Comfort aspects important for the performance and safety of kitesurfing
Paper in proceeding, 2012
Equipment used in sports is of great importance, especially when the equipment is in direct contact with the athlete or is important for safety. In the sport kitesurfing environmental factors and the equipment design are crucial for the comfort and safety. The participants' choice and opinion of equipment can show which factors are considered most important for the performance and to reduce risk for injury. This study has evaluated self-reported information from the participants about what equipment they use, comfort of the equipment and if the equipment has contributed to any injuries. The methods used were questionnaires (n-206) and interviews (n-17), which in combination allows to assess the problem both quantitatively and qualitatively. The results showed that supported leading edge kites are most frequently used, with a waist harness and foot straps to attach the feet. The choice of kite type was mainly based on the discipline of riding for the respondent. Some issues concerning comfort of riding and injury risk the respondents did relate to the design of harness and foot straps. The information from this study can be used for development strategies for industry manufacturers and for further studies in the area of equipment design and biomechanics.