Is Kitesurfing Dangerous?

Very often when I want to share my enthusiasm and enthusiasm for kitesurfing with my colleagues at work and with other acquaintances, I am greeted by terrified, confused looks and a bit of feeling of pity (poor soul who doesn’t even know what he’s doing) and of course the perennial question: aren’t there a chance that you are going to die? Kitesurfing can be dangerous? It’s a risky sport that only insane people are able to do! To back up their claim I was sent YouTube videos of crash compilations, or advised me to search the internet for stories of horror and other extreme accidents. My sister can’t bear the though of me doing it, while my mom is apathetic about it. She says with a sly smile “Well… If it makes you feel happy… “.

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As a Health and Safety Professional, I am required to conduct a risk assessment and create a method statement for almost all the activities I engage in at work. A person who makes their living telling people what is appropriate and safe should not be involved in risky and dangerous other activities such as kitesurfing. It may be better to watch other “crazy” people doing it from the comfort of your couch. What’s the matter?

So, is kitesurfing really an extreme, risky activity?

The simple answer to that is that kitesurfing is only as risky as you decide to make it. As a dog can be only dangerous if it has been exposed to the wrong kind of training, so kitesurfing can be only dangerous when done with the wrong mindset and the wrong mindset.

It’s wrong to drink several beers and then go to the beach to attach your kite to a 12m version in 25knots winds offshore… Then try to master some tricks just like the guy watching you from the bar…

It is better to take a trip to the beach, find a school certified to provide the right instruction. During that training, conducted by a qualified, accredited kitesurfing instructor, you will be instructed on numerous safety considerations and the dangers of kitesurfing are highlighted along with best practices on how to avoid those dangers and the best way to deal with all residual risks. You will learn how to assess the conditions of the water and wind including entry and exit points, and learn about the right of way (who is the first to access the water) Learn how to begin and set up a kite, as well as how to water start , and how to use body drag, and in the event of a need, self-rescue. During your accredited kitesurfing course you will learn to maneuver your kite in a controlled manner, as well as what to do if things don’t go according to your plan. Also, you will be taught how to ride on the board and how to save your board in the event that you get it lost. These basics will allow you to build your skills in kitesurfing even after you’ve quit taking lessons.

Perhaps more important, you will learn to be respectful of the sport. You will be taught that if it is done properly, it is neither extreme, nor dangerous at all. You’ll be able read and feel in tune with nature, and also you will discover how to remain completely free. You’ll be inspired to explore places you’ve never heard about before and meet people who you didn’t even know existed. You’ll learn how to fly… literally. The world will never be identical again because, after you’ve expanded your mind and your horizon, there is no turning to go back.

Kitesurfing could be risky. Kitesurfing poses a risk to those who are comfortable at home and calling everyone crazy. You are not such a person. You know that the real danger is being afraid to attempt… as it may alter your life forever.

See you out on the water, my dear friend. Let’s go on a ride with you…

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