Local LIVE conditions
Wise Up In the Duck Pond

Over the last 3 weeks there has been at least 3 major kite incidents in the duck pond and I am sure plenty of minor ones.  An ambulance was called on two occasions with the third incident the most dangerous  the rider narrowly avoiding serious injury,  he was still hurt bad enough to be unable to work for a week.  As for the other incidents one involved someone being knocked unconcious whilst the other involved someone who dislocated and broke their leg/ankle.  It is not hard to see why more people are calling this the death pond rather than the duck pond.

To compound the problem at the moment  with the fair in town there is hardly any room on the grass to launch and land meaning if anything goes wrong here there is very little chance of escaping a serious accident.  It is true that the duck pond is a great place for people to learn to kitesurf but you must follow a few basic rules to allow you to do so safely.

  1. Stay at least 100m away from the embankment wall that surrounds the duck pond, especially if you are new to the sport and setting up to launch.  This gives you plenty of room to pull your safety if things go wrong.  If you are a learner and you can’t ride upwind away from the wall and the water is too deep to walk away from the wall, you are not safe to kitesurf in these conditions you should not be there.
  2. Assist other kiters:  On this point everyone is pretty on the case.  However often the best way to assist a beginner when they are about to do something foolish is to talk to them and stop it happening.  Its very easy to look on and just observe a disaster in the making.  If we want to continue to have free access we need to improve.
  3. Make better analysis of Wind Quality at the launch site.  This is especially true when launching on the grass.  There are so many hazards to injure your self on in that area that you need to be confident that your kite will behave once it is launched.  If the wind is coming over the town and houses or hills  how smooth is the wind likely to be?  Even if there are people out riding it doesnt mean it is safe to Launch.  They probably got there earlier in the tidal sequnce and launched from the sand
  4. If you are not sure ask someone experienced.  Or better still budy up with someone more experienced than you to help with your decision making.  If there is no one experienced around there is a reason  it must be bad  and possibly dangerous conditions.  Ask yourself why there are only beginners about.
  5. If you are not sure come and ask at the shop we will allways give you our best advice
  6. If you are wiping out allow the kite to pull you forward.  Dont try to resist it by putting your legs straight out  in front of you.  There have been at least 5 people with broken legs and ankles in the last 6 years doing this!
  7. Get better at flying your kite.  If you are a beginner the best thing you can do is just get better at flying your kite.  If the winds a bit light just get down onto the duck pond sands when the tide is out and just practice flying your kite.  You need to get instinctive with this and the only way is putting the time in,  you will learn a massive amount even if you dont think you are.  You can practice self launch, landing and use  of your safety system and if done in a nice light breeze is all really safe.
  8. If you think your kite is too big- It probably is wait for the wind to ease or come back another day
  9. Not life threatening but still important stay out of the fu*****k bird zone.  Its only for 3 months and keeps everyone happy.  Have a word with those that dont appear to know!!!

I am sure there is more but these are the main issues.  Kitesurfing is a fantastic sport and has  made a massive impact on many peolpes lives in a hugely positive way.  Despite modern kites being far safer than a few years ago kitesurfing is still a dangerous sport and you must give it respect, certainly more respect than some are showing it at the present.

Remember its  a great sport but its just not worth dying for.