> footprint and all
I tend to agree that it attracts a "I'm cool" crowd that doesn't seem to care much about footprint, the space it occupies (steals) on the beach, and so on. The bulky equipment and lines are left on the beach forever as kiters trade war stories and exploits. Here inland where take-off spots are small, their take-off monopolises the area for 10 minutes every time, more for beginners that keep tangling lines in the bushes. Many kiters do not come from windsurfing (at least around them's parts) and are not used at respect and potential dangers on water.
Having said that, let's not generalise either. I more or less purposedly trip over the lines and don't give way too much to them on the water more than I should, and frankly, no problem so far. Plus some of us windsurfers aren't much better and leave equipment lying in the way too, and sometimes occupy the launching ramp too long.
The death story is not the reason I don't kite. It simply doesn't attract me, windsurfing gives me a buzz still, and I still have a long list of moves and tricks I can't do or don't master yet.