SportStuff Responds to Kite Tube posts…

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 user’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.

9 thoughts on “SportStuff Responds to Kite Tube posts…

  1. lisa

    What’s really amusing about this sports award is that one of the sponsors of the competition is Stratus Product Liability Insurance Services.

    Oh. My.

    Reply
  2. admin Post author

    This is second hand info but it’s from a source I trust…

    The insurance company’s name printed as a sponsor said they don’t have anything to do with it and they refuse to insure this product.

    LOL

    –Bill

    Reply
  3. david sabilino

    I don’t see how this could be label as a kite product…. in just about every aspect of kiting the kite is controlled by it handler i.e kite surfing, snowkiting, buggys and sport kites, the pilot elects to control speed, height etc. kiting has nothing to do with an engine

    Reply
  4. dustin rhodes

    To whom it may concern,
    The 1st time I used the kite tube, it inverted on me and threw me head 1st into the water at about 25 m.p.h.
    I was very thankful for my life jacket that day as I was completely stunned upon impact with the water and am sure I would/could have easily drowned as a result of my impact with the water. The pain I experienced from this plagued me for about 2 weeks from the initial chest/muscle pain, to the ongoing neck pain as a result of this injury. I ended up going to a chiropractor for about 2 weeks every other day to finally alleviate these problems. I have not been on the tube since, for fear it could potentially kill me or someone else. I feel if this company truly cared about its potential customers, they would voluntarily recall these products and work on a more stable type of kite flyer. Maybe something that had 2 ropes connecting to the kite instead of one in order to stabilize it better. This would make me a much more happy customer and would restore my confidence in buying future product from this company. As it stands now, the kite tube will not be used by me again, and I will specifically look for products with your companys logo in order to avoid them.

    Reply
  5. Josh

    I can understand all the concern for the safety of the individual who “chooses” to ride the kite tube. However, I myself see no use in recalling the kite tube because of induviduals who get mad at the company for something that their not able to ride. I have been riding the kite tube for awhile now and I have never been thrown off of it and I weigh about 220 pounds and am 6’1″ tall. The supplied video that comes with the tube needs to be first of all watched and second of all followed. Just because your not going high enough or fast enough right away doesn’t mean ride it for one day and then think that you are a pro. You must gradually increase your speed over the course of several trips to get a good feel for how the tube acts in certain conditions and different wind speeds and directions. Over time you will get used to how the tube acts and your body will naturally adjust to the tube in order to keep it in level flight. My friends and I can contiually ride the tube for several hundred yards at a time and anywhere from 15-30 feet in the air. I guess the bottom line here is don’t go out and floor your boat to get big air because your going to get hurt. Same thing with the air chair or sky ski, but they are not recalling them. People think that tubes are suppossed to be safe for some reason but you must think of this particular tube as an extreme sport. A little hint for those of you that are just starting out though would be once you get on plane and you start leaning back to get some air, don’t lean back and try to ride it. When you are flying you should be in a standing posistion with your hands about at your waist holding the handles. Which ever way the tube starts to turn just lean the oppisite direction and it should give you a pretty smooth flight.

    Reply
  6. mike wells

    So far,I have watched fourteen videos of kite tube accidents.More than half of those people, including myself , were going too fast when they crashed and were injured.The rest followed the instructions to the letter, set forth by the people who supposedly tested it and approved it’s release to the consumer.Then I listen to fools who try and say that it’s entirely the rider at fault, and that they have full control when they are riding theirs.What a load of crap.The bottom line is inarguable fact.A: nobody controls the wind.It is wind gusts, totally unseen and unpredictable to say the extreme least, that are seriously injuring people.I’ve seen it personally!!And B:It is a flat kite, and once you get to a certain height, the tube is absolutely impossible to control in a level flight.I have not seen ONE SINGLE RIDER control his flight once he’s at roughly twenty feet or greater.Once you get so high, you are too far in the air for the “drag factor” of the boat to help stabilize you.Anyone who says they have ridden this tube and gets serious air under full control of the tube is either a total bullshit artist, or incredibly lucky.When that one gust of wind comes and sends you up and out into a bonebreaking or organ mashing facial into the water from twenty plus feet, you’ll be asking yourself if it was worth it based only on the extent of your injuries.I love extreme everything when it comes to sports.I don’t think it should be taken off the market, but the risk of serious injury factor definitely should have been researched and advertised with much much more emphasis to the consumer.

    Reply
  7. Nick Murrey

    Check out my site for tight pics of flying Raptor Blaster: http://www.freewebs.com/tallywhacker888

    I’m glad they banned the Wego but I don’t think its fair to ban all kite tubing. I’ve been doing this now for the past 3-4 months on a West Marine Raptor Blaster very similar to the Manta Ray. I have gotten 50+ ft before and have never felt unsafe about it. I have only crashed twice and that was because I was riding no handed. Both times I landed fine straight backwards onto my back. If people are going to make all kite tubing banned thats bs. The majority of people I met get squirlley and shakey on it but don’t ruin it for the rest of us.

    Reply
  8. Steve

    It has all been said before, but it just pains me to think of the number of people that are quick to blame others will not take the time nor the responsibility upon themselves to look out and analyse the situation before they throw themselves into it. To me its just plain common sense, if you want to go skiing, tubing, kitesurfing or kite tubing, do so at your own risk. No one forced you to buy the equipment and no one forced you to strap yourself to it. Try growing up a little and accept responsibility for your actions so the rest of the world doesn’t have to suffer because you were too ‘unaware’ of the dangers that are clearly printed all over the packaging.

    Reply
  9. bob

    Why is it when there is something fun a few people gotta ruin it. Sure put the warning on the label, you should be able to read and if you get hurt that is your risk. Dustin Rhodes your a damn sissy, I fall off all the time going alot faster. Had the wind knocked out of me plenty of times but get back on and keep riding. Maybe you should try another activity like ballet dancing??

    Reply

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