Sunday, April 14, 2024
NewsAlex Bloechinger Accident

Alex Bloechinger Accident

In a recent stark reminder of the unpredictable nature of our sport, experienced kiteboarder Alex Bloechinger faced a grave incident while attempting to jump the St. Pete Pier in Tampa, amidst gusting winds reported around 36 miles per hour. Alex, a familiar face in the professional kiteboarding circle with a career spanning over two decades with the Slingshot and Ride Engine teams, took to the waters under extreme conditions, aiming to replicate stunts that are both revered and feared in our community.

The attempt came after a successful first jump, driven by the kind of challenge that fuels our passion for kiteboarding. Yet, it also served as a brutal illustration of how quickly situations can go wrong, and how even the most seasoned among us are not immune to the whims of nature. During his second approach, Alex appears to have lost an edge, leading to a severe crash against the pier.

Rescue efforts following the incident were swift, with onlookers and first responders pulling Alex from the water and providing immediate care. This rapid response undoubtedly played a crucial role in his survival and current condition, which, while critical, is stable. His injuries, including a broken sacrum and pelvis, fractured femur, and significant knee damage, speak volumes about the impact’s severity.

The kiteboarding community’s reaction has been one of solidarity, rallying around Alex through a GoFundMe campaign to support his long road to recovery. This collective action reflects the strong bond within our community and our shared understanding of the risks involved in pushing the limits of our sport.

UPDATE from GoFund Me: Monday March 25th

The last few days have been incredible to say the least. The support and love coming from around the world has given us so much hope. Alex remains intubated but his vitals are stable and his inflammation has subsided to a degree that they will be able to begin surgery this morning. The doctors continue to be amazed by his resiliency and his body’s incredible ability to endure such trauma. Surgery is expected to last 5 hours and if all goes to plan than the doctors will be able to wake Alex back up in the coming days. There have been moments through the weekend where he has been surrounded by his mother and his friends and he has responded to commands to move his hands and toes and has expressed an urge to write before being sedated again. With your continued support, love, and prayers we will have a smooth surgery and begin to share with Alex the beautiful stories you have all shared along with your incredible generosity. These stories that you continue to share are without a doubt the fuel that will be needed for Alex to keep fighting his way back to us. Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.

Early Morning on Friday March 22nd Alex Bloechinger did what he has been doing for the last 24 years. He checked the forecast, gathered up some gear, called in his local squad of riding buddies and went out for a kiteboarding session in extreme conditions. As he began riding the waters of Tampa Bay he knew conditions had aligned to try something that to most would be unthinkable, he decided to try and jump a pier. This has been done before by kiteboarders in different places around the world and Alex has been a part of orchestrating and performing many different high consequence stunts in his years as an athlete. After a successful first attempt he tacked upwind to attempt the stunt a second time and conditions began to intensify. For an experienced rider such as Alex higher winds mean a greater chance to jump high and cover extreme distance making the feat more obtainable however during his take off a gust pulled him from the surface of the water prematurely and swung him into the object he intended to clear.

With the support of his friends he was pulled from the water after a very significant impact. First responders arrived at the scene within minutes and provided exceptional support in stabilizing him and getting him to the local trauma center where he will remain for some time. He is currently in stable but critical conditions and with some luck and support will have a long but viable road to recovery.

Alex first became a professional kiteboarder in the early 2000’s beginning a long and celebrated career with Slingshot Sports a premier kiteboarding and action sports manufacturer. Alex went on from being a team rider in the early days to a talented designer responsible for helping test, tune, and design some of the most successful kites in the industry. Alex has been integral in helping bring kiteboarding to the main stream and has long been someone behind the scenes helping other riders get more time on the water and learn to get the most out of their gear.

This past year Alex lost both his dad and his brother and then due to industry cutbacks his job as well. He decided to take a few months to get back to his passion of not just working in the sport of kiteboarding, but participating in it and pushing himself and his friends to higher heights. Stunts like what Alex intended to perform have known consequences and assumed risks but action sports athletes and human beings in general have a long history of pushing the boundaries of whats possible. Alex did not put himself in a position this day to hurt anyone or anything but due to variable’s beyond control he found the consequences himself.

Alex’s crash has gone viral and the overwhelming wishes of healing and health have been very warmly welcomed by both his family and friends who have been by his side through this past 24 hours as his vitals have stabilized.

Immediately what we know is Alex has suffered the following injuries and will take a significant amount of help from friends and the action sports community to ride again one day.

Broken Sacrum & Pelvis

Right Femur Fracture

Left Knee with Multi Ligament Damage

Fluids in his lungs have been removed twice over the past 24 hrs

Luckily doctors have stopped arterial bleeding in his right leg.

He is currently in a neck brace and at the moment it appears he has not suffered severe head trauma despite losing consciousness from the initial impacts.

He remains intubated with respiratory support while the doctors work to reduce the severe swelling throughout his body.

According to the doctors it is nothing short of a miracle that he is still with us and they have scheduled surgery for Monday morning to start piecing him back together.

Alex’s mother is currently by his side and after losing a husband and a son over the last 2 years we will be raising funds to help them with the extreme expenses and ongoing care that Alex will require over his long road to rehabilitation.

I can write with great certainty that Alex would not want this helping hand as he knew the consequences of his decisions and the risks that come with trying to push ones own limits. However as friends, fellow athletes, lovers of action sports, and family members we cannot allow him to fight this fight alone.

All proceeds of this go fund me will go immediately to helping Alex with his medical bills and surviving this fight. We will continuously update all of those following as information comes available.”

Go Fund Me

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