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What a Windsurfer should know about Kitesurfing

lots of valuable articles from Rick Iossi, FKA Inc.

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What a Windsurfer should know about Kitesurfing

Postby RickI » Fri Apr 16, 2004 8:39 pm

Originally Posted: 02 Sep 2003 at:

This is a repost of a thread that came out last year at:
and relates to Eutanator's post at:

"I found this on the web and thought it might be very helpful to forward this to windsurfers or do whatever to inform non-kiters.

1) While we try to stay upwind, occassionally, due to the same
conditions that effect windsurfing we find ourselves downwind and
among the windsurfers. Our options are to make our way through
"the pack" or Bermuda. Basically, its the same rules as sailing.
If your right arm is forward on the boom you have the right of way.
Continue on your tack and let the kiter react. It was once thought
that kiters should always go downwind of any windsurfers. This does not work because we cant keep going downwind. This draws
us further into the pack. Also, sometimes there are other windsurfers downwind. Anyway, its the same rules as sailing. If
you are passing downwind of a kiter, just relax and hold your tack
or bear off a little downwind. Because of how high the kite usually flies the lines will rarely ever be low enough to hit you or your mast.
If I see a windsurfer looking kind of confused I signal my intention
by pointing in the direction I'm going to go.

2) What to do with a beginner kiter dragging or being dragged downwind.
We try to encourage rookies to seek lessons first. We are working with the shops in the area (Jim, Steve, etc.) and they have agreed
not to teach here. However, some people insist on doing things the hard way. Basically, beginners are easy. They usually blow by wherever you are in seconds.
If you see one coming, just jibe or get out of the way. They'll be gone in seconds. We tell beginners to launch all the way at the
seawall and to come in when they reach the most upwind windsurfers.

3) What to do if you see a kite in the water in your path.
First, try to avoid the area if possible. Jibe if you can or manuever around the kite (give 100 ft each way so you don't hit the
lines). If the lines are in the water, DO NOT SAIL OVER THEM.
Your fin will not cut them. What will happen is your fin will
power up the kite and the kiter will have no control over the kite.
You will probably be lifted and tossed off your board . If you realize you are about sail over the lines, jump off your board into water. This will defuse the entire situation. You can then grab your board and sail away. If you feel you are about to be hit by a kiter's lines, jump off the
board and into the water. I doubt this will ever happen but if you think its going
to, jumping off is what to do.

4) What to do if you see a kiter has lost his kite. This is optional but you might spare a beachgoer an "adventure" and the
grateful kiter is sure to reward you with a case of your favorite beverages. Rarely, but sometimes, #4%@ happens and you are seperated from your kite. The kite itself cannot hurt you. It weighs about 3 to 5 lbs and is filled with air. If you grab the KITE and not the LINES it has the same
power as a sheet blown off a clothesline. Just grab one of the edges and hold it tight. Any kiter can take a few seconds to show you how to catch it safely. DO NOT GRAB THE LINES OR THE KITEBAR. As much as we'd like to have our kite saved from a trip
the kite hospital we value you folks more.

5) Launching and Landing. We try to always have assisted launchings and landing. This is the part of kiting that can cause the most trouble. That is why we walk upwind and give ourselves a safety zone. Basically, if you are upwind of a launching or landing kiter there is no way you can be "involved". So, if you are
strolling down the beach and see somebody getting ready to launch, either stay upwind or stay way downwind (100 feet minimum).

6) Flying a kite on the beach over beachgoers. This is a kiting NO NO. We stop anybody foolish enough to do this. If you don't feel comfortable approaching anyone who does this, ask me or any of
the other kiters to do so for you. We APPRECIATE YOU and our access here. We send anyone who wants to just fly his kite on
the beach up to the northside, where at Chapin or Mayflower at low tide they can fly on the beach all day and only disturb the the seagulls. "

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