Is Kitesurfing Safe or a Dangerous Water Sport

Is Kitesurfing Safe or a Dangerous Water Sport?

Is kiteboarding dangerous? Most extreme sports are termed dangerous because these sports do possess a threat, but is kitesurfing safe has become a debatable question. Kitesurfing is a vibrant and thrilling sport that combines different sports like windsurfing, surfing, gymnastics, and paragliding. This combination is quite difficult to learn, but the enthusiasts who love to kitesurf go beyond and learn advanced techniques in the same. So, is it difficult? Yes, is it dangerous? That we will learn further in this article.

Why is Kiteboarding Considered an Extreme Sport?

The label of “extreme” often accompanies kiteboarding due to its reliance on the unpredictable elements of nature, which are wind and water. This sport demands not only your physical strength and skills, but also a high level of respect for natural forces and strong reflex ability in case of any accidents. Kite riders harness the wind with their kites, to glide across the water and even launch in the air, which eventually creates a thrilling experience. Hence, kiteboarding is termed as an extreme sport.

How Dangerous is Kite Surfing?

To understand the true risks of kitesurfing, it is essential to dissect the various hazards associated to it and then decide if it is dangerous or not. Let us understand the hazards:

1. Hazards Due to Kitesurfer Errors

When a kitesurfer makes an error, it is hazardous not only for the rider, but also for everyone who is in 200 meters distance around the rider. There are different errors that the kitesurfer must avoid:

  • Using a kite which is too large for the rider, which eventually overpowers the kitesurfer and cause an accident. Rather, you must select the kite appropriate to your level of learning and your weight.
  • Using a kite which is too small for the rider, due to which the rider is underpowered. This may lead to dropping into the water or you might be unable to ride upwind.
  • Failing to correctly launch or land the kite might push the rider on the land or road or even a building. To avoid this, a rider should use any recent kite and bar, through which depowering becomes easy. Also, you should never launch your kite in bad weather, it may also underpower your control over the kite.
  • Losing control while practicing on land or hurting yourself during the jump may get you lifted by an upward air stream or can drag you down the gust. This may result in serious injuries. To avoid this, it is recommended to not fly the kite in bad weather or strong winds, and get into the water sooner.

2. Health Hazards

Kitesurfing sport demands physical strength that can push one’s limits. There are several health hazards that can be anticipated while you go for kitesurfing. These hazards and how to avoid them are:

  • One of the most common health-related issue that kitesurfers face is cramps. After you ride for a couple of hours, you start feeling cramps on your hamstrings and / or calf areas. This pain lasts long. To avoid such severe cramping, you must drink a lot of water before the session, limit your session hours to give yourself a break and build yourself us with yoga and other exercises for better resistance from pain.
  • You may face sun burn or UV eye damage if you ride on your kite for long hours under the sun. It is recommended to always apply sun protection in abundance before the session even when the weather is cloudy, and use highly effective glasses while kiteboarding to save yourself from eye damage

3. Weather and Nautical Hazards

Nature plays a vital role while you go kitesurfing, and may cause a few hazards. Check out the hazards and how to avoid them here:

  • There is a possibility of sudden change in wind, it may get stormy and take you away offshore or it may get too dry and leave hanging at one place. The possibilities of the two events are low, but whenever you go for a session, it is vital to check the weather forecast, know the spot, avoid currents, and never go too far from the shore. Also, you must always be prepared for the 3-step security systems for such events.
  • You might hit something like sandbars or rock while on high speed may lead to fatal injury. To avoid such injury, it is suggested to know the spots and tides, if you do not know, then ask someone who does, or steer clear of the shallow rock.
  • Getting caught in big waves can be scary, and you might feel that you are losing control. To avoid such situation, you must stay within the lagoon or bay unless you have greater experience of controlling the kite in different situations.

4. Obstacles Hazards

For kitesurfing, it is often required to have space which is obstacles free, be it on shore or off shore. You might face obstacle hazards in two situations, which are:

  • When the wind is strong onshore, you might get pulled out of the shore, towards the land and you might face inland obstacles like building, power line and more. When you get into such situation, you must let go off your kite before it takes you high into the air and hit the obstacle.
  • When the wind is strong offshore, you get dragged or drift into the rocks on the shore. You might face obstacles like rocks, reefs and more. Hence, you must avoid riding on the shores that has a lot of obstacles.

5. Equipment Failure Hazards

Since there are several equipment used while you ride your kite, there is a possibility of one of the equipment’s failures. Here are the hazards and how to deal with them:

  • When the kite lines aren’t well-maintained, there is a possibility of it to break while you are offshore. It may cause stress on the other lines causing breakage in them too. To avoid such major problems, you must keep a check on your lines on regular basis.
  • When you do not use a good harness spreader, then that bar may snap, making one of the attached loops to snap too, which may lead to imbalance, fall and injury. Hence, it is recommended to always purchase a harness from a reliable brand.
  • One of the straps of your twintip go loose while you are riding. This may lead to removal of your foot from the board, which will allow only one of your foot to jump and take control of the board. This can badly hurt you. To avoid such situation, you must always check your kiteboard straps and screws for safety.

6. People Hazards

While you go kitesurfing, there may be people around riding, or onshore. Hence, there is a possibility of people hazards in the following ways:

  • When you unintentionally get close to another kitesurfer, your lines may cross and you collide with the another kitesurfer. To avoid such situation, you should stay away when its crowded, or must ride away from the shore where less kitesurfers are there.
  • Sometimes, when your kite drops to the ground or water, then you launch it again, you might catch some swimmer or bystanders with your lines, seriously injuring them. To avoid such incident, always check your surrounding before launching or landing your kite.
  • While riding, you might see a boat or a jetski coming towards you and collide, which may injure you as well as the person on the boat. It is suggested to ride defensively in such situations and never expect boat or jetski to suddenly change directions, try and head far from them.

Is Kiteboarding Safe for Beginners?

The pathway to safety while enjoying kitesurfing begins with the acknowledgement and preparation for its inherent risks. For beginners, this journey starts by choosing a reliable and reputable kitesurfing school. A well-structured training programs that prioritizes safety and foundational skills can dramatically reduce the risks involved with the sport. So, is kitesurfing safe? Yes, when you are aware of the hazards and take necessary steps to overcome all the hazards that come across your kitesurfing journey, then you are all safe to start your safe and thrilling kitesurfing journey.

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