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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2002 9:04 pm 
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The following safe kiteboarding guidelines have been prepared from other similar resources from around the world and from hard won lessons from the accident database. They are to be uploaded to both the FKA website and the new kiteboarding section of the national AKA website. They were prepared to help new kiteboarding clubs and associations that need to write safe kiteboarding guidelines. It is intended that these groups will write local guidelines to suppliment these procedures to address local conditions and restrictions. Also, they are intended to help individual riders everywhere to stay safe and riding free of restrictions.

These guidelines are longer than the old FKA guidelines. Lets face it, the more time we do this sport the more ways of potentially getting into trouble are being discovered. So, the guidelines grow with this set including Preflighting procedures. I encourage all riders to read them thoroughly and to practice them for your safety, that of bystanders and to try to preserve our continued access to launches for kiteboarding. If you have comments, ideas or corrections please email them in. Thank you very much to everyone that provided input on the draft versions of the guidelines.

Good winds,
Rick Iossi
flkitesurfer@hotmail.com

SAFE KITEBOARDING GUIDELINES - April 22, 2002

These safe kiteboarding guidelines have been prepared with the intent of improving kiteboarder and bystander safety. These procedures have been derived from other guidelines from around the world and from lessons learned from actual accidents and incidents. Kiteboarding can be potentially dangerous both to the rider and to bystanders, particularly if practiced without adequate training, knowledge and caution. Riders must accept that even if these guidelines are followed that accidents and/or injury may occur. Kiteboarders should follow these guidelines, area specific guidelines if applicable and other prudent and safe practices in an attempt to maintain safety and continued access to beaches for kiteboarding. These guidelines are updated regularly so please check the FKA website for the latest version.

GENERAL SAFETY GUIDELINES

1. Readily help other riders with launching and landing. Whether you are starting out or are almost a pro, your help may avoid a serious incident/accident and possible restrictions. Riders are solely responsible for their safety and that of effected bystanders. If you are new to an area or visiting, seek out local kiteboarders, shops and/or associations for local guidelines and rules before riding.

2. All kiteboarders, particularly beginners should seek adequate professional instruction. Beginners must avoid crowded areas as most bystanders aren't aware the potential hazards. Beginners should body drag out at least 200 ft. (60m) from shore prior to water starting.

3. Know your equipment’s limitations as well as your own. If you aren't 100% healthy OR IN DOUBT, DON’T FLY! Always maintain an energy reserve while out kiteboarding. Hydrate regularly and wear exposure clothing as appropriate. Don’t kiteboard alone or further from shore than you are readily able to swim in from.

4. Make sure you have proper safety equipment, i.e. a kite depowering leash, a good well fitting helmet, impact vest, gloves and hook knife. A kite depowering safety leash must be attached to your body.

5. Give way to the public on the beach and in the water at ALL TIMES. Be courteous and polite to bystanders. Complaints have led to restrictions on kiteboarding in some areas.

6. Is the weather acceptable, free of storm clouds and excessive gusty winds? If storm clouds are moving in, land and disable your kite well in advance of any change in wind or temperature. Are seas and wind condition within your experience, ability and appropriate for your gear? Offshore and onshore winds should be avoided. REMEMBER: TWICE THE WIND – FOUR TIMES THE POWER!

PREFLIGHT CHECKLIST

1. Make sure your launch is open, FREE OF DOWNWIND BYSTANDERS, hard objects, nearby power lines, buildings and walls, within at least 100 ft. (30 m), and preferably 200 ft. (60 m). Avoid kiteboarding near airports and in low flight path areas.

2. Check your kite for tears or leaky bladders. If you have leaky bladders or tears in your kite, repair them before flying.

3. Check ALL webbing, pigtails, bridles, the chicken loop and leaders for knots, wear or abrasions. If the line sheathing shows any breaks, replace them. The pigtails should be replaced no less frequently than every 6 months on inflatable kites.

4. Make sure your flying lines are equal as they will stretch unevenly with use. If they have knots that can’t be easily untied, replace your flight lines.

5. If solo launching make sure your kite is properly anchored with sand and is draped downwind to avoid premature launch. Rig your kite for solo launch at the last minute and launch without delay as serious accidents have happened in only minutes during this stage. If you leave the kite unattended, disabled by disconnecting all lines from one side and roll your lines when not in use.

6. Walk down your lines and examine them carefully. Just before launch pick your bar up and carefully look down the lines for twists and tangles that could cause the kite to be dangerously uncontrollable.

LAUNCHING AND GETTING UNDERWAY

1. Avoid hooking or snap shackling in while onshore or near hard objects. Pull in your trim strap or rope entirely or to a point that will allow stable kite flight with existing wind conditions, to properly depower the kite before launching and so that you can readily hold the bar and release it if necessary.

2. Announce your intention to launch and then launch promptly. The kite should be launched towards or preferably from the water. Assisted launches are always preferred.

3. To try to avoid lofting or involuntary lifting. DO NOT BRING YOUR KITE OVERHEAD or near neutral or the zenith, within 200 ft. (60 m) of ANY HARD OBJECT (on water or land).

4. Go offshore WITHOUT DELAY after launch. If there are substantial waves where you need to put on your board consider body dragging outside the breaker zone first. Be aware of and properly react in advance of low flying aircraft coming into your area.

5. Yield the right of way to all others in the water. Riders must yield to others when jumping, maneuvering, or riding on port tack (left hand forward). Kiteboarders should not jump within a buffer zone of at least two hundred feet (60 m) of others and objects that are downwind. Incoming riders give way to those launching.

LANDING

1. Approach the shore slowly with caution. Take care to avoid causing an accidental jump in well powered conditions by slowing suddenly while approaching the shore. Keep your kite low to try avoid lofting.

2. Arrange for assisted landings at least 200 ft. (60 m) from bystanders, power lines and vertical surfaces. Do not use non-kiteboarders for assisted launches or landings. If in doubt, safely solo depower your kite in the shallows away from shore and bystanders.

3. Properly anchor your kite, disconnect and wind up your kite lines. The kite should be placed in a safe area well out of bystander and vehicular traffic.

© FKA, Inc. 2002


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2002 2:24 pm 
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Hello Anton,

The intent is to have the kite pointed toward the water or preferably being held in the water for an assisted launch with the rider on the beach or preferably in the water as well. The theory is that if something goes wrong the rider will be dragged into or through the water and not inland to hard impacts, powerlines, trees or through bystanders. Many accidents appear to happen during launch.

It is important to stack the deck in favor of the rider's and bystander's safety by following simple procedures during each launch. Also in following this approach you have no need to bring the kite through the zenith or vertical which will put you at risk of lofing. In the recommended approach the kite is close to the edge of the water or over the water immediately after launch and offshore you go without delay.

Of course this assumes that the launch conditions and layout will readily permit this sort of launch. It is an ideal and the reality of widely varying launch conditions around the world comes into play as well. Different variants will have to be worked out for narrow steep beaches with sideshore winds and rapidly deepening water and other restricted layouts.

Rick Iossi


-----Original Message-----
From: Anton Potgieter [mailto:apotgieter@telepassport.co.za]
Sent: Wednesday, April 24, 2002 2:00 AM
To: ksurfschool@yahoogroups.com
Subject: RE: [ksurfschool] New Safe Kiteboarding Guidelines


Hi Rick,

Check out this line:

"The kite should be launched towards or preferably from the water. "

Which is towards the water - the rider or the kite? (assuming cross-shore
wind)

I cannot recall ever having seen a launch with the kite towards the water,
probably because most beaches slope towards the sea and it is more
comfortable to be lower than your kite when launching!

Regards,
Anton


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2002 4:16 pm 
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Although originally written for the for the AKA website, I had hopes that these guidelines might be of some use elsewhere in the world. In just a few days I have been contacted by various parties and understand that they may be uploaded in Austria, Australia and France in addition to the USA. It is good to have so many folks focused on safety issues and maintaining kiteboarding access by avoiding incidents and accidents. I hope that more will use the guidelines to keep this trend going.

Good winds,
Rick Iossi


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2002 4:47 pm 
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kiteschools.com will also use it on their website, if you agree?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2002 5:05 pm 
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Please do! They are intended to be supplemented by local guidelines that may be similar to the example that I have reproduced below. The local guidelines convey essential local knowledge, precautions and restrictions on riding. The local guidelines could actually form a section on the reverse side of the Safe Kiteboarding Guidelines printed out to save paper.

Thanks for helping to spread the word,
Rick Iossi

EXAMPLE

Bigwind, Florida Local Kiteboarding Guidelines – April 10, 2002

The following guidelines have been prepared as an aid to kiteboarding safety in the vicinity of the beach at Bigwind, Florida. These practices and other appropriate procedures should be followed while kiteboarding off this beach. These guidelines supplement the Safe Kiteboarding Guidelines.

1. Launch and land outside of guarded public beach areas, north of Lifeguard stand N5 and south of lifeguard stand S4.

2. Riders should considerate of private property owners in the launch and landing areas.

3. Riders are asked to avoid crowded areas during peak holiday beach use times.

(or whatever local conditions, restrictions or agreements dictate in your area).


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2002 7:10 am 
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Hi Rick,
just a quick word to thank you for your effort concerning safety procedures.
Your info and work will be most helpfull in preparing safety guidelines for my students.
Regards.
Nico


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2002 8:31 pm 
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Hello Nico,

Hope the guidelines help out. What country are you from? I have been keeping track and the guidelines have been adopted by concerns in Austria, Australia, France, South Africa (twice) and kiteschools.com to date. Good to see all those folks concerned about working to improve safety and maintain access.

Rick Iossi


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