Study Shows 38% of Kitesurfers have been Seriously Injured in the Past 12 Months

Researchers at Halmstad University in Sweden published a study in the World Academy of Science in 2011 entitled: “Injuries Related to Kitesurfing.”

They interviewed a bit more than 200 kitesurfers (randomly selected, competent at an intermediate level of kitesurfing or better, and with experience varying from 1 to 10 years)

  • 38% of kiters interviewed sustained at least one serious injury in the past 12 months;
  • 40% said that environmental factors played a role in their injuries;
  • 7 injuries per 1,000 hours of kitesurfing.

Their full study may be found here.

Click here for a full picture of the safety issues.

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2 comments

  1. Atte

    In Sweden we are about 10 kitesurfers that are doing Course racing, 2-3 of them are competing internationally. none of us have bean injured doing Course racing.
    Why even compare Course racing with the other disciplines of kitesurfing? it’s like comparing Cross country skiing with downhill or extreme skiing, doesn’t make sense?

  2. Hello Atte:
    What you are suggesting is that based on a sample size of 10, kiteboard racing is safe. It’s great that you and your friends haven’t gotten injured of course, but I think this is not exactly a scientific representative sample. Course racing is currently tiny and so we cannot really see how dangerous it will be compared to the general population’s experience. There is also no doubt that people are not exclusively kitesurfing on race boards but are using twin tips and surfboards too. Finally no one learns to kite on a race board.

    As to your comparisons (2nd paragraph) I don’t think that you can say that kitesurf racing is like cross country and regular kitesurfing is like extreme skiing as there is no real difference between how the kitesurf is working – both use wind. Extreme skiing uses gravity and bumps while cross country uses mostly the self generation of the muscles of the skier. A more valid comparison is Cross Country = Rowing the way Extreme Skiing = Kitesurfing.

    Take a look at my article where I explore what might be “bad situations” that kitesurf racers will get themselves into as the numbers grow and kiters jockey for position on the water. https://saveolympicwindsurfing.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/proximity/
    This is a very complete website and has a ton of information on it. I would also ask you to see this post by a fellow kitesurfer.
    https://saveolympicwindsurfing.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/dvnt-report/

    In the meantime good luck with your kitesurf racing. I wish your fleet continued fun and success on the water.

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