Received this letter as a comment on this site… (originally posted here Kite Tube!?
thought it was worthy of posting my response here…
Given the recent online discussions about the dangers of using flying tubes like the Wego Kite Tube on this and other forums, we at Sportsstuff would like to reiterate the importance of its proper usage.
There are inherent risks with any water sport, these risks are significantly reduced when the item is properly used under the recommended guidelines.
I assert there is no proper usage as it is an unstable design. It’s a flat kite and therefore will have stability problems even for the most experienced flyer. There are too many variables to deal with that make it impossible to guarantee reasonably safe flight.
The Wego kite tube is an extremely popular item and is unlike any other watersport activity. This means that the boat driver, spotter, and rider are all beginners. Take it easy, learn in light steady wind, start slow. Do not over-estimate your ability, Kiting takes a practiced level of skill.
No other towable inflatable on the market has such an extensive system of warnings and instruction – starting with the packaging, the userâ€™s manual, the included instructional DVD, the three segment tow rope that is specifically designed to allow a progression of rope length and height relative to user experience, and many warning patches printed on the surface of the tube reiterating the proper usage guidelines. In addition, the slogans and markings on the item itself are there specifically to remind the rider of the possible dangers involved in the misuse of this item. To lessen your risk of serious injury or death, follow the rules.
The guideline manuals and instructional video that are packaged with the item are available directly from our website at: http://www.sportsstuff.com
So essentially what you are saying is you know it’s unsafe and that’s why you have put all the warnings on the product. Yes there is danger in anything we do on the water, however the kite tube is much more likely to cause accidents then some other sports. The number of serious injuries and deaths resulting from the kite tube should be evidence enough
Along with the impressive sales numbers and numerous accolades received on this item, the Wego Kite Tube was also awarded the prestigious Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association – Sports Product of the Year award for 2006.
Well hell let’s just all go out and buy one… after all it won an award so it must be safe!!!!
SportsStuff follows the guidelines set forth by the Water Sports Industry Association (WSIA), is an active member of the safety board, and takes the safety and wellbeing of our customers very seriously.
So please follow the guidelines, use common sense, practice safe boating, and have fun!
It’s good to know who the concerned tubers and others can talk to. Maybe the WSIA will help get this product off the market.
If you are interested in learning more about the Kite Tube, please visit http://www.sportsstuff.com or call 888-814-8833 and let our friendly customer service staff answer your questions.