- Never Kiteboard alone. Always kite with a friend who can call 911! Having a witness may also protect you from false claims and liabiltiy in controversial situations.
- Learn to Kiteboard from a qualified instructor. It will be safer and more enjoyable for you and those around you.
- Select the right size kite for the condtions, your weight, and skill. When in doubt, rig a smaller kite. If it is not enough, you can always rig bigger. Refer to the manufacturer's specifications for your kite. Ask others what size kites are currently being flown.
- Always preflight your gear while rigging up. Check the canopy for rips, cuts, streached seams, and worn bridals or connection pigtails. Check the lines for undesired knots, tangles, wear points, and frayed/worn connectors. Check the control bar for properly functioning quick releases and depower systems, any damage or bends in the bar, and any warn connection points or loop lines. Repair any defects prior to flight.
- Use appropriate safety gear. If you value you brain, wear a helmet. When in water over your head, wear a Coast Guard Approved Type II PFD. Fly only kites equiped with quick releases and properly attached safety leashes. Surf slippers will protect your feet from shells, barbs, and broken glass. Impact vests are a good idea if you plan to jump. A safety whistle, safety knife, and strobe light attached to your vest/PFD can come in handy in emergency situations.
- Never Kiteboard in an off shore wind. If you have a malfunction in an offshore wind, your kite can drag you out to sea.
- Never Kiteboard farther from shore than you are willing to swim back. If you have a malfunction off shore, you may have to swim back with your gear.
- When preparing to jump, make sure you have a clear safety zone. You should have at least 60 - 100m downwind to insure that you don't colide with/cutoff another kiteboarder. You should also make sure that you have room upwind (at least 20m) so that as you send the kite it will not collide with another kite.
- When preparing to transition to the opposite tack (reverse direction) look back over your shoulder and make sure that:
a. You will not collide with another rider behind or downwind of you.
b. You have enough room upwind to bring your kite overhead without colliding/tangling with another kite.
- Always help another rider in need if you can do so safely. It might be you who needs the help the next time.
Right Of Way Rules
- Larger, slower, or less maneuverable vessels have the right of way. There for kiteboarders should yield the right of way to swimmers, beginners, windsurfers and motorcraft.
- A rider entering the water has the right of way. Winds on land are typically gusty and more unpredictable. When approaching the shore when another rider is entering the water, turn around and give him a wide safety margin.
- When approaching a rider from the opposite direction, the upwind rider has the right of way. If you are downwind, maintain a clear safety margin and fly your kite low. If you are upwind, maintain your tack and fly your kite high.
- When on a collision course, starboard tack has right of way. If your right had is forward (riding heel side), you are on a starboard tack. This is a standard water craft right of way rule and all water craft users are subject to it. If you are on the Port tack, move downwind early and with intent so the Starboard tack rider knows your intention. If you are on the Starboard tack and the Port tack rider does not seem to be yielding, reverse you direction before a collision occurs.
- When overtaking another rider on the same tack, the faster rider must yield, change course and pass down wind, or slow down and maintain a safe distance behind the other rider. It is the responsibility of the rider coming from behind because he has a better field of view of the situation. It is also customary to let the slower rider know you are there and passing downwind.
- When passing, the upwind rider should fly his kite high, and the downwind rider should fly his kite low to avoid tangling lines.
- A rider tacking out in the surf or jumping the face of a wave must give right of way to a rider surfing a wave. Exception: see rule #2