Pismo Beach businessman injured while kiteboarding

Extreme sportsman Kinsley Thomas Wong of Pismo Beach was in critical condition Friday morning in the intensive care unit of Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center, hospital spokesman Ron Yukelson said. Wong was injured in a kiteboarding crash in San Simeon late Thursday afternoon.

He is the entrepreneur behind XtremeBigAir in Pismo Beach. According to his Facebook page and some who have seen him in action, he is an expert kiteboarder and kiting instructor, as well as being active in other extreme sports, in the water and out. Wong is 43.

In kiteboarding, a person is strapped onto a board and is harnessed to a huge kite. The kiteboarder uses wind to propel himself across the sea.

A 2006 feature article in The Tribune said, “(Wong) is known as the father of kiteboarding on the Central Coast by area kiteboarders.” He said he and a friend were the first to kiteboard on the Central Coast in October 1998.

Wong was along the shore south of Pico Creek in San Simeon Acres when the accident happened at about 4 p.m. Thursday.

Retired Cambria dentist Dean Hilger was kiting that day, too.

“The winds were kind of gusty,” he said. Wong apparently was “powering up,” and doing a maneuver in the air. “A kite has a lot of power to it, tremendous lift, and it can get a little crazy,” Hilger said. “You can get yanked out of the water.”

When a gust of wind caught Wong’s kite, he apparently was pulled out of the water and dropped on the rocks, Hilger said. Wind gusts of up to 25 mph were recorded Thursday at an automated weather station at Piedras Blancas, about 8 miles north of San Simeon Acres.

Emergency responders who examined Wong on the beach near Pico Creek reported that he was unconscious and unresponsive but breathing, according to Eryn Tsudama, spokeswoman for Cal Fire.

A Calstar air ambulance took Wong to Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton, where he was treated before being transferred Thursday evening to Sierra Vista.