July 14, 2006 Just four weeks ago we wrote about the the Wego Kite Tube and figured it looked like a heap of fun, but reports just in show that about 19,000 Wego Kite Tubes are being voluntarily recalled. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) 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. Sportsstuff has received reports of two deaths in the United States and a variety of serious injuries. Sportsstuff has not yet been able to determine the cause of the incidents but has withdrawn the kite tube from the market . The Sportsstuff 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. Model 53-5000 is printed on the tube near the product valve. The floor of the tube has black caution warning stripes. The cover for the product bears a skull and crossbones and the statement "Never Kite higher than you are willing to fall." The tubes were imported and sold through marine distributors, mail order catalogs, and various retailers from approximately October 1, 2005 to July 11, 2006 for about $500 to $600. Consumers should immediately stop using the kite tubes and contact Sportsstuff on (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.
Inflatable toys are now available for dozens of different recreational purposes, from basic loungers through purpose-built inflatables for shooting river rapids, snow sports, water-based trampolining and towables – inflated toys that get towed behind a boat for adrenalin-enhanced fun. Twelve months ago we reported on the world’s first wearable towable, the Sumo suit.
Part Deck Tube and part paraglider, the Kite Tube is slightly larger than three metres in diameter and is designed to skim across the water, or with a gentle pull of the controls, get serious air. The Kite Tube had already taken out the the winner of the prestigious 2006 SGMA Sports Product of the Year Award, following in the footsteps of one of our favourite toys, Landrollers, which took the gong on 2005.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC's hotline at (800) 638-2772 or visit the CPSC Web site