Hunstanton: a popular kiteboarding spot in Norfolk | Photo: Martin Pettitt/Creative Commons

Sean Sands, member of the Hunstanton Sailing Club, has lost his life in a kiteboarding accident off Hunstanton, in Norfolk, United Kingdom.

Reports say the kitesurfer was unable to trigger his emergency safety mechanism while riding in the North Sea, at 3:30pm. Sands was pulled unconscious from the water and airlifted to hospital in King's Lynn.

"Sean lost control of his kite and for reasons not known to us yet, was unable to trigger his emergency quick release. Hunstanton Sailing Club have lost a true brother, a friend to so many and one of life's genuinely effervescent characters," wrote the organization.

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Felix Pivec: strapless and unhooked

Felix Pivec is a kitesurfing legend. He started kiteboarding back in 1998, in the very early stages of the sport. Back then, there were no mobile phones with internet, apps and wind forecasts.

In the 20th century, Pivec kicked off his wind adventures with a classic Wipica kite. In those days, it was quite hard to evolve because there were almost no riders out in the water, and information about kiteboarding was scarce.

"Back then, there were no videos, no magazines. A little video came with the kite, but I didn't have my VCR then, so I was a little anxious to get on the kite. I thought of going to the beach and give it a stab," reveals Pivec.

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KiteSim: a realistic kiteboarding simulator for beginners and pros | Photo: KiteSim

KiteSim is the world's first realistic and kiteboarding simulator that allows beginners to start riding in an easy and safe way.

In 2010, Robert Hoogendijk contacted agency Frank & Frens. He wanted to make KiteSim a reality for novice and advanced kiteboarders. Two years later, the prototype was out to be tested.

"The simulator is based on a realistic computer model that simulates the forces on the kite, the rider and the lines. These forces are exerted through the simulator and experienced by the rider. The actions of the rider are measured and used as input for the simulator," explains Hoogendijk.

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