on it that you could ever want. PS could someone at Dooyoo place this in kite equipment please :-)