Kiteboarding is an incredible new extreme sport that is sweeping around the
World. The thrills and shear joy of flashing over the water and flinging
yourself, spinning into the sky at will is addictive! Lot of power in this
sport, it's part of the attraction and sometimes a threat as well. Riders
are slammed and injured sometimes for want of just a bit more care and
knowledge. Consider working the following ten points and other good
practices into your riding habits. They may help to keep both you and
bystanders safer and help to maintain kiteboarding access for us all to
enjoy this great sport. These guidelines have grown out of the analysis of
almost one hundred kiteboarding incidents and accidents. We are always
learning new things about safe kiteboarding in this new sport so be aware of
new techniques and updates to this list. NOTE: Even if these guidelines are
followed serious injury can still occur in kiteboarding, so be careful out
1. NEVER LAUNCH OR RIDE WITHIN 200 FT. OR 60 M UPWIND OF BYSTANDERS OR HARD
OBJECTS ...land, boats, rocks, walls, buildings, powerlines, roads or
prominent vertical surfaces or steep slopes that may cause uplift. Depower
your kite as early as possible if trouble threatens. Waiting may remove the
option to do so safely. Riders have been injured and killed by ignoring
this. In kiteboarding "DISTANCE IS YOUR FRIEND" and may sometimes help to
forgive bad luck & errors in judgment.
2. AVOID STORMS & SQUALLS. CHECK WEATHER RADAR, WIND & FORECASTS & BE AWARE
OF WEATHER CONDITIONS WHILE RIDING. Storms & squalls have injured lots of
kiteboarders & are a serious threat. Actual weather may differ from
predicted conditions so stay alert. If you see squalls or storms, LAND,
remove the lines & SECURE your kite in advance of any change in wind or
temperature. Riders have been injured by reacting too late or not at all.
Avoid offshore & onshore winds.
3. TAKE ADEQUATE PRO KITEBOARDING LESSONS FROM A GOOD SCHOOL carefully build
experience in manageable conditions. Lessons cost but you should be
kiteboarding faster, easier & safer for your investment. Also you could save
your expensive gear & yourself from damage & our access to ride.
4. CAREFULLY PREFLIGHT YOUR GEAR, make sure lines are equal, in good
condition, free of tangles/snags, are properly attached & no leaks are
present. Repair gear before launching.
5. USE SAFETY GEAR ... a suitable helmet, impact vest, tested kite leash,
reliable chicken loop quick releases (QR) & fixed harness line QR, gloves &
hook knife(s). Practice mentally & physically reacting to emergency
situations, e.g. lofting & dragging, to try to reduce critical reaction
time. Test & maintain your quick releases before each use to improve
6. BE CAREFUL IN & CONSIDER AVOIDING HIGHER WINDS while kiteboarding, that
is potentially winds much greater than 18 kts or 20 mph. Kite forces &
flight speeds can be much greater & conditions far less forgiving of errors
in judgment & simple bad luck & have resulted in serious injuries.
7. CONSIDER LAUNCHING UNHOOKED from your bar for rapid release & kite leash
activation if things go wrong. Consider hooking into your QR fixed harness
line only once you are near the water & your kite is well low over the water
in order to grab your board. Connect to your chicken loop offshore.
8. HAVE AN EXPERIENCED HELPER LAUNCH & LAND YOUR KITE who understands your
instructions without error. If conditions permit, it may be safer to launch
your kite near or from the water.
9. KEEP YOUR KITE LOW & NEVER BRING IT TO THE VERTICAL WHILE NEAR HARD
OBJECTS OR LAND TO TRY TO AVOID LOFTING. GET OFFSHORE WITHOUT DELAY.
10. AVOID COMPLAINTS TO KEEP KITEBOARDING FREE & AT WILL. Jump to help
kiteboarders. If you see someone doing something reckless, grab your friends
& go talk with him. We are all in this sport together so pitch in & be ready
to help to keep riders safe and to work to preserve access.
These ten points appear with other ideas in the "Safe Kiteboarding
Guidelines." The Guidelines are located at:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kitesurf/ ... TEBOARDING
20SAFETY%20REFERENCES/ FKA, Inc. transcribed by: Rick Iossi
Originally posted at: