Category Archives: In the news

Kite headlines from around the world

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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Kite Fighting in Toronto – insidetoronto.com

An article appeared today on insidetoronto.com’s Scarborough Mirror. The article deals with the concern of some residents about kite fighting that takes place in near by Milliken Park. I have been aware of the kite fighting in Milliken Park for the past couple of years as the Toronto Kite Festival is held there each year. Around 5 or 6 O’Clock on Saturday and Sunday the kite fighters would show up with boxes of Afghani fighter kites. All the families would attend with large platters of food and it appears to be harmless, that is until you start looking at what they use for flying line. I am pretty sure that the kite fighters are using Manja or Tar (glass coated kite line in the Afghan language). This is a huge part of the problem, you can successfully kite fight with out using glass so the Tar should be banned. Even if the kite fighters were not using Tar there would still be another problem; disgarded kite line.

Here is my take on it, for what it’s worth… Kite fighting is not the problem, people are! If you are going to fight kites then be responsible. If the fighters would just pick up after themselves we wouldn’t have a problem with people or wildlife getting injured by stray kite lines.

InsideToronto.com writes
Complete article here

Man fears kite fighting injuries
North Scarborough residents frustrated by situation

LISA QUEEN
Jun. 8, 2006

A Scarborough father who saw a bird strangle to death in string cut loose from a kite fight fears its only a matter of time before a child is seriously injured.
“Birds are flying into it and cutting their throat. (On Monday), I saw a bird caught in it and hanging upside down. It was nasty,” said Khurram Hanif, a married father of two small boys who lives in the area of Steeles Avenue and McCowan Road.

“I’ve had to retrieve string wrapped around my bumper. It’s down low enough it could get a child. The sport is not worth the risk.”

In kite fighting, participants use their expertise to try to cut the string of an opponent’s kite. Sometimes, the string is coated with tiny bits of glass.
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Kite Tube Claims Life

A link to this story was posted as a comment to an earlier post I made about the Kite Tube. Based on this story and a number of the comments to the last kite tube post it’s not safe! Please don’t take your life into your own hands with one of these. The constantly changing angle-of-attack, combined with weight shifts from the rider and the lack of drag make this an extremely unpredictable “kite”.

KFDM-TV Channel Six News writes…

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department tonight is investigating the Continue reading

321 kite-flyers held in a crackdown against metal-wire use

A report coming from GEO Pakistan News – Geo.tv states that 321 people have been arrested in Lahore, Pakistan. The arrests come after months of kite bans and many deaths, injuries and power cuts caused by kite flying. The people being held were arrested under section 279 and are implicated in either using or manufactureing Manja (kite string rolled in glass) and sharp kite line made from steel wire.

GEO Pakistan News – Geo.Tv writes

LAHORE: The police here booked 321 kite-flyers under section 279 and arrested them in a crackdown launched here against the use of razor sharp kite cords rolled in powdered glass or made of steel cut electricity wires.

SSP Operations, Aamir Zulfiqar told that the police in a drive against the manufacture, sale and use of razor sharp kite cords rolled in powdered glass today arrested 71 persons by registering 60 cases in Cantt Division, 94 in 85 cases in City Division, 49 in 50 cases in Saddar Division and 107 accused in 84 cases in Model Town Division. Police also recovered during this operation 700 spools of steel and glass edged wires, sharp cord making tools, chemicals etc.

SSP told that the police would immediately be raiding any rooftop from where aerial firings would be witnessed or any one found using steel and glass edged cords. He told that the compliance of the Supreme Court orders would be ensured on the occasion of Basant and 4,000 security personnel would be performing their duties, while 800 police officers and functionaries in civvies would be posted at key-points of the city in this regard. Besides 16 vehicles of elite force, 26 of Mujahid squad and 52 motorcycles riding police men would be taking rounds of different areas of the city for guarding the implementation of the rules of the kite-flying game as well as its violation by aerial firing, if any.

Original story here:
GEO Pakistan News – Geo.tv

Kite Tube!?

Just reading the Toronto Kite Fliers mailing list today and someone posted a link to a bizarre “kite” that is towed behind a boat. It’s called the WEGO KITE TUBE produced by SPORTSSTUFF.

So the idea is basically you convince some fearless individual to climb on top of this inflated disk, tear down the lake at top speed and with some “control” the rider can launch the kite tube in the air and remain air borne. As long as you have enough speed, and you keep the right angle of attack you should be ok. (mildly insane but ok)

Personally I don’t think I would do it… there are a few spills in that video that look like they could have been a lot worse… you can check out the video here: Kite Tube Video.