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Response to Bruce Kendall on Kiteboarding and the Olympics

Mr. Kendall recently reflected on Kiteboarding being too dangerous for inclusion in the Olympic Sailing Regatta.
While we appreciate and deeply respect his achievements as a world champion windsurfer, Olympic medalist and Olympic coach, we strongly disagree with his clearly skewed view on the dangers of modern-day kiteboarding and it's unworthiness to be included in the Olympics.
Mr Kendall says he believes that the "experts" were seduced by kiteboarder's high speeds and impressive jumps, which is clearly a mis-interpretation of the idea of kite racing. We would simply prefer to point out the sheer number of very successful world cup, continental and local kiteboarding races being held all around the world in steadily increasing numbers.
Mr Kendall's claims regarding the rigging and launching area required for kiteboarders are also skewed and out of context. Kiteboarders might require a beach free of obstacles to rig and launch a kite, but can also launch from a (coach) boat, or any other suitable area. However, it is not imperative that there is someone on hand to launch and land a kiteboarders kite.
To claim that nearly every kiteboarder has had a "near death" experience while launching a kite is like saying that nearly everyone who has driven a car has had a "near death" experience. We're not quite sure exactly how Mr Kendall likens racing around buoys on a sailing craft to jumping off of cliffs with a parachute either.
He goes on to point out that a common rule is to not venture farther from shore than you can swim back. We think it is clear that Mr. Kendall has kite racing confused with freestyle riding (in which kiteboarders use small "twin tip" boards similar to wake boards) as most kite race boards are now upwards of 80 liters which would provide more than ample flotation for a sailor to either save himself or await rescue, just as in windsurfing.

full response at

http://www.internationalkiteboarding.org/index.php?option=com_content&ta...

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