Patri Mclaughlin rips hard. He is flat out damn good at kitesurfing. But like all things in life, no matter how good or careful you are…. Shit happens…
Read his story and learn, we hope this happens to no one else!
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PINKY NO MORE…
Don’t ever let the lines wrap around you. Period. Lines under force are extremely dangerous – I learned that the hard way. I kited Jaws on Maui for two hours without a hitch. I must have caught 30 waves and nothing bad happened.
After the session I was sitting on my board and I pulled the safety release. My kite fell out of the sky, and I started wrapping up my bar. I’d wrapped up 80% of my lines and reached for the kite to detach my lines. As I grabbed the front bridle of the kite it flipped over and powered up. It was burning the fingers on my left hand so I let go of the bridle and the kite took off. I wasn’t really thinking about the bar in my right hand and the lines wrapped around me. As the kite flew to the length of the lines, the kite powered up and tightened the line around my pinky finger. The line cinched to the bone and stripped all the flesh off of the tip of my finger. It didn’t hurt at the time but I noticed it was bleeding. A lot. I dipped the hand under water, and took a closer look. That’s when I saw the fleshless bone protruding out of the tip of my finger. I climbed straight onto the jet-ski and was in surgery two hours later. They snipped the bone off, and now my little finger is a little bit smaller.
This injury could have been avoided if I’d just climbed straight to the kite and didn’t wrap my lines. If I could do it all again, I would climb one line straight to the kite and deflate it first thing. Then I’d worry about wrapping up the lines. All in all it was a learning experience. I may have lost a part of me, but it could have been a lot worse!
~ Patri Mclaughlin.