Category Archives: In the news

Kite headlines from around the world

The ChronicleHerald.ca – too much of a good wind grounds entries at kite fest

Here is a sample of how our first Maritime Kite and Kayak festival went on day 1….

I’ll have more later with lot’s of pics in the gallery and on flickr.. :)

–Bill

Jack Marshall, 4, of Pictou giggles Saturday afternoon, unaware of the gigantic lobster floating in the air behind him. (Mary Ellen MacIntyre)

The ChronicleHerald.ca for the complete story

Turns out beach volleyball and lighting charcoal weren’t the only Canada Day activities hampered by high winds.

Day 1 of the first Maritime Kite and Kayak Festival at Pictou Lodge was less spectacular than organizers hoped, with strong wind keeping most of the large kites on the ground.

“When you have too much wind, you have turbulence and turbulence means danger for kites,” said Bernie Houle of Dieppe, N.B. “Because you’re getting no tension on the line and all of a sudden lots of tension, and very often the line will pop.”

Indoor workshops for kids to learn to build their own kites were busy and kayakers persevered, making use of both the lodge’s small lake and the Northumberland Strait.

Unfortunately, erratic gusts of wind sent a huge lobster-shaped kite into the salt water, too.

“That lobster kite retails for about $1,400,” said Bill Wilson of Halifax Area Recreational Kiters. “When we get gusts of 50 or 60 kilometres an hour the spars, which are carbon fibre graphite spars, bend in half and they get to the point where they just snap.”

Alain Bosse of Pictou Lodge got the idea for a kite festival after taking up the hobby three years ago, attracted by the fact that it didn’t require huge amounts of skill or time to enjoy.

“We fly kites at the lodge pretty well every day, as entertainment for the kids,” he said. “I’ve got kites 19 feet wide, I’ve got power sleds, the big bear, big lobsters — I’ve got about 30 kites in my collection. There’s one guy here this weekend that has 100 kites with him.

“A power sled is a kite . . . that’s like a big air balloon, and it just lifts off and it has a huge amount of pull. I’ve got a 22-foot power sled and it will pull about 1,000 pounds. It gives you the power to hold other things on your main line.”

Bosse said local fishermen sometimes scoff at him when he calls kite flying a sport, but he begs to differ.

“It pulls just as much as a salmon would, as much as a tuna would,” he said. “Once you’ve got one of those big kites up in the air. . . . Anybody under 100 pounds can’t fly them — they’ll just lift right off the ground.”

The rainy weather so far this summer means this weekend is the first time members of various kite flying clubs around the region have gathered.

Several flyers bought spools of 675-kilogram test cord, which looks just like parachute cord, to get ready for today, and winds were forecast to die down Saturday night.

( bspurr@herald.ca)

Tube Kiting Safety Alert

With the July 4th holiday right around the corner in the U.S. the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety comission) has issued a warning about the dangers of using kite tubes.

Here is an excerpt from the article.

Caroline Mayer from the Washington Post writes
read the article here: Tube Kiting Safety Alert

Just before the holiday weekend, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a safety warning about the new but increasingly popular water sport of tube kiting–in which a person flies across water in a large inflatable tube (sometimes 10 feet or more in diameter) that is drawn by a boat traveling between 25 and 35 miles per hour. (You can see how this works by watching some of the videos at YouTube.com–and you have to admit it does look like a lot of fun.)

But the agency says tube kiting is “extremely dangerous.” The agency said it knows of at least two deaths associated with tube kiting this year and 12 serious injuries, including a broken neck, punctured lung, broken ribs, broken femur, chest and back injuries and facial injuries.

Here is the CSPC warning:

CPSC Warns Consumers about Dangers of Tube Kiting
Two Deaths over the Past 3 Months Attributed to New Water Sport

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In advance of the July 4th holiday weekend, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is warning consumers about the possible dangers associated with a new type of water recreation known as “tube kiting.”

CPSC is concerned about death and injury reports associated with tube kiting. It is currently investigating two versions of these products to determine if there is a significant product hazard.

Tube kiting is a relatively new form of extreme water sport which is fast growing in popularity, but also extremely dangerous. CPSC is aware of at least two deaths associated with tube kiting this year. A 33-year-old Texas man was killed in late April 2006 while tube kiting, and a 42-year-old man died from injuries associated with tube kiting on June 26, 2006 in Wisconsin.

CPSC is also aware of 12 serious injuries associated with tube kiting. The injuries include a broken neck, punctured lung, broken ribs, broken femur, chest and back injuries, and facial injuries, such as jaw fractures. A 14-year-old girl who was tube kiting lost consciousness when it fell about 15 feet and struck the water.

Tube kites are very large, sometimes round, inflatable water devices that can be more than 10 feet in diameter. The tube is hooked to the back of a boat by a tow rope, and the tube rider pulls back on a rope as the boat travels at speeds between 25 and 35 miles per hour. The ride begins when the tube is lifted into the air trailing the boat. Possible reasons for incidents and injuries include: 1) rider’s difficulty in controlling the tube, 2) boat operator inexperience, and 3) how the tube reacts in certain weather conditions. The conditions of highest concern are wind gusts that can cause the tube to spin out of control, or sudden slowing or stopping by the boat operator, which can cause the tube to nose dive into the water. In some cases, the sudden stopping of the boat might cause the tube rider to continue past the boat and hit it or hit other boats or stationary objects, such as a bridge.

The National Park Service has banned the inflatable devices in at least one of its parks, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, which includes Lake Powell where there have been at least four serious injuries.

AP Wire | 06/27/2006 | Delafield man dies after lake accident

Here we go again…

The Duluth Superior writes
(Original story here AP Wire | 06/27/2006 | Delafield man dies after lake accident
)

ST. GERMAIN, Wis. – A man was fatally injured in an accident while being towed on an inflatable tube kite on Little St. Germain Lake, authorities said.

The man sailed several feet into the air and then hit the water, suffering fatal head and chest injuries, officials said.

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DeseretNews.com – Kite-tubing dangers face probe

Looks like the Wego Kite Tube is under investigation by the US Consumer Product Saftey!! BOOO-YA!!!

Finally someone is sitting up and taking notice that this thing has some serious saftety issues.

Deseretnews.com writes – Read the original
here

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission opened preliminary investigations into kite tubes last week after park rangers banned the water toy at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

The commission received a safety alert from Glen Canyon two weeks ago regarding four serious kite tube-related injuries and they are assessing the accidents, as well as the tube’s safety features. Scott Wolfson, spokesman for the commission, said the accidents at the park are not exclusive to the area.

“There are numerous incidents across the nation,” he said.
Glen Canyon National Recreation Superintendent Kitty Roberts said the park’s administrators banned the activity to ensure the safety of park visitors.

“Kite tubing has proven itself to be extremely dangerous,” she said. “There are many other, far safer ways to enjoy Glen Canyon — from water skiing, to fishing, to exploring narrow side canyons.”

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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.

Salt Lake Tribune – Kite tubing, other elevated sports banned at Lake Powell

Gary Mark just sent me this Link; according to the salt lake tribune elevated tubing. i.e. kite tubing has been banned on Lake Powell near Salt Lake city. This is a step in the right direction! get these things off the market! I do however think it’s disappointing that they lumped parasailing and kite surfing into the mix.

Salt Lake Tribune – Kite tubing, other elevated sports banned at Lake Powell

Life elevated is being restricted at Lake Powell.
The new recreation fad of kite tubing – and other activities that lift a person into the air behind a boat – are no longer permitted at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, the National Park Service announced Thursday.
Kite tubing was first seen on Powell in April and thus far has resulted in serious injury to at least four people, who have had to be airlifted from the recreation area. In April, a 33-year-old man died after falling off a kite tube in Texas, according to a story on the Web site of KFDM-TV in Beaumont.
Kite tubes are large, round inflatable devices that, when towed behind a boat between 20 and 40 mph, gain lift, sometimes as high as 60 feet above the water, according to the Park Service. The tubes are difficult to

control and, when handled improperly, can fall violently into the water.
The fall can be particularly traumatic because of the height, forward speed and the unusual position at which victims may hit the water, park officials said.
The ban also includes parasailing and kite boarding, the Park Service announced.
– Michael N. Westley

deseretnews.com | Dangers of using kite tubes

Yet another article discussing the dangers of kite tubing…

deseretnews.com | Dangers of using kite tubes writes

Kite tubes are large, round inflated tubes towed by a boat at 20 to 40 mph. The user holds onto the Kite Tube as it rises into the air, 15 to 60 feet from the surface of the water.

What happens in an accident:

In the four accidents, kite tubers reported they were traveling at 30 to 35 mph and most were 15 to 20 feet in the air when they were either ejected or turned upside down and then accelerated into the water. Another 10 to 25 mph of speed is added to their forward speed, so the victims hit the water at 45 to 55 mph. These accidents are the equivalent of a 70-foot cliff jump, with the added component of the victims’ lack of control over how they enter the water.

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More Kite Tube Problems…

Channel 6 WOWT out of Omaha has a story of some kite tube riders that had a close call. I think it’s about time that people wise up and realize that this is just not safe and is very unpredictable.

See my other posts on the subject.

WOWT | Kite Tubing Writes

A fun day of boating on the Missouri River turned frightening for a family and their friends when a new water toy became too much to handle.

Colleen York had a queasy feeling as she watched.

“I’m thinking to myself something is going to happen. He’s going way too high,” she recalls.

A friend riding a newly purchased water toy called the kite tube made a hard landing.

Colleen says, “We turned around and he was unconscious in the water and we’re all freaking out. So his dad jumps in and rescues him. He started coughing. I was glad.”

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