Fay-Slammed Kite Surfer Would Do It Again

Kite surfer Kevin Kearney doesn't remember being slammed into a building.

ByIMAEYEN IBANGA via via logo

Aug. 25, 2008 — -- The footage of avid kite surfer Kevin Kearney, picked up by Tropical Storm Fay's heady winds that lifted him from a Florida beach and slammed him to the ground before thrusting him into the side of a building like a rag doll riveted viewers and witnesses. But the Fort Lauderdale resident, who is recovering from several injuries he sustained in the Aug. 18 incident, has no memory of what happened.

"I remember the whole day, but I do not remember flying across the street," Kearney said on "Good Morning America" today. "That part of the day, luckily, I don't remember."

His friends rushed to his aid and called emergency services, which then took him away for treatment.

"Its something that any parent, you can't fathom how hard it is too see that," said Kearney's mother, Alicia Paradise Garza.

But despite injuries that included a broken ankle and cracked ribs, the 28-year-old said he would "definitely" go kite-boarding during a tropical storm again.

"Here in south Florida the wind doesn't really show up," he said.

Kearney did acknowledge he had some regrets about what occurred that day.

"I should have packed it up a little bit earlier than I did," said Kearney, who went against his friends' advice that day when he decided to kite surf. "I regret it a little bit, but I've learned in the long run what is important is life."

Kearney, who has been kite-boarding for four years, carries the physical scars, including a large wound over one of his eyebrows and an extremely shaky and squeaky voice that can be difficult to discern at times.

"My throat was injured when they tried to put me under a coma for a little while. The toughest thing has been sleeping, actually. I hurt my back a little," he said.

Kearney has also suffered broken vertebrae, received dozens of stitches, numerous lacerations and bleeding on the brain. But Kearney said today he feels much better and is recovering nicely.

Kearney said he plans to wear protective head gear to prevent injuries.

Kite Surfer Survives Storm

"I do have a snowboarding helmet that I will use as a kite-boarding helmet for the next tropical storm," he said.

He added there were a couple of things he could have done to prevent further injuries, including unhooking his kite or bringing it down perpendicular to another boarder so he or she could help.

However, "GMA's" Sam Champion warned that kite surfing during a storm is unsafe and there is no real way to safeguard against the storm's strength during the adrenaline-packed sport. In kite-boarding, surfers are tethered to a giant kite that uses the wind to whip them across the water and into the air.

Click here to learn more about Kevin Kearney's ordeal.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events