Friday, May 18, 2012

Nevin Sayre: "There's no way I would allow my kids to kitesurf"

Nevin Sayre is a champion windsurfer and kiteboarder who is heavily involved in promoting youth windsurfing through local and national sailing organizations. In a public letter to US Sailing, whose representatives recently voted to replace windsurfing with kiteboarding in the 2016 Olympics, he outlines some serious concerns about that vote. Foremost among his concerns is the fact that, in contrast with windsurfing, kiteboarding is unsafe for kids and logistically unfeasible for incorporation in youth sailing programs. Take a look at what he has to say here.

PS- Mr. Sayre has first-hand experience of how dangerous kiteboarding can be. Check out this picture of his gross kiteboarding head wound from Photobucket


Johnny Douglass said...

Ooooo! I'm glad you stopped kite boarding.

Frank said...

Peter Norby was not so lucky he died from his head wound and left a wife and two small children.

Guincho Wind Factory said...

I can show you 30 pictures of worst injuries than this done while windsurfing windsurfing. I fully agree that taking out windsurfing from the Olimpic games makes no sense, but injuries happen in all sports specially at high competition levels since people are pushing the limits.

James Douglass said...

Guincho Wind Factory- I agree that both sports can be dangerous for advanced riders pushing the limits in high wind and waves. But I think the difference is that beginner windsurfing is very safe, whereas kiteboarding is especially dangerous at the beginner level and therefore less appropriate for kids to learn.

James MacNamara said...

This video was posted to an Australian windsurfing forum ( in response to a concern raised about teaching kids to kitesurf.

While the boy involved is clearly skilled and having fun, the last two minutes of a 4:35 video includes edits of his wipeouts and catapults. As a parent, some of these left me feeling sick to my stomach - as did the fact that he was sailing in such shallow water which very little room for error.

I am currently trying to teach my 3 sons (15, 12 and 9 years old) to windsurf after a 20 year absence from the sport myself. The great thing about this is how fantastic the entry level boards and kids's rigs sails have become - they get sailing within an hour.

There is no way I would tempt fate by teaching them to kite surf now. There will be time enough for them to rebel against me and take up this dangerous sport, but I will not encourage that at this stage.