Just like when you are learning how to drive there are important rules that you should know and follow when you are out kiteboarding; make sure you understand these universal rules before you go out kiteboarding to prevent accidents and keep everyone safe.
Follow these simple rules for a smooth ride:
Learn from the best!
Learning the basics from an IKO Certified School with certified Instructors will teach you and guide you with the best Kiteboarding techniques and safety rules. The IKO certification is a guarantee that all safety precautions are being taught and followed by the new kiteboarder.
Buy or rent good equipment that suits your level of kiteboarding
Always make sure your equipment is appropriate to your level of kiteboarding – buying a C-kite (medium–advanced) if you’re a beginner for just wanting to ride back and forth might not be the best idea. I always recommend to ask first your IKO instructor about the different kites by different brands, he is more experienced and can tell you if the kite is suited for you.
Always test the chicken loop release of your kite when going to the water with new equipment.
Most brands already have the same kind of chicken loop release nowadays but always try it once on the beach when rolling out your bar. In the case that you have to react fast you should know how to release and also how to put it back.
Check & repair your gear before you fly
Check your kite for tears or leaky bladders. If you have leaky bladders or tears in your kite, repair them before flying. Inspect well ALL of the kite and elements, including the harness, control bar lines, webbing, pigtails, bridles, pulleys, the chicken loop, leaders, bridles, harness for knots, cuts, wear, loose stitching or abrasion as appropriate
Learn about the spot you are kiting at before hitting the water
Ask other kiteboarders or your IKO instructor in the area about:
- wind conditions
- kite areas
- if the wind drops at a certain point downwind due to houses or other obstacles
- if there are reefs or rocks in the water, sea urchins, sharp shells that can cut your feet or poisonous jelly fish.
- if they have a rescue boat available. Very Important.
Never go kiting alone
It’s always better to have someone with you to help you if something unexpected happens.
The kiteboarder entering the water has the right of way over the incoming kiteboarder
When you are in the water and a gust of wind powers up your kite, you run a lower risk of injury than on the land. If you see a kiteboarder entering the water, give him or her the right of way.
Don’t get lofted
Lofting or involuntarily lifting is one of the greatest hazards of kiteboarding. The majority of loftings appear to have been readily avoidable as well.
While passing in opposite directions:
the upwind kiteboarder must fly their kite high,
the kiteboarder downwind must fly their kite low
A kiter riding a wave has the right of way
If a kiter is on a wave, it becomes more difficult to control the kite because the kiter has to focus on riding the wave at the same time. In such instances, the kiter riding the wave has the right of way over other kiteboarding traffic.
Launch, ride and land well away from bystanders
Give way to the public on the beach and in the water at ALL TIMES.
Note: If two kites collide and the lines get tangled, throw your bar and release your safety immediately. Two tangled kites have twice the power and no control. Under power, kite lines will abrade and cut each other. If both kiters release their kites, they are likely to separate themselves with little or no resulting damage.
Follow these simple rules and you will have a safe and amazing experience Kiteboarding.