Kitesurfing with a helmet story

Why I Now Kite with a Helmet – by Dan Charlish

Kitesurfing Armada founder, Dan Charlish, had a painful experience in which he collided with his board that serves as a healthy reminder as to why wearing a helmet is a good idea: 

“I’ve been kiting for 13 years and had never worn a helmet. Very few others seemed too, either. In fact, even in the craziest wind for the first Armada in 2013, when we had hundreds of people riding from Hayling to Lancing in 40+ knot winds… you could count the number of helmets on one hand.

“This summer we had some great wind across the UK and where I live in Hove has seen some big days. One session in September I was out with my friend Lara in some great waves and strong wind. I was having an amazing 7m session. At one point I boosted off a nice wave but clipped the top of the wave as I took off. It didn’t make a huge amount of difference – I just rotated slightly in the air as I went up, but at the top of the jump I was in the wrong position and it was clear I wasn’t going to land cleanly. I kicked the board off and floated back down to land about ten metres from the board. No drama…

“I went to body drag back to my board as usual, sent my kite in the direction of my board and as I went through the waves something suddenly hit the side of my head so hard that I saw stars and it physically knocked me backwards in the water. I honestly thought someone hadn’t seen me, and had kited into my head. I surfaced and looked around, but there was no-one was there; just my board floating next to me. The wave behind had picked it up and surfed it directly into my head, or more exactly, my ear.

“It was a tad painful and there was a lot of blood. I was more worried about passing out as I was a fair way out and obviously still attached to the kite. For some reason I decided shouting expletives very loudly would help keep me going, and this seemed to help whilst body dragging back to the beach. I asked a rather shocked looking passer-by to land the kite while Lara got my board back to shore. She took one look at my head and packed me off to A&E. By the end of the day I’d had five stitches to pull the ear back together, I’d lost a tooth and whiplash was already setting in, which got worse over the coming weeks.

“Anyhow, no real drama done and a cool scar on my ear for life BUT, even though I know it was a freak accident, the potential outcome if I had passed out could have been pretty scary.

“Helmet on the Christmas list for me and live to kite another day!”



Through this turbulent year We have been researching and looking into ways we can invest to bring more to our membership package.

As a BKSA member, you can now get 10% off a new helmet. Visit your local dealer, show evidence of your BKSA membership and you’ll get the helmet with 10% off!

Ion and Bern helmets