Fall kiting and a bit of knee injury prevention
The last few days have been a late season south swell playground in Malibu. Vic and I flew some thermals in the morning and John and I scored some great wind and waves at County on
Friday morning. The weekend opened up some great paddle surfing and light but fun kitesurfing in the afternoon. Morning and afternoon rides on the road with Heidi or alone on the mountain bike under gorgeous California skies were the icing on my usual fantastic existence. Heidi had mentioned a bit about her knee pain and I have counseled she and many other friends and patients on sports related knee injury prevention and treatment and thought maybe a note here might help.
The knee is a quite unstable joint in respect to the other more stable joints of the body and requires a bit more care and maintenance.. A bit of weight lifting for joint stability including the old vastus medialas oblique muscle with short end range extension exercises is a good start. Yoga, stretching and a bit of bike riding in a nice light gear also help stabilize the para articular muscles of the knee. A big problem with kitesurfing is that many people ride their twin tip boards with externally rotated feet and when you point your rear leg toward the front leg you load up the medial collateral ligament with all those little micro traumas our sport is notorious for. Trying to load a twin tips edge is much easier on your knees if you can point your rear knee into the popliteal space of the knee in front. Still the femur and all that upper body weight wants to fly forward over your tibial plateau and little tears in the ACL start to build up. Add in jumping and the instant loading in this bad posture and you will begin to see the hell that is life as a knee in a twin tip board rider. A directional board allows fins to drive a board up wind rather than your knees with the edge of a twin tip. It is very nice to let the fins of a proper directional board do the work. My knees start to scream after many days on a directional relative to just a few minutes on a properly set up twin tip board. A bit of study in the biomechanics involved in the two styles demonstrates the problems right off. Many sports have fit issues where overuse and a slight malajustment will lead to long term and unfortunately even permanent disability to some. Bike riding, running, etc, etc, involve very specific fit and support activities to guarantee longevity in the particular sport, kite surfing is no different.
Sorry for the lecture, and this was just barely touching knee injury prevention, but I want all my buds out kite surfing with me when I am 90 and no knee excuses!!! Have Fun and don't forget the glucosamine water, good nutrition....ooops that is another pos