Kiteboarding: the number of accidents are comparable to skiing | Photo: Travis Hayto/IKA

Australian scientists have concluded that the number of accidents in kiteboarding is comparable to those seen in recreational skiing.

The team from the Department of Orthopedic and Trauma Surgery at Royal Perth Hospital analyzed 56 kite injuries over a fifteen-year period and concluded that the outdoor activity is not more dangerous than popular contact sports.

Perth has more than 1000 regular kiteboarders. Only 27 of the 56 riders who suffered accidents due to collisions and crashes had to be admitted for severe injuries.

"Key factors in this low injury toll for kiteboarders, compared to other contact sports, is better safety equipment, better training and more knowledge in the kiteboarding community," notes Alexandra Lockie, general manager at Kiteboarding Australia.

Kiteboarding is often associated with dangerous stunts, unexpected wind gusts, and sudden losses of kite control. But the image of the sport is steadily changing.

"After years of working within the sport, Kiteboarding Australia and our State Associations, are pleased that one of Australia's fastest growing sports appears to be developing in a safe and sustainable way."

The governing body for the sport of kiteboarding in Australia believes that safety is also linked with other practices which include certified schools, accredited instructors, better beach signage, and improved gear.

The study "Kitesurfing - playing with water or with fire?" was conducted by Steven JG Leeuwerke, Manimaran Sinnathamby and René Zellweger.

Discover how to avoid collisions between kiteboarders, and take a look at what to expect from kitesurfing lesson.