The Checkout

Kite Tubes Recalled

Less than two weeks after the Consumer Product Safety Commission first issued a safety alert about an increasingly popular new water-sport--kite tubing--one of the makers has decided to withdraw its product.

Sportsstuff, having received reports of two deaths in the United States and a variety of serious injuries, is voluntarily recalling about 19,000 Wego Kite Tubes, the CPSC announced this morning, The agency said it is aware of 39 injury incidents with 29 of those resulting in medical treatment. Those injuries include a broken neck, punctured lung, chest and back injuries and facial injuries. According to the CPSC press release: "Sportsstuff has been unable to determine the cause of the incidents. Nevertheless, the company has withdrawn the kite tube from the market and is undertaking this voluntary recall out of an abundance of caution."

As I reported earlier, the Wego Kite Tube is a 10-foot-wide, circular, yellow inflatable watercraft designed to be towed behind a power boat. A rider in the tube becomes airborne by pulling on handles attached to the floor of the tube.
The tubes were imported and sold through marine distributors, mail order catalogs and various retailers from approximately Oct. 1, 2005 to July 11, 2006, for about $500 to $600.

The CPSC said consumers should immediately stop using the kite tubes and contact Sportsstuff at 866- 831-5524 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CST Monday through Friday to learn how to obtain free replacement products. Consumers can also visit the firm's Web site for more information.

By  |  July 13, 2006; 9:08 AM ET Consumer Alerts
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Comments

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I am looking to buy a Wego Kite Tub. If you would like to sell yours please e-mail me at jlynshep@aol.com I also have a Sevylor Manta Ray Towable Ski Tube that is like new if you would like to trade.
thank you,
jami

Posted by: Jami | August 2, 2006 7:55 PM

Thank you for writing your article regarding Kite Tubes. If I had only read it yesterday. Our 13 year old daughter was riding on a Sevylor Manta Ray. It is my belief due to her weight and the wind conditions the tube went up much higher than we expected. It turned she fell and hit her head. She is ok, but I am terrified for others to be riding on such a dangerous piece of equipment. We were following recommendations, however, the outcome could have been tragic. All kite tubes should not be on the market. Our family believes in risk taking and thrill seeking, but this sport is truly unsafe. I plan to report this tomorrow to the Consumer Product Safety Commission and I will be directly contacting the Sevylor Company tomorrow. I hope my comments deter others from riding. I do not want to see another person injured. Sincerely, Stacey (Marysville, WA)

Posted by: Stacey | August 14, 2006 3:19 AM

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